World Series 2012: Tigers and Giants meet for the first time ever in the Big Show
Both the Tigers and Giants are among the original 16 teams in what we consider the modern baseball era starting in 1901. Both have had a long history of World Series appearances – this will be the 19th time for the Giants, the 11th time for the Tigers.
But this will be the first time they have ever faced each other in the World Series. The closest they’d come before was in 1908, when the Giants finished one game behind the Cubs, and in 1934, when the Giants finished two games behind the Cardinals.
Neither team successful in World Series
Neither team has been particularly successful in the Big Show. The Tigers are 4-6 in their 10 appearances while the Giants are 6-12 (5-9 as New York, 1-3 as San Francisco).
The Giants most frequent World Series opponent has been the Yankees. They faced the Bronx Bombers seven times but won only twice (their first two meetings, in 1921 and 1922). They also played the A’s four times, winning just once; and splitting with Washington in two meetings.
The Tigers’ have the most meetings with the Cubs, having played them four times and going 2-2 (they hold the distinction as the only team to lose to the Cubs in a World Series). They also faced the Cardinals three times, losing to them twice, including in their most recent Series appearance in 2006.
Detroit's World Series appearances
Year AL vs. NL
1907 Detroit vs. Chicago
1908 Detroit vs. Chicago
1909 Detroit vs. Pittsburgh
1934 Detroit vs. St. Louis
1935 Detroit vs. Chicago
1940 Detroit vs. Cincinnati
1945 Detroit vs. Chicago
1968 Detroit vs. St. Louis
1984 Detroit vs. San Diego
2006 Detroit vs. St. Louis
Bold is winning team
Giants' World Series appearances
Year NL vs. AL
1905 New York vs. Philadelphia
1911 New York vs. Philadelphia
1912 New York vs. Boston
1913 New York vs. Philadelphia
1917 New York vs. Chicago
1921 New York vs. New York
1922 New York vs. New York
1923 New York vs. New York
1924 New York vs. Washington
1933 New York vs. Washington
1936 New York vs. New York
1937 New York vs. New York
1951 New York vs. New York
1954 New York vs. Cleveland
1962 San Francisco vs. New York
1989 San Francisco vs. Oakland
2002 San Francisco vs. Anaheim
2010 San Francisco vs. Texas
Bold is winning team
Both teams have some previous World Series experience
The Tigers have two players on their team this season who played in the 2006 World Series – Omar Infante, who had one at bat in that Series, and Justin Verlander, who gave up 12 hits and seven runs in 11 innings pitched.
The Giants have only one starting position player from just two years ago when they faced the Rangers – Buster Posey. The only other position players back are Aubrey Huff, who was a starter then, and Pablo Sandoval, who was not.
But the Giants’ pitching staff is largely intact from 2010 – the biggest differences are that this year Barry Zito is on the staff (he was left off in 2010) and Brian Wilson, who is injured, is not. Obviously, Tim Lincecum also has a far different status this season.
But it’s not like the Tigers don’t have any World Series experience. Miguel Cabrera played for the Marlins in 2003 (.167 BA, 1 homer, 7 strikeouts), Phil Coke made an unmemorable impression for the Yankees in 2009 and Gerald Laird and Octavio Dotel both played in last season’ Series, Dotel pitching in five games for the Cardinals and Laird making a couple of catching appearances for the Rangers.
Does this previous World Series experience mean much to either team? Probably not a lot, other than they might be better prepared for the adrenalin rush they’ll experience in the pre-game introductions.
Teams fairly balanced
The teams are actually fairly evenly matched. Both teams have strong pitching staffs, both starters and relievers. The Tigers have a bit more of power but both teams hit well. The Giants may have a small edge in fielding and a little better depth off the bench.
My guess is that this first meeting between these two teams will be a good one, fairly balanced, but I think the Tigers will win it in six games.