By David Heck
Another game of the World Series is in the books, and more unpredictable action has taken place. After the Giants earned an improbable win in Game 1, they extended their series lead with a Game 2 victory. Here are five things you didn’t know about the game.
1. The Tigers were shut out just twice during the regular season: July 17 against the Angels, when they lost 13-0, and August 29 against the Royals, when they lost 1-0. But they were shut out for the third time this seaon – and for the first time in this year’s playoffs – as Madison Bumgarner, Santiago Casilla and Sergio Romo limited Detroit to just two hits on Thursday.
Those two base knocks were the fewest that the Tigers had recorded in a World Series game since the team was limited to just one hit in Game 3 in 1945. The Giants had not been that stingy with hits allowed in any of their 106 previous World Series games. They had allowed as few as three hits on five occasions.
2. Bumgarner had one of his best performances of the year, striking out eight while surrendering just two hits and two walks over seven frames. The last time he pitched into the seventh was on August 20, when he tossed eight shutout innings against the Dodgers. He had not even made it into the sixth in five of his last six starts, including two postseason games in which he allowed 10 runs over a combined eight innings.
Bumgarner is just the fifth pitcher in baseball history to toss at least seven shutout frames in his first two World Series starts. The others? Christy Mathewson, Bill Hallahan, Don Larsen and Sandy Koufax – not bad company.
3. San Francisco’s 2-0 lead in the series represents the 53rd time in World Series history that one team has won the first two games. On the other 52 occasions, the team going up 2-0 went on to win the series 41 times (78.8 percent of the time). Recent history is even more on the Giants’ side, as the last eight teams to take a 2-0 lead have gone on to win the World Series. The last time a team came back from a 2-0 deficit was in 1996, when the Yankees won four straight games to defeat the Braves in six contests.
For the Giants specifically, this is the fifth time in franchise history that the squad has taken a 2-0 lead in the World Series. The team has won a title all four times that happened, never going beyond five games.
4. Coming off of his three-homer performance, Pablo Sandoval was intentionally walked by the Tigers in the eighth to get to MVP candidate Buster Posey. That happened just twice during the regular season, with Posey making outs on both occasions.Following his 1-for-3 effort, Sandoval is now batting .368 with 21 hits in 14 postseason games. He is just one base knock short of J.T. Snow’s franchise record for hits in the playoffs, while also being just four hits shy of the all-time playoff record shared by Marquis Grisson (Braves; 1995), Darin Erstad (Angels; 2002) and David Freese (Cardinals; 2011).
5. The Giants took a while to get on the board, failing to plate a run until the seventh, but the important thing is that they scored before the Tigers did. In the Giants’ 14 postseason games this year, the team scoring first has gone on to win 12 times. San Francisco has fared even better individually, putting together an 8-1 record when it’s scored first.
6. Bonus fact! Angel Pagan stole second base with one out in the eighth, winning free tacos from Taco Bell for America. The tacos will be available from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on October 30. Don’t miss out.