Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Game one World Series recap

By Kshell

This year the World Series features two unlikely teams. From the American League the Texas Rangers are the representatives having defeated the Tampa Bay Rays who had the leagues best record and then defeating the New York Yankees who were the defending champions. The Rangers began this postseason as the longest shot to win the World Series at 14 to 1 odds now find themselves favored over the San Francisco Giants because the Rangers feature the games best postseason pitcher in Cliff Lee.

The National League representatives are the pitching rich San Francisco Giants. The Giants are a team who reached the postseason on the very last day winning the National League west division title over the San Diego Padres. The Giants in the playoffs defeated the Atlanta Braves then the two time defending National League champion Philadelphia Phillies. The Giants in their seven postseason victories have won by a single run in six of those games. They feature their young ace Tim Lincecum who has won the last two Cy Young awards.

With Lincecum facing Lee many expected this game to be low scoring. With both teams pitching former Cy Young award winners runs would be at a premium. Then again sometimes even staff aces have off nights. Today was a game that nobody could have predicted. It's not that the team who won is shocking just the way the game played out with neither starter lasting more than six innings.

Giants hand Cliff Lee first career postseason loss 11-7 to take game one

The San Francisco Giants were hosting their first World Series game since 2002 when they lost to the Angels in seven games. The star of that team and of that series Barry Bonds was again in attendance. The Giants were taking on the Texas Rangers playing in their first ever World Series game in history. The Giants offense erupted in the fifth inning giving the Rangers a rude World Series awakening.

The Giants Tim Lincecum started the game off pretty shaky for the Giants. In the first inning after allowing an RBI single to Vladmir Guerrero that skipped off Lincecum making the game 1-0. Then with first and third and only one out Nelson Cruz hit a ball up the middle but Lincecum made a great stop on the ball. Lincecum then ran towards Michael Young but instead of throwing the ball to Juan Uribe Lincecum just held the ball which loaded the bases. Fortunately for Lincecum that blunder didn't cost him on the very first pitch Kinsler grounded it to Uribe who stepped on third then threw to first for an inning ending double play.

With Cliff Lee on the hill for the Rangers the Giants couldn't afford to give up early runs. In the second inning after allowing a base hit to Bengie Molina; who began the year with the Giants and will receive a World Series championship ring no matter; Cliff Lee came to the plate and faking the bunt he swung away ripping a double in the game giving the Rangers a second and third and one out. As Joe Buck pointed out Lee became the first American League pitcher to get an extra base hit in the World Series since Chad Ogea of the Cleveland Indians in 1997. Elvis Andrus would get a sacrifice fly to drive in Molina to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead. Normally 2-0 isn't that much but seeing how Lee has a 0.75 ERA this postseason that appeared to be the ball game.

The Giants tied up the score in the bottom of the third off of the postseason invincible Cliff Lee. Freddy Sanchez got the Giants on the board first with his second consecutive double scoring Edgar Renteria to cut the lead to 2-1. Then rookie sensation Buster Posey ripped one to left center allowing Andres Torres to score to tie the score up at 2-2. The Rangers had let Lincecum off the hook and Lee finally for the first time in his postseason career looked hittable.

The Giants exploded in the fifth inning scoring five of the six runs with two outs. Freddy Sanchez became the first guy in World Series history to get three straight doubles to begin his World Series career as he ripped an RBI double scoring Andres Torres who had doubled previously. After striking out Posey, Lee had a rare walk to Pat Burrell. Cody Ross the NLCS MVP singled to shallow center scoring Sanchez giving the Giants a 4-2 lead then Aubrey Huff singled up the middle scoring Burrell giving the Giants a 5-2 lead. That would end Cliff Lee's night in just 4.2 innings. Darren O'Day came in to relieve Lee and on the first pitch game six hero Juan Uribe belted a home run to deep left field for a three run home run giving the Giants an 8-2 lead. The crowd went nuts as the game was broken open. Lee final line would be 4.2 innings, 8 hits, 7 runs, 6 of which were earned and struck out 7.

The Rangers would rally the very next inning off Lincecum. Bengie Molina the former Giant would have an RBI double scoring Ian Kinsler then David Murphy pinch hitting for the pitchers spot had an RBI single cutting the lead to 8-4. That would also end Tim Lincecum's day at 5.2 innings. Bochy would go with Santiago Casilla who would get the Giants out of the jam and end the Rangers rally. Lincecum would leave to a standing ovation despiting pitching 5.2 innings, giving up 8 hits, 4 runs, walking 2 and struck out just 3. The pitchers duel turned into a slug fest.

The Giants would put the game away once again in the eighth inning off of former Mariners setup man Mark Lowe. The Giants would score three more runs in the eighth to extend the lead to 11-4. The Rangers would rally in the ninth scoring three runs but ultimately would lose 11-7. The game which had the over/under for runs scored was 5.5 ended up with 18 runs scored. Now in game two Matt Cain who has yet to allow an earned run this postseason will square off with C.J.Wilson of the Rangers.

The Giants are the team of destiny it appears. When their Cy Young award pitcher gives up four runs in less than six innings and still win by four runs is pretty unlikely. The Giants didn't appear to have the offense to explode as most of this team was guys you have never heard of guys you didn't want heading into the season. Don't sleep on the Rangers just yet Cliff Lee will get another start this series and I have a feeling he won't get rocked again. When the series shifts to Texas offense will be featured and I don't see the Giants winning to many slugfest type games. This series will most likely still end in six or seven games.

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