Monday, November 1, 2010

WS Game 5: Giants at Rangers

Photo courtesy Texas Rangers
Will the Giants win it all, or will the Rangers keep the series going?
What began on cloverleafs of practice fields across Florida and Arizona towns nearly nine months ago could come to an end tonight. Yep, the baseball season could be over by night's conclusion if the Giants can win Game 5 and in the process capture their first World Series championship since the franchise landed in San Francisco in 1958.

But for all that to happen, the Giants will have to do something that seemed impossible one week ago: Beat Cliff Lee twice in a row. The Rangers obviously have their backs against the wall, down three games to one, but there's no one they'd rather have on the mound in this situation than their ace left-hander. Lee may have been terrible in Game 1, but something tells me he's going to bounce back with a strong performance tonight.

That doesn't necessarily mean Texas is a lock, because the Giants are still sending Tim Lincecum to the mound. And something tells me "The Freak" will be motivated to be the guy who delivers San Francisco a championship. Should be another fantastic matchup. Plenty of thoughts and analysis to come...

        THE 106th WORLD SERIES — GAME 5
         Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
      Gametime: 7:57 p.m.
     TV: Fox Radio: WTNT-570 AM
     Weather: Partly cloudy, 71 degrees
RF Andres Torres
2B Freddy Sanchez
C Buster Posey
LF Cody Ross
3B Juan Uribe
1B Aubrey Huff
DH Pat Burrell
SS Edgar Renteria
CF Aaron Rowand
(P Tim Lincecum)

SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
RF Nelson Cruz
2B Ian Kinsler
LF David Murphy
C Bengie Molina
1B Mitch Moreland
(P Cliff Lee)
8:10 p.m. -- Looks like both aces came to pitch tonight. Lee and Lincecum each cruised through the first inning, with only Posey reaching on a two-out single. Both guys worked fast and threw strikes, encouraging developments for both teams.

8:31 p.m. -- What is it about Cliff Lee and comebackers in the World Series? He made an amazing play last year against the Yankees. And he just made another one to end the top of the third against the Giants, reaching as high as he could to snag Freddy Sanchez's smoked shot back up the middle. Lee looks really sharp so far, and we're finally getting the pitchers' duel we hoped for in Game 1. Scoreless as they head to the bottom of the third.

8:39 p.m. -- Oh yeah, this Lincecum character isn't too shabby himself. Just notched three strikeouts in the bottom of the third. Both of these guys have got some fantastic offspeed stuff going tonight.

9:10 p.m. -- It's not just that both starters are putting up zeroes. It's that they're doing it with incredible efficiency. Both Lee and Lincecum looking totally in control. They're halfway through this game with nary a run on the scoreboard. You get the sense this one is going to come down to one mistake pitch that someone hammers out of the park. That may be all it takes tonight.

9:25 p.m. -- Unless Nelson Cruz makes a nifty catch at the base of the wall to rob Buster Posey of what looked like an RBI double. Nice job by Cruz to make up for missing Freddy Sanchez's sinking liner moments earlier.

9:30 p.m. -- It's not entirely fair to compare Game 5 of this series to Game 7 of the 1991 series, but ... in that epic clash between Jack Morris and John Smoltz, five runners reached second base through the first five innings. Through the first six innings tonight, not one runner has reached second base. Yeah, this is going to go down as one of the great ones.

9:45 p.m. -- There's the first mistake by either pitcher in this game, a fat 2-0 pitch from Lee to Renteria. And boy did Renteria make him pay for it. Three-run homer, just over the left-center field fence. Just like that, San Francisco leads 3-0 and is nine outs from wrapping this up. Lee had looked like he was going to pitch his way out of the jam, getting Pat Burrell swinging at a fantastic 3-2 cutter on the outside corner. When he fell behind Renteria 2-0, you figured he was just going to pitch around the veteran and load the bases for the much less-threatening Aaron Rowand. Then he grooved that fateful pitch and Renteria tagged it. Thirteen years after he won Game 7 of the World Series for the Marlins, Edgar may have just produced another World Series winning hit. Wow.

9:52 p.m. -- Don't pop the champagne corks yet, folks. Nelson Cruz hammers a solo homer to left to make it 3-1 in the seventh. That ballpark has come back to life.

10:15 p.m. -- Three outs to go, and now here's the dilemma for Bruce Bochy: Send Lincecum back out for the ninth or pull The Freak and give the ball to The Beard? Lincecum is at 101 pitches, and really he's made only one mistake the entire night. I say send him back out there, but if anyone reaches base, Brian Wilson comes in to close it.

10:23 p.m. -- Here we go ... Lincecum is out and Brian Wilson is in.

10:30 p.m. -- For the first time ever, San Francisco sits atop the baseball world. Giants win 3-1. Just a masterful performance from the entire pitching staff, capped tonight by Lincecum and Wilson. They absolutely dominated the AL's best offense, shutting them out twice and holding them to one run tonight. Brilliance all around. On a personal note, congratulations to Tony Siegle, the Giants' senior advisor for baseball operations. Tony has worked in baseball for 45 years with a number of organizations, including the Expos and Nationals from 2002-06 as assistant GM. He has poured his heart and soul into this game that he loves so much. And tonight, he finally can say he's won a World Series. Mazel tov, Tony.


Jim Webster said...

On a completely different topic, reports on Venezuelan Winter League:

Aragua 20, Caracas 15
Catcher Wilson Ramos (Nationals) went 4-for-5 with four RBIs, three runs and two doubles and eighth-rounder Marquez Smith (Cubs) homered and had four hits as the Tigres outslugged the Leones. Lastings Milledge, one of five Tigres to go deep, was 3-for-4 with four runs . . .

Anyone here know how to get schedules (in English) for DR, Puerto Rico or Venezuela winter leagues? Beginning to be more intriguing than waiting for annual trek to Viera in March.

JaneB said...

They are awesome to watch. How Lincecum just carved up oh my. I have to say, whenever Buster Posey is in the batters box, I wonder what the bat boy is doing there. He is so baby faced and so good.

Sec3MySofa said...

not much to discuss, really--just appreciate what it looks like to see two good teams playing well.
Oh, and covered well, too.

sjm105 said...

man, is Pat Burrell having a rough series. that was the key at bat of the game so far. great bunt by Huff, but unless Renteria comes through, this pitching duel will continue. BANG, 3 run homer!! Should be all Lincecum needs.

Faraz Shaikh said...

WOW Renteria rocks. Good job Edgar. Go Giants!!!

I feel bad for Lee but he made a mistake and paid for it.

Faraz Shaikh said...

I am with you Mark. TL deserves to have the ball in the ninth. I never thought he would outduel Cliff Lee in either games. Credit to Giants' offense for coming through so far but pitching has got them as far as they have come.

sjm105 said...

I agree also, lets see if TL can get the complete game and win MVP as well.
Guess Bochy has made all the right moves so far, lets see how this one works. I would have left him in.

Michael J. Hayde said...

Looks like Bochy got it right AGAIN!! Cheers to the Giants. And Mark got it right, too: one mistake pitch made all the difference.

JaneB said...

Happy for San Francisco, and especially Renteria.

Now we have five days before we hear whether we get Dunn back, right?

Counting the days till pitchers and catchers....

Steve said...

What a class act Tony Siegle is! He was one of the good guys in baseball's return to DC. It was easy to see his competence and class. Of course, Bowden likely drove him away like the rest of the good ones! But, for tonight, I raise a toast to Tony! Mazel Tov indeed!

Faraz Shaikh said...

Congratulations SF Giants!!! Deserved it by far. Would not have minded, had Cox won it all in his last season but Giants were definitely the superior team pitching wise this postseason.

In this series, Giants were better defensively, pitching wise, surprisingly offensively, much better bullpen, and clutch plays. Rangers didn't play like they were capable of. No running game, I can barely remember any steals they had in this series. I don't know maybe starting the series in NL park and that game 1 disaster by Lee might have been too much for Rangers.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all of the coverage this year Mark. Looking forward to off-season reporting on the hot stove, new uniforms, minor-league reports, where-are-they-nows, and thoughts on Selig's ridiculous ideas to "improve" the game, as well as anything else you might come up with. Keep us up to date on the plans for next year. I would be really interesting to hear if this is something sustainable for you.

Golfersal said...

I hope everyone examines why the San Francisco Giants won.

It's not because they spent a lot of money, had a bunch of overpriced guys and management that was willing to spend a lot of money. They won because they have a bunch of really savvy smart guys and you can point it to one person manager Bruce Bouchy.
Look at his record, he has been to the World Series before and the playoffs, he has a winning record in his 16 years as a manager and he took a bunch of castoffs and made them a winner. Yes they had two of the best pitchers in baseball in Matt Cain and Tim Lincimcomb, but on paper the rest of the team is a bunch of castoffs and misfits.

On paper the Washington Nationals are a better team with better players but they just don't have a manager that knows how to do it. In 11 years as a manager, Riggleman has a .442 winning percentage. He was the manager of the San Diego Padres for just over two years and they had a .390 winning percentage. Bruce Bochy takes over for Riggleman , has a .486 winning percentage in his first year, in his second the Padres record was 91-71 and in 1998 Bochy takes them to the World Series.

As for Riggleman, betweeen 1995 and 1999 manages the Chicago Cubs and in five years has only one winning season over .500. His last year he was 67-95, about the same record as his first full year with the Nats in 2010. Four years after he leaves Dusty Baker, another manager who knows how to win takes the Cubs to the playoffs and almost the World Series.

Guys and gals the point I am trying to make, we have great players and should be doing better but until we get our Bruce Bouchy we are going to be a 69-93 team.

We should respect what the Giants have done and ask the question, can the Nats pull off the unthinkable? When the Giants were in spring training back in March, they were thought to finish third or fourth in the National League west and look what has happened.

But before we dream the impossible dream we have to see how much rope Rizzo and the Lerners will give Riggleman. I say that if they are below 400 on the last day of May, Riggleman should be sent packing. I feel that if they aren't 500 by the all-star break, they should send Riggleman packing.

We as fans should not tolerate crappy baseball from a bunch of guys that are better on paper than the castoffs of the Giants.

With the World Series over, we will now see in the next week how the Adam Dunn drama will play out, honestly I hope that Dunn goes elsewhere, again he is part of our problem, a guy with great talent but only in non-pressure situations. Dunn gets a bit of pressure or abuse from media and fans, he folds like a house of cards. That is the reason that Rizzo isn't throwing a boatload of money in his direction. Anyway, I think that Dunn likes playing on a losing team and will sign, he doesn't want to go to a place like Chicago in which they get on their high price talent if they don't do what they are paid for.

Again, we should reflect on the Giants victory and realize that the Nats could be the next Giants, the next Tampa Bay Rays, the next Florida Marlins.

Richard said...

Fox's play-by-play coverage of the Series was very good, very enjoyable. I especially appreciated Joe Buck tonight mentioning in the very late going all the past SF Giants who never won the World Series, not even in '62 or '02 when they came so close ... Willie Mays (who of course won a couple with the NY Giants), Orlando Cepeda, Juan Marichal, Wille McCovey, Tom Haller, Jim Davenport, Bobby Bonds, Jack Clark, Will The Thrill Clark, Robby Thompson, Barry Bonds, ...

N. Cognito said...

And when the Giants win "only" 85 games next year and miss the playoffs, will Bochy no longer be a great manager?
If you look at many teams that win the World Series, you see a team that has a fair number of players that have a year significantly better than their average year and it continues through the postseson. It's more lightning in a bottle, not great managing. What Bochy did that was great was not mess it up.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Golfersal... Give Bochy Hernandez, Lannan and Marquis instead of Lincicum, Cain and Baumgarner and you have the 4th place 90 loss Giants.

Those three aren't "good pitching"... they're "great pitching"!

NatsJack in Florida said...

But I do agree with you on Adam Dunn... I have a couple of die hard Cubs buddies that are scared to death that they are going to sign another failure to go along with Soriano.

dale said...


In addition to the huge difference in pitching staffs, the Giants also have a superior center fielder, better lead off hitters, a better catcher, a better first baseman in terms of clutch hitting and defense, a fabulous overall defense and a superior closer. Bochy is a better manager but his deck of cards is stacked against Riggleman. The Giants did not buy their way into the post season, that is what I appreciate about them the most.

Anonymous said...

Brian Sabean, the Giants’ general manager, tried for years to build a champion around the outsized talent — and muscles, and contract — of Barry Bonds. It never worked until he shifted his philosophy.

From 2002 through 2008, the Giants drafted Matt Cain, Lincecum, Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey in the first round: three potential aces and an elite catcher. Another starter, Jonathan Sanchez, was a 27th-round gem in 2004.

“You need pitching, pitching and more pitching,” Sabean said. “That was the biggest bridge to cross. The second biggest bridge was not trading any of the pitching.”

He added: “While there was a lot of pressure from a lot of sectors, and justifiably so, we didn’t think we could replace them. I mean, Sanchez got asked about a lot, but where are you going to find another Sanchez? We knew Bumgarner was coming, but we didn’t have another Bumgarner in waiting.”

Anonymous said...

"Sabean's moves with Bonds etc. never worked til he drafted pitching" -- ah, how about 5 outs to go up 5-0 in game 6 of the Series in '02?

NatsJack in Florida said...

Hey Anonymous.... and what was the outcome of that "5 outs to go up 5-0 in game 6 of the series in '02?

natsfan1a said...

Congrats to the Gigantes! On a personal note, I'm thankful that my brother, a long-time fan who has been quite ill, was able to see the series (and the win).

In other news, not that I'll be traveling there, but as with Jim's comment above, my thoughts turned to winter ball this a.m. MLB Network has had some great coverage the past couple of winters. It's on my to-do list to check the schedule on their website. :-)

JaneB and others, I also marked the FA countdown on my calendar this a.m.

Wait. Did Sabean just quote Bowden in the 8:42 AM comment?

Also, Timmy sez: Dudes, it's L-i-n-c-e-c-u-m.

NatsJack in Florida said...

Sorry.. I was focused looking for the roach clip when typing. L-I-N-C-E-C-U-M...

Anonymous said...

Hey NatsJack, how about winning the NL championship and taking the Angels to the absolute brink '02? Not good enough for NatsJacks?

NatsJack in Florida said...

2nd is the first loser. I agree totally with Derek Jeter in that there is only one successful team every year and if that's not you, then you can shout that famous losers refrain... "Wait til next year"!

natsfan1a said...

No problem. Like the t-shirt says, let Timmy (and NatsJack) smoke. ;-)

Jim, you might try this link for winter ball schedules:

Also, just looked at the MLB Network schedule and noticed that they will televise the AFL rising stars game live at 9 ET on Saturday, November 6. (No calendar item there yet for the Caribbean World Series, but they've carried it in the past. The dates for that one are February 2-7, 2011, fwiw.)

Last but not least, congrats to Mr. Z. for being one of the few to predict a Giants series win. Well done, sir.

JD said...


I couldn't disagree more; you make it through 162 game schedule + 2 playoff rounds; win your league and lose in the world series and it's a failure?

We should like that more often,

NatsJack in Florida said...

As an Orlando Magic fan from their inception, I take no solace in losing twice in the finals. Yes, we enjoyed the regular season for the entertainment that it provided, however the seasons ended as failures.

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