10/29/10 2:15 AM ET
Why Giants will win Game 3
By / MLB.com
They were supposed to be all pitching and not enough hitting, but here they are with 20 runs in two games.
They were supposed to be driving their fans crazy with their low-scoring "torture" brand of nail-biting baseball. And here the Giants are, torturing no one but the Rangers.
In other words, take those pre-Series predictions and scouting reports and lefty-righty matchup numbers and rip 'em up.
The Giants rode the boisterous AT&T Park crowd and a peaking-at-the-right-time offense to resounding victories in Games 1 and 2 of this World Series, and with all the momentum they're gathering and how rested and perfectly lined up their pitching staff is, there's no reason to think it won't continue in Game 3.
Yes, it will get tougher on the road, where the Rangers have excelled all season, but the Giants just came off a National League Championship Series in which they beat the team with the best record in the Major Leagues, the Phillies, in two of three games at Citizens Bank Park.
In other words, some Fall Classics boil down to something slightly more than pitching and hitting and defense and are hard to explain other to say that destiny is involved, and right now it looks like it's on San Francisco's side.
Take the fifth inning of Game 2, when Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler's blast off Matt Cain to deep center field caromed off the very top of the wall, bouncing back into the field of play and limiting Kinsler to a double. Cain got out of the inning and the Giants' hitters grinded out runs until the game ended in a 9-0 rout.
"The ball bounces your way and breaks go your way, and that's always nice to win a game any way you can, whether you get a break," San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said.
Meanwhile, the Giants' unexpected offensive outburst in these two games also struck a historic chord that might resonate as a precursor to a long-awaited redemption for the club from the City by the Bay.
After all, the last team to score 20 or more runs in back-to-back World Series games was the Angels, who put up 21 runs in Games 2 and 3 in 2002 in the Fall Classic that the Giants seemingly had wrapped up in Game 6 before a stunning late-innings comeback led to a heartbreaking seven-game defeat.
While the baseball deities are busy aligning themselves in the Giants' corner, there are a few concrete baseball reasons why San Francisco has an advantage in Game 3. For one, left-hander Jonathan Sanchez will be on the mound for the Giants, and he's been one of their best pitchers in the postseason. He has a 2.93 playoff ERA and 19 strikeouts in 15 1/3 innings.
The Rangers' Game 3 starter, Colby Lewis, has excelled lately, too, but he still had a losing record (12-13) in the regular season, so he's hardly the intimidating presence that the Giants had to face -- and beat -- in Game 1 in Cliff Lee.
Not that it would even matter if a rested Lee was back on the hill in Arlington on Saturday, anyway.
The Giants are on a mission, and the roll should keep going in Game 3.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.