By Paul Townley | Kate Upton fan
After nearly 2,500 matches and far too many packets of peanuts and Cracker Jack we have our 2012 World Series finalists: the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers.
San Francisco are back in the Fall Classic for the second time in three years, with the backbone of the team that were 2010 World Champions still intact.
The Giants won the National League West Division with a 94-68 record, ending eight games clear of fierce rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. They then faced the Cincinnati Reds in the NL Divisional Series and lost the opening two games, before fighting back to win 3-2.
That left just last season’s World Series Champions, the St Louis Cardinals, between them and the National League pennant, and yet again the Giants started slowly. Despite winning Game 2, San Francisco found themselves 3-1 down and one game from the beach before rallying to win three straight and begin the celebrations in the Bay area rain.
Detroit won their division for the second consecutive year, earning the American League Central title with an 88-74 record. The Divisional Series saw them take on this year’s surprise package, the Oakland As. The Tigers won the first two games at home, lost Games 3 and 4 in Oakland, before holding their nerve to pinch Game 5 and progress.
The New York Yankees waited in the Championship Series and they were blown away by Detroit’s spectacular array of power from the pitcher’s mound. The Tigers outscored the Bronx Bombers by 19-5 to sweep the series in four games, and book their return to the World Series for the first time since 2006.
San Francisco boast the National League batting champion on their roster, with Buster Posey bouncing back from a horrible year in 2011 to record baseball’s best betting average at .336. He’ll come up against his American League counterpart, Miguel Cabrera, who on top of his .330 betting average, also hit 44 home runs and 139 RBIs to be the first player to win the Triple Crown since 1967.
Two of the hottest bats to look out for are the Giants’ Marco Scutaro, who had 14 hits (from 28 at bats) and six runs to win the NLCS MVP award against St Louis, and Jhonny Peralta, who smashed a pair of home runs for Detroit against the Yankees.
On the mound, the Giants will look to Ryan Vogelsong, who is 2-0 in the post-season. But how they’d like to have the 2010 Tim Lincecum (16-10 in the regular season) rather than the 2012 version (10-15).
And finally we come to Justin Verlander. He went 17-8 in the regular season, is 3-0 in the post-season and somehow still found the time to hook up with Sports Illustrated model Kate Upton.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is how we like our superstars to behave. Let’s play ball!