San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who is batting .636 in the World Series against the Detroit Tigers, revels in his cartoonish connection to the kids character Kung Fu Panda. Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing Can Stop Giants


It was nice seeing you, Detroit. Shut the lights off on your way out of the playoffs. By definition, any team that can come back from a 3-0 deficit in a best-of-seven playoff serious is asking for a miracle. The Tigers cannot look for examples in their own sport, the Boston Red Sox of 2004 making that comeback against the New York Yankees serving as the only time it has happened in post-season history.

The 0-3 comeback has happened in the NBA and a handful of times in the NHL, so as long as there are still games on the schedule the Tigers can delude themselves into thinking they can still become world champs. Still, there are differences between hope and hallucination. Face it, the San Francisco Giants are going to win the 2012 World Series. Maybe tonight in a four-game sweep.

To win the Series at this point the Tigers must go into desperation mode. Every game is an elimination game so they can’t be planning ahead. That means Justin Verlander must pitch the fourth game. No sense waiting around for him to pitch a fifth if it is not going to exist.

While he’s at it making the starting pitcher switch from Max Scherzer to Verlander, Detroit manager Jim Leyland should contemplate throwing Hall of Famer Al Kaline into the lineup, and maybe Mickey Stanley, too. So what if they are a million years old. They’re right there at Comerica Park and it is all hands on deck.  Not sure if that would be any help or not at this point because for the Tigers to have any chance at all to win any game they’ve got to hit better. Who knew the Giants’ pitching staff consisted of Cy Young, Cy Young, Cy Young, and Cy Young?

After Saturday night’s 2-0 blanking on the combined efforts of Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo, the Giants own two straight shutouts of the vaunted Tigers. This was the first time since the 1966 Baltimore Orioles that a team had pitched two straight Series shutouts and the first time in the National League since 1919 when the Cincinnati Reds did it to the Chicago White Sox. How hard is that to do? Well, you have to remember the White Sox weren’t even trying. That was the Black Sox scandal year.

It’s not as if Detroit pitcher Anibal Sanchez was bad in Game 3. Not at all. It was noted, however, that the Tigers never seem to hit when Sanchez throws. It was the 23rd time that Detroit scored two runs or less in a game Sanchez was pitching. The righty is a free agent after the Series. Maybe the best advice he can get is: Run away! Apparently the Tigers don’t like him much and they use whiffle-ball bats when it’s his turn on the mound.

These are the obstacles the Tigers face in turning around this World Series: 1) Giants pitching; 2) Giants gettting the bounces when they need them; 3) Detroit’s own ineptitude hitting; 4) The apparently overwhelming karma of the Kung Fun Panda.

The rolly-polly Pablo Sandoval has 23 hits in the post-season. He’s had a once-in-a-lifetime three-homer showing in a single-season game. He is batting .636 for the Series. Here is one description of the cartoon movie from whence Sandoval gets his nickname: “Po, the Dragon Warrior panda, leads the Furious Five in maintaining calm in the Valley of Peace. With Tigris, Monkey, Mantis, Crane, Viper and Shifu fighting by his side Po defends the Jade Palace against all.”

So pretty much Sandoval is just living the legend.

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