The San Francisco Giants ended their 56-year World Series drought behind a homegrown pitching staff and a lineup of “misfits and outcasts” who delivered key hits in crucial situations.
The Giants beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 last night in Arlington, Texas, as Tim Lincecum allowed one run over eight innings and Edgar Renteria hit a three-run home run during the seventh inning to snap a scoreless tie.
The Giants claimed their sixth World Series title and first since 1954, four years before the franchise moved to San Francisco from New York. Only two Major League Baseball teams have longer ongoing World Series droughts -- the Chicago Cubs(102 years) and Cleveland Indians (62 years).
“It’s a euphoric feeling,” said Giants manager Bruce Bochy, who was six months old when the team last won the World Series. “The players wanted it as bad for the fans as for themselves because they know how long it’s been.”
Renteria was voted the World Series Most Valuable Player, 13 years after he won a championship for the Florida Marlins with a run-scoring single in the 11th inning of Game 7 against Cleveland. Renteria is the fourth player to drive in the winning run in two World Series clinching games, joining Hall of Fame members Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra and Lou Gehrig.
“I’ve been hurt all year, but I keep myself in shape, keep working hard, and keep telling myself, ‘Let’s be patient,’” said the 34-year-old Renteria, who was on the disabled list three times this season. “Thank God everything worked out.”
Renteria and Lincecum were at the center of the post- game celebration in the visitors’ locker room, where Giants players dumped bottles of beer and champagne on one another while wearing championship hats and t-shirts.
Lincecum and fellow starting pitchers Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner -- all developed in the Giants’ system -- combined for a 2.25 earned run average in the World Series. They’re the first quartet of homegrown starters to reach a World Series since the 1986 Boston Red Sox rotation of Roger Clemens, Dennis ‘Oil Can’ Boyd, Bruce Hurst and Al Nipper.
Cain, 26, didn’t allow an earned run in 21 1/3 innings during the postseason. The 21-year-old Bumgarner went 2-0 in three starts and shut out the Rangers for eight innings in the 4-0 Game 4 victory to become the fourth-youngest pitcher to win a World Series game. Lincecum, 26, went 4-1 in five postseason starts with a 2.43 ERA.
“Unbelievable how good they’ve been,” Bochy said after receiving the championship trophy. “They’re the reason we’re here. To come in here and pitch like that against a great hitting ballclub, it’s great to have these guys in front of us for the future.”
Lincecum, who won the Cy Young Award as the National League’s best pitcher in 2008 and 2009, held the Rangers to two hits over six shutout innings last night before surrendering a solo home run to Nelson Cruz in the bottom of the seventh.
Renteria, the fifth shortstop to win the World Series MVP award, had given the Giants a 3-0 lead in the top half of the inning with his two-out home run off Cliff Lee that followed singles by Cody Ross and Juan Uribe.
“We don’t have any superstars, we’re just a bunch of guys that wanted to win,” said Ross, who led the Giants with 10 runs batted in during the postseason after being claimed off waivers during the season. Ross epitomized a lineup that Bochy has described as “misfits and outcasts.”
Lee was beaten by the Giants for the second time in the World Series after going 7-0 in his first eight career postseason starts. He allowed six hits in seven innings, with no walks and six strikeouts.
Rangers Shut Down
The Rangers, who had the highest batting average in the major leagues during the regular season, got outscored 29-12 in the series and were shut out twice. The Giants were the third team to have four shutouts in a postseason.
After striking out Cruz to end the game, Wilson turned and shouted as rookie catcher Buster Posey and the rest of the Giants raced to the pitchers’ mound to celebrate.
“This is the ultimate high in baseball and I got to experience it my first year in baseball,” Posey said in a televised interview.
As Posey and his teammates celebrated in Arlington, 36-year-old Peter Santiago and his young daughter were among the Giants fans rejoicing in San Francisco after watching the game on a giant screen in front of City Hall.
San Francisco Celebration
“It’s the first championship in this city’s history - - this is a great experience,” Santiago, a bail agent from Danville, California, said as his daughter Destiny sat on his shoulders wearing a fake black beard similar to Wilson’s. “I was hoping they would do it at home, but a win is a win.”
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom said the Giants would be honored with a ticker-tape parade tomorrow before receiving a ceremonial key to the city. The parade route will be the same as the one for the team’s arrival in San Francisco in 1958.
The Giants clinched a playoff berth on the last day of the regular season before eliminating the Atlanta Braves and two-time defending NL-champion Philadelphia Phillies to reach the World Series. In beating the Rangers, the Giants become the fourth team to win the World Series after spending less than 40 days atop their division during the regular season.
“The key was we got contributions from everybody,” Bochy said. “It was somebody different every day. It wasn’t just one hitter or one pitcher.”
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