Giants, Tigers agree that World Series isn't over

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DETROIT -- After the Giants grabbed a stranglehold with two wins in San Francisco, everyone was in full cliché mode on the eve of Game 3 of the World Series.

During Friday's workout day at Comerica Park, before games that will be akin to playing inside an icebox the next several days, both teams, like politicians, pushed their messages.

For the Giants: We haven't won anything yet.

For the Tigers: This series isn't over.

Both are correct, of course, though no one actually believes the Giants didn't give themselves a huge edge going into Saturday night's Game 3, in which Tigers righthander Anibal Sanchez (4-6, 3.74 ERA) will face Giants righthander Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37).

"They're going about their business as usual," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Friday. "There's no change in them, and there won't be. It wouldn't matter if they were down 0-2 or 2-0. They go out there and they go hard for that game."

Thursday's 2-0 victory by the Giants made them the 53rd team to take a 2-0 lead in a World Series; 41 of the previous 52 have gone on to win. The 1996 Yankees were the last team to come back from 0-2 down, winning four straight from the Braves.

"I like to simplify things," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "I think I can simplify this one pretty easy: The way I look at it, we're two games back with five to play, but we're playing the team we need to catch, and I think that's the best way to approach it."

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Of course, that means the Tigers (who scored three runs in the first two games) have to win four of those five -- against a team that had to win six straight elimination games to get this far.

In the moments after Game 2, the Giants' Hunter Pence also pushed the "simple" theme. "It means we've got two more wins [to capture the World Series]," he said. "That's the goal. And they've still got four. I try to keep it as simple as possible. The team that wins four games wins the World Series, and we've got to stay as focused as ever and continue to push."

Sanchez, a trade-deadline acquisition, was 1-1 with a 4.38 ERA in two starts against the Giants while with the Marlins. He was 5-7 with a 3.94 ERA with Miami and 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA with the Tigers.

"Tomorrow, we need to start over. We need to forget what happened in San Francisco," Sanchez said. "I know we've got the talent. That's why we're here. We've got a pretty good team, so we're going to fight it to the end. We've got a long way to go, so we've got to keep working. Tomorrow, I'm going to be on the mound and going to focus on getting us a win for the team."

Having swept the Yankees in the ALCS while the Giants battled through seven games against St. Louis in the NLCS, the Tigers had the advantage -- they thought -- of setting up their World Series rotation.

But Justin Verlander and Doug Fister were beaten in the first two games, and now San Francisco appears to have the pitching advantage.

After Vogelsong, who pitched brilliantly in NLCS Game 6, comes Matt Cain, 16-5 with a 2.79 ERA this season, who pitched 52/3 innings in the Giants' 9-0 victory over the Cardinals in Game 7. He'll face the Tigers' Max Scherzer (16-7. 3.74).

For Vogelsong, 35, it's been the continuation of an unlikely story. A spring training invitee in 2011, he went 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA and made the All-Star Game after starting the season with Triple-A Fresno. That success continued this season, and he's 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in three 2012 postseason starts.

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"I feel like every day I come in here with a little chip on my shoulder that I need to work harder than the next guy, and try and get myself better on a daily basis," he said. "And definitely game day, there's a chip there. I feel like I still have a lot to prove in this game."

Another start like NLCS Game 6, and he'll have his team on the cusp of a second World Series title in three years.

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