Thursday, November 8, 2012

25 for 16: The MVPs

The Giants scored 69 runs in the post-season, an average of 4.31 per game, just a tick below (4.43) their regular-season rate. The team slash line (.236/.298/.375) was pretty unimpressive by comparison (.269/.327/.397), but there are only good teams in the playoffs, and a lot of good pitchers, so it is no surprise that hits and walks and whatnot are suppressed. Two guys, however, seemed to thrive on the higher level of competition and delivered a string of big hits on their way to MVP awards.

Marco Scutaro had 21 of the team's 127 hits and also scored 11 runs. He had a memorable week in the LCS against St. Louis, racking up 14 hits in the seven games on his way to the MVP. (You could have made a case for Ryan Vogelsong, but that's quibbling.) Naturally he came through with the game-winner and World Series-clincher in the 10th inning of Game Four in Detroit. You just knew he was going to get the RBI hit in that situation. Sometimes a player gets on a roll and you can throw all the probabilities out the window and just enjoy the moment. He hit safely in 12 of the 16 games and had, at one point, an 11-game hit streak.

Pablo Sandoval had 24 hits, scored nine runs, and racked up 47 total bases (team: 202) with his five doubles and six homers. He put on a display of fearless power-hitting against the best pitcher in baseball in Game One of the Series that stunned not only the Tigers but the national audience. We have watched The Panda do amazing things and we know what a force he can be at the plate, so I think I can safely say we were not surprised by his history-making game. Thrilled, of course. Overjoyed, naturally. But if you had to pick one guy who had been under-performing in the regular season (most likely a result of the injuries) and was due for a breakout it would have been Sandoval. He had at least one hit in 14 of the 16 games and hit safely in the final ten.

The Giants won the World Series with pitching and fielding. But you still have to have hits and runs to seal the deal, and they got an amazing team-wide contribution from a lot of different players. Two guys stood head and shoulders above the rest, though, and they were the number two and number three hitters in the lineup. If you are going to get offense, get it from the top. Both guys had 70 PA, tied for second place behind Angel Pagan (74) and just ahead of Buster Posey (68) and Hunter Pence (65).


1 comment:

Ken McKim said...

Well said! They needed an across the board push to get them to the playoffs,and the team bought into the concept for the entire post season. No superstars,exceptional effort.
Keep posting homers like this one,bro!

Ken McKim,Admin.
SF Giants Victory Clubhouse,Facebook.