Marcos Breton
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    Giants starter Madison Bumgarner pitched seven shutout innings, allowing only two hits. He walked two and struck out eight. Paul Kitagaki Jr. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

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    Paul Kitagaki Jr. pkitagaki@sacbee.com Detroit third baseman Miguel Cabrera and catcher Gerald Laird watch Gregor Blanco's seventh-inning bunt single, which led to the go-ahead run Thursday.

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  • WORLD SERIES

    Best of seven; TV: FOX40

    DETROIT VS. GIANTS

    Giants lead series 3-0

    Game 1: Giants 8, Detroit 3

    Game 2: Giants 2, Detroit 0

    Game 3y: Giants 2, Detroit 0

    Today: Giants (Cain 16-5) at Detroit (Scherzer 16-7), 5:15 p.m.

    x-Monday: at Detroit, 5:07 p.m.

    x-Wednesday, Oct. 31: at Giants, 5:07 p.m.

    x-Thursday, Nov. 1: at Giants, 5:07 p.m.

    x-if necessary

Marcos Breton: Biblical bounces go Giants' way at AT&T Park

Published: Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 1C
Last Modified: Thursday, Apr. 18, 2013 - 7:45 pm

SAN FRANCISCO – I don't know if Jesus is a Giants fan.

But it has felt somewhat biblical at times in the house of worship known as AT&T Park, where water isn't turned into wine – but balls off Giants bats do bounce favorably against bases. Or they roll fair when they should go foul as if guided by a higher power in orange and black.

Be a nonbeliever if you wish, and most of the national press corps is, but if you listen to Giants players closely enough you begin to understand why the supposed lambs in this 2012 World Series – the Giants – slaughtered some hulking Detroit Tigers instead of the other way around.

The Giants won 2-0 Thursday and are halfway to another World Series title, leading 2-0 in a best-of-seven, while the Tigers had the look of Roman soldiers when things began to go bad.

For some people, the epiphany came when Pablo Sandoval crushed an 0-2 pitch off the supposedly indestructible Justin Verlander on Wednesday night – powering the Giants' 8-3 win.

It was the first home run on a 0-2 pitch that the Tigers ace had given up all year. For others it was when the Giants' Angel, whose last name is Pagan, hit what seemed to be a sure out – until it bounced off third base and into left field for a hit.

Some in the media called it … a lucky bounce. It would have been the last out in the third inning of Game 1, with the score a tight 1-0 after Sandoval's 0-2 blast. But suddenly Pagan was on and then he was driven in by Marco Scutaro. Then Sandoval hit home run No. 2; it was 4-0.

Verlander was soon vanquished, the Giants faithful uplifted – all because of a bounce off a base.

On Thursday, in the seventh inning, left fielder Gregor Blanco bunted a ball down the third-base line that – in most games – rolls foul. It stayed fair.

The Tigers stood around with that glassy stare of a sure thing seeming wobbly as the winds began to swirl and lightning began to strike.

Blanco's bunt got Hunter Pence, the Giants bearded, wild-eyed, fiery preacher to third base. Only the Giants would bring Pence home with the winning run on a double-play ball.

The Giants prodigal son, longtime broadcaster Mike Krukow, calls these tales "The Good Book of the San Francisco Giants."

This is the place where boats float in mystic waters off a cove named for Willie McCovey, the powerful Giants slugger of yore who can no longer walk but whose spirit is still strong.

Tony Bennett crooning about leaving his heart in San Francisco celebrates each Giants win, but saints don't live here. Sinners do.

Remember the shamed flight and fraud of Melky Cabrera, whose exploits in the All-Star Game got the Giants the home-field advantage in this World Series?

Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's record here. Enough said.

But when Barry Zito can be redeemed and Madison Bumgarner can be repaired, on the fly, in World Series Game 2?

When Buster Posey can vie for an MVP and make a glorious swipe tag Thursday on the Brutus of baseball – Prince Fielder – after having his left ankle destroyed needlessly in a 2011 home plate collision?

How many signs do you need to strike like lightning at your feet?

I saw the light when Sergio Romo took the mound in the ninth inning, the little closer from Brawley, Calif., with the heart of shaman, the beard of a samurai and the slider of a beast.

One-two-three. The save went to Romo and then he gave voice to what is happening here in the shadow cast by the great Willie Mays.

"Little things matter," he said of the bunts and plays and spirit that powered Thursday's win.

"You can feel the crowd out there. You don't feel alone out there. I'm 5-10, but I feel 6-10 out there. … (There are) a lot of guys riding on the pitches I've been throwing.

"We've suffered together. We play for each other. You can't ask for more. We have a team where we lost key guys, but we're still fighting.

"We're not trying to shine brighter than the next. We're there for each other. What a ride this has been. What a ride we're on.

"We're creating stories I can tell my kids and grandkids. I don't want to be the reason my teammates aren't smiling.

"There smiles mean more than mine."

In baseball and life, such emotion ennobles the community of man – and is mighty tough to beat.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

Read more articles by Marcos Breton



Marcos Breton, news columnist

Marcos Breton

Hello, my name is Marcos Breton and I'm the news columnist with The Sacramento Bee. What's a columnist supposed to do? I'm supposed to make you think, make you laugh, make you mad or make you see an issue in a different way. I'm supposed to connect the dots on issues, people and relationships that cause things to happen or prevent them from happening in our region. I also write a weekly baseball column during the baseball season. I am a voter in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Yes, I have voted for Barry Bonds - twice. I am a native of Northern California. I am the son of Mexican immigrants. I've been at The Bee for more than 20 years, and I love Sacramento.

Email: mbreton@sacbee.com
Phone: 916-321-1096
Twitter: @MarcosBreton
Facebook: facebook.com/marcosbretonmartinez

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