A half-hour after Jeff Francoeur hit an easy fly ball to end
Game 2, a most curious sight began to unfold in front of the San
General manager Brian Sabean and maybe 100 members of the Giants
staff gathered on the grass Thursday night at AT&T Park, posing
for a group picture around a huge trophy.
Moments later, the party picked up. Family members joined in.
Adults ran the bases, a toddler made a headfirst dive toward home
plate. Hugs and high-fives for all. Hundreds of fans cheered from
the box seats, horns honked outside the ballpark.
Sure looked like the Giants had just won the World Series.
They will, too, unless the Texas Rangers can reverse their
fortunes at home. Down 2-0, the hitters are slumping, the bullpen
is a wreck and the manager is being criticized. A team that did so
well in the AL playoffs got battered 11-7 in the opener, then
”What you do is you just try to analyze what went wrong and
just try to correct it,” Texas manager Ron Washington said before
”Now that we’re home, we feel comfortable back in this place.
Not taking anything away from the Giants, they beat us soundly,”
he said. ”We’ve just got to come back here, get focused and win a
game. We win a game, everything will be fine.”
Colby Lewis is set to start Game 3 Saturday night against Giants
lefty Jonathan Sanchez. It will be the first Series game in the
Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Signs around Rangers Ballpark proclaimed, ”It’s Time!”
Francoeur and his teammates hope so.
”I think it’s important for us to come out, play well early,
get guys on and put pressure on them. Make them feel
uncomfortable,” Francoeur said. ”They did a good job of making us
seem uncomfortable in their park. Hopefully we can turn around and
do the same to them.”
Lewis, who closed out the Yankees in the AL championship series,
will try to stop San Francisco’s scoring spree. Texas has been
tagged for 20 runs, the most allowed in a franchise’s first two
World Series games, STATS LLC said. Colorado set the previous
record of 15 runs in 2007.
”If you try to get too amped or too overly confident, I think
you get yourself in trouble,” Lewis said.
Vladimir Guerrero will rejoin the Texas lineup as the designated
hitter. He drove in the first run of this World Series with a
single off Tim Lincecum’s leg, but also made two errors in right
field and sat out Game 2.
Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Pablo Sandoval will be his
”We get to get all of our weapons in that lineup,” Washington
said. ”It’s just comfortable to be back home in front of our fans.
We can draw energy from them, and that’s what we need.”
They certainly need some sort of boost.
”We’re not playing the same. I don’t know what it is,” Texas
slugger Nelson Cruz said. ”I wish I could tell you. The way we’re
playing, it’s different. It’s not us.”
Neither is San Francisco, apparently. The week began with many
fans wondering whether the Giants could hit enough to win – so far,
they’ve become the first NL team to score at least nine runs in
back-to-back World Series games.
Bochy and the Giants were merely going about their business
inside the clubhouse while the postgame festivities took place on
the field at AT&T Park, so nobody could accuse them of
celebrating too early.
”There’s baseball left,” Bochy said Friday. ”Two wins doesn’t
get you anything.”
Outside, members of the Giants organization whooped it up. They
stood around the NL championship trophy – the official picture
might’ve been a matter of logistics since there’s no guarantee the
Series will return to San Francisco.
”See you next year,” some giddy fans told ushers on their way
out of the stadium. Others chanted ”Sweep! Sweep!”
About 400 Giants employees and guests were set to come to
”If anything to see how these fans have come out and brought
the enthusiasm, energy, it’s been a lot of fun here playing down
the stretch,” Bochy said after the win.
Texas was one of baseball’s best home teams this year, the
Giants were among the top road clubs. The Rangers also had been
doing well on the road – 5-1 in the AL playoffs – before San
Francisco stopped them.
”Obviously they’re more comfortable where they play. That’s
their home ballpark. They’re used to having the DH,” Giants second
baseman Freddy Sanchez said.