Opinion: World Series shaping up to be Giant affair


Alex Mellion
Journal Staff

Raise your hand if back in April you predicted that the two teams in the World Series would be the San Francisco Giants (just four World Series appearances and one title since 1954)  and the Texas Rangers (three total postseason appearances since becoming a franchise in 1961, and zero playoff series wins).  No hands? Anyone?

Well on October 23rd, that outlandish prediction came true as the San Francisco Giants beat the two-time defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies, 3-2, to take the series four games to two. This came a day after the Rangers eliminated the defending, 27-time World Series Champion New York Yankees.  This series will feature the stellar hitting of the Rangers against the dazzling pitching of the Giants.

The Giants come into the Fall Classic with a formidable pitching rotation, and headlining that rotation is the 1-2 punch of Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.  Lincecum, AKA “The Freak,” may look like he belongs in the Little League World Series instead of the World Series, but his stats live up to his nickname.  On Oct. 7, Lincecum pitched a complete game, two hit shutout against the Braves in the NLDS, striking out 14. Adding to the Lincecum mystique was that it was his first start ever in the postseason.  Cain has been no slouch either this postseason, pitching 13.2 innings of shutout ball in his two starts thus far.  Those two, along with closer Brian Wilson (AKA the athlete with the best beard in professional sports) should help the Giants shut down the Rangers’ bats.

The Giants also have one of the biggest surprises this postseason in Cody Ross.  Ross, an average outfielder at best during the regular season, has come alive this postseason, hitting four of the team’s six home runs, and earning himself NLCS MVP.

The Rangers come in hoping to counter the Giants’ overabundance of pitching with some of their big bats.  Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler have combined for 12 homeruns this postseason, and will look to jump all over the Giants’ pitching in order to put some runs on the board.  The Rangers also have a player by the name of Cliff Lee, who has been lights-out this postseason.  Lee is 3-0 in his three postseason starts, going at least seven innings and striking out 10 in each start.  His command has also been impeccable, as he has only walked one batter in 24 innings.

A World Series win may be the only thing that could possibly keep Lee from bolting to the Yankees in the offseason, and Rangers fans will be counting on him to lead them to their first title in team history.

The 2010 World Series will be a classic matchup between two Cinderella teams.  Each team has surprised their respective fan bases by advancing this far, and it’s a shame that there could only be one winner. In the end, look for the Giants pitching to be too much for the Rangers to handle, even with Cliff Lee potentially starting in three of the seven games.  The old adage says that “good things come to those who wait”, and this World Series will prove that statement to be true. My prediction: Giants in seven.