Burying Old Bones

November 1

Here we go … Game 5. Will it be a historic night or a case of celebration delayed for the Giants ?

National anthem. Charlie Pride ? Seriously ? Karl Malone’s role model ? God bless Charlie, but this is the Brother Texas puts before the world ?

Lincecum has command of his power change early, Lee has his curveball back. This could be what we expected in Game 1, a real duel. This one might clock in at under two hours.

Lincecum flat-out abused Josh Hamilton twice. Hamilton did go yard … with his bat. Buster Posey almost went yard, for reals, using that jet stream in right center field — but Nelson Cruz caught it in the heel of his glove on the warning track.

Torture has returned. For a while.

But wait. Leadoff singles by Cody Ross and Juan Uribe in the 7th. Aubrey Huff needs a productive out to … oh wow, his first sacrifice bunt EVER is a perfect one to the right side. Gotta love that guy.

Now it’s up to Pat Burrell, who has had trouble putting the ball in play, to put it mildly. Usually a great guy to have up in this situation but not right now. He whiffs on a 3-2 pitch. 10 K’s in 12 at-bats in the World Series.

But while Giants fans were cursing Burrell, the Giants take a 3-0 lead as Edgar Renteria takes Lee out to left-center. It was a 2-0 cut fastball that found too much of the plate. Renteria, who told Marty Lurie “this is my time,” when they clinched the NL West, has made good on his word. He will be MVP if the Giants win.

I didn’t like Renteria in the leadoff spot but liked him at shortstop with Juan Uribe at third base for defensive purposes, because Pablo Sandoval couldn’t make a play. I didn’t think I would ever say this, but … Renteria has now earned his $19 million. Three home runs in an injury-shortened season, and two in the World Series.

Question: should the Rangers have walked Renteria to load the bases and get to Rowand ? I know what I would have done.

Bottom of the 7th, Shutdown Inning for Lincecum. Mmm, not so much. Wiith one out, Nelson Cruz hits his 6th home run of the postseason. 3-1 Giants. Rangers were bound to score sometime: the Giants had shut them out for 18 1/3 straight innings.

The home run may have rattled Lincecum. Ian Kinsler walks and pitching coach Dave Righetti comes out. Lincecum responds by striking out David Murphy and Bengie Molina with nasty, diving power change-ups. Molina knows Lincecum better than anyone, but it doesn’t matter. Six more outs.

Lincecum gets through the eighth. Three more outs. Does he pitch the 9th with Hamilton leading off — Hamilton hasn’t sniffed him — or do you go to The Beard ?

In the 9th, Burrell strikes out against Neftali Feliz to end the inning. 11 K’s in 13 at-bats. Don’t be angry at him, Giants fans –he did a lot to get the Giants to the postseason.

It’s Wilson in the 9th. Hamilton doesn’t sniff him either. Vladimir Guerrero grounds out to third. Two out. What, no torture ? Wait. Nelson Cruz works the count to 3-2, but waves through a rising fastball.

Done.

The San Francisco Giants are World Champions. It couldn’t have happened to a more likeable bunch. Three straight road playoff clinchers, and they outscore the Rangers 29-12.

They did it with pitching, great defense and just enough power, with some key midseason pickups. Lincecum dominated in his biggest game, adding yet another moment to an already great young career, and beat Lee twice.

Renteria … on the disabled list three times in 2010 and considering retirement … rises from the ashes to be named MVP, recalling the Renteria of eight or ten years ago. He joins Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, and Lou Gehrig as the only players to have two World Series-clinching hits.

Castoff? Misfits? Whatever. As General Manager Brian Sabean said afterwards, they “buried a lot of bones.” 2002. 1989. 1962.

And Willie Mays lived to see it.

Now, how many at the parade ?

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