World Series 2010: Why the San Francisco Giants Will Beat Rangers' Cliff Lee

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World Series 2010: Why the San Francisco Giants Will Beat Rangers' Cliff Lee
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Cody Ross

Much has been said and written about the Giants lackluster offense.

The team batted .257 in 2010, finishing sixteenth while the Rangers hit .276 and finished first.

On the other hand, both teams did hit 162 Home runs finishing tied for tenth.

But pushing aside generalized offensive statistics, something strange happened during the course of the year that only keen eyes were privy to.

The Giants cut up opposing teams' aces.

Here's a list of the best ten National League pitchers in 2010 using Earned Run Average, then what the Giants did against them.

  1. Josh Johnson, FLA, 2.3
  2. Adam Wainwright, STL, 2.42
  3. Roy Halladay, PHI, 2.44
  4. Jaime Garcia, STL, 2.70
  5. Roy Oswalt, HOU, 2.76
  6. Tim Hudson, ATL, 2.83
  7. R.A. Dickey, NYM, 2.84
  8. Ubaldo Jimenez, COL, 2.88
  9. Clayton Kershaw, LAD, 2.91
  10. Mat Latos, SD, 2.92

Josh Johnson: The Emperor's New Clothes

From May 13th, 2010 to July 22nd, 2010, Josh Johnson pitched six innings or more and gave up two earned runs or less in 13 straight starts, a major league record.

Yet, on July 27th he came into AT&T Park in San Francisco and got roughed up.

He gave up three earned runs in seven innings and his historic streak was over.

During his streak he dominated the Phillies (twice), Rangers, Colorado, Dodgers, and Tampa Bay among others.

Sure, the Giants lost the game 6-4 with Johnson getting a No Decision, but the point is they roughed up the best of the best, ended the streak, and showed the Emperor without his clothes.

Johnson's season began to spiral downward after that with his ERA going from 1.61 to 2.3.

So how did the supposedly anemic Giants manage eight hits and three walks versus the hottest pitcher in the universe?

Adam Wainwright: Good is not Great

On May 24th, Adam Wainwright laced 'em up versus Barry Zito at AT&T park.

Nine innings later, Wainwright had his first loss of the season as the Giants won 2-0.

Zito's stuff that night was electric as he gave up only three hits while striking out 10 in eight innings of work.

The offense didn't pound Wainwright into the ground, but they scratched out a respectable two runs and seven hits to get the job done.

The cast of no name misfits proved their mettle against arguably the best pitcher in baseball over the last three years.

Roy Hallady: Meet Cody Ross

Not only did the Giants beat Halladay in game one of the NLCS, they marred him in game five and scorched him on April 26th for 10 hits, five earned runs, and his first loss of the season.

His ERA went from 0.82 to 1.80 on that night in April.

How did such a mortal offense give such an immortal legend fits all season?

Jaime Garcia: Not so Fast, Rookie

On April 23rd, the Giants got to the rookie phenom for 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 earned runs, and 3 walks over 6 innings.

They won the game 4-1. And while it was still early in the year, Garcia's ERA jumped from 0.69 to 1.42.

Garcia would shut them down later in the year to finish 1-1, despite his 2.7 ERA for the year.

Roy Oswalt: Wile E. Coyote

Roy Oswalt must really, really, really hate the Giants.

Not only did he go 0-3 against them during the regular season with Tim Lincecum showing him the difference between owning Cy Youngs and wishing, but they eventually knocked him out of the playoffs.

Even when he finally got a win against them in Game 2 of the NLCS, he turns right back around a few days later and earns the loss in the ninth inning of Game 4.

Then, he gets cut up again in Game 6 and while not getting the loss he certainly didn't pitch well enough to get the victory.

How much is he wishing he forced his way onto the Texas Rangers instead of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Twenty years from now Roy Oswalt is still going to have nightmares about the San Francisco Giants.

The funniest thing is he'll think back to their average offense and just scratch his head in bewilderment.

Tim Hudson: Kryptonite

Hudson is the only pitcher in baseball this year who the Giants just didn't get. Not ever. All year.

Including the playoffs, Hudson went 1-0 with two no decisions.

In 22 innings, he gave up only 10 hits and two earned runs.

Yet even though he was untouchable, the Giants won Game 2 against the Braves in the NLDS.

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.

R.A. Dickey: Speaking of Lucky

Giants didn't play him this year. Lucky for him.

Ubaldo "U-boat" Jimenez: A Game He'd Like to Forget

Jimenez starts against the Giants in 2010 netted a 2-2 outcome with him earning two wins against one loss.

His no decision against the Giants on July 3rd, however, was his worst of the year.

The Giants massacred an erratic Jimenez while feasting on seven earned runs in six innings. It was the most earned runs he gave up in 2010.

In his two wins, Jimenez was his typical dominant self. But on September 1st with the stretch run beginning, the Giants beat him 2-1.

Lincecum beat him in that game and also showed him the difference between owning Cy Young awards and wishing.

Clayton Kershaw: Dodger-meat

The Giants went 2-2 in games started by Kershaw in 2010. His two losses include a combined 13 innings, 11 hits, 6 walks, and 6 runs.

Despite his dominant stuff, the Giants kept him honest.

Mat Latos: Keep Your Mouth Shut, Kid

Mat Latos had the Giants number early in the year, but by the end of the year he wished they would just go away.

He faced them six times during the season, and in those six starts the Padres went 2-4.

The Giants offense got to him enough and at the right times, to keep him vexed. Even to the point he started trash talking.

Then on the last day of the year with the Padres still holding an outside shot at the postseason, the Giants clawed him into his grave, beating him 3-0 on October 3rd.

Conclusion

So what gives? How does an average offense manage to cut up aces. Reason, common sense, and statistical analysis would suggest the Giants struggle mightily against aces.

But they don't. They didn't.

Because... heart, courage, and pride don't cater to reason.

The Giants offense is an overweight, poor, uneducated father who God has blessed with the most beautiful daughter in all the land.

He knows he is barely worthy to be her father, which makes him all the more stalwart and prideful in protecting her.

He would cut any man's throat who even thought to impugn his daughter's beauty and grace.

He is humble, but always ready to defend her, especially against other maidens across the land.

Cliff Lee is a very pretty princess, but he comes nowhere close to matching the beauty of the Giants pitching staff.

And so the overweight, poor, uneducated father that is the Giants offense will cut him, again and again, until he's dead.

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