Shutout puts San Francisco on cusp of World Series title
DETROIT — Nothing is stopping them. Not even the Triple Crown winner at the plate with the bases loaded.
Armed and accelerating, the San Francisco Giants became the first team to throw consecutive World Series shutouts in nearly a half-century, blanking Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers, 2-0, on a chilly Saturday night for a commanding 3-0 lead.
No team has blown such a huge margin in the World Series. And with the way Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and the Giants are pitching, it seemed unlikely the Tigers would even score a run, yet alone win a game.
Gregor Blanco hit an RBI triple and trotted home on Brandon Crawford's single in the second inning, and that was ample offense for the Giants. Timely hits, combined with another dominant effort on the mound and sharp defense, put them close to their second title in three years.
After playing a nearly perfect Game 3, the Giants will turn to Mr. Perfect Game himself — Matt Cain — to try for a sweep Sunday against Max Scherzer.
At this rate, it appeared only a bailout by the San Francisco staff could help the Motor City. Nothing seems to be stopping the Giants — not a switch to an AL park, not cold weather, not playing in front of a crowd ready to rock.
Vogelsong, a former Pirate whose path to the World Series took a detour to Japan, improved to 3-0 with a 1.09 ERA in four starts this postseason. He induced two early double plays, then faced his stiffest test in the fifth.
The bases were loaded with one out when Vogelsong fanned rookie Quintin Berry. That brought up Cabrera, honored before the game with an actual blue-and-gold crown for his Triple Crown accomplishments.
With the fans chanting “M-V-P!” and likely sensing the Series was riding on this at-bat, Vogelsong seemed calm. He won the matchup, getting an easy popup that prompted Cabrera to slam his bat to the ground.
Lincecum took over with two outs in the sixth, and the two-time reliever looked as if he had been coming out of the bullpen his whole life and shut down the Tigers. Closer Sergio Romo finished off the combined five-hitter with his second save of the Series.