Game 2 of the 2010 World Series belonged to Edgar Renteria, Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants from start to finishing Thursday.
Cain tossed a scoreless gem in 7 2/3 innings of work to vault himself into some historic company, extending his consecutive scoreless innings streak to 21 1/3 innings.
But it was the 35 year-old shortstop from Columbia who absolutely stole the show.
Renteria blasted a tape-measure home run of Rangers’ starter C.J. Wilson in the fifth inning to give the Giants a 1-0 lead, then added a two-run single in the eight to blow the game open.
It ended up being another perfect night by the Bay for the thousands of Giants’ fans who gathered to watch their team creep ever-closer to a World Series crown.
Here’s a comprehensive report card for the San Francisco Giants’ game 2 win.
Matt Cain has never gotten the credit he deserves for being one of the best pictures in baseball.
That is about to change after his latest dominant postseason performance.
Cain allowed just four hits and no runs in 7 2/3 innings of work against the potent Rangers’ lineup, needing only 102 pitchers to get the job done.
His consecutive scoreless innings streak is now reaching a historic level.
Cain currently ranks fourth all-time in Major League Baseball with 21 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings in the postseason.
Once known as a hard-luck pitcher who couldn't get wins despite leaving games with a lead, Cain should finally gain some appreciation among MLB fans.
Edgar Renteria struggled through a mediocre 2010 season and didn’t look like he had much magic left in his bat.
With one swing, he showed he isn’t quite done yet.
Renteria blasted a fastball from C.J. Wilson well beyond the wall in left field for a home run to give the Giants a 1-0 lead in the fifth inning.
But he wasn’t done.
Renteria added a two-run single in the eighth to completely break the game open.
Juan Uribe drove in Cody Ross with a bloop hit in the seventh and also walked in the ninth to force in a run.
Aaron Rowand capped off the seven-run eighth with a two-run, pinch-hit triple.
In the end, the team with the inferior offense produced more than enough runs Thursday.
With Matt Cain pitching a gem, the Giants’ fielders didn’t need to do much work Thursday night.
Aubrey Huff didn’t let C.J. Wilson bunt go foul in the third, allowing Mitch Moreland to advance to second base on a sacrifice.
Cody Ross made diving stop of Josh Hamilton's hit in the sixth to keep Michael Young at second base, helping to end one of the few scoring chances the Rangers had all night.
Then finally in seventh inning, defensive replacement Nate Schierholtz a beautiful running catch on a deep drive towards triple’s alley.
For a second straight night, Juan Uribe was a hero.
He just wasn’t the biggest hero of the night.
Edgar Renteria turned back the clock in Game 2, belting the long homer in the fifth and adding the two-run single to absolutely break the game open in the eighth inning.
For his part, Uribe finished two RBIs in the game, including the bloop hit in the seventh to help the Giants take a 2-0 lead.
Matt Cain's wonderful performance might get lost in the shuffle thanks to the late offensive explosion, but he enabled Bruce Bochy to stay out of the pen for the first 23 outs of the game.
That's the very definition of clutch.
The Giants bullpen didn’t have to throw many stressful pitches Thursday night.
Javier Lopez relieved Matt Cain in the eighth and retired Rangers’ slugger Josh Hamilton.
With Brian Wilson ready to finish the game, the Giants’ promptly scored seven runs and didn't need to unleash the Beard.
Guillermo Mota pitched a scoreless ninth to complete the shutout.
The Giants left only five men on base all night, and had no problems driving men in during the eighth-inning explosion.
If the clutch hitting continues, San Francisco should have no problem finishing off the Rangers in Texas.
Bruce Bochy pulled all the right strings for the Giants in the Game 2 victory.
It started with his customary practice of removing the slothlike Pat Burrell with the Giants in front.
Defense replacement Nate Schierholtz made a nice running catch heading towards triples alley to prevent an extra base hit.
In the eighth, Bochy removed Matt Cain and turned to lefty specialist Javier Lopez to face Josh Hamilton.
Don't look now, but Bochy is getting close to managing his misfits to a World Series' title.
McCovey Cove was a party once again Thursday night, with boats and kayaks tied together in anticipation of more postgame festivities.
The thousands of fans certainly weren’t disappointed.
Notable figures in attendance included Joe Montana, Wayne Gretzky and Nancy Pelosi.
Once the pregame chatter was out of the way, John Buck and Tim McCarver settled in for what figured to be another great night of baseball.
It didn’t take long for the broadcast to hit a snag.
Despite a replay angle clearly showing Rangers’ first baseman Mitch Moreland’s foot was off the bag after he fielded a throw from Ian Kinsler, McCarver said he was unable to tell if Freddy Sanchez should have been called safe.
It seemed fairly obvious the call was missed, but in the end there was no damage done.
Later, field reporter Ken Roesenthal provided a report about the dedication of the Giants’ fans.
It was difficult to take him seriously thanks to an atrocious purple bowtie.
On the plus side, Rosenthal conducted a solid postgame interview with Matt Cain and Edgar Renteria.
Country music sensations Lady Antebellum opened the festivities Thursday night with a nice rendition of the National Anthem.
After the performance, the group headed across the Bay to play a show in Oakland.
U.S. Army Specialist Kristin Day was quite Tony Bennett, but her performance of God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch certainly was impressive.
In the end, everything was all good for San Francisco Thursday night.