Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The World Series: The Giants Win Game 5 to Beat the Rangers

Tuck has been telling me how the city of San Francisco has been totally fired up about the Giants, so it was fun last night to watch (through the seventh inning, at any rate) their Series-clinching win in Arlington.

They won the game 3-1, and so their run through the playoffs included victories over the Braves (ending Bobby Cox's storied managerial career), the Phillies, and now the Rangers.

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Tim Lincecum has been the pitching star for the Giants, outshining the more-heralded Cliff Lee of the Rangers. It's funny to watch Lincecum because he looks less like a star professional athlete than anyone I can remember.  Last night he was striking out Rangers left and right; according to Tim McCarver, the story of the Series has been the Giants' pitchers shutting down the Rangers' normally powerful line-up.

The climax of the game came in the top of the 7th when the Giants got two men on (second and third bases) against Cliff LeePat Burrell came to bat and was expected to sacrifice-in at least one run, but Lee struck him out (Burrell looked incredibly dejected).  Up came Edgar Renteria, however, and promptly blasted a three-run homer.

Renteria is 34 years old and has played for seven teams during a career that began with another critical World Series hit, for the Marlins against the Cleveland Indians in 1997.  His home run moment reminded me of other baseball playoff "big plays" -- I like the way the energy builds and you can see the intensity in the players' faces and feel the excitement of the crowd.

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On a non-sports note, today are the much-anticipated mid-term elections, and a major storyline is whether the Republicans will re-take the House by a small margin (with a net pick-up of 30-40 seats) or a larger, more dramatic one (with a pick-up of 60+).

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