Three things we think we know heading into Friday's off-day at the 2012 World Series:
1. The Giants should win the Series. Of the previous 52 times a team has taken a 2-0 lead, 41 of them have gone on to win and the last eight teams to take a 2-0 lead have gone on to win. The 1996 New York Yankees are the last team to come back from a 2-0 deficit. Going back to 1922, when they were the New York Giants, the Giants have won all four Series in which they've led 2-0. The good news for the Detroit Tigers is they get the designated hitter back, meaning Delmon Young's glove is off the field and Andy Dirks' is on the field. The bad news is the Giants will have their two best post-season starters, Ryan Vogelsong and Matt Cain, ready to go and highly-effective reliever Tim Lincecum available on two days rest. It's good to be Bruce Bochy right now: his team is 8-1 when it scores first.
2. Tigers manager Jim Leyland's confidence in Jose Valverde is so low that he preferred having a rookie, Drew Smyly, in in the seventh inning of a scoreless World Series so that he could could save Phil Coke for the closer's role. "If Valverde was ready, we probably would have had Coke in that situation," Leyland said. "The minute you lose a quote-unquote "true closer," or what people think is a true closer, then people begin to question your bullpen a little bit more because there's more conversations: who are you going to us, how are you going to mix and match."
3. Hunter Pence, who was 9-for-52 with 14 strikeouts this post-season, might have figured some things out. Pence had a single and sacrifice fly in Game 2 and said that he's worked on shortening his swing. His sacrifice fly came on a battling at bat in which he fouled off strike three on two occasions. Pence saw 22 pitches in three at bats in Game 2, putting up a six and 10-pitch at bat against Tigers starter Doug Fister. Bochy, the Giants manager, will feel vindicated for leaving him in the fifth spot in his order, although he noted that he did drop Pence once during the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. "Pence, he's full throttle," Bochy said. "You know when he goes up there, he's going to fight as hard as he can to give you something. It's important we stay behind our guys. They need to know you're going to do that."
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