Tim Lincecum pitches eight innings and strikes out ten, and Edgar Renteria hits a key three run home run off Cliff Lee in the San Francisco Giants world series victory over the Texas Rangers.
Going into the World Series, I wrote that the Giants would beat the Rangers in the World Series. Just a quick look at ESPN writers' picks, and you will see that 9 of the 10 writers thought the Rangers would win. In a rough analysis, the Rangers have better hitters and equal pitching. It makes sense that the Rangers would win. The Giants have home field advantage (not a big thing but something) and a much better head coach. Bruce Bochy is not in the elite two of managers (Joe Maddon and Terry Francona), but he is in that group of 12 or so average managers--meaning he is in the top 14. Ron Washington is in the pretty bad manager group. This is an edge because until this game, Washington had not used his best relief pitcher, Neftali Feliz, in a non-save situation. He also put Vladimir Guererro in the outfield, used Darren Oliver too much and kept Derek Holland in a game in which he couldn't throw a strike and walked three batters--opening up a huge inning.
The Giants staff was awesome, but the Rangers staff, save Lee, was underrated and equally as awesome. It was clear to me that the Rangers would win the game started by Colby Lewis and the Giants would win the game started by Madison Bumgarner. The Matt Cain and C.J. Wilson match-up favored Cain, but not by much. The Lincecum and Cliff Lee match-up favored Lee but realizing that Lincecum can out-Lee Lee if you will. I figured the Giants would win in six if Lincecum was epic in one of the two games against Lee--and he was in game five. In game one, Lincecum was average and Lee did not pitch well. It didn't help that the relief pitchers in that game were equally brutal. I thought that if it went to a game seven, the Rangers would have the edge as far as fielded players, but Bochy would put in Lincecum, Bumgarner, whoever if Sanchez showed any signs of not being effective. And when it comes to a close game, it's hard to trust Washington's instincts.
The Giants won the World Series because of their pitching and Bruce Bochy managing pretty brilliantly. Brilliance is a bit of hyperbole, but it's hard to question most of his decisions. He deserves the compliments even if it doesn't extend to next year.
I've questioned Brian Sabean's game plan. Believe me, he is not a great general manager. Keep in mind that Aaron Rowand, Barry Zito and Mark DeRosa are under contract during this World Series, and Zito and DeRosa are not on the postseason roster. Rowand is a bench player.
I didn't like the Aubrey Huff or Edgar Renteria signings, but they have played a huge role in the Giants quest for a World Series title. They along with Buster Posey, Juan Uribe, Cody Ross, Freddy Sanchez, Pat Burrell, the Giants pitching and Bruce Bochy won the World Series.