Giants Look Unbeatable Now
If you weren’t a believer in the San Francisco Giants, now may be the time to buy into their magical season.
The last 12 teams to win the first two games of the World Series at home have gone on to claim the title. That streak began with the 1987 Twins, a club that compares with this year’s Giants for being an unfit long shot to win it all.
In all, there have been 35 teams to go up 2-0 at home in a best-of-seven World Series, and 28 -- or 80 percent of them -- have celebrated the last out of the season with a championship. Luckily for the Texas Rangers, World Series aren’t played on paper.
Still, the Giants appear to be the team of destiny this fall. Their run-challenged lineup has erupted for 20 runs in the first two games against Texas, which are more than they scored in six games against the Phillies in their six-game NLCS. Likewise, the Rangers didn’t allow 20 runs to the potent Yankees attack in their six-game ALCS.
The Rangers have to be happy about returning home, where they scored 5.3 runs per game, which is nearly a run more than they averaged on the road. On the other hand, the way the Giants pushed across runs at their pitcher-friendly park in the first two games will be a concern for Texas pitchers at their hitter-friendly home.
It will be up to Texas starter Colby Lewis to take the steam out of the Giants attack. The Rangers are just 2-3 at home this postseason, but Lewis has both wins. The right-hander beat the Yankees twice in the ALCS, and he pitched impressively in the Game 6 clincher.
There’s a long way to go, but it’s hard not to think of the Giants as the team destined to win. They’ve gone this far with virtually no star power beyond their top two starters, Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
The San Francisco lineup looks a second-division unit. Castoffs hold down all three jobs in the outfield.
Andres Torres was a prospect a decade ago. The 32-year-old center fielder had passed through four organizations before securing his first regular job in the majors in his 13th professional season. Former Phillie Pat Burrell failed to produce after joining the Rays for the 2009 season. He was released in May and his bat came back to life after signing with the Giants. Cody Ross was discarded by the Marlins in August. The Giants picked up the 29-year-old veteran on a waiver claim, reportedly to keep the Padres from acquiring him, and like both Torres and Burrell, he provided a spark down the stretch.
The Giants got a decent payoff from Aubrey Huff, another castoff who proved to be their key offseason pickup after a mediocre year in 2009. Mostly playing first base, he led the Giants with 26 homers and 86 RBIs. Juan Uribe, with 24 homers, is the only other Giant with as many as 20 longballs. Uribe also delivered 85 RBIs, and only he and Huff drove in as many as 70 runs for San Francisco. Pablo Sandoval was a disappointment in his second big league season, but rookie Buster Posey came through in his first exposure to major league pitching.
The Rangers were a feel-good story in 2010, but the Giants may ruin the feel-good ending. With Lincecum and Cain set to start once more each, it’s hard to imagine the surprising Giants failing to finish off their dream season with their first World Series title in 56 years.