Cy Young Award winners Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum were set to square off in Game 1 of the World Series between the Rangers and Giants. The matchup between the aces should have produced a 2-1 game with an over-under run total line of 4.5, and the wise better would have gone with the under. But that’s why they play games with bats, balls, and gloves and not pencils, papers, and Vegas oddsmakers.
Never in my baseball watching years could I have imagined that Cliff Lee would blow a 2-0 lead, throw over 100 pitches, and not make it out of the 5th inning against the Giants. The previously unbeatable strike-throwing robot as Alan Hull likes to call him gave up two runs in the 3rd and three more in the 5th (though he was charged with four). Freddy Sanchez, Cody Ross, and Aubrey Huff all hit him hard in the 5th inning, largely because Phifer wasn’t locating his pitches. Darren O’Day relieved Lee and gave up a three-run bomb to Juan Uribe which really seemed to seal the win. And it wasn’t even the pitching that let Texas down; they committed four errors in the game which was a season high.
Former batting champ Freddy Sanchez truly showed up. The Burbank boy went 4-for-5 with three doubles, three RBIs and two runs scored. His first double was an opposite field bloop job that was lucky to fall in fair territory, but every other hit after that was stung well. Aubrey Huff added three hits and knocked Lee out of the game with a line drive up the middle. If San Francisco could win the game many of us already handed to Texas then they’re in excellent shape to take it all. As someone who dislikes the Giants, I have to admit I’m worried. Where’s Dusty Baker to bring in Livan Hernandez when you need him?
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