Five Cuts: Giants, Rangers power way to World Series showdown
The 2010 postseason continues to prove the stat-head maxim that power, rather than smallball, is the path to beating good postseason pitching. In the NLCS, the Giants scored 19 runs in taking four of six games from the Phillies; 11 of them involved at least one extra-base hit, and the series MVP,
The Giants last won the pennant in 2002, while the Rangers had never won one in the franchise's 50-year history, dating to their origins as the "second" Washington Senators. That total -- 56 pennant-free campaigns -- is the highest for the World Series teams since 2005, when the Chicago White Sox (45) and Houston Astros (44) combined for an all-time record of 89 Frustration Points. It's the third-highest of all time next to 2005 and the 1948 Series between the Cleveland Indians (27 empty years) and the Boston Braves (33). With the Rangers in the World Series, the only MLB franchises to have never reached the World Series are the Seattle Mariners (34 seasons) and the Washington Nationals (born Montreal Expos, 42 seasons).
The World Series No One Predicted has the potential to be a classic. The two teams have excellent rotations, deep bullpens and strong defenses -- each the best in its league based on how well the teams turn balls in play into outs. The Rangers have more speed, the Giants more power, though neither team is anything special offensively, and each is very reliant on the middle of its order. The two managers get significant credit as leaders, while showing tactical weakness that can drive hardcore fans crazy. See