Game Two of the 2010 World Series at San Francisco’s AT&T Park initially walked and quacked like a classic pitchers’ duel, with the Giants’ Matt Cain battling Rangers’ starter C. J. Wilson through 4 1/2 scoreless innings.
Halfway through the game, when Giants’ shortstop Edgar Renteria stepped up to the plate with one out in the bottom of the 5th, both teams had two hits, no runs, and each pitcher had given up just one walk (although Cain’s 5th inning pass was intentional to Ranger first baseman Mitch Moreland).
Then Renteria hit a home run, and three innings later baseball history began breaking out all over again at the 2010 World Series. The Giants won the game 9-0, and along the way they sent the curators at the Baseball Hall of Fame scrambling to update the record books.
In the Giants’ 11-7 Game 1 victory in this rocking world championship, Giants’ second baseman Freddie Sanchez forced his way into the Cooperstown record book by being the first player in MLB history to hit doubles in his first three World Series at bats.
In Game 2, baseball’s all time record books were again dusted off and reopened when: 1) the Giants tied a World Series record with 20 runs scored in two consecutive games; 2) the Rangers became the first team in history to give up 20 runs in the first two games of their first World Series; and, 3) San Francisco became the first team in World Series history to score seven runs in an inning after two outs and with the bases empty.
Four critical moments from World Series Game 2.
o In the top of the 5th inning, Rangers’ second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a deep fly ball to center field. The ball
somehow hit the top of the centerfield wall, which is maybe three or four inches wide, and bounced up in the
air and back to the field. Andres Torres scooped the ball up and rifled a throw to the infield, holding Kinsler
to a double.
But that’s not all. Matt Cain then got three infield outs, stranding Kinsler at second, to slam the door on the
o In the top of the 7th, Giant Manager Bruce Bochy set up his standard ahead-late-in-the-game defensive
package, with Cody Ross moving from right field to replace Pat Burrell in left, and Nate Schierholtz taking
over in right field. The first Ranger’s hitter, David Murphy, hit a ball to the left field line that Ross caught and
Burrell may not have reached. The second Texas hitter, Matt Treanor, hit a shot to Triples Alley in right
center that took Schierholtz’s extraordinary speed to track down and catch.
o Under extreme pressure, extreme patience at the plate. In the bottom of the 8th inning, with two outs, Giant
batters proceded to manufacture seven runs with 4 walks, 2 singles, a double, and a triple. An amazing
performance by the San Francisco offense on baseball’s biggest stage.
o In the top of the 8th inning, Bochy once again brought in lefty specialist Javier Lopez to neutralize a power
hitting left-handed batter. In this case with the score 2-0 Giants, a runner on second base, two outs, and the
game still up for grabs, Lopez relieved Matt Cain and threw four pitches to get slugger Josh Hamilton on a fly out.
A final note about San Francisco Giant Edgar Renteria. The veteran shortstop was signed to a two year contract in 2009 for $19.5 million— and Renteria’s poor offensive output and deteriorating defense soon made that contract one of the worst signings by the Giants’ front office in years. Now, with the slumping Pablo Sandoval not playing regularly in the post-season, Renteria has stepped up big time on the field and has had several key at bats.
In Game 1 of the Series, Renteria made an out play on a ground ball up the middle that he hasn’t made in maybe four years. When they talk about what veteran players can bring to a team in a pennant race and in the post season, look no farther than the 2010 performances of Juan Uribe and Edgar Renteria.
Next: The Series moves to the Texas Rangers’ Arlington Stadium for three games, Saturday 10/30, Sunday 10/31, and Monday 11/01. Of the last 14 World Series teams to win the first two games played, 13 have gone on to take the Series.