The Giants won in Texas, 4-0, ending a three game home park advantage in the series. More importantly, with this win, they go up 3-1 in the best of seven and only need to win one of the remaining three games to win the World Series.
Aubrey Huff's two-run shot off Tommy Hunter in the third inning put the Giants ahead to stay early in the game, and Andres Torres (double) and Buster Posey (homer) accounted for the other runs.
Meanwhile, the Rangers bullpen returned to its previous-to-game-3 form as two of the three relievers gave up runs.
Teams have seldom come back from a 3-1 deficit, although it is certainly possible. The 2-3-2 schedule means that there is one more in Texas before the series goes back to San Francisco, which makes a comeback slightly more possible.
Still, it does seem like it's all over but the shouting for the Rangers, who had a great season. But it appears that the antlers and claws may soon be put on the shelf, at least until next year.
This Giants team may be a bunch of misfits, but if so, then misfits never fit so well together.
Texas does have one more home game in this series, and with Cliff Lee pitching, anything is possible. But after that, the series returns to San Francisco, where the Giants have already beaten Texas in the first two games of the series.
In fact, the Giants dominated the Rangers at their home ballpark, scoring 20 runs and shutting down a very good offensive club 9-0 in game two.
The good news for the Rangers would be that the series goes back to San Francisco. The bad news is that the series would go back to San Francisco.
The aura of the previously invincible Cliff Lee may not carry as much cachet as it used to, since the Giants not only beat the Rangers lefty in game one, they annihilated him.
Sure, Lee could return to dominant form and win game five. But then again, the Giants are probably a much more confident bunch against him than they would be if he had shut them down in the series opener.
Meanwhile, the Giants have an ace of their own pitching in game five. Enter Mr. Lincecum.
Sure, the Rangers hit Lincecum pretty well in game one, as he gave up four runs in only 5.2 IP. But Lincecum vs. Lee would be a solid matchup no matter what, but given that Lee was hit even harder in the series opener, advantage has to go to Lincecum.
The Giants also have history on their side. Only these teams have come back from a 3-1 deficit in the WS:
- 1903 Boston Americans
- 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates
- 1958 New York Yankees
- 1968 Detroit Tigers
- 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates
- 1985 Kansas City Royals
...has been shaky, at best. Yes, the Rangers pen was solid in game three, but in the first two games, they were shelled and in game four two relievers gave up a run each. Not exactly terrible, but unless their starter takes a lead to closer Neftali Feliz, the edge goes to the Giants.