World Series 2010: Top 10 Performers of the Fall Classic
The San Francisco Giants have finally delivered their first championship since moving from Brooklyn to San Francisco.
For a franchise that has seen names like McCovey, Mays, and Bonds, this championship team lacks much of that star power, but delivers better results.
They rely on names like Lincecum, Ross, Renteria, and Cain.
The Giants' lineup has been labeled a team of misfits by much of the collective media, as they are made up of a group of players passed on by much of the league. The pitching staff on the other hand is among the most respected in baseball.
Who were the 10 best on baseball's brightest stage?
Let's find out.
10. Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
There is no avoiding the fact that the San Francisco Giants' pitching staff absolutely stifled the Texas Rangers' prolific offense. Over five games, the Rangers managed to score a total of 12 runs with seven of those runs being scored in a game one loss.
Cruz is included on this list mainly because he is the only Rangers' big bat who even vaguely resembled himself during the World Series. While he hit for a low average, batting .200, he did produce some numbers.
Cruz homered in the series finale, accounting for the Rangers' only run, and hit in every world series game except for game two. This may not seem top 10 worthy, but after watching the display put on by the Giants' pitchers, any kind of production has to impress.
9. Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants
Pitching wins championships, but in this era it's no longer just starting pitching. Now that teams go to the bullpen earlier and earlier, it is vital to have relievers hold onto leads in big situations.
Brian Wilson was able to do that.
Wilson only recorded one save, but it was to seal the World Series. Also, Wilson pitched in two non-save situations, which closers often use as an excuse to give up runs because they were not in their comfort zone.
Wilson looked pretty comfortable this series, getting the Giants eight key outs in three appearances while only surrendering a single hit.
8. Mitch Moreland, Texas Rangers
The Giants so thoroughly dominated the Rangers' lineup that Moreland will be the last Rangers' hitter seen in the top 10.
Moreland hit .462 in the series, and hit a key three-run home run in the Rangers' only victory of the series. Moreland managed to record at least one hit in every game, and added a couple of walks.
He was the only consistent threat to get on base.
Moreland was the Rangers' offensive MVP, but when your team gets shutout twice in a five game series, that's not saying much.
7. Andres Torres, San Francisco Giants
Andres Torres is one of the MLB's quality up and comers. If he played in New York or Boston, he would be a household name.
Torres did exactly what teams ask their leadoff hitters to do. He got on base and produced runs. Torres scored four times and drove in three runs. He hit .318 overall and was able to get on base in all five games of the series.
Add in a stolen base, a home run, and solid defense, and Torres was one of the series' most productive players.
6. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
Posey was a serious contender for rookie of the year since being called up from the minors. For a rookie to produce the prolific offensive numbers he put up while managing one of the games' best pitching staffs was remarkable.
Posey's success continued through the postseason, and his confidence both at and behind the plate was clearly evident in this series.
Posey's offensive numbers were down a little from expectations but he managed to hit .300 with one home run. Posey did his job, reaching base in every game of the series.
Where Posey really impressed was behind the plate. Not only did he help Tim Lincecum topple Cliff Lee twice, and Matt Cain continue his postseason dominance, but he helped the young Madison Bumgarner pitch what was likely the best game of his career.
This level of maturity and leadership behind the plate was one of the keys to the Giants' winning the series.
5. Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco Giants
Madison Bumgarner may be the least known name on this entire list. He is a young pitcher, at only 21 years old, who turned in a solid rookie season.
After looking average throughout the playoffs, however, a different Madison Bumgarner arrived to pitch game four.
Bumgarner was brilliant over eight shutout innings. He only allowed five total base runners and was in complete control throughout the performance. This was a huge game for the Rangers as it was essentially their last chance to climb back into the series.
In a game that was supposed to be won by Josh Hamilton or Ian Kinsler to bring the Rangers back, Bumgarner stupefied the Rangers' hitters and turned in the best pitching performance of his career.
4. Colby Lewis, Texas Rangers
Colby Lewis is just about the only Texas Ranger who can hold his head high after this World Series. Lewis was the only pitcher on the Rangers to record a win during the series; doing so in impressive fashion.
In a game three situation where the Rangers were down two games, Lewis came up huge. He went deep, held the lead, and gift wrapped the game for his bullpen to finish off.
While Lewis' numbers may not have been as impressive as Bumgarner's, at least he won a game.
Lewis outperformed Cliff Lee and was the only bright spot in Texas during the fall classic.
3. Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants
Matt Cain pitched in three games this postseason and never surrendered a single earned run.
His third start came in game two of the World Series where he absolutely baffled the Rangers' hitters for seven and two thirds innings.
Cain was able to win a very important game two, which gave the Giants a comfortable lead heading into Texas.
Mr. Reliable throughout the postseason, he still managed to fly under the radar. Had the series gone six games, it's likely that Cain would have been adding a World Series' MVP Trophy to his mantle.
2. Edgar Renteria, San Francisco Giants
While Cain never got a second chance to make his case for World Series' MVP, Edgar Renteria got five chances and took full advantage.
Renteria put up incredible numbers, considering the low scoring games.
Renteria batted .412 for the series and managed to hit three run home runs on two separate occasions; including one to clinch game five and the World Series crown.
Renteria scored six runs and was clearly the most productive offensive player in the series.
1. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
Most people would assume that the World Series' MVP would be the best player in the series. While statistically this may seem to be the case with Renteria, there was just no way to put him ahead of Tim Lincecum on this list.
Lincecum accomplished what nobody else had this postseason: he beat Cliff Lee twice. Lee was supposed to be the Rangers' chance to take home the title. Two wins from Lee and two wins from the offense in the remaining four contests.
It did not happen and a lot of it had to do with Lincecum.
While neither pitcher put up very good numbers in game one, it must be taken into account that when aces square off it's like a college football rivalry game where only winning matters.
Lincecum came out on top, and redeemed himself statistically by throwing a gem to clinch the series in game five. He is the only pitcher with two wins in the series and he did so by beating the best.
Lincecum lived up to his billing as a "freak" and the two time Cy Young award winner did what he does best: He won.