Let me get this straight: Behind another brilliant outing by Barry Zito—and isn’t it time MLB officials handed him a cup to pee in?—the Giants beat the crap out of Justin Verlander last night, cruising to an 8-3 Game 1 victory. The Giants have won four games in five days (including three straight in their raucous home park) by the combined score of 28-4 (and that score would be 28-2 had a meaningless two-run, ninth-inning home run last night not ticked off the center-fielder’s glove). The Tigers, who were clearly rusty last night, are playing just their second game in a week today. And they’re facing another southpaw in Madison Bumgarner (who is 10-5 with a 3.00 ERA) in his home ballpark this season, while countering with Doug Fister (who is 4-7 with a 3.43 ERA on the road).
Despite all this, San Francisco is an underdog in Game 2? WTF?!?!
I said it yesterday, and I’ll repeat it again: The Giants have a death grip on the “team of destiny” label, and they ain’t letting it go. Which is why I don’t give a crap that Fister (1.84 ERA last five starts) has been outpitching Bumgarner (6.85 ERA last nine starts going back to Aug. 25). Or that Bumgarner hasn’t started since Game 1 of the NLCS 11 days ago (when he got lit up by St. Louis). Hell, all that means is the young lefty, who has made a career-high 34 starts this year and clearly was laboring for more than a month, has recharged his battery to full capacity.
Want some trends? Here you go: The Giants, who captured the 2010 title, have won five straight
World Series home games; they’re 15-5 in their last 20 as an underdog; they’re 8-1 in their last nine against teams from the AL Central; they’re 20-7 in Bumgarner’s last 27 home starts; and the Tigers have lost four straight World Series road games, 17 of their last 22 road games against left-handed starters and seven of their last 10 when Fister pitches as a road favorite.
Again, I repeat: San Francisco is an underdog tonight. Thanks for the free money, guys.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Tuesday’s Result: Giants (+140) vs. Cardinals to win World Series (Pending)