Found October 26, 2012 on Fox Sports:
Tigers manager Jim Leyland said it best, and he wasn't just being gracious. "I don't think they're getting any breaks," Leyland said of the Giants. "I think they've earned everything they got." Leyland exaggerated slightly, but surely it is no accident that the Giants lead the World Series, two games to none. The Giants are playing exquisite, inspired, near-flawless baseball, and Thursday night's 2-0 victory was their most breathtaking clinic yet. For starters, the Giants executed a brilliant cutoff and relay to nail a runner -- well, Prince Fielder -- at home plate. Later, they produced a pickoff. A sacrifice attempt that turned into a base hit. A critical stolen base to set up the insurance run, and a sacrifice fly on an 0-2 count to bring that run home. Oh yes, they also got seven shutout innings from left-hander Madison Bumgarner, who had an 11.25 ERA in his two previous postseason starts but was manager Bruce Bochy's choice to pitch Game 2, anyway. When exactly was Bochy's last wrong decision? Bochy essentially benched Bumgarner after the 16-game winner lasted just 3-2/3 innings in Game 1 of the NLCS. But the demotion, if that's even a fair word, was only temporary. Bumgarner, 23, worked with pitching coach Dave Righetti to correct a mechanical flaw -- he had been over-rotating in his delivery, trying to generate velocity. Meanwhile, Bochy worked on Bumgarner's head. "You kind of challenge him," Bochy told the FOX broadcasters before the game. "A couple of days ago, I told him, 'You're getting a start unless you're scared.'" Naturally, Bumgarner told Bochy he wasn't scared, wouldn't be scared if he had given up 10 runs in 30 straight starts. And Bochy replied, in that great understated way of his, that if Bumgarner was pitching that poorly, he wouldn't get 30 straight starts. A Tigers coach was skeptical before the game that the Giants somehow could fix Bumgarner in the middle of the postseason, but sure enough that is what happened. Bumgarner allowed just two hits and two walks, striking out eight, his highest total since Aug. 20. "He's done such a great job for us," Bochy said. "I really thought he needed a break, and I thought he benefitted from it, getting some rest, both mentally and physically. He went out there and pitched like we know he can." Of course, Bumgarner had help. Giants pitchers always get help. The team ranked only 13th in the majors in the regular season in defensive efficiency, a statistic that measures the percentage of batted balls that are converted into outs. But in the postseason, the Giants' defense continues to be a game-changer. Case in point: The second inning, when the Tigers' Delmon Young hit a ball past a diving Pablo Sandoval at third base with Fielder on first. The ball skipped over the bullpen mound, then ricocheted off the left-field wall into fair territory, forcing left fielder Gregor Blanco to reverse course. Shortstop Brandon Crawford, the first cutoff man, set up on the outfield grass, about 20 feet beyond the infield. Second baseman Marco Sctuaro, the second cutoff man, set up on the infield dirt, not far from third base. Textbook, even though Blanco didn't know it. Blanco, a left-handed thrower, recovered the ball on his backhand and fired. Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont, to the surprise of most everyone in the park, was waving Fielder home with none out. The throw -- an overthrow, really -- went above Crawford and right to Scutaro. Scutaro turned and made a perfect relay home. And catcher Buster Posey, after setting up in front of the plate, was in an ideal position to tag out Fielder. It was the first 7-4-2 out in Series history, and Blanco seemed confused by the whole thing afterward, saying, "I don't know what Scutaro was doing there." Scutaro and Crawford, however, said they executed the play properly. And Scutaro, when informed of Blanco's remark, joked, "He's an outfielder. He doesn't know what's going on." Blanco was at the center of another pivotal play -- and another with unintended consequences -- when he attempted to sacrifice with two on and none out in the seventh and the score 0-0. Hitters generally try to keep sacrifices away from the lines -- the idea is to move the runner over, not bunt for a base hit. But Blanco's ball hugged the third-base line. "As soon as I bunted it, I thought, 'Oh my gosh, it's going to go foul,'" Blanco said. The count was 3-1 -- maybe the Giants would have given Blanco another chance on 3-2, maybe not. In the end, such a decision was unnecessary. Blanco's bunt stayed fair, loading the bases. Crawford then hit into a 4-6-3 double play, but a run scored to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. The Giants loaded the bases again the following inning, getting three walks (one intentional) and a stolen base from Angel Pagan. Hunter Pence, who began the night batting .173 in the postseason, stepped to the plate, having already shown signs of recovery -- he had led off with a single and scored the Giants' run in the seventh. But in this at-bat, Pence fell behind 0-2 against reliever Octavio Dotel. A strikeout on a slider away -- a frequent Pence outcome -- seemed inevitable. But Pence hung tough, fouling off three straight pitches, then lofting an opposite-field sacrifice fly to make it 2-0. Closer Sergio Romo pitched a 1-2-3 ninth, avoiding Miguel Cabrera, who was due up fourth in the inning. And the Giants had outclassed the Tigers again. Yes, the Giants have had some luck -- Pagan hit a double that bounced off the third-base bag in Game 1, and Blanco's bunt easily could have rolled foul. But think of all of the Giants' outstanding defensive plays -- Blanco's two catches in Game 1, Sandoval's leaping grab on a bullet by Cabrera in the fourth inning of Game 2. Leyland knows what he's seeing. A team executing better than his own. A team in full. "I mean, they're playing good," Leyland said. "They're playing like the Giants play, and we expected that coming in. "They're good. They're really good."

Leyland's career has come full circle with Tigers

Jim Leyland's career in professional baseball has come full circle. The Detroit Tigers put Leyland back in the dugout six years ago after employing him as a light-hitting catcher in the minors and a manager in their farm system. It has been a win-win reunion. Leyland led the Tigers to the World Series in 2006, giving the franchise a chance to win its first title since 1984...

Tigers' Leyland forced to juggle bullpen

The absence of a certified closer hurt Detroit for the first time in the postseason Thursday night, and it's something Jim Leyland is going to have to deal with if the Tigers are to get out of their 0-2 hole to San Francisco and win the World Series. Some people will recall that Leyland dealt with not having a bona fide closer with his quality Pittsburgh Pirates teams of the...

Leyland laments squandered chances

Jim Leyland feels no need to make a rah-rah speech to the Tigers, who trail the Giants three games to none in the World Series. "You don't have to tell them anything," the Detroit manager said of his players. "They can count. We're down 3-0. There's no secret formula or message to them. We have to come out and win a game. You don't think about four...

Tigers Bat Boy Picks His Nose and Rolls It

At least he didn’t eat it.  The Detroit Tigers bat boy was caught on camera behind manager Jim Leyland picking his nose and than rolling whatever came out of it in his fingers. Not a good way to kickoff Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.  I heard that bat boy was picking the Tigers in 5 because they will pick apart the Giants pitching because they have great pickoffs…alright...

2012 World Series manager comparison: Leyland VS Bochy

As the 2012 World Series kicks off tonight, if course there has been a lot of discussion about the two participants. Coming into this season, the Tigers would be considered the favorite. But, the Giants had more regular season wins (91-88) and they also have homefield advantage because of the National League’s victory in this year’s All Star Game. Of course, the NL got their...

Former Marlins C says he's ready for managing job

Now that he has followed Jim Leyland's advice, Mike Redmond believes he's ready to manage in the major leagues. The former catcher had his first interview for a big-league job this week when he met with Miami Marlins officials in New York City. Redmond spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays' system. Redmond says Leyland once told him...

GIF: Watch Tigers’ Doug Fister get hit in the head with a line drive

Detroit Tigers pitcher Doug Fister was hit in the head with a line drive during Game 2 of the World Series. San Francisco left fielder Gregor Blanco lined the ball off of Fister’s head. Fister is incredibly lucky that he wasn’t seriously injured.

Former Marlins catcher ready for managing job

MIAMI (AP) -- Now that he has followed Jim Leyland's advice, Mike Redmond believes he's ready to manage in the major leagues. The former catcher had his first interview for a big-league job this week when he met with Miami Marlins officials in New York City. Redmond spent the past two years managing Class A teams in the Toronto Blue Jays' system. Redmond says Leyland...

2012 World Series predictions and preview

While the National League will be represented by the San Francisco Giants who last appeared in the World Series in 2010, winning it all against the Texas Rangers. With that said lets take a look at the 2012 World Series between the Detroit Tigers and San Francisco Giants:

How Tigers can turn World Series

The Detroit Tigers in the World Series look like the New York Yankees in the ALCS. But all that is about to change. It should change, anyway. The Tigers are home, they're facing right-handed pitching and they no longer can use their five-day layoff as an excuse. The simple way to look at this, as manager Jim Leyland said Friday, is that the Tigers are two games back with five...

Tigers not complicating 2-0 World Series deficit

The Tigers aren't making this more complicated than it needs to be. "They won at home, and now we need to win at home," Game 3 starter Anibal Sanchez said Friday afternoon. "We've got a long way to go." They've heard the stats -- only one team in five manages to win the World Series after falling behind 2-0 -- but that's not what they are talking...

Valverde again shows Tigers he can't be trusted

If you've got aging bananas in the fruit bowl, make banana bread. That just about sums up what manager Jim Leyland did Wednesday night as his Detroit Tigers were getting drubbed, 8-3, at San Francisco in the opening game of the World Series. Leyland tried to give all of his hitters an at-bat in an effort to get them up to speed, and he also went through some of his bullpen...

This Feels Like A Trap

People are saying the Giants are getting all the breaks. In this World Series, I have to disagree.  Big time. So far, the Giants have outplayed and outperformed the Tigers.  And it’s not even close. Game 2 fell because of two coaching decisions on the Detroit side, and only one was really a Jim Leyland call.  You know what they are. Prince Fielder Going Home This will be the...

Game 2012 Playoffs.10: Tigers at Giants

4 games to go. What a tremendous season: AL Central Division Champs. AL Division Series Champs. AL Pennant. Triple Crown Winner. Perhaps another Cy Young winner. But you know what? It’s not enough. The D deserves more.  And we’re gonna get it. ************************* Now, as I’m sure you have all see, there is an abundance of Tigers media out there right now. It’s starting...
MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.