Giants' pitching can't handle Rangers' hot bats
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2010 NLCS Preview and Predictions
2010 ALCS Preview and Predictions
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Using our MLB simulation engine we "played" the Texas Rangers versus San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series Best-of-Seven series 1001 times.
In the table below you will find each teams' chances of advancing to the World Series and how often they win in 4, 5, 6 or 7 games. As you can see, the most likely scenario is the Rangers beating the Giants in six games 19-percent of the time.
2010 World Series - 1001 Series Simulations
Below the Rangers and Giants' team previews are game-by-game summaries and related box scores of our simulation's predicted results.
San Francisco Giants Preview - Ryan Fowler
No matter the sport, rooting for the little guy is amplified come playoff time.
It's why the Cinderella stories during March Madness are so compelling and why, in more cases than not, unbiased fans pull for David over Goliath when it comes time to chose sides.
Rudy Ruetigger does not become a Hollywood classic if said defensive end stands 6-foot-6-inches and tips the scales at 260 pounds.
As if writing their own script this October, it's ironic that, of all teams, the San Francisco Giants would play the role of the little guy in the 2010 World Series. Not to mention, one of the smallest guys on the team, Cody Ross (5-10, 194 lbs), would earn NLCS MVP honors against Philadelphia.
Philadelphia pitchers cringed when Ross, who we featured in our NLCS preview piece, would step to the plate. The right fielder, who hit .286 with a homer and three ribbies in the NLDS, straight up mashed his way to the MVP. He batted .350, cranked three homers (two in Game 1 vs Halladay) and drove in five runs. He slugged .950 versus the Phillies "Big 3" ... oh and Joe Blanton. Ross is to the Giants' fan base what Thomas the Tank Engine is to toddlers.
In this year of the pitcher, we must turn our attention to the Giants' rotation, a nucleus of precision with an occasional dash of friction. (see: Sanchez Game 6 vs PHI). San Francisco's 1-2-3-4 punch of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and closer Brian Wilson all owned ERAs lower than 3.44 in the regular season. The Giants' team ERA of 3.36 was the lowest in Major League Baseball since 2003 (Dodgers, 3.16). This remarkable stat includes Barry Zito's underachieving, when compared to his teammates, season at 9-14 and an ERA of 4.15. That stat line must be one of the reasons why Bruce Bochey removed Zito from the post-season roster and added Madison Bumgarner. All Bummy did, at 21-years-old, was become the youngest player in franchise history to record a playoff win.
No question, the Giants will rely heavily on their starting rotation to get them deep into games as they try to avoid crooked numbers from appearing on the scoreboard. Let's face it, although Cody Ross is trying to match Reggie Jackson at-bat for at-bat, to think it can continue at the same rate is a bit naive. San Fran's batting average was 15th in the big leagues during the regular season at .257 and no surprise it's dropped in the post-season to .231. However, the Rangers, and their .276 regular season team batting average, have somehow managed to ratchet up the offense this October, hitting .281 in the post-season with 17 home runs.
The Giants have hit six long balls in these playoffs. Four have come off the bat of the little guy, Cody Ross.
Not bad for a guy five-foot-nothin, a hundred-and-nothin.
Texas Rangers Preview - Joel Beall
The battle cry of, "Nobody believed in us!" has become belittled in our sporting society, undoubtedly because every championship team states this mantra at some juncture in their title run. While most accept this motto as truth, the reality is many championship teams are projected for glory before the onset of the season. However, this sentiment can not be said for the Rangers, as few genuinely suspected Texas would find themselves four games away from the franchise's first World Series title. (Well, except for the WhatIfSports MLB simulation engine, which correctly predicted the Rangers in six.)
And with good reason. The Rangers finished 43-42 the last three months of the season despite acquiring the services of starting pitcher Cliff Lee. Josh Hamilton, the team's offensive catalyst, had succumbed to injuries in September, leading many to speculate on the slugger's status for the postseason. Power hitter Vlad Guerrero appeared to tire during the second half of the season, as his average, home run, and RBI totals dipped considerably after June. Even Lee, the most coveted ace in the American League, had lost his aura of invincibility, as the Texan posted a pedestrian 4.68 ERA in August and September. So one could understand why many pundits of America's pastime predicted the Rays over the Rangers in the American League Divisional Series.
A three-games-to-two series triumph over Tampa should have quieted the critics; yet, the Rangers' performance was anything but convincing. Cliff Lee had regained his lights-out form, going 16 innings surrendering just two runs, and Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler belted three bombs for Texas. But the Rangers had blown a 2-0 series lead at home. Hamilton had not looked sharp at the plate, and the bullpen had been battered in back-to-back games. Surely this Texas team would meet its' demise against the $207 million, 95-win Yankees.
Unfortunately, no one delivered this message to the Ranger clubhouse, as Texas took care of business in six games to send the franchise to its first World Series appearance in its 50-year existence. Hamilton awoke from his ALDS slumber, as the slugger hit .350 with four homers on his way to garnering series MVP honors. Lee continued his postseason pitching brilliance in Game 3, throwing eight innings of two-hit ball. Yet the real hero of the Rangers' starting staff was Colby Lewis, who earned the W in Game 2 and pitched a masterpiece in the series-clinching Game 6. For the ALCS, Lewis yielded three runs in 13.2 innings of work, with 13 strikeouts to just nine hits.
Has Texas finally turned the Doubting Thomases into Arlington apostles? Not quite, as the San Fran starting rotation of Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner is fearsome enough to make the most ardent believer question their faith. But with Lee, Hamilton, Kinsler, Cruz and company, the Rangers have a fighting chance against the Giants.
And that's something every Texas fan can believe in.
Game 1 World Series
|WP: Alexi Ogando LP: Brian Wilson SV: Neftali Feliz|
|Player of the Game: Josh Hamilton - 4-5, 3 RBIs|
When asked what he thought about heading to the World Series, Giants' closer Brian Wilson said "it sounds epic" after clinching the NL pennant.
|World Series Top BA|
|Player||BA in World Series (Avg.)|
His first appearance in a World Series was anything but.
Although not a save situation and the game tied, Wilson came on in the 9th to try and give his team a shot in the bottom half of the inning.
After he got Michael Young to fly out to left, Josh Hamilton, also appearing in his first World Series, stepped to the plate.
And Hamilton's success story continued to add more chapters on this night. The Rangers' big bopper slammed a solo homer to right field to give Texas the lead for good.
Neftali Feliz closed the game for the Rangers in the 9th and just like that Texas broke serve in this best of seven series and won 6-5.
Game 2 World Series
|WP: Matt Cain LP: C.J. Wilson|
|Player of the Game: Matt Cain - CG, 4 H, 0 R and 8 Ks|
Through the first two rounds of the 2010 MLB playoffs, Matt Cain has yet to surrender an earned run.
He kept this streak intact in Game 2 with a complete game, four hit shutout where Giants' fans saw him whiff eight Rangers hitters.
The story wasn't so sweet for C.J. Wilson who got punished in 6 2/3 innings of work. He allowed five earned runs on eight hits and walked four.
San Francisco put this game away in the 7th inning with three runs on four hits.
The World Series, tied at a game apiece, heads to Texas for three straight.
Game 3 World Series
|WP: Colby Lewis LP: Jonathan Sanchez|
|Player of the Game: Vlad Guerrero - 3-5, 3 RBIs, 2 R|
It may be the year of the pitcher, but the two starters in Game 3 took most of the night off.
|World Series Top ERAs|
|Player||ERA in World Series (Avg.)|
Texas erupted for eleven runs on eleven hits and abused San Francisco starter Jonathan Sanchez for seven earned runs before he departed after four innings of work.
Michael Young, Vlad Guerrero and Josh Hamilton all took the Giants' pitching staff deep in the game.
Colby Lewis was far from spectacular, but with the offense on full tilt, he didn't have to be to win his third straight start.
Texas wins 11-4 to take a 2-1 series lead.
Game 4 World Series
|WP: Madison Bumgarner LP: Tommy Hunter SV: Brian Wilson|
|Player of the Game: Juan Uribe - 3-Run HR|
Sometimes all it takes is one hit to change the complexion of a MLB playoff game.
Juan Uribe, for the second time, provided that hit for his team.
With two on in the 7th inning, the nominated designated hitter for American League home games took Tommy Hunter deep and just like that the Giants led 3-1.
Mitch Moreland would provide a brief rally in the bottom half of the inning with a solo shot of his own, but the comeback ended there.
Brian Wilson bounced back to save Game 4 after his Game 1 let down.
The ping-pong match between these two continues with a Giants 3-2 win in Game 4.
Game 5 World Series
|WP: Cliff Lee LP: Tim Lincecum|
|Player of the Game: Cliff Lee - CG, 3 H, 0 R and 8 Ks|
Two pitchers. Two complete games. One winner. That was the Texas Rangers.
|World Series Boppers|
|Player||HRs in World Series (Avg.)|
Tim Lincecum and Cliff Lee provided the entertainment for nine innings, while three Rangers' home runs proved to be enough offense on this night.
Lincecum got touched up by Ian Kinsler, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz in three consecutive innings to hand Texas a 4-nothing lead.
Lee only allowed the three Giants to reach base all night. The three-hit, no walk-out shutout was exactly what the Rangers were hoping for when they traded for him this past summer.
Now Lee and the Rangers are one win away from a World Series title.
Game 6 World Series
|WP: C.J. Wilson LP: Matt Cain SV: Neftali Feliz|
|Player of the Game: Elvis Andrus - 4-5, 2 RBIs|
Aubrey Huff had a chance to be the hero, but ended up the zero.
The Giants' slugger had a chance to tie the game with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th, but struck out swinging.
Pop some ginger ale Texas, your Rangers just won the 2010 World Series.
The very foundation of what brought the San Francisco Giants to the World Series let them down in Game 6.
The Rangers pounded out 17 hits against Cain, Romo and Lopez to clinch their first World Series in franchise history. The hit parade forced nine runs to cross the plate for Texas. Elvis Andrus was named Player of the Game with his 4-5 performance in the lead off spot with two ribbies and a run scored.
The Giants rallied to within one run in the bottom of the 7th inning with a five-run outburst to close the gap, but the Rangers answered with two more runs in the 8th and one in the 9th for insurance.
The 2010 World Series belongs to the Texas Rangers.
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Ryan Fowler is the Content Manager for Whatifsports.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.