Archive for October 27th, 2010

Game 1 of the 2010 World Series was not the game anyone expected.  The final was SF Giants 11, the Texas Rangers 7, but the score fails to tell the depth or breadth of the victory.
Win #1 - Giants 11, Rangers 7

Win #1 – Giants 11, Rangers 7

Neither team’s aces had very good outings, but Texas’ Lee was chased from the mound.  SF’s Lincecum was merely pulled.
The start of the game definitely favored the Ranger’s.  So far this post-season, most of the Giants pitchers have started slow and then settled in to good to great outings.  Today was another slow start for Lincecum who faced seven batters before getting his first strike out.  At the end of two innings, the Giants were down 2 to 0 and it looked like the Rangers might run away with the game without any major hits.
The worm turned and the Giants got two runs in the 3rd inning.
Game tied, the Giants and the crowd seem restored.  Suddenly, the Giants exploded with 6 runs in the 5th inning and they seized control of the game – 8 to 2.  Lee is chased off the mound by the Giants bats and actually appears to run from the field to the bench.  I was left wondering, if I’d actually seen that or if it was some other player.  No one comments, so I’m left feeling it must have been a coach or assistant trotting off the field to the dugout.
Meanwhile, Tim settled down and lasted through most the 6th inning giving up another two runs before being shown to the bench.  Still, unless the highly improbable happens, Lincecum knows he’s going to get the “W” in this game.
The improbable does NOT happen.  The Rangers threaten with two runs in the 6th inning to make it 8 to 4 Giants.  The Giants respond with 3 insurance runs in the 8th inning – making it 11 to 4 Giants.  The Rangers threaten again with 3 more runs in the 9th inning, but it’s far too little, far too late.  Final – Giants 11, Rangers 7.
What did we learn??  The Giants can hit.  The Rangers can hit.  Neither one of the number 1 pitchers are infallible.  That’s a tougher lesson for the Rangers who had Lee with a “walk on water” playoff record of 7 wins and 0 losses before tonight.  It’s an encouraging lesson for the Giants who will almost certainly have to face Lee again.  The Rangers are not going to quit. Down 8 to 2 and 11 to 4 they continued to fight right through the last out of the 9th.  The Giants don’t panic.  At the end of 2, the Rangers looked like a steamroller and Lincecum looked badly touchable.  Another Giants team might have folded up their tent to go home.  This year’s Giants re-tied their shoelaces, pulled their caps down lower and went back after the Rangers.  The Giants got 5 runs off of Lee, but they got 6 off of the Rangers bullpen.  This means once we get by their starter on any given day, we’re going to be in a good position to do more.  The Rangers, on the other hand, got 4 runs off of Tim but only 3 off of our bullpen.  While just one game is too small a sample for a real solid opinion, it looks like our quality depth and variety will mean the difference, the longer each starter goes and the longer the series goes.
As a Giants fan, I want a sweep.  As a realist, I’m expecting another 4 to 2 series win for the Giants – based mostly on the fact that our best faced their best and we won round one.  These two will probably go head to head again in either game 6 or game 7.  I’m expecting game 6.  But the home field advantage is with the Giants.  As long as the Giants hold serve tomorrow and go back to Texas up two-nil, it’s unlikely Texas will win all three back there.  That means we’ll come home with two games to win one and the Giants have shown (repeatedly) they can get the job done.
As a fan of baseball and sports in general – history shows that great teams play great series.  That means you either dominate and sweep or the series goes to seven games and you manage to win.  Strangely enough, (in my humble opinion,) most sweeps are NOT remembered as great series.  It’s the seven game series which are remembered across the decades.  Strangely enough, even the losing teams find history (and glory) in a seven game series.  Is it blasphemy to want the Giants to win in a sweep, but hope they win in seven (as opposed to 5 or 6)?

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