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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Five things to watch in World Series

WAITING GAME: In 2006, the Detroit Tigers swept the Oakland Athletics in the American League Championship Series then sat for nearly a week and lost their edge, losing to the St. Louis Cardinals in five games. This time, Detroit took a proactive approach to staying ready. The Tigers held three workouts and played two scrimmages against players summoned from their fall instructional camp in Florida.

NEVER SAY DIE: When you think about it, San Francisco really has no business being in the World Series. They were down, 2-0, in their best-of-five National League Division Series, with the final three games in Cincinnati. They won all three games, advancing to the NLCS, where they fell behind, 3-1 to St. Louis. That series turned on shutout ball by Barry Zito, and again the Giants won three in a row. They are 6-0 in win-or-go-home games.

RIDING THEIR HORSE: Justin Verlander is a beast. He is the reigning AL most valuable player and Cy Young Award winner, and is recognized by many as the best pitcher in the game. Verlander is well rested for Game 1, and if the Giants beat him, it will be a demoralizing blow. AT&T Park is made for pitchers, and the Tigers will be counting on him to deliver a victory to ensure at least a split in San Francisco. Verlander is undefeated with a 0.74 ERA and 25 strikeouts in 241/3 innings in the postseason.

DEEP PITCHING: The Giants’ rotation is not nearly as rested as manager Bruce Bochy would prefer, but they have plenty of pitching. In winning the last three games of the NLCS to pull off a World Series berth, the Giants held the St. Louis offense to one run total. Your staff is pretty good when you can shuttle Tim Lincecum from the bullpen to the rotation.

CLOSING TIME: If you would have asked the Giants and Tigers at the start of the year whom their World Series closers would be, they would have said Brian Wilson and Jose Valverde, respectively. Wilson was lost in the early going with an elbow injury, and Valverde forfeited his role as closer with two postseason meltdowns. Bochy has a good mix of Santiago Casilla, Jeremy Affeldt and Sergio Romo at the end of games. Leyland used left-hander Phil Coke to finish games in the ALCS after Valverde’s Game 1 implosion.

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