3 to go!
The Giants faced the unflappable Cliff Lee, self appointed God of Postseason Baseball, and we... well flapped him.
At the end of the day the boxscore accounted 7 runs against Lee, 6 earned demolishing his near perfect 0.97 ERA in the playoffs. The Giants came in with the perfect gameplan. They knew Cliff Lee was a pitcher who liked to start in the strike zone and go up quickly into 0-2 or 1-2 counts, so the Giants came out aggressive, swinging at those strikes, fouling off pitches and battling until they got something good to hit.
And boy did they ever... Freddy Sanchez connected for 4 hits, 3 doubles and 3 RBI, and after Lee was knocked out of the game in only the 5th Inning!! Uribe hit a ball to DEEP LEFT!! ADIOS PELOTA!!
That's all she wrote... Cliff Lee lasted only 4 2/3 innings and was blasted out of the game by the Giants. The same Cliff Lee who dominated the Tampa Bay Rays, the New York Yankees. He had given up 2 runs total all of the postseason before yesterday to only one batter, Ben Zobrist.
Seriously it seems as if there's nothing left to see, nothing that will surprise us as Giants fans, and something like that happens. I love the Giants.
The Rangers you may remember did not just lay down quietly. They came back against Tim Lincecum and scored 2 runs forcing him from the game early, and tagged our bullpen for 3 more runs including a 2 run RBI double against Brian Wilson. The Rangers lineup came as advertised. Normally if the Giants give up 7 runs against the opposition, that's a loss.
I'm looking to Matt Cain with his 0.00 ERA in the playoffs to lock down the first 3-4 innings and keep the Giants in it whatever their offensive output. If we begin to turn this World Series in a slugfest, I think that would swing the series in the Rangers' favor. We sure outslugged them yesterday, but that trend can't continue if we want to win 3 more games.
Keys of the Game
1st pitch strikes: The Rangers are a much more patient team than the Giants, and that bodes well for pitchers who are aggressive with the strike zone. Look for Matt Cain to gain control in the count and fire his fastball for strikes early in the at bats.
Stay Hot Freddy Sanchez: If Freddy Sanchez is going to be the World Series version of Cody Ross, then I'm all for it. The Giants need our top of the order to get on base early so we can do some damage and work up the pitch count of CJ Wilson.
Quality At Bats: For most teams, a quality at bat is working the count full and waiting it out til you get something to hit. For the Giants it means Juan Uribe fouling himself into a 1-2 rut, and fouling off pitches til he strikes out. Either way, the Giants need to prolong these at bats and wait out CJ Wilson til he throws a mistake over the plate and capitalize. 1st pitch popups do not help...
Laws of the Day
Freddy Sanchez is the first player in Major League History to ever hit 3 doubles in his first 3 at bats of the World Series.
Last time the Giants scored more than 10 runs in a game was Sept 23 at Cincinati for a 13-0 win.
In the last 45 games, the Giants have scored in double digits, 3 times. One of those games was Game 1 of the World Series =)