Thursday, October 28, 2010

World Series Recap: Game 1

Wow. What a game. I had to switch my flights from Detroit to San Francisco 3 times yesterday. I sprinted between terminals at the airport in Phoenix. I flew for 7-8 hours and then went straight to the ballpark from San Francisco International. It was all worth it to watch a game like that.

Much like Lincecum-Halladay in game 5 of the NLCS, Lincecum-Lee pt. 1 didn’t produce the expected pitcher’s duel. With both starters working on extra rest and looking a little rusty, and the gloves not exactly up to game speed after the long wait between series, this game was sloppy and a completely unexpected slugfest, but it was a fantastic game to watch nonetheless.

This is gonna be a pretty quick recap, because I’m taking MUNI down to the game as soon as this thing goes up. PUMPED for Matt Cain and game 2.

Lincecum looked shaky early, allowing 2 runs in the first two innings on 4 hits and a walk. He also made a pretty big mental mistake, catching Michael Young in a rundown between third and home and then allowing him to run back to third without a throw with only one down in the first. However, a grounder to Juan Uribe erased the mistake, as Uribe stepped on third and threw to first for the double play. In the second, Lincecum allowed Cliff Lee to double on a butcher boy, putting the whole stadium in a state of shock. Lee’s double moved Bengie Molina to get to third, and he scored on a sac fly the next play.

The Giants would get it back in the 3rd. After a Young error allowed Renteria to reach base to lead off the inning, Lincecum failed miserably in his sac bunt attempt. Andres Torres took one for the team, and Freddy Sanchez followed with his second double of the game to score one run. Buster Posey singled to score Torres and tie it at two, but two strikeouts looking from Pat Burrell and Cody Ross later, Sanchez was stranded at third.

In the 5th, the Giants cracked it open in a big way. Lincecum led off by grounding out, but Torres doubled behind him. Buster Posey struck out looking for the second out, and then the rally really got going. Pat Burrell walked. Cody Ross singled to score Torres. Aubrey Huff singled to score Burrell and end Cliff Lee’s day. Juan Uribe welcomed Darren O’Day into the World Series with a line-drive 3-run blast to left center. Edgar Renteria was hit by a pitch, and Lincecum reached on an error by Elvis Andrus. First time I’ve seen someone ground out to short twice in the same inning. Torres would end the inning by striking out swinging, but after the Giants’ batted around and put up a 6-run frame, the score was 8-2 for the home side.

The Rangers would fight back with two in the top of the 6th, chasing Lincecum with two down. Lincecum struck out the first two batters of the inning, but walked Kinsler. Molina doubled to score Kinsler, and after back-to-back singles from Mitch Moreland and David Murphy, Molina scored and Santiago Casilla came in to retire Andrus and end the threat.

The Giants would reopen the gap in the 8th. Edgar Renteria hit a liner into right. Vlad let it go by him, which is why you don’t play your DH in right. Travis Ishikawa doubled to score Renteria. After a Torres foulout, Sanchez hit a ball down the line, which Vlad bobbled to allow Sanchez to get to second. It was initially ruled a double, which would be Freddy’s fourth and tie him for the most in any World Series game. However, the scorer soon changed the hit to a single and an error. Regardless, Ishikawa scored, and Sanchez later scored on a single by Schierholtz to “turn it up to 11.”

The Rangers would put up 3 in the 9th on a single, two walks, a sac fly, and a Nelson Cruz double, but the game would end 11-7 to give San Francisco the 1-0 series lead.

Let’s take a quick look inside the numbers.

Giants vs. Rangers:
WPA Leader: Freddy Sanchez (.364)
Sanchez ended the game with 3 doubles and a single in 5 ABs. The Giants will need production from the top of their lineup to be successful in this series, and Sanchez set the tone as the only real outstanding player in this game (Torres .076 was second).

Biggest Plays:
Sanchez’s doubles to score the Giants’ first run and take the lead were the two biggest plays, at .178 and .145 WPA respectively.

The Goat: Cliff Lee’s -.364, allowing 7 runs (6 earned) on 8 hits and a walk in only 4.2 innings made him the least valuable player of game 1. Lee earned his first postseason lost, and didn’t look good doing it.

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