DETROIT — After the Giants' 2-0 victory over the Tigers at Comerica Park on Saturday, Tim Lincecum was discussing his new role as a relief pitcher, relating it to the more prominent position he held during the team's 2010 World Series championship run.
“The second we got that ring, it's like that taste for that next ring is just sitting right in your mouth the whole time,” Lincecum said.
Then he paused for a second.
“That sounds terrible,” he said as the packed interview room dissolved in laughter.
“Let me rephrase that,” Lincecum continued. “It just leaves you wanting it even more.”
One victory away from their second World Series title in three years, the Giants can afford to crack a smile. They know they have their ace, Matt Cain, on the mound for today's Game 4. They know that no team has ever come back from a 3-0 deficit to win the championship.
And with the way the Giants' pitchers have hushed the Tigers' big bats in the first three games, they have every reason to believe they can sweep the American League representative, something this franchise hasn't done since the New York Giants took the Cleveland Indians in four games in 1954.
Nobody wearing a “D” on his chest is swinging the bat particularly well right now, but the problem is most glaring at the No. 3 and No. 4 spots in the lineup. Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder weigh 515 pounds between them, and their stats are as imposing as their stature. They combined for 74 home runs and 247 RBIs during the regular season.
But in this 2012 World Series, the Giants have reduced Cabrera and Fielder to a couple of lovable, harmless roly-polys.
Saturday, Cabrera was 1 for 4, with a mild ground-ball single between third base and shortstop; he popped up to short with bases loaded and two out in the fifth, ending the Tigers' most promising threat. Fielder was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts, and he ended the first inning by grounding into a double play. The slugging duo is now a combined 3 for 19 in the World Series, with one RBI — by Cabrera.