Show of hands for those of you who predicted game one of the 2010 MLB World Series would end up with more than ten runs for both teams combined? Show of hands for those of you who predicted the first two games of the series would end up with at least eighteen runs overall. Well, we got all eighteen in game one. Of the ... much-discussed and much-hyped pitching matchup between Giants ace Tim Lincecum and Rangers deity Cliff Lee.
Seriously, I want to see comments, articles or anything you folks can show me with someone predicting that Cliff Lee would be touched for a million-and-a-half runs in his first postseason loss of his career. Who would have thought the Giants would get that much production from the top of their lineup? Freddy Sanchez going for three doubles, including a drove-in go-ahead run, who saw that happening?
Tim Lincecum didn't fare all that better, admittedly, but he was good enough to stay ahead with the Giants offensive onslaught. Chalk "offensive onslaught," on top of the pile of things I didn't think I'd ever say at the beginning of the season, right on top of "The Giants are in the World Series," "Cliff Lee lost a postseason contest," and "A sandwich? Nah, I'm not hungry."
Now we've got game two, and I'm hesitant to call this a pitching duel. C.J. Wilson will look to even things out for the Rangers tonight, and one has to wonder if he's a little intimidated. I know I would be, after watching my comrade Cliff Lee fall to the likes of Sanchez and Juan Uribe, I'd be freaking out, to say the least. Wilson is 1-1 this postseason with a 3.93 ERA. Wilson gave up six runs (five earned) and six hits in five innings in his last outing, game five of the ALCS against the Yankees.
He'll have his work cut out for him. He's not the ace that Cliff Lee is, but he has had a good year for Texas, making the transition from reliever to starter essentially seamless, going 15-8 with a 3.35 ERA.
You can bet there's at least one Giants player who doesn't know what exactly happened last night in game one: Matt Cain. The guy who's been sensational game in and game out and never seems to have the run support. He was probably sitting there, shedding a tear every now and then. Still, the best thing he can do is come out and be Matt Cain, which is roughly translated to: "being totally great."
Cain hasn't yet given up a run in 13 2/3 this postseason. After surrendering just an unearned run in 6 2/3 innings in a no-decision in the NLDS, Cain yielded two hits over seven scoreless innings to beat the Phillies in the NLCS. He was 13-11 this season in 33 starts with a 3.14 ERA.
Looks like Vladimir Guerrero will be in the lineup for the Rangers again tonight, at right field. He was responsible for two of the Rangers four errors last night in game one, and has only started in the outfield eighteen times this season.
I'm going to shy away from predictions and elaborating further. Tune in to watch the game, and be surprised. That's the only certainty, that the future of this series is uncertain.