No tricks, just a San Francisco treat
Madison Bumgarner was great, the Giants made Tommy Hunter work and got to the Rangers bullpen early and Aubrey Huff gave the Giants the early lead.
It could not have been a better Halloween for the G-men.
The Giants needed to get one win in Texas, and they got it. Now they send Tim Lincecum to the mound with a chance to clinch. Even if things don’t go their way Monday, they’ll get Matt Cain at home in Game 6. I like those chances.
But let’s get it done Monday. The Giants clinched on the road in Atlanta. They clinched on the road in Philadelphia. Let’s complete the trifecta in Texas.
The Giants increased their odds for winning a World Series title. Forty of the 51 teams to go up 2-0 won the Series (78 percent). Now, the stat to look at is this: 38 of 44 teams to go up 3-1 (86 percent) have won the Series.
BAT ON BALL
We mentioned the importance of doing the little things for the Giants. That’s what they did in Game 4.
San Francisco hitters had a great game, even though they plated only four runs.
Here’s a stat that floored me when I heard it: It was not until the fourth inning, on Tommy Hunter’s 72nd pitch of the game, that the Giants had a swing and a miss.
Really? The Giants?!? I can’t remember how many times the Giants came up this season in a contact situation and struck out swinging.
But not on Sunday. Andres Torres opened the third by falling behind 1-2 to Tommy Hunter, then fouled off three balls to work the count to 2-2 before doubling off the first base bag in an 8-pitch at-bat.
Freddy Sanchez tried to get Torres to third. He fouled off six pitches — five with the count 0-2 — before grounding out to third in a nine-pitch at-bat.
Then on the first pitch to Aubrey Huff …. GONE!
GLOVE ON BALL
Is it possible for a guy to go 0 for 4 at the plate and be the star of the game?
If so, then that’s Freddy Sanchez. Sanchez was all over the place, starting double plays, snaring line drives. Even the Rangers’ first hit of the game was on a ball that Sanchez smothered and almost recorded an out on.
And Sanchez also made a nice pick-and-tag on a stolen base attempt by Josh Hamilton.
Great game, Freddy!
If you need another reason to be optimistic about the Giants’ chance, there’s the news that one of the best pitchers in what has been a shaky bullpen for the Rangers is done for the series.
Alexi Ogando pulled a muscle on his left side while throwing a pitch to Juan Uribe in the sixth.
He left the game. Texas manager Ron Washington said he will be replaced on the roster.
Ogando had thrown 3 2/3 scoreless innings with six strikeouts and no walks in two World Series games.