Something about the Giants and ground balls in the infield. They can give them magical spin to skip by a shortstop, or pitching wedge-like precision to stop rolling just inside the foul line.
- Thanks in part to the aforementioned precision (a sacrifice-bunt-turned-infield-single), the Giants beat the Tigers 2-0 last night to take a 2-0 lead in the World Series. Each of Madison Bumgarner and Doug Fister were solid in Game Two, but Bumgarner ultimately out-dueled Fister in every way save, perhaps, for line drives off the head (Fister was OK and stayed in the game). And now everyone will talk about why you don't want to sweep in the LCS, and about having too much rest and getting cold. Anibal Sanchez will start for the Tigers as the series shifts back to Detroit tomorrow night at 7pm CT. Ryan Vogelsong gets the ball for the Giants (if I would have told you back in April that the Giants would be in the World Series and neither of Matt Cain nor Tim Lincecum would start any of the first three games ... ).
- So, the Tigers are toast, right? Sure, they have a theoretical shot, but, for all intents and purposes, that shot is minuscule, isn't it? Eh, not quite minuscule. Teams going down 0-2 in the World Series, historically, have a 21.2% chance of coming back to win. It last happened in 1996 when the Yankees came back to beat the Braves.
- Did you know that the Tigers twice before trailed in the World Series 2-0? They lost them both, in 1907 and 1908, to the Cubs. You can find that pearl and other World Series did-you-knows here.
- FanGraphs wonders whether Tim Lincecum's future might be in the bullpen after his dominant stretch there this offseason (on the heels of his worst season as a starter). Digging into the numbers, a dominant reliever can actually provide almost as much value as a dominant starter, depending on the situations in which you use him (the theory goes, anyway).
- Speaking of high leverage relievers, Mariano Rivera is reportedly now considering retirement after a season lost to an ACL tear. Soon after the injury, the soon-to-be-43-year-old vowed to be back, but now that the reality of the rehab and the reduced effectiveness (in theory) are setting in, he may be rethinking things.
- The Fielding Bible named its top defenders of the year, and they were catcher Yadier Molina of the Cardinals, first baseman Mark Teixeira of the Yankees, second baseman Darwin Barney of the Cubs (yay), third baseman Adrian Beltre of the Rangers, shortstop Brendan Ryan of the Mariners, left fielder Alex Gordon of the Royals, center fielder Mike Trout of the Angels, right fielder Jason Heyward of the Braves and pitcher Mark Buehrle of the Marlins.
- Bud Selig reiterated that he's committed to having a one-game playoff in the Wild Card round again next year. Shrug.