It’s a magical phrase for a sports fan, Game Seven. Just look at all the previous ones from the World Series.
Here you’ll find Grover Cleveland Alexander’s masterful job of relief in 1926, when he entered the game in the seventh inning of Game Seven after winning Game Six the day before and struck out the Yankees’ Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded to retire the side. You’ll find Dizzy Dean’s 11-0 shutout of the Tigers in 1934, with the left field fans showering Ducky Medwick with bottles after he spiked Mickey Owens in the previous inning. You’ll find Bill Mazeroski’s home run in 1960 and Luis Gonzalez’s bloop single over second base off Mariano Rivera in 2001. And you’ll find Gene Larkin’s single in the 10th inning of the Jack Morris shutout game in 1991.
The Cubs ask Kyle Hendricks to be the man. He started Game Three, went 4 1/3 innings and gave up six hits but no runs in the eventual 1-0 loss to the Indians. He’ll be opposed by the Indians’ Corey Kluber, who’s already won Games One and Four in this Series for the Tribe. He’ll try to join a very exclusive club of pitchers who’ve won three games in a Series; the last member to join was Randy Johnson of the D-Backs in 2001.
There is no joy in Motown; the mighty Tigers have so far been pawing at the Giants’ pitches as though they were shot from cannon rather than thrown by mortal beings. They’re 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position for the Series, which is bad enough; what’s worse is that they’ve played three games and only had 11 runners in scoring position.
Vogelsong v. Sanchez, Comerica Park, 8:00PM Eastern, Fox. Sanchez has pitched against the Giants before; his entire career until the trading deadline this year was spent in the NL. This will be Vogelsong’s first time seeing the Tigers.
The Tigers have to get their bats untracked. They only got two hits in Game Two, and unless you’ve got Koufax or Gibson pitching for you that’s probably not going to be enough offense to win.
After the Panda’s explosion in Game One, the Tigers hope to regroup and win one on the road tonight at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox. It’ll be Fister v. Bumgarner. Fister has two no-decisions in the postseason to show for 13 1/3 innings of two-run pitching, while Bumgarner gave up six runs to the Cardinals in Game One of the NLCS. On paper the Tigers should be favored to win this one, but paper means nuthin’ in baseball.
The Giants have reached the World Series 19 times, the Tigers 11 times. Yet this is their first date for the championship.
Eight teams have reached the World Series at least 10 times: the Yankees, the A’s, the Red Sox and the Tigers in the American League, and the Giants, the Cardinals, the Dodgers and the Cubs (really) in the National League. All the possible World Series matchups involving those teams have now taken place, except for one: the Tigers and the Dodgers have still never met in the World Series.
Here’s Roger Angell on teams from the original leagues making it to the Series, published on October 11. If you haven’t read Angell before, here’s his bio along with a list of his baseball essay collections. Read them.
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then the Giants really are a team of destiny this year. Watch as Hunter Pence’s bat shatters and hits the ball not once, not twice, but three times.
Congratulations to the Giants. As Bob Timmermann reminded me on Facebook earlier today, this means that there actually will be a Giants – Tigers World Series. There’s never been one. The closest was in 1908, but Fred Merkle committed his “bonehead play” which cost the Giants the pennant. The Cubs won and beat the Tigers for the World Championship; it was the last time they won one.