During the 2012 regular season, the St. Louis Cardinals led the National League in hits and on-base percentage, finished second in runs and batting average, and posted the third-highest OPS in the league.
During the regular season this year, the Detroit Tigers placed in the American League's top-four in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS. And although they finished only sixth in the league in scoring, they were also shut out just twice -- tied for the fewest for any Major League team in the past 10 years.
The Giants' pitching staff, over the course of their past six games, has taken on those two offenses and, in 54 innings, has held those bats to 34 hits, 15 walks and four runs scored, and has collected 51 strikeouts and four shutouts.
Giants toss another shutout
The Giants got a combined five-hit shutout from Ryan Vogelsong, Tim Lincecum and Sergio Romo, and defeated the Tigers, 2-0, Saturday to take 3-0 lead in the World Series.
The victory gave San Francisco back-to-back shutouts. In Game 2, they held the Tigers to no runs on two hits. The 2012 Giants are the eighth team to post consecutive World Series shutouts, and the first to do it since the 1966 Orioles authored three in a row.
Two or more consecutive shutouts in World Series
Among the eight teams to have consecutive shutouts in the World Series, the 2012 Giants are the sixth to also hold the opponent to no more than five hits in each of the efforts. The others: the 1908 Cubs, '19 Reds, '20 Indians, '21 Yankees and '05 Giants (three in a row).
This effort gave the Giants' pitching staff four shutouts in this year's postseason (before the two World Series shutouts, they defeated the Cardinals, 5-0, in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series and then defeated St. Louis, 9-0, in Game 7). Three other teams have authored four shutouts in a single postseason: 1905 Giants (five games), '98 Yankees (13 games), 2010 Giants (15 games) and '12 Giants (15 games).
Vogelsong picked up the win, allowing five hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. He improved to 3-0 in the 2012 playoffs while lowering his postseason ERA to 1.09. Before 2012, 11 pitchers had finished a single postseason with at least three victories and an ERA at 1.09 of lower. The full list:
Christy Mathewson (Giants in 1905): 3-0, 0.00 ERA in 27 innings
Stan Coveleski (Indians in 1920): 3-0, 0.67 ERA in 27 innings
Harry Brecheen (Cardinals in 1946): 3-0, 0.45 ERA in 20 innings
Lew Burdette (Braves in 1957): 3-0, 0.67 ERA in 27 innings
Bob Gibson (Cardinals in 1967): 3-0, 1.00 ERA in 27 innings
Steve Rogers (Expos in 1981): 3-1, 0.98 ERA in 27 2/3 innings
Burt Hooton (Dodgers in 1981): 4-1, 0.82 ERA in 33 innings
Orel Hershiser (Dodgers in 1988): 3-0, 1.05 ERA in 42 2/3 innings
John Smoltz (Braves in 1996): 4-1, 0.95 ERA in 38 IP innings
Mike Stanton (Yankees in 2000): 3-0, 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 relief innings
Kenny Rogers (Tigers in 2006): 3-0, 0.00 ERA in 23 innings
Pablo Sandoval went 2-for-4 with a double, giving him 23 hits (11 for extra bases) in this year's postseason.
The 23 hits are the most for a Giants player in a single postseason, eclipsing the 22 by J.T. Snow in 2002. The 23 hits also tied Sandoval with Steve Garvey (1981) and Marquis Grissom ('96) for the eighth most in a single postseason. Grissom ('95), Darin Erstad (2002) and David Freese ('11) are tied for the most, with 25 apiece. Marty Barrett (1986) had 24, as did Tino Martinez (2000) and Albert Pujols ('04 and '11).
Sandoval's 11 extra-base hits tied him with Barry Bonds in 2002 for the most by a Giants player in a single postseason. The 11 extra-base hits also tied Sandoval with seven others for the fourth most in a single postseason. Freese set the record last year, with 14.
Tigers pitching combined for 12 strikeouts and one walk in Game 3, becoming the seventh team to collect as many as 12 K's while issuing no more than one walk in a World Series game. Of the seven, the Tigers are third team to do it in a losing effort. The full details:
1906 White Sox defeat the Cubs, 3-0, in Game 3: 12 K's and one walk
1929 Athletics defeat the Cubs, 3-1, in Game 1: 13 K's and one walk
1968 Cardinals defeat the Tigers, 4-0, in Game 1: 17 K's and one walk
2001 Yankees lose to the D-backs, 3-2, in Game 7: 13 K's and one walk
2007 Red Sox defeat the Rockies, 13-1, in Game 1: 12 K's and one walk
2010 Rangers lose to the Giants, 11-7, in Game 1: 12 K's and one walk
2012 Tigers lose to the Giants, 2-0, in Game 3: 12 K's and one walk
Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-4 on Saturday, extending his postseason streak of reaching safely to 23 games.
Cabrera's 23-game run ties him with Lou Gehrig (1928-'38) and Lance Berkman (2005-11) for the fifth longest in history. Chase Utley (2007-'09) owns the longest streak, at 27 consecutive games. Boog Powell is second, having reached safely in 25 straight postseason games from 1966-71. Carlos Beltran (2004-12) and Carlos Ruiz (2008-10) are tied for the next longest, at 24 straight.
Here and there
The Giants have won six straight postseason games, dating back to Game 5 of the NLCS. During this stretch, the team ERA has been 0.67, while the starter's ERA during these six games stands at 0.47 (two earned runs in 38 2/3 innings).
In five relief outings covering 13 innings pitched in this year's postseason, Lincecum owns a 0.69 ERA with three hits and two walks allowed, and he has struck out 17.
In his nine postseason appearances in 2012, Romo has thrown 9 2/3 innings, collected three saves and a win, and has allowed one run and four hits with six strikeouts and a walk.
Roger Schlueter is senior researcher for MLB Productions. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.