When the Texas Rangers acquired catcher Bengie Molina from the San Francisco Giants on July 1st, no one knew these two teams would be meeting in the World Series.
If they did, maybe Molina wouldn't be wearing Rangers red, white and blue.
When the World Series begins Wednesday night in San Francisco, the Rangers need to take full advantage of their inside man. Molina played for the Giants for four seasons and knows all about the pitches Texas is going to see from Tim Lincecum, Jonathan Sanchez and Matt Cain.
How much of a factor this will be remains to be seen, but maybe the Giants' decision to award Molina with a World Series ring and a full playoff bonus if they win is more of a payoff than a fair shake.
Offensively, Molina didn't have a great regular season, hitting only .249 with five home runs for the Giants and Rangers. The postseason has been a different story for Molina. In 30 postseason at-bats so far, Molina is batting .333 with two home runs and seven RBI.
If the Rangers give Molina the lion's share of the starts at catcher in the World Series, it could be because of his numbers, or it could be because of his knowledge of the opposing pitchers. Do you really think Molina isn't already in his teammates' ears about what they can expect? "Lincecum likes to do this..." or "When Cain has you in an 0-2 count, look for..."
The Giants are pitching rich. It's how they got past the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies to capture the National League pennant and reach the World Series, not because of their offense. Yes, the Rangers don't have a bad rotation themselves, but you have to give the edge to the Giants.
When Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum meet on Wednesday night in what will be one of the best pitching matchups in recent memory, Bengie Molina should be behind the plate for the Rangers.