Cliff Lee came into tonight’s game as the best pitcher in post-season baseball. With a 3-0 record and an eye-popping 0.75 ERA, the Giants knew they had a very tough night ahead of them. If they were not able to strike against him early, all hope would be lost, and after falling behind 2-0 after two innings, the pitcher who was averaging not allowing a run per game was in the driver’s seat.
The Giants would make some noise in the third inning, when Freddy Sanchez would get his second of three straight doubles (becoming the first player in baseball history to do so in a World Series game) after Edgar Renteria reached on an error and Andres Torres was hit by a pitch. They would then tie the game on a Buster Posey single.
All would be quiet until the fifth inning, when the Giants would blow the game open. After Lincecum led off the inning with a ground out, Torres and Sanchez would double, Burrell walked, and Ross and Huff singled. With Lee over 100 pitches, he was lifted for Darren O’Day who came in, and allowed a three-run homer to Juan Uribe, the first batter he faced. The Giants would have an 8-2 lead after five innings, with Lee allowing eight hits and seven runs (six earned).
But the mighty Rangers’ offense would not have them go down quietly. They quickly responded with two runs, chasing Lincecum after 5.2 innings, and forcing Casilla to get the final out of the inning.The Uribe homerun now became all the more important.
Both teams would go scoreless until once again it looked like the Giants would put the game out of reach. In the bottom of the eighth, Renteria would single, and after a bobble by Guerrero in right field, would advance to third base. Ishikawa then doubled and Sanchez would cap off his amazing night with a single, driving the score up to 10-4. But the inning would not end there, as Nate Schierholtz who came in as a defensive replacement for Burrell would single, driving in the Giants’ eleventh run of the night.
The ninth inning would be shaky for the Giants as Ramon Ramirez and Jeremy Affeldt struggled. Closer Brian Wilson would have to come in with a seven run lead, and after allowing a sacrifice fly and a double, he would record the final out and seal an 11-7 win for the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants, who scored 19 runs in the entire six game NLCS scored 11 runs tonight. Myself, like many other people, felt the game was pretty much over with the Rangers having a 2-0 lead and the best pitcher in baseball on the mound. The Giants would show some resiliency, and put forth their biggest offensive out-put of the post-season, this coming after many analysts predicted this would be a low scoring pitcher’s duel, including one ESPN analyst who said it would be a 1-0 win for the Rangers.
I still believe that this will be a long series, as the Giants who are used to playing low scoring games will have to find a way to hang with the Rangers three more times. It will be tough and I hope that tonight’s performance was not an aberration.
The series will continue tomorrow night on FOX at 7:30 with a matchup of Matt Cain and C.J Wilson.