America is underrating the San Francisco Giants. That’s fine. They always do that.
But the Giants are not going to lay down for the Tigers, no matter what the analysts say.
Things start with Justin Verlander. Verlander is the best pitcher in baseball today. There is no disputing that. But in 2010, Roy Halladay had thrown a no-hitter in the playoffs. Cliff Lee had dominated in two seasons of playoffs. Heck, the entire Phillies rotation was considered legendary. The Giants beat them all.
For the past few years, the Giants have found a way to play up to, or down to, an opponent’s level. They’ve been revved for the ace of their opponents. It will be no different against Verlander. The Giants will be prepared, and will grind things out against him.
The offense of the Giants is pretty putrid at times, but that doesn’t matter. In the playoffs, anyone can get the big hit. And so far this postseason, everyone has gotten one. The Giants spent the last couple of games dominating the Cardinals, and they did it without Buster Posey getting the hits. Don’t let the lack of big stars or fantasy output fool you.
The Giants pitching has been off most of the season. Every starter has had a slump. But every starter has the ability to dominate. People are going to laugh about Barry Zito facing off against Verlander. Go ahead. Zito still has the ability to fool hitters. These Detroit hitters are going to be amped up after so much time off. This will be the first World Series for many of them, and for the big bopper Miguel Cabrera, it’s his first since he was a veritable kid. They’ll be ready for heat, and ready to swing. I’ll take a guy with a big curveball and a lot of junk to face off against that.
And the Giants having Tim Lincecum in the bullpen is going to be huge. The Tigers don’t have a great bullpen. The Giants can shut down the Tigers with their bullpen. Lincecum could be starting. If it were my choice, I’d probably have him in the rotation. But the truth is, he got a shot to start in the playoffs. He didn’t get the job done. So the team has him where he has succeeded.
And that’s before you talk about playing in San Francisco, with the noise.
The Tigers aren’t ready for this. That team hasn’t been in this position. It’s going to be fun to watch them get overwhelmed tonight.
And, for the record, Giants in 7.