With another victory Saturday night against the Detroit Tigers, the San Francisco Giants have taken a 3-0 series lead in perhaps the most mundane way possible. None of these games have been or, more accurately, felt particularly close at any juncture other than when the Fox scoreboard tells us it’s 0-0 in the top of the first. I can’t imagine that this World Series, which could end in a resounding sweep later tonight, has been fascinating for anyone out there not currently wearing Giants apparel and collecting Buster Posey rookie cards.
In three games so far, the 2012 World Series has featured just 15 total runs. That might be fine if we were seeing pitcher’s duels, but that hasn’t really been the case. None of these games has been of the one-run variety, and the two shutouts the Giants have managed have been tossed by Barry Zito and Ryan Vogelsong in efforts that, while impressive, have not hinted at domination. The Tigers managed three runs in the second game of the Series, but they all came after the Giants exploded for eight thanks to three Pablo Sandoval blasts; I’m guessing it’s Panda’s accomplishment that will be the one we remember down the road. That game felt a bit like an aberration, as the Giants haven’t gotten this far by hitting the ball hard. They’ve scattered singles and cast magic spells more than they’ve laced baseballs all over the diamond.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m still watching the World Series if for no other reason than I will always watch any baseball game that’s on. I dread the several months out of the year when my only connection with my favorite sport comes via rabid internet perusal and rumor mongering. Okay, that part’s pretty cool too, but you get my drift. All I’m saying is that this edition of the fall classic seems particularly yawn-inducing when compared to some of the stuff we’ve been treated to in recent times.
Going all the way back to, well, last season you can find a World Series far more appealing. The Rangers and Cardinals squared off in a death match that went all seven games, and one of those games (the sixth one to be exact) was a back-and-forth melee of destruction. Sloppy play early led to highlight reel dramatics late, and the Cardinals went on to take that game and the series itself a day later. Even the six-game 2009 Series between the Yankees and Phillies had more traction, as Chase Utley went nuts and showed CC Sabathia he could most certainly hit lefties. The 2008 Series was only a five-game affair, but it had plenty of value since the (at the time) underdog Rays were making the first appearance in franchise history.
But damning this World Series by comparing it to its ancestors isn’t necessarily a complete condemnation of the 2012 postseason as a whole. There have been a lot of great games to watch over the past month, and a lot of moments worth remembering. Each and every division series match-up went the full five games, and both National League series resulted in bizarre comebacks. The Giants soldiered back down two games to none against the Reds, while the Cardinals weathered a 6-0 storm at the beginning of their game five against the Nationals. Then, once the NLCS came around, the Giants rallied again to overcome a 3-1 deficit against the Cardinals and eventually get into the very World Series this piece was written about.
Maybe the 2012 World Series won’t go down in history as a special one or become something you tell your grandchildren about in between popping heart medication pills and offering them a Future Shasta, but there has been plenty to savor this October. There always is, and that’s just one more thing I cherish about baseball. No team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the World Series; now that would be worth remembering.