2010 World Series
The 2010 World Series was the 106th occurrence of Major League Baseball's championship series. The best-of-seven playoff, played between the American League champion Texas Rangers and the National League champion San Francisco Giants, began on Wednesday, October 27, and ended on Monday, November 1, with the Giants winning the series 4–1 to secure their first World Series championship since 1954, their first since relocating to San Francisco from New York City in 1958, and brought the city of San Francisco and the San Francisco Bay Area a championship after 15 years.
The Giants had home-field advantage in the World Series, the first time the National League champion had home-field advantage since 2001, because the NL won the All-Star Game 3–1 on July 13. For the second consecutive year, Series games were scheduled for earlier start times in hope of attracting younger viewers. First pitch was just before 8:00 p.m. EDT for most games, with Game 3 starting at 7:00 p.m. EDT as part of a "family night" promotion and Game 4 starting at 8:20 p.m. EDT to accommodate Fox's NFL coverage.
Game 1 was a much anticipated pitchers' duel between former Cy Young Award winners Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum, it never materialized, as Lincecum gave up two early runs and Lee gave up seven runs—six of which were earned—in 4 2/3 innings. In the first inning, Lincecum gave up a hit and a walk, respectively, to the first two batters he faced: Elvis Andrus and Michael Young. Andrus scored on a Vladimir Guerrero single that struck Lincecum's leg and bounced into right field. In the second, Bengie Molina singled, advanced to third on a Lee double, and scored on Andrus' sacrifice fly. In the bottom of the third inning, Edgar Rentería reached on error and advanced to second when Lee hit Andrés Torres. Rentería scored on a Freddy Sanchez RBI double, and Torres scored on a Buster Posey RBI single, tying the game.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Torres doubled and scored on another Sanchez double. Lee then walked Pat Burrell and gave up back-to-back singles to Cody Ross and Aubrey Huff, which scored Sanchez and Burrell, respectively. Lee was then relieved by Darren O'Day, who gave up a three-run home run to Juan Uribe that increased the Giants' lead to six runs. In the top of the sixth inning, Lincecum struck out the first two batters he faced, but walked Ian Kinsler, who scored on a Molina double. Molina advanced to third on a Mitch Moreland single and scored on a David Murphy single. Lincecum was then removed from the game, having gone 5 2/3 innings.
The Giants piled on to their lead in the bottom of the eighth. Rangers reliever Mark Lowe gave up a single to Rentería, who advanced to third on a Vladimir Guerrero fielding error. Rentería then scored on pinch hitter Travis Ishikawa's double. Sanchez singled to score Ishikawa, and advanced to second on another Guerrero error. Lowe recorded one more out before being relieved by Michael Kirkman. Kirkman promptly gave up a single to Nate Schierholtz that scored Sanchez.
In the top of the ninth, Giants reliever Ramón Ramírez gave up a single to pinch hitter Julio Borbon and walked Andrus before being relieved by Jeremy Affeldt. Affeldt threw a wild pitch and walked Josh Hamilton to load the bases, and was relieved by closer Brian Wilson. Guerrero hit a sacrifice fly that scored Borbon, and Nelson Cruz doubled to score Andrus and Hamilton, but Kinsler popped out to end the game.
Game 2 started out as a pitching duel between San Francisco's Matt Cain and Texas' C. J. Wilson. In the bottom of the fifth, Edgar Rentería hit a home run into left field to give San Francisco a 1–0 lead. Texas threatened in the top of the sixth with back-to-back singles by Michael Young and Josh Hamilton, who both advanced into scoring position on Cain's wild pitch to Nelson Cruz. Cain subsequently got Cruz and Ian Kinsler to pop out, ending the threat. The Giants added a run in the bottom of the seventh when Cody Ross walked, advanced to second base on a groundout by Aubrey Huff, and then scored on a single by Juan Uribe. Wilson was removed from the game with a blister in the seventh inning and was relieved by Darren Oliver. Cain went 7 2/3 innings, allowing only four hits.
In the eighth inning, Texas reliever Darren O'Day struck out Andrés Torres and Freddy Sanchez to record the first two outs. Buster Posey singled up the middle, and O'Day was relieved by Derek Holland. Holland walked Nate Schierholtz and Cody Ross to load the bases, then walked Huff to force in a run, increasing the Giants' lead to 3–0. Mark Lowe then relieved Holland, and walked Uribe to force in another run. Rentería then singled to left field, scoring Ross and Huff to increase the Giants' lead to 6–0. Lowe was then relieved by Michael Kirkman, who gave up a triple to pinch hitter Aaron Rowand, scoring Uribe and Rentería. Rowand then scored on an Andrés Torres double. San Francisco reliever Guillermo Mota retired the Rangers in the ninth to give the Giants a 2–0 series lead. Nate Schierholtz made a running catch to end the game.
All runs scored in Game 3 were produced by home runs. In the bottom of the second inning, Giants starter Jonathan Sánchez gave up a double to Nelson Cruz and walked Bengie Molina before giving up a three-run home run to Mitch Moreland. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Sánchez yielded a solo home run to Josh Hamilton. Cody Ross and Andrés Torres cut the lead in half with solo home runs in the seventh and eighth, respectively, off Rangers starter Colby Lewis. Texas closer Neftali Feliz pitched a perfect ninth to secure the Rangers' first and only victory of the series.
In Game 4 the Giants sent 21-year old rookie Madison Bumgarner to the hill against the Rangers' Tommy Hunter. Bumgarner was brilliant for San Francisco, hurling eight shutout innings while allowing only three hits. A two-run homer by Aubrey Huff off Hunter was enough for the Giants win. The other two runs were scored on a run-scoring double by Andrés Torres in the seventh and a home run to dead center by Buster Posey in the eighth. Bumgarner also became the fifth youngest pitcher to start a World Series game.
Game 5 was a pitching rematch of Game 1 between former Cy Young Award winners Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum. Down 3–1 in the series, the Rangers needed a win in their ballpark to send the Series back to San Francisco or the Giants would return home as champions. What resulted was the pitching duel anticipated in Game 1. Both Lee and Lincecum pitched six shutout innings, with Lincecum having allowed only two hits and Lee three. In the top of the seventh inning, Cody Ross and Juan Uribe singled back to back to put two runners on with no outs. The next Giant batter, Aubrey Huff, who had never laid down a bunt in his Major League career, successfully executed a sacrifice bunt, one where only a quick play by Lee prevented Huff from reaching base himself. Runners were now at second and third base for Pat Burrell. Lee struck out Burrell, preventing any run from scoring. Edgar Rentería then hit a home run to left center field to put the Giants ahead 3–0.
With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Nelson Cruz had a solo home run that cut the deficit to 3–1 and broke an 18-inning scoreless streak for the Rangers—their longest drought of the entire season. Lincecum walked the next batter, Ian Kinsler, to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the seventh but struck out the next two Texas batters to end the threat.
In the bottom of the eighth Lincecum pitched a scoreless inning. Rangers closer Neftali Feliz entered the game and pitched a scoreless top of the eighth and ninth, keeping the score 3–1. Brian Wilson, the 2010 Major League saves champion (48 saves), relieved Lincecum in the bottom of the ninth. Facing the heart of Texas' order, Wilson made quick work of the first two batters, striking Josh Hamilton out looking on four pitches and getting Vladimir Guerrero to hit a grounder to Rentería at short on the first pitch. This brought Nelson Cruz to the plate as the last hope for Texas. Cruz worked the count to 3–2, but Wilson struck him out swinging to seal the championship for San Francisco.