By Michael Tapia
The Freak did not exactly freak out the Rangers only striking out three batters in 5 2/3 innings pitched, but the Giants did look like Goliath against Cliff Lee. The supposedly offensively lacklusting Giants roughed up Lee for seven runs, six of them earned out of eight hits. Lee was only able to withstand 4 2/3 innings before handing it over to struggling bullpen that kept pitching batting practice to the fiercely hungry Giants.
The Rangers jumped on the board first with a Vladimir Guerrero infield hit that scored Elvis Andrus to open the score 1-0. The following inning Andrus hit a sacrifice fly to center field that scored Bengie Molina for the 2-0.
In the bottom of the 3rd, danger announced itself when Freddy Sanchez hit a double that scored Edgar Renteria for the 2-1 score. Immediately after, Buster Posey singled to center as Andres Torres tied the game 2-2.
After enjoying an astonishing postseason, Lee’s reality check arrived in the bottom of the 5th inning when San Francisco scored five more runs off him, four of them earned. Freddy Sanchez started the slugfest with a double to deep center field that scored Torres for the 3-2 lead. The Giants continued pounding Lee as postseason sensation Cody Ross singled to center field scoring Sanchez (4-2). The next batter, Aubrey Huff also singled to center field and Pat Burrell scored for the 5-2 score. Huff’s single was the drop that spilled Ron Washington’s cup as the Giants managed what no other team had this postseason – obliterate Cliff Lee. Darren O’Day came in relief, but to no avail as Juan Uribe viciously hit a three-run homer to left-center field for the fulminating 8-2 blow, scoring Ross and Huff. At that point, Lee and the rest Texas dugout were in nothing but despair seeing as the game frantically slipped away from their hands.
Once the Rangers were able to pacify the Giants’ bats they threatened with executing a comeback in the top of the sixth inning. Molina hit a double to left field scoring Ian Kinsler who had reached on a walk (8-3); two batters later, David Murphy singled to right field scoring Molina and shortened the lead 8-4.
Late in the game, in the bottom of the eighth, San Francisco continued to torture the Texas bullpen scoring their final three runs. Travis Ishikawa who came in as pinch hitter for reliever Javier Lopez did not waste time, Ishikawa hit a double to left field that scored Edgar Renteria making the score 9-4. Two batters later, Freddy Sanchez also doubled scoring Ishikawa (10-4). Before the inning concluded there was more damaged to be done, with Sanchez on second Nate Schierholtz hit an rbi single to center field for the final Giant run (11-4).
With two outs in the bottom 9th, the Rangers flirted with the idea of a baseball fairy tale when Nelson Cruz doubled to right-center field scoring Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton, after Vladimir Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly that scored Julio Borbon. Once the Rangers finished threatening the final score was 11-7.
In the end, the Giants played bigger than everyone expected as they belittled Cliff Lee and the Rangers. Tim Lincecum’s first World Series appearance was not exactly a pitching gem either as he did give up four runs and eight hits in just 5 2/3 innings pitched but it was good enough for the win.
Game 2 is tonight at 7:57 PM EST in San Francisco with C.J. Wilson facing off against Matt Cain.