THE GIANTS WIN THE PENNANT! When Brian Wilson (and his beard) struck out Ryan Howard looking to end the Phillies season, it set up a date in the World Series with the American League champion Texas Rangers starting this Wednesday in San Francisco.
The Rangers rotation is anchored by mid-season acquisition, and playoff ace, Cliff Lee. After Lee is CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, and Tommy Hunter. Lewis has a 1.45 playoff ERA with 18 K’s in 18.2 IP. Wilson is 1-1 in three starts with a 3.93 playoff ERA. Lee has been his usual outstanding self. In three starts, Lee has pitched 24 IP with only 2 Earned Runs and an absurd 34:1 K:BB ratio. 34 to 1!!!
However, Tommy Hunter is the weak link in the rotation. He’s made two starts, never lasting longer than 4 IP. He still gets the K’s (12 in 7.1 IP), but has a bad WHIP (1.50) and ERA (6.14).
The closer is the electric Neftali Feliz.
You’ve probably heard of the Rangers offense. Leadoff man Elvis Andrus, 3B Michael Young, MVP Josh Hamilton, Who’s Your Vladdy, Boomstick, Ian Kinsler, Bengie Molina, 1B Mitch Moreland, and either David (don’t call me Daniel) Murphy or Frenchy.
I won’t go too in depth, but this offense is seriously freakin good.
The Rangers are in the World Series for the first time in franchise history; 39 seasons in Texas, 11 in Washington. The trades that were made this season were made with the intent that there was no tomorrow, which because of the ownership situation, there wasn’t. That’s why they were willing to deal Justin Smoak and Blake Beaven for Lee, and steal him out from under the Yankees. That may have won them the ALCS. It’s World Series or bust for the Rangers.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants win with pitching, pitching, pitching, and enough offense to take the lead. Timmy “The Freak” Lincecum anchors the rotation with Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez, and Madison Bumgarner. For the past two years, the Giants have had a reputation as “The Team No One Wants To Make The Playoffs” because of their rotation. Lincy has been what you would expect. Cain’s shutout in Game 3 against Cole Hamels gave the Giants the series lead they would not relinquish. Bumgarner and Sanchez can really rack up K’s, but they also give up runs. Sanchez did not make it out of the 3rd in Game 6. He could be the Giants weak link.
The closer is Brian Wilson and his beard.
The lineup is a collection of misfits that somehow work well together. Andres Torres (6th in the league in Defensive WAR), Freddy Sanchez, Aubrey Huff (4th in the NL in WAR among position players…seriously the biggest bargain of the 2009 offseason), ROY candidate Buster Posey, mid-season pickup Pat Burrell, mid-season pickup Cody NLCS MVP Ross, Kung Fu Panda, mid-season pickup Mike Fontenot, Juan Uribe, and Edgar “I’ve been around forever but I’m only 33” Renteria. The lineup doesn’t pack the punch that the boys from Arlington have, but it’s a group of players peaking at the right time. All of these pickups and signings have done well since coming to San Fran.
The Giants have not won a World Series since moving out West, 53 seasons.
Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee were the two Cy Young winners in 08. The last time that the two respective Cy Young’s from the same year have faced in the World Series was 2001 (Roger Clemens and Randy Johnson, who both won it in 2001 and matched up that October/November).
Bengie Molina started his year by the bay, but was traded to Texas.
The first interleague game ever was between the Giants and Rangers in Arlington.
Hey Beltran-bashers, next time you want to bring up that called strike, just remember that both LCS’s this year ended with called strikes on the losing team’s biggest sluggers. On pitches that weren’t as nasty as Wainwright’s curve.
Either Guillermo Mota or Frenchy will be a World Champion soon.
Questions To Chew On
Who will win the series?
How many games?
Who wins Game 1, Cliff Lee or Tim Lincecum?
Should Cliff Lee throw Games 1, 4, and 7?
For Fun: Comparing the cities, who is the cooler law-enforcer, Walker Texas Ranger or Dirty Harry?