Monday, November 1, 2010

2010 World Series Game 5: SF 3, TEX 1

This will be a short game recap. You can be assured that Mack and I will have a lot to write about this coming week, but now is not quite the time for analysis or remembrance. Now is simply the time to savor and celebrate.

The 2010 Giants have brought home the first World Series championship to San Francisco. Game 5 turned out to be the classic pitching duel we expected in Game 1, with both Lincecum and Lee putting up zeroes through 6 innings. Lincecum was at his best, the kind of Lincecum we saw so many times in 2008 and 2009, the kind we saw in April and September of 2010, and the kind we saw in the playoff opener against the Braves. He could not be beaten tonight. Every pitch was working for him, and his velocity was strong. The Rangers simply had no chance. The only damage was a late solo HR from Nelson Cruz. Even then, the game felt over. Because the Giants did what they had to do with Lincecum throwing a gem. They got to Cliff Lee. Again.

Cliff Lee is a great pitcher. But he isn't everything he was made out to be, and that's no knock on him at all. He just isn't Sandy Koufax. He pitched quite well tonight, but the Giants once again weren't baffled by him the way other teams have been in the playoffs. They had hit the ball somewhat hard, but had nothing to show for it until the 7th inning. That was when 2 of the biggest playoff contributors, Ross and Uribe, hit back to back singles up the middle. Aubrey Huff sacrificed them over, getting his first sacrifice bunt of his career. An odd play, but I can't say I disagreed with it. Even though he is one of their most important hitters, the run environment tonight was low, and the smart play was to trade outs for runs. Huff also nearly reached, so it was a good call by Bochy, again. After Pat Burrell struck out, Edgar Renteria came up, and the Rangers had the opportunity to walk Renteria and pitch to the potentially much easier out, Aaron Rowand. But Cliff Lee, the proud, somewhat arrogant pitcher that he is, didn't want to walk Renteria. And I commend him for that. But I'm sure he wishes he had pitched around Edgar. On 2-0, Lee threw a fastball down the heart of the plate, and Renteria swung.

On the swing, the ball went straight into the air towards left center. It didn't really look like Edgar had driven the ball. But as it kept carrying and carrying, it became evident that this ball was not going to be caught. The outfielders were just too far. I thought it would land near the warning track, scoring 2 runs. But then it kept going, until it slipped over the left field wall for a 3 run HR. It looked very much like the NLCS winning HR by Uribe. The ball just found a way to get over that wall. Notice that it didn't hit the top and bounce back.

And that was all they would need to win the only thing that matters in baseball, the World Series. Lincecum pitched 2 more innings. He finished with 10 Ks in 8 innings, only giving up 3 hits and walking 2. Wilson finished off the 9th easily against the heart of the Rangers order. That's all I can really say now. Wasn't that short of a recap after all. Look for more posts this week about Game 5, the series, and the season as a whole.

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