San Fran lefty Jonathan Sanchez was close to getting out of an inning that had two on with two out. The count ran full on Moreland. A great battle ensued, as Moreland fouled back pitch after pitch. Finally Sanchez left a changeup over the plate and Moreland deposited it in the rightfield seats. Texas added one more run when Sanchez hung a curveball to Hamilton--the ball stayed in the air long enough for Hamilton to pull out a pen and sign his name to it before taking it deep. The Giants' bullpen did another great job, stopping the damage and enabling the offense to crawl to within 4-2. This time the Rangers' relief corps was up to the job. Darren O'Day got a big groundout from Buster Posey to end the eighth and Neftali Feliz closed it without incident. Texas has its first World Series win in franchise history.
Looking at the big picture of the Series, San Francisco has one reason to be very nervous--if this Series goes seven games, Sanchez would start Game 7 and this is now three straight starts he's pitched poorly and looked unnerved in the process. I don't know what options Bruce Bochy will have, but I wouldn't want the young lefty anywhere near the mound in a one-game shot for a championship. They do have Tim Lincecum in reserve for Game 5 and Matt Cain for Game 6 and have to hope it won't be necessary. And they also appear to be getting a break in that Texas plans to start Tommy Hunter tonight. Hunter is the Rangers' equivalent of Sanchez--a young pitcher who had a good year and has a bright future, but has looked like a deer in the headlights in October, while San Fran's 21-year old Madison Bumgarner has pitched reasonably well. The Texas bats need to awaken tonight as they face a second straight must-win game.
Image from dallasnews.com
Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily MLB playoff coverage and game analysis in college football and the NFL. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.