2010 World Series GAME 4 - Giants 4, Rangers 0: My Top 10 Observer-ations
10. Okay, I'm convinced already. Tommy Hunter isn't a "big game" pitcher. In all three playoff starts he failed to get out of the 5th inning. At this time of year, starters should be able to get more than 12 outs. Not Hunter.
9. Haven't seen Vladimir Guerrero look that harmless very often. Giants' deceptively dominant pitcher Madison Bumgarner paralyzed him with an 82-mph change-up in the 8th. Vlad swung, but half as hard and a second later than he needed to. The Rangers' DH struck out three times and is now homer-less in 55 post-season at-bats.
8. Combined score of the Metroplex's three teams on Halloween Sunday: JaguarsGiantsClippers122, Dallas 116. In other words, thank you Mavericks for keeping it respectable.
7. Let's face it, the last two nights have not been creative or riveting baseball. At Rangers Ballpark in World Series Games 3 and 4 the Rangers and Giants have combined to score 10 runs. All but one of those scored via home run. Boom or bust must be boring for a fandom that prides itself in over-analyzing every managerial maneuver.
6. As Presidents Bush and Dubya Bush threw out the first pitch, I couldn't help but wonder how the duo would be received in San Francisco's AT&T Park. Not good, I fear.
5. I'll ask it again: How the hell can baseball take itself seriously with such horribly incompetent umpiring? Not only was the Game 4 strike zone drastically different from Game 3 - shouldn't it be universally consistent in every game? - first-base umpire Jeff Kellogg blew two plays. Not an excuse for the Rangers as they were handcuffed and rendered hapless by Bumgarner, but still, instant replay clearly showed one Giant (Travis Ishikawa) out who was called safe and one Ranger (Elvis Andrus) safe who was called out. It's just too easy to fix to keep getting these wrong.
4. After dramatic, gorgeous views of San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge and AT&T Park's McCovey Cove in Games 1 and 2, guess what Fox showed to feature the Metroplex in Games 3 and 4? Yep, you guessed it: Grazing cattle, horses in Fort Worth and bull-riding at Billy Bob's. I give up.
3. We can bitch and moan about the Rangers' pitching as Hunter again flopped, Derek Holland walked another guy and both Darren's (Oliver and O'Day) allowed a run, but - stop me if you've heard this one - if you don't score you'll never ever never win. The Rangers have been shut out twice in four World Series games and have managed just four runs in the last 27 innings. Good pitching beats good hitting?
2. The Rangers have one last home game, tonight at 6:57. Cliff Lee, let's end on a high note shall we? This will be, by the way, Lee's first - and last - playoff start of 2010. (There are three home playoff wins in Rangers' history and Colby Lewis has pitched them all.) And, hinty hint hint, a rousing ovation for Lee certainly won't hurt his off-season free-agency decision. Besides, of any all-time Rangers' pitcher who would you most want on the mound in an elimination game? Lee? Me too.
1. The Rangers have enjoyed a weird, wonderful season. But strangest of all may be the way they were totally shut down - at home no less - by a kid named Madison Bumgarner. Sounds like a stuffy shopkeeper in a Monty Python skit, but he had Texas off-balance and clueless all night. The Rangers were shut out for only the second time in 88 home games this season. What's worse: Getting dominated at home by Madison Bumgarner or getting dominated at home by David Garrard?