November 1, 2010
Why pitch to Edgar Renteria? That is the question that will haunt Texas Manager Ron Washington every breathing moment until Spring Training.
In the top of the seventh, having surrendered consecutive singles to Ross and Uribe, Cliff Lee deftly fielded Aubrey Huff's first career sac bunt and got the out at first. With one out and runners at second and third, Lee blew a fastball by a swinging Pat Burrell (Burrell’s 10th strikeout in 12 World Series at bats) for the second out of the inning. The game and the series came down to the next decision by Ron Washington. With first base open Washington chose to pitch to Edgar Renteria who, the night before had gone 3 for 3 at the plate, instead of pitching around him to get to the number 9 hitter in the lineup, Rowan.
Edgar drove the first middle-in fastball he saw into the left field seats for a 3 run homer. I mean it almost scraped the back of the wall getting out but it was just enough to give the Giants a 3 run lead and the right to dawgpile on the home team’s turf. Sweet! Get to see the sad faces of your opponents fans at their place, shower, grab a bottle of champagne, hop on the plane for the short flight to Frisco to party with the throngs of waiting Giants fans, deep into the night! I guess that’s why it’s called The Life.
There were more K’s in this game than in a venti can of Alphabet soup. Lee and Lincecum were pounding the strike zone. By the sixth inning only 3 balls had been hit to the outfield and all were recorded as outs. This is the Pitcher’s Duel we were promised in Game 1 and they coasted through 6. Hitters were off balance and guessing. Josh Hamilton, who struggled to get 2 hits in 20 at bats, finished the World Series with a .100 average. Vlad Guerrero was 1 for 12, giving him a .083 BA for the World Series. Kinsler, Murphy, Molina and Francoeur paired their dismal stats with those above and led the Rangers down a destructive road of scoring no runs in 17 consecutive innings. Hard to win that way.
Lincecum was murderous, carving up practically each batter he faced. Change of speed, change of location, change of release point or change of batter didn’t seem to matter to the 26 year old who finished with 10 strikeouts in 8 innings. Texas hitters were overmatched all night until Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in the bottom of 7 to give the Rangers a glimmer of hope when the next hitter, Ian Kinsler coaxed a walk. “The Freak” or “The Franchise” if you prefer, still spotting his fastball at 92 mph, struck out Murphy and Molina to end a further threat.
Brian Wilson came in to pitch the bottom of 9 and struck out Hamilton, forced Guerrero into a grounder to shortstop for the second out, then twisted a hard cutter right into the hands of Nelson Cruz for the swinging 3rd out and The World Series victory. This was a strong effort by a number of members of the Giants; rookie catcher Buster Posey was 2 for 4 on the night and Edgar Renteria turned in the clincher in the top of 7 with the game tied 0-0 with his 3 run game winning HR. Stellar pitching performances were turned in by Lincecum, Baumgarner, Cain and Wilson.
So all that’s left is champagne, late night guest appearances, convertibles, ticker tape parades, beauty queens and bling. Man I love Baseball!
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