Monday, November 1, 2010
Game five World Series recap
The game of baseball is a wonderful game. This is the only game where an unknown has as much to do with his team success as the best player. The ninth batter has as many at bats as the number three batter. Your best pitcher only pitches one in five days so you are just as dependent on the other starters. The surprise element is so great anyone can emerge and become the hero on that night. Any star can have a meltdown when you least expect it.
The San Francisco Giants have a chance to clinch their first World Series championshp since moving to San Francisco back in 1958. The last time the Giants won the World Series was back in 1954 when Willie Mays was just a youngster in New York City. In 1954 a gallon of gas was just 21 cents compared to over three bucks today. The Giants are also sending their ace and two time Cy Young award winner Tim Lincecum.
Standing in the way of the Giants is the Texas Rangers who feature a pretty good pitcher themselves. Cliff Lee perhaps making his last start as a Texas Ranger pitching in his home ball park for the first time this postseason. Heading into the World Series Lee had been dominant in the playoffs. Posting numbers such as in 8 GS, 7-0, 1.26 ERA, 64.1 IP, 40 H, 7 BB, 67 SO. Yet in game one he was roughed up for seven runs in 4 2/3 innings showing just how unpredictable baseball can be. Tim Lincecum beat him in game one although he lasted just 5 2/3 innings allowing four earned runs.
This pitching matchup ended up being the duel we all expected in game one. This is why baseball is so amazing it came down to one pitch. One team capitalize on that pitch and won another close game.
Lincecum helps Giants win first World Series in 56 years!
The San Francisco Giants became one of the most unlikely teams to ever win a World Series in recent memory. The Giants rode their pitching staff and that staff shut down the mighty Phillies and now shut down the mighty Rangers. The Giants are of course led by their ptiching and in particular Tim Lincecum who was the Pac-10 pitcher of the year in 2006 with the Washington Huskies. Lincecum was dominate yet again as the Giants shut down the Rangers mighty offense.
The Rangers ace Cliff Lee rebounded from his rough game one start and was dominating through the first six innings. Going into the seventh inning the game was tied at 0-0. The Lee-Lincecum duel was what we all thought it would be heading into game one. Then in the top of the seventh the game started to change. After allowing back to back hits for the first time all game Lee had found himself in a jam. Bruce Bochy knowing that Lincecum was on top of his game decided to bunt with Aubrey Huff who hadn't layed down a bunt all season long. With second and third and one out that set up Pat Burrell who was in a huge slump. Burrell would strike out and would up 0 for 13 on the series with 11 strikeouts.
That would set up Edgar Renteria who won the World Series game seven in 1997 for the Florida Marlins. Renteria also made the last out of the World Series in 2004 against the Boston Red Sox. Lee had a decision to make to walk Renteria or not. Renteria had been red hot in the series hitting over .400 and going 3 for 4 yesterday. Renteria turned on the Lee pitch and belted it to deep left centerfield for a three run home run. The Giants clubhouse was going crazy and so was the city of San Francisco watching the game in the city center. Cliff Lee would retire the last batter to end the seventh. Lee's night would be done he would pitch 7 innings, gave up 6 hits, 3 runs, had struck out 6 Giants hitters while walking none. He made one mistake and it cost him.
The Giants found themselves just nine outs away from their first title since moving to San Francisco. After retiring the first batter Lincecum gave up a home run to Nelson Cruz who has had a great postseason. Then Lincecum walked Ian Kinsler bringing the tieing run to the plate. After falling behind 2-0 on David Murphy, Lincecum battled back to strike out Murphy then he struck out old catcher Bengie Molina.
The Giants ace had some terrific stuff retiring the Rangers easily in the eighth. Bochy would make a controversial move by pulling Lincecum for all-star closer Brian Wilson. Lincecum had just pitched 8 innings, gave up just 3 hits, walked just 2 and struck out 10. Bochy decision was pretty easy he handed the ball to his closer who was terrific in this postseason. Wilson was again dominant retired the hitters in order striking out two including the last batter Nelson Cruz.
The Giants for the first time since 1954 are World Champions. Bruce Bochy who has been involved with baseball for 35 seasons finally wins a World Series as manager. The Giants became just the second team since 1995 to clinch all three series on the road(2005 Chicago White Sox). Edgar Renteria was named World Series MVP hitting .412 with two home runs and six RBI's while scoring six runs. Renteria also became just the fourth guy ever to drive in the winning runs in two separate World Series clinchers. The other three guys you might have heard of Joe DiMaggio, Lou Gehrig, and Yoggi Berra. Save to say Renteria isn't in that class but he came up huge once again.
The Giants young ace was terrific in his first postseason. Tim Lincecum as I mentioned earlier is a former Husky. He becomes the first Husky pitcher who actually pitched in the World Series to win a World Series title. He was 2-0 this series with a 3.29 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 13 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. For the postseason Lincecum was 4-1 with a hold, pitched 37 innings, struck out 43 batters and had an ERA of 2.43 and a whip of 0.92. Lincecum was money in his first postseason.
The Giants didn't win the title because of just Tim Lincecum though. They received great pitching from Matt Cain as well. Matt Cain was 2-0 this postseason with an ERA of 0.00 in 21 and 1/3 innings while striking out 13. He also sported a nifty whip of 0.94. The Giants staff set a record in the month of September with 1.78 ERA which was the fifth best month in baseball since 1920. In 90 years where they play April-September only four times has a team had a better pitching month than the Giants. The Giants also had great pitching from closer Brian Wilson who was 1-0 with six saves and pitched 11 and 2/3 innings while allowing zero runs, striking out 16 batters and sporting a whip of 0.77.
The Giants have a young nucleus that wont' be going away. The top four pitchers are all in their 20's and young catcher Buster Posey is only 23 years old. Posey became the first rookie catcher to win a World Series since 1966. Yes these Giants accomplished something that Willie Mays or Barry Bonds could never do which is bring a World Series championship to San Francisco. These Giants won despite nobody thinking they could. Just don't think the Giants are a one year wonder this team will be in the hunt for years to come as long as they can keep this young pitching staff together.