San Francisco hosted the first game of the 106th World Series on Tuesday. It’s been said that the the match-up is not good for the game due to the fact that the two teams in this year’s contest, the San Francisco Giants and Texas Rangers, are relatively lesser-known teams compared to some of the more recent participants.
In this year of the pitcher that has seen everything from 14 strikeouts in a game to a no-hitter, just in the post-season, Game 1 was set to be one of the best pitching match-ups of the year. For the Rangers, left-hander Cliff Lee took the mound. Lee has been seemingly unhittable, putting up a scoreless inning streak of 16 innings coming into Game 1. For the Giants, their ace Tim Lincecum, who hasn’t been quite as lights-out as Lee but rather impressive throughout the post-season, took the mound.
Neither pitcher had their best stuff but the Giants offense returned in a big way, sending Cliff Lee out of the game in just the 4th inning. After a 3-run home run by Juan Uribe that put them up 8-2, the Giants seemed to be setup nicely for a win but in the 6th Texas knocked out Tim Lincecum by scoring 2 more runs.
The Giants bullpen received some extra cushioning in the 8th inning as the Giants went up 11-4 but as has come to be expected from the Giants, they make it interesting. Brian Wilson came in with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to close the door and surprise the Rangers to take an early lead in the 7 game series.
Check out the images in the latest MLB Watch from Game 1 below.
Tim Lincecum pitches wearing the upcoming Reebok Vero IV Low baseball cleats.
Cliff Lee delivers wearing the Nike Zoom Coop V.
Juan Uribe homers wearing New Balance cleats.
Josh Hamilton swings wearing the Nike Air Huarache LWP90.
Cody Ross swings wearing the Nike Show Elite 2.
Vladimir Guerrero singles wearing the adidas Diamond King.
Alexi Ogando pitches wearing the Under Armour Heater III.
Edgar Renteria and Pat Burrell high-five wearing Nike Diamond Elite batting gloves.
Freddy Sanchez makes a play wearing the Nike Air Show Elite PE.
The Yankees survived to see another day Wednesday night by defeating the Texas Rangers 7-2 at Yankee Stadium. As one of the greatest players in post-season history, it seems every night fans and critics focus on Derek Jeter as the reason for the Yankees challenges in this year’s MLB Playoffs. However, when the Yankees try to avoid being eliminated on Friday night, there will be a bright side win or lose.
For nearly the entire season Jeter has played in the Jordan Jeter Throwback but Friday he’ll step onto the diamond in the upcoming Jordan Jeter Cut. While this year’s Jeter Throwback was all about defining moments, the Jordan Jeter Cut will actually be Jeter’s signature shoe for next season and also celebrate his tenth “anniversary” for his Jordan signature line. Here’s a preview of the shoes from Jordan Brand and be sure to check back with us for on field coverage in the next MLB Watch.
The Texas Rangers used post-season Superman in disguise Cliff Lee’s nearly un-hittable pitching to grab a 2-1 lead over the Yankees and then followed it up with an offensive onslaught to further their lead in the series in Game 4. Yankee Stadium looked like the home-run derby on Tuesday and unfortunately for the Yankees and their fans the only player in pinstripes to participate in the slug fest was Robinson Cano. Cano started it off giving the Yankees an early lead in the first inning. However when it was all said and done the Rangers blasted 4 home runs, 2 by slugger Josh Hamilton, 1 from Bengie Molina and the icing on the cake, a 421-foot shot by Nelson Cruz in the 9th inning, to defeat the Yankees 10-3. The Rangers will now look to advance to the World Series for the first time in franchise history Wednesday afternoon in New York.
In the National League, the San Francisco Giants took a 2-1 lead in the series against the Philadelphia Phillies behind a strong pitching outing from right-hander Matt Cain. Cain threw 7 innings giving up only 2 hits on Tuesday to continue San Francisco’s impressive post-season pitching. On the mound for the Phillies was Cole Hamels who also pitched well but the Giants seem to have found the NLCS MVP in outfielder Cody Ross. Ross has come up big throughout the post-season but has gone 4-9 with 3 home runs and 4 runs batted in against Philadelphia. The Giants will host the Phillies again on Wednesday for Game 4 of the best of seven series.
Check out some of the images from the recent games.
Cliff Lee was nearly un-hittable wearing the Nike Zoom Coop V.
Josh Hamilton makes his home run trot wearing Franklin Carbon Fibre II batting gloves.
Vladimir Guerrero wearing the adidas Diamond King.
Tommy Hunter pitches wearing the Under Armour Natural II.
A.J. Burnett wasn’t able to shut down the Rangers offense in the Nike Air Max MVP.
Lance Berkman swings wearing the Under Armour Ignite Low.
Robinson Cano brought out another Player Exclusive this time the Nike Air Huarache LWP90.
Ryan Howard unveiled another Player Exclusive colorway of the adidas Diamond King.
Jimmy Rollins bats wearing the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite Player Exclusive away colorway.
Cole Hamels pitches wearing the adidas Diamond King.
Aubrey Huff singles wearing the Nike Shox Fuse 2.
Matt Cain throws wearing the Mizuno Pro GMP11 glove.
Brian Wilson’s Sharpie work seems to be holding up nicely and isn’t costing him anything now.
In both the American League Championship Series and the National League Championship Series, the visiting team got out in front first. The Yankees mounted one of the most impressive comebacks in recent post-season history in Game 1. While the pitching match-up we all expected in the National League was sprinkled with home runs.
For the Philadelphia Phillies, Roy Oswalt grabbed a win in Game 2 to even the series and send it to San Francisco even at a game a piece. While in the American League, the Texas Rangers got their first post-season win at home to even out the playing field as the series now moves to the Bronx for Game 3.
If you’ve kept a close eye on the games, you probably spotted a handful of Player Exclusive colorways from adidas, Nike and Under Armour. Will we we see more PE colorways on the diamond over the next few games? Check back for the next edition of MLB Watch to find out.
Ryan Howard connects wearing the adidas Diamond King PE while Buster Posey looks on in Under Armour catcher’s gear.
Roy Oswalt was lights out wearing the Nike Zoom Coop V.
Jimmy Rollins came through wearing the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite PE.
Jonathan Sanchez throws wearing the Nike Shox Fuse 2 and Rawlings Mark of a Pro glove.
Cody Ross has homers wearing the Nike Air Show Elite 2.
Pablo Sandoval with some Under Armour Player Exclusives that could have him fined like Brian Wilson.
A good look at Colby Lewis’ Wilson A2000 glove.
Ian Kinsler digs his way to make a tough play in Mizuno 9-Spike cleats.
Phil Hughes delivers wearing the Rawlings Pro Preferred glove.
A close up look at Derek Jeter’s Jordan batting gloves.
Robinson Cano has provided the Yankees offense in Nike Air Max Diamond Elite PEs.
The Texas Rangers will host the New York Yankees tonight as the American League Championship Series gets underway. Although the Yankees are the Wild Card in the American League, with their prolific history and recent post-season track record, they are probably still at an advantage. However, that alone may give the Rangers a mental edge they need to surprise the Yankees.
Another thing to point out about this series that may lean the advantage in the direction of the Rangers, they have beaten closer Mariano Rivera this year. Very few teams have beaten the Yankees closer, and even fewer when it comes playoff time. This year however, Rivera has blown 5 saves, one of which came last month at the hands of the Texas Rangers. Rivera gave up a hit in each of his two saves against the Minnesota Twins, which for any other closer in the game wouldn’t be reason for concern. For Mariano, who is easily the most untouchable closer in MLB post-season history, it might give the Rangers comfort in knowing there’s a chance.
The Rangers, after getting their first post-season series win against the Tampa Bay Rays, will have a tougher time with the Yankees. The key for the Rangers, as it was in their first round series, will be getting a victory in Game 1 or 2. With Cliff Lee set to go in Game 3, by winning one of the first two games all but guarantees the Rangers could be up 2-1 by the time Game 4 rolls around on Tuesday. Getting a victory against CC Sabathia in Game 1 will be more likely with C.J. Wilson coming off a solid start where he didn’t give up a run. Wilson hasn’t pitched incredibly against the Yankees, but the Rangers have come through to win both of the games he’s started. The Rangers also won 4 of the 5 games they played at home this year against the Bronx Bombers.
In the National League, all the talk is about the pitching and rightfully so. Game 1 will see Tim Lincecum and Roy Halladay take the mound, arguably the best pitching duel this post-season could offer. Lincecum went 9 innings striking out 14, and of course, Halladay threw a no-hitter. The one thing that the San Francisco Giants have in their favor is that they’re the only team in the league to beat each of the big three Phillies pitchers, Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt, and Cole Hamels. On top of that, the mental edge of having everyone expect you to lose gives the Giants nothing to lose. Like they have all season, they’ll look to surprise the critics with finding an unexpected way to win.
No matter how you slice it though, the Phillies have been unstoppable lately. Just four wins away from their third consecutive World Series appearance, Philadelphia and their fans are out for revenge on the Yankees, who ended last season’s World Series hopes in Game 6. The Phillies are a better team this year, with better pitching and hitting capable of beating the Yankees if they get passed the Giants. They have all the pieces to do so, we’ll see if they can assemble them.
It might sound obvious, but the determining factor in both series will be the teams that can win on the road. It always is the key, but keep in mind none of these four teams has lost a road game in this year’s MLB Playoffs yet.
Who do you think will be first?