Tuesday, November 2, 2010

World Series Game 5: Lincecum finishes it

Giants 3 - Rangers 1

Just unbelievable.  I'll get to the game first.  How fitting is it that after Cain's and Bumgarner's dominant performances, Giants ace Tim Lincecum is the one who finishes it off.  Pitted against Cliff Lee again, most experts were predicting that the series would be won back in SF.  After all, is it possible that the best offense in baseball gets shut down again at home?  Is it possible that Cliff Lee loses two World Series games in a row?  Is it possible that the Giants can dominate this series 4 games to 1?  Smart money was on a Game 6.

Lincecum proceeded to pitch 8 dominant innings and finished with 3 hits and 10 strikeouts.  He could've pitched a complete game but it wouldn't have felt complete without a Brian Wilson showing.  His only mistake was to give up the Cruz HR.  Cliff Lee, on the other hand, gave up 6 hits and only struck out 6.  So while the story of the Series is about how the Giant's pitching was superior to the Rangers' #1 offense, it must be remembered that Lincecum beat Lee twice, including the Series clincher.

We should also not overlook the surprising Giants' offense - in these 5 games, they outscored Texas 29-10.  Unbelievable.  11 runs in Game 1, 9 runs in Game 2, 2 runs in Game 3, 4 runs in Game 4, and 3 runs in Game 5.  After the Rangers' 7 runs in the first game, which I thought was a omen of things to come, they then got shutout twice (again after being shutout only 5 times in 162 regular season games), scored 4 in winning Game 3, and scored 1 run in the elimination match.  Think about it.  In 2 games in a pitcher's park, the Giants scored 20 runs.  At home in a hitter's park, the Rangers scored 5 total in 3 GAMES.

In Game 5, Edgar Renteria emerged the hero, his 3 run HR was all the Giants needed on the night.  The 7th inning lead-up to it was equally memorable - Ross slapped a base hit up the middle, Uribe powered a line drive into center, and Aubrey Huff, who had never laid down a sacrifice bunt in his entire 5,505 career at bats, put down a perfect sacrifice bunt up the first baseline on his first try.  Though Burrell struck out again, Renteria redeemed him with a HR more meaningful to SF fans than any of Barry Bond's 586 blasts as a Giant.

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