Tigers lose World Series in four games
The Tigers were embarrassed in the World Series.
There's no other way to describe it. The San Francisco Giants completed a four-game sweep of the Tigers with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings at Comerica Park before a sellout crowd on Sunday night.
The Tigers led just once in the best-of-seven series after Miguel Cabrera's two-run homer in the third inning.
In reality, though, the Tigers were dominated by Giants' stingy pitching staff, which allowed the Tigers' offense just six runs in four games.
The Giants won the Fall Classic for the second time in three years. The Tigers, the overwhelming favorite to win the Series, have now won just one World Series games in their last two trips. They lost four-games-to-one to the St. Louis Cardinals in 2006. That was another Series they were the favorites.
As bad as that one hurt, this was worse. The Tigers looked impressive in beating the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series, sweeping them in four games. Plus, it allowed the Tigers to set up their pitching rotation, starting with ace Justin Verlander in Game 1.
In the end, none of it mattered. The Tigers simply looked like they didn't belong.
"We got beat,'' said Tigers' manager Jim Leyland, who is now 1-8 in World Series games with the Tigers. "You can't sit up here and try to find some reason or excuse. They beat us.
"They earned it. We didn't hit enough."
And how. The Tigers' big bats were simple no-shows, including Cabrera and Fielder.
Cabrera batted just .231 and Fielder hit .071. Those two bash brothers were the reason the Tigers were able to overcome a mostly inconsistent regular season and win the AL Central for the second straight season, this last time down the stretch.
"It was kind of a weird way that we got there because we were a little inconsistent all year,'' Leyland said. ``Then we played pretty good when we had to get the division, and obviously played pretty good through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
``We got to the World Series and we just sputtered offensively.''
The big boppers weren't the only ones who struggled, it was team thing. Quintin Berry, who started the final two games of the series and batted in the important No. 2 hole, was hitless. Jhonny Peralta batted a woeful .067.
Most were shocked that the Tigers went out so quickly and quietly. But if fans are honest, they should have thought back to most of the season when the Tigers had trouble scoring runs and knocking in runners from third base with less than two outs.
The Tigers -- who won just 88 regular-season games and won the Central by three games over the Chicago White Sox -- were a flawed team. GM Dave Dombrowski didn't really put together a complete team, despite the team having the fifth highest payroll in baseball. It was feast-or-famine squad and in October, the famine showed up for the biggest stage in baseball.
And that sweep over the Yankees that everybody got so excited about had just as much to do with the Yankees as it did with the Tigers' pitching.
It was the perfect storm. The Yankees' hitters slumped while the Tigers' pitching was very good.
Still, anyone who thought that was the real Tigers were mistaken. The real Tigers were closer to the team that got swept, not the team that swept.
"I'm a little bit flabbergasted to be honest with you,'' Leyland said. "In both of the series, I never would have thought that we would have swept the New York Yankees and I never would have thought the Giants would have swept us, but it happened.
"It's a freaky game and it happened and so be it.''
For sure, on Monday, there were those -- both fans and talking heads on the radio -- trying to put a happy face on a terrible scenario.
Don't buy it for a single second. The Tigers were supposed to win, not the Giants.
Owner Mike Ilitch didn't give Fielder a nine-year, $214 million deal to simply get to the Series, it was to help them win it.
Only losers would be happy with a season where you where embarrassed at the end.