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The 106th World Series

Oct 27, 2010, 2:51 PM EDT

File photo by Mark Zuckerman / NATS INSIDER
For the Giants to beat the Rangers, Tim Lincecum will have to get the better of Cliff Lee.

This may not be the Fall Classic everyone envisioned on April 1 — or even on October 1 — but it's the Fall Classic we've got. And it's the right Fall Classic, because these two teams clearly played the best baseball this month and earned their shot at a World Series title.

The Giants have got deep starting pitching and a deep roster of contributors. The Rangers have the best pitcher on the planet right now, one of the best all-around players and plenty of support. Each team has the likely rookie of the year in its respective league. Each club is trying to win its first championship in its current city. What more could you want?

Before the 106th Fall Classic commences this evening, let's break down the matchup and pick a winner…

TEXAS RANGERS (AL champions)
vs
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (NL champions) 

  

SCHEDULE (all games on Fox)
Game 1: Tonight, 7:57 p.m. at San Francisco
(Cliff Lee vs. Tim Lincecum)
Game 2: Tomorrow, 7:57 p.m. at San Francisco
(C.J. Wilson vs. Matt Cain)

Read more »

  1. Les in NC - Oct 27, 2010 at 3:32 PM

    This is how I think the series will go…Lee will prove just how effective he is in the post season, or the Rangers will be able to take advantage of "the Freak" and his tendency to give up stolen bases (which will lead to runs). Either way the Rangers win game 1. Yes, I like Bumgarner over Hunter in game 4, and I think they split games 2 and 3. So going into the rematch of the first game, I think Lee will show the chink in his armor (which is Ranger's Ballpark in Arlington), so the Giants will take the series home and finish in 6.

  2. BQ - Oct 27, 2010 at 4:28 PM

    Rangers' lineup has been scary this postseason but let's face it. They haven't exactly faced the best pitching of AL. Besides Price, Pettite, and CC, Texas didn't exactly face the best pitchers in AL. Most runs Texas scored in ALCS were off of the Yankees' excuse for a bullpen. On the other hand, Giants' offense played against two of the best overall (starting pitchers and bullpen) pitching in the league in Atlanta (Hudson, Lowe, Hanson) and Philly (Halladay, Hamels, Oswalt). Don't get me wrong. The world series will feature Giants, which has the best rotation in the league, against the team with best offense in the league during the regular season (as well as postseason). I will be rooting for Giants in the world series. I would like this Year of the Pitcher to end by the team with best pitching rotation to win the world series but their chances are slim.

  3. FOTB - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:04 PM

    I'm taking the traditional approach this year. Good pitching beats good hitting in the post-season. For that reason, I agree with Mark that the Giants will bring the trophy to the City by the Bay for the first time.I don't think it will take them 7 games to pull this off, however. As good as Cliff Lee is and has been in the post-season, he is definitely beatable. He gave up 5 earned runs to the Yankees last year in Game 5. Had crazy A.J. even come close to duplicating his Game 2 gem, the Yankees would have won in 5.

  4. natsfan1a - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:25 PM

    I don't do predictions, but as a former Bay Area resident I've been rooting for the Giants to go all the way. So, go GIANTS!!

  5. Bowdenball - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    I don't know why everyone thinks the Giants have a great pitching staff while the Rangers have a terrible one. Their respective season-long numbers aren't really that far apart. When you consider that: (1) Lee wasn't in Texas for the majority of the season, and he struggled a bit when he first got there; (2) Texas can drop Feldman and his 5.48 ERA from the rotation in the Series, while the Giants are just dropping Zito and his 4.15 ERA; and(3) AL lineups are just plain better than NL lineups …I think you can make an argument that the Rangers, as currently comprised, are almost as good or even as good as the Giants on the mound. The Giants staff does benefit from good defense though. Their team ERA is far better than their fielding independent stats would suggest.

  6. N. Cognito - Oct 27, 2010 at 5:28 PM

    WASHINGTON NATIONALS UNVEIL NEW UNIFORMS Nationals players to reveal new uniforms during fashion show at Nationals ParkThe glitz and glamour of the fashion runway is coming to Nationals Park. On Wednesday, November 10, the Washington Nationals will unveil their new uniforms during an exclusive fashion show featuring players* Tyler Clippard, Ian Desmond, Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez, Drew Storen, Ryan Zimmerman and Jordan Zimmermann. Nationals Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo* is also expected to make an appearance.This first-of-its-kind event at the ballpark will include a pre-show cocktail reception and raffle drawing. Following the fashion show, invited guests will have the opportunity to mingle with players and purchase the new jerseys. The invitation-only affair will be held from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. in the Stars and Stripes Club at Nationals Park. In addition, the new jerseys will be available for purchase beginning Thursday, November 11 exclusively at the Nationals Park Team Store, located on Half Street next to Center Field Plaza and Garage B. Nationals players will be on hand to sign autographs and meet fans from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. (one each half hour).

  7. Scooter - Oct 27, 2010 at 6:13 PM

    I think the burning question of this Serious — indeed, the entire postseason — is who picks those crazy start times? 7:57? The LCS had a couple of 8:19s, if I'm remembering correctly. At least 8:20 makes more sense than that, but it's still a bit odd.I favor los Gigantes, but mostly, I just hope it's a good Serious. This has been a pretty swell postseason so far; I hope they keep it up.(And a quick note to Mr. Cognito: thanks for the dope. Also, when copying and pasting from elsewhere, I usually like to include the source's URL.)

  8. N. Cognito - Oct 27, 2010 at 6:36 PM

    Nats Press Release

  9. Anonymous - Oct 27, 2010 at 6:47 PM

    So I wonder who rates an invitation to this new uniform fashion show? I'm a season ticket holder already paid in full for next year, and I haven't gotten an invite. However, Dan Steinberg – the guy who spent the entire 2009 season documenting every Nats Fail moment he could think of, in excruciating detail – apparently has. News flash, Lerners: I think someone like me is more likely to take advantage of the opportunity to purchase the new product than someone like Steinberg.I guess maybe I shouldn't have dumped my Philadelphia PO Box after all. My invitation must be sitting in the dead letter office up there.

  10. Anonymous - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:20 PM

    Bryce Harper struck out on a full count with 2 runners on down in the AFLScottsdale up 4-0 in the 2nd (Derek Norris walked and scored earlier in the inning)Mark in Arlington

  11. Anonymous - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:30 PM

    Harper just threw a guy out at the plate on an attempted Sac FlyScottsdale up 6-1 at the end of 2Mark in Arlington

  12. Anonymous - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:32 PM

    All of this is on Gameday:http://mlb.mlb.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?sid=l119&t=l_sco&lid=119Mark in Arlington

  13. JaneB - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:51 PM

    Scooter! You call it the "Serious" too?!? We've been doing that ever since our now-26 year old thought for sure we were mispronouncing it, when he was four. It was, after all, Baseball. So it HAD to be the World Serious.Giants in six. And what do our guys need new uniforms for? Maybe a new manager and some new pitching, a new contract with Dunn, yeah. But uniforms? What a waste of dough.

  14. sjm105 - Oct 27, 2010 at 8:58 PM

    Mark, Could point 5 be which team adapts to the others rules? I wonder how Vlad will be in the field and I also wonder if Burrell or Sandoval will handle the DH role? There is no doubt the pitcher hitting in 4 games will also favor the Giants but Lee does have experience with that. It also plays a role in when you bring in a reliever, or how long you leave a starter in. I think home field advantage is not that big a deal when everyone is playing within their League but I think it does change when you now have AL & NL rules in place at each teams park. What do you think?

  15. Mark Zuckerman - Oct 27, 2010 at 10:55 PM

    sjm105: You make a good point. The lack of a DH in these first two games forces Ron Washington to play Vlad Guerrero in right field (though I wouldn't sell him too short and I don't know that I'd take a chance running on his arm). The bigger question to me for tonight's game is how the lack of a DH might affect when Cliff Lee is pulled. Say it's a 1-1 game in the seventh inning and the Rangers have a man on with the pitcher's spot up. Do you send up a pinch-hitter and take out your ace, who otherwise would probably go the distance? Or do you give up a chance to score in favor of keeping Lee on the mound? Could make for a fascinating scenario.

  16. sjm105 - Oct 27, 2010 at 11:54 PM

    that's just what I was thinking, thanks Mark

  17. Doc - Oct 28, 2010 at 2:29 AM

    I don't know what Vlad's arm is like now, but at one point, early in his Expos' career, Flipe Alou had him take extra throwing practice so he wouldn't over throw home plate from deep in RF.

  18. Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me - Oct 28, 2010 at 4:30 AM

    Memo to Vlad: In order to pick up a ball, you have to be able to bend over to the ground.More situps, less cheeseburgers, my friend.

  19. Scooter - Oct 28, 2010 at 5:18 AM

    Dunno whether you'll see this, JaneB, but I picked up the Serious habit from "You Know Me Al" by Ring Lardner. Terrific novel.

Archives

NL EAST STANDINGS

W L GB MN
WASHINGTON 78 58 -- 19
ATLANTA 72 66 7.0
MIAMI 67 69 11.0
NEW YORK 64 74 15.0
PHILADELPHIA 63 74 15.5
Through Monday's games

UPCOMING SCHEDULE
TUE: Nats at Dodgers, 10:10 p.m.
WED: Nats at Dodgers, 3:10 p.m.
THU: OFF
FRI: Phillies at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Phillies at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Phillies at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
MON: Braves at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule

Mark joins Rob Carlin and Joe Orsulak every Thursday at 4 p.m. on Comcast SportsNet for a half-hour show on the Nats, Orioles and rest of MLB. Re-airs Thursdays at 11:30 p.m., Saturdays at 9 a.m. and Sundays at 11:30 a.m.

ON THE RADIO

As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...

MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.

*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.

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