By: David Heck
Game 4 was the most exciting game of the World Series – a back-and-forth affair that took 10 innings to decide. In the end, though, the result was the same: a Giants victory. San Francisco defeated Detroit, 4-3, to take its second World Series title in three years. Here are five things you didn’t know about the game.
1. The Giants are the 21st team to sweep the World Series, but just the first National League squad to sweep since the 1990 Reds did so against the Athletics. In that time, five American League teams had swept the Fall Classic: the ’98 Yankees,’99 Yankees,’04 Red Sox, ’05 White Sox and ’07 Red Sox.
The Tigers had lost four games in a row three times during the regular season. Two of those occasions came during a five-game losing streak from April 22-27, while the other came when the team dropped three to the Angels and one to the White Sox between Sept. 7-10.
The Tigers are just the third team in history to get swept in the World Series after sweeping the LCS, joining the 2007 Rockies and 1990 Athletics.
2. Speaking of the Tigers losing, the team has now lost seven straight World Series games dating back to 2006. The previous franchise-worst was six games, which happened between the 1907 and 1908 World Series. Two teams are tied for the all-time “lead” with eight straight losses in the Fall Classic: The Phillies (1915 and 1950) and the Braves (1996 and 1999).
The Giants, meanwhile, ended the postseason by reeling off seven consecutive wins. That’s the most in franchise history, and by no small margin. The franchise had previously won four straight playoff games on five different occasions.
3. This World Series represented just the fourth time ever that baseball’s two batting champions faced off against each other (Buster Posey, .336; and Miguel Cabrera, .330). The last time that happened was in 1954, when Bobby Avila (.341) and the Indians took on Willie Mays (.345) and the Giants.
It was Pablo Sandoval who stole the show, however, winning the MVP after batting .500 with three homers. Only three other players in World Series history have posted a .500 average with at least three homers: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Hideki Matsui.
4. Before Cabrera smacked a two-run homer in the third to put the Tigers up 3-2, the Giants had gone 56 straight innings without trailing – the second-best streak in playoff history. The Giants fell just four innings shy of the Red Sox’s postseason record of 60 frames, which they set in 2004.
On the other side of the coin, Cabrera’s longball broke a 20-inning scoreless streak for the Detroit offense. The longest such streak that the Tigers suffered during the regular season was 17 innings.
Overall, the Giants held the Tigers without a run in all but four of 37 innings. That was another role reversal from the ALCS, when the Tigers allowed the Yankees to score in just three of 36 frames. Detroit ended up leading the Giants for just over two innings during the entire World Series, whereas the team did not trail New York at any point in the ALCS.
5. One more about the Tigers’ offensive impotency (or, if you prefer, the Giants’ pitching effectiveness): Even if Detroit was able to score a run by getting a baserunner to third, it still would have been swept by San Francisco. All three of the Tigers’ runners to reach third in Game 4 scored; only Alex Avila reached third in Game 3, which the Tigers lost 2-0; only Prince Fielder reached third in Game 2 (before getting thrown out at home), which the Tigers also lost 2-0; and all three of the Tigers to reach third in Game 1 came home as the team fell by a score of 8-3.