The San Francisco Giants have a day to dry out and rest up from the National League Championship Series, which ended in a torrential downpour that hit just before the final outs of the 9-0 victory over the defending champion St. Louis Cardinals.
Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro was named the Most Valuable Player for the series, both for his defensive prowess and for becoming the first player in history with six multiple-hit games in a League Championship Series. Scutaro was acquired by the Giants in a trade with Colorado in late July. He's played for seven other teams in his major league career including the Oakland A's, and he'll turn 37 next week.
As the downpour began in the ninth inning, Scutaro put his head back and drank in the rain with an ecstatic expression before catching Matt Holliday's popup to end the game. At a postgame press conference, the infielder laughed about his moment of Zen. "Kinda weird, it never rains here in the Bay Area. I spent four years in Oakland and I don't think it rained once. But you know, when I woke up this morning, I just said to myself, whatever happens today, just try to enjoy the moment and go out there and have fun." The AP notes that Scutaro is one of a record nine players in the World Series who come from Venezuela.
For Game One, the Tigers will call on their ace, Justin Verlander, who started the All-Star Game for the American League. There's some irony in that choice. "He went out in Kansas City [for the All-Star Game]," says sports journalist Rick Tittle, "and threw 100 miles per hour, but he was very cavalier about his performance, saying the fans just want to see triple digits on the radar gun. He gave up five runs in the first inning and lost the game, costing the American League -- and thus his team -- home-field advantage [in the World Series]. And now he wishes he had taken the All-Star Game a little bit more seriously."
The Giants should take Verlander seriously, though; he has been practically unhittable during the postseason. The Tigers had to fight through all five games with the A's in the AL Division Series, but then swept the Yankees in the second round to win the pennant last Thursday.