Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants, the 2010 World Series champions. They defeated the Texas Rangers in Game Five by a 3-1 score and won the series four games to one. The Giants won the deciding game of each of their playoff series on the road.
The San Francisco pitching dominance of the Rangers continued in Game Five, as starter Tim Lincecum gave up only three hits in eight innings while striking out ten and walking two. He was relieved in the ninth inning by closer Brian Wilson, who struck out Josh Hamilton looking, got Vladimir Guerrero to ground out to shortstop and then struck out Nelson Cruz to end the game and season.
Tim was matched inning for inning by Cliff Lee, who gave up six hits in seven innings while striking out six and walking no one. Unfortunately for Lee, in the seventh inning he gave up back to back single to center by Cody Ross and Juan Uribe. Aubrey Huff sacrificed them over to second and third, the first sacrifice of his major league career. After a strikeout by Pat Burrell, Lee fell behind Edgar Renteria 2-0 and decided to pitch to him and not to put him on base and face Aaron Rowand. His 2-0 pitch was sent into the left center field bleachers by Renteria to give the Giants a 3-0 lead.
Lincecum made his only mistake in the bottom of the seventh inning, when Nelson Cruz homered to left center field to make the score 3-1. This was the first run scored by Texas since a Josh Hamilton home run in the fifth inning of Game Three. A walk to Ian Kinsler got the Texas fans excited, but Lincecum struck out David Murphy and Bengie Molina to end the inning.
The Rangers had a small chance to take the lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, when Mitch Moreland led off with a single. Texas manager Ron Washington decided to do a hit and run as opposed to a straight sacrifice with Elvis Andrus at the plate. Andrus flied out to center. Kinsler lined out to center and Josh Hamilton grounded out to second to end any potential threat.
Josh Hamilton was 2 for 20, with one home run and one RBI during the World Series, a far cry from his American League MVP caliber season in which he hit 359 with 32 home runs and 100 RBI’s. As I mentioned in an earlier column, this will continue the trend of a league MVP not ending up on the winning World Series team. The last league MVP to play on a series champion was Kirk Gibson, who was NL MVP and played on the 1988 world champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
In a way this series was reminiscent of that 1988 Oakland A’s versus Los Angles Dodgers series, as a high powered offense was hut down by solid pitching. The inability of Hamilton and Vladimir Guerrero to hit, hit for power and drive in runs in 2010 was similar to the struggles of Jose Canseco (1-19) and Mark McGwire (1-17) against the Dodgers staff led by Orel Hershiser. That series was also decided in five games, with LA winning Game Five on the road in Oakland, but most remembered for the game winning home run in Game One by a limping Kirk Gibson.
It will be interesting to see what Giants team shows up in spring training in 2011 to try to defend their title, as Juan Uribe, Aubrey Huff, Pat Burrell Edgar Renteria and Aaron Rowand, the numbers five through nine hitters in the San Francisco Giants lineup tonight, are all free agents, No team has repeated as World Series champion since the 1999-2000 New York Yankees.
But that talk is for a later date. For now, let the fans, town, management and players enjoy the moment that they brought the first World Series trophy to San Francisco.