Friday, October 29, 2010

Giant Shock to Rangers

We expected a great pitching duel in Game 1 of the World Series -- Tim Lincecum vs. Cliff Lee.

We got it in Game 2 -- Matt Cain vs. C.J. Wilson.

But Game 1 turned into a slugfest, as neither starter got out of the 6th inning. Giants 11, Rangers 7, with the Rangers threatening in the 9th.

Game 2 was only 1-0 Giants going into the bottom of the 7th, and 2-0 Giants going into the bottom of the 8th. Then came an Inning From Hell for the Rangers: A 2-run deficit can be manageable, but a 9-run deficit hardly ever is. The Giants scored 7 runs in the bottom of the 8th, and won, 9-0.

Seven runs in an inning is not a World Series record. Ten has been done, twice:

* 1929 Game 4, the Chicago Cubs led the Philadelphia Athletics 8-0 in the bottom of the 7th, and then the A's exploded, and won the game, 10-8, and took the Series the next day. (So the next time somebody mentions "the Curse of the Billy Goat," remember that such things happened to the Cubs well before 1945.

* 1968 Game 6, the Detroit Tigers put 10 on the board in the top of the 3rd against the St. Louis Cardinals, and won, 13-1, and won the Series the next day.

So this is the bad news for the Rangers:

* They're down 2 games to 0.

* Cliff Lee has already been beaten once, meaning that he's no lock to win any other games he starts.

* No team has ever allowed at least 7 runs in an inning in a World Series game and still won the Series.

* No Texas team has ever won a World Series game. Between the '05 Astros and the '10 Rangers, the Bush State is now 0-6 in World Series games.

Here's the good news for the Rangers:

* They did manage to score 7 runs in Game 1, in spite of being the road team and Tim Lincecum being the opposing starter.

* They do have Games 3 and 4, and possibly 5, at home; and, as the saying goes, no postseason series is really over until the home team loses at least once.

Still, the Rangers need to win 4 of the next 5 in order to become the 1st Texas-based team ever to win a World Series.

The Giants, on the other hand, only have to win 2 of the next 5 to win their 1st World Series since moving to San Francisco.

At this point, anybody thinking the Rangers are going to win is probably fooling themselves.

Then again, the Rangers weren't supposed to be here at all. And neither were the Giants. A lot of people, myself included, picked a Yankees-Phillies rematch, and while that was still possible in the LCSes, neither half happened.

Game 3 tomorrow night, 6:30 PM Eastern Time, at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Colby Lewis starts for the Rangers, Jonathan Sanchez for the Giants.

The Yankees extended Joe Girardi's contract through 2013. Probably a good idea, although he's going to have to manage a pitching staff in 2011 better than he did in September and October 2010.

The Mets signed former Oakland Athletics mini-dynasty builder Sandy Alderson as their new general manager. Probably also a good idea, although it depends largely on who he hires as a manager. At this point, I'm not even going to guess who that might be.

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