In the bottom of the eighth last night, as Darren O’Day took his warm-up pitches, Joe Buck explained to the viewing audience that Giants closer Brian Wilson “may find his way onto that mound to save this one for San Francisco,” reasonably opting not to state it with more certainty since a big offensive inning would render a closer unnecessary. Replied Tim McCarver: “No, no, no, no. Not might find his way, will find his way.” Buck explained himself, and McCarver would admit that, right, he wouldn’t need to enter the game if San Francisco added “two or three more runs.” They’d add seven.
O’Day would strike out two and allow a single before departing, at which point the inning turned ugly: The next seven batters would reach base as well (on four walks, a single, a triple, and a double) off three more Texas pitchers. (This is the same Texas bullpen, of course, responsible for the Yankees’ big eighth inning in Game 1 of the ALCS.) And in a game that starter C.J. Wilson left in the seventh with the Rangers trailing just 1-0 — super-glue has its limitations, apparently — they’d go on to lose 9-0.
Matt Cain became just the fifth pitcher in big-league history to throw at least twenty postseason innings without allowing an earned run. (Not that he didn’t come close: Ian Kinsler’s drive in the fifth hit off the very top of the AT&T Park fence, before bouncing back into play for a double. Texas would strand him at second.) And Edgar Renteria, already a World Series hero from his days with the Marlins, would hit a fifth-inning drive that would make it over the fence, before adding two more RBI in the big eighth inning.
And so San Francisco — a team not known for its bats who nonetheless became the first National League team in history to score at least nine runs in consecutive World Series games — heads to Arlington with a 2-0 series lead. The last team, incidentally, to rally back from an 0-2 World Series deficit to win the title? The 1996 Yankees.