October 28, 2012, 10 years ago today: The San Francisco Giants complete a four-game sweep in the World Series with a 4-3 victory over the Detroit Tigers in 10 innings.It was the Giants’ second world championship in three years after having never won the Series in their first 52 seasons following their move to California from New York (and there would be another title two years later). The sweep was the first by a National League team in the World Series in 22 years—and there have been no sweeps of any kind since.
The Giants had to win three straight elimination games over Cincinnati in the National League Divisional Series—then had to do the same thing against St. Louis in rallying from a three games-to-one deficit in the NLCS. But they dominated the Tigers in the World Series, led by starters Barry Zito, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain and closer Sergio Romo. At the plate, the tone was set when San Francisco’s Pablo Sandoval clubbed a Game 1 record three home runs (two of them off Justin Verlander) on the way to Series MVP honors.
Both of MLB’s 2012 Most Valuable Players participated, Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers and Buster Posey of the Giants. Cabrera was baseball’s first Triple Crown winner in 45 years, while Posey led the NL in hitting at .336. In the Fall Classic, it was Posey’s defense that shined. He didn’t allow a single Detroit runner to advance by a stolen base, passed ball or wild pitch, and he even started a Giants double play.
Then there was the Bruce Bochy factor. Bochy managed the Giants to all three of their championships. He lasted five more years after the third one in 2014, retiring after the 2019 season. His career record is 2,003-2,029, but he’s seen as a future Hall of Famer with the World Series victories (he also led the San Diego Padres to their last Series appearance in 1998). Now, Bochy has shelved retirement to become manager of the Texas Rangers. I don’t doubt that he’ll get something done there.
(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)