This is a viewing guide to help prepare you for Game 2 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and the San Francisco Giants. Click here for the complete 2010 World Series schedule.
It was never considered impossible that the Giants would win Game 1. What was considered impossible - or, at least, close to it - was that the Giants would win Game 1 in the manner in which they did. The Giants didn't just beat the Rangers. They knocked Cliff Lee out in the fifth inning and scored 11 runs against the Rangers, which was convenient given that Tim Lincecum and the bullpen gave them seven runs of their own.
Whether that set the tone for a burnburner of a series, we can't be sure. What it did was give the Giants an edge and an opportunity to take a commanding lead. If they can win Game 2, they'll guarantee at least a trip back to San Francisco. And the Rangers will now have to rely on a starter who was very ineffective his last time out. It's not time for the Rangers to be nervous. It is time for the Rangers to be a little uncomfortable. Their confidence is a little lower than it was before, and the Giants' confidence is just a little higher.
(1) Matt Cain is a guy who can often be described as effectively wild. He's a successful pitcher, but he manages to remain successful despite spotty command. It will be interesting to see how the Rangers fare, seeing as how they'll have to be at their plate discipline best. Cain doesn't like to give in when he's behind in the count. He'll stay around the edges and mix his pitches up, even when it seems like he needs a strike. The Rangers will need to be selective, then, otherwise they'll end up making weak contact and bailing Cain out of some hitter-friendly counts.
(2) The Giants are going to come after the left-handed C.J. Wilson with eight right-handed batters, the lone lefty being Aubrey Huff. That's bad news for a guy who was a good deal worse against righties than lefties during the season. Wilson struck out 27% of the lefties he saw during the year, against 18% of righties. And he walked 7% of lefties, against 12% of righties. Those are very wide splits, and they work towards the Giants' advantage. Wilson will need to have a good feel for his cutter. He didn't in his last outing against the Yankees, and he got torched. Without it, he's going to be left to luck and prayer, and Ron Washington will want to let Derek Holland know that he could end up making a very early entrance.
(3) The Giants pounded out 14 hits against Rangers pitching in Game 1. 13 of those hits came on pitches in the strike zone, the lone exception being Freddy Sanchez's broken bat double in the bottom of the first on a pitch down and away. The lesson being: maybe, just maybe, the Giants can hit strikes. After all, they hit Cliff Lee. They kind of hit Roy Halladay. They couldn't hit Derek Lowe. This just underlines the importance of the Rangers pitchers getting ahead. Get ahead and you can expand the zone. Put stuff over the plate and the Giants can kill it. The Rangers might need to survive at the edges of the zone, and beyond them.
Time: 7:57pm ET
Series: 1-0 San Francisco
TV Announcers: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver
Radio: ESPN Radio
Radio Announcers: Jon Miller and Joe Morgan
Umpires: Sam Holbrook, Bill Miller, John Hirschbeck, Gary Darling, Mike Winters, Jeff Kellogg
MLB.com Gameday: Link