By coincidence or fate, I spent a week in Texas as the American League and National League championship series were being decided. I returned home to California in the middle of Game 1 of the World Series, in which today the Giants lead the Rangers 2 games to none after improbable back-to-back, high-scoring victories in San Francisco.
While in Texas, I spent a fair amount of time on the highways listening to ESPN radio and to the MLB channel on XM satellite radio. The consensus of the experts and fans seemed to be that the Rangers had the edge, but Games 1 and 2 have shown differently.
Some Giants fans are undoubtedly tempted to think “we’ve got this one in the bag,” but I don’t think so for a minute. The Rangers get to play at least the next two games at home with a designated hitter, and that should give them a boost.
Fortunes can change quickly in baseball, and a 2-0 series lead can be equalized at 2-2 with sudden fury. Giants fans, having endured a season of “torture” with so many close games, ought to understand that.
The first two games have not gone according to the script. The Rangers’ potent offense hasn’t shown up, and the Giants’ vaunted pitching staff was off its marks in Game One. Although each game was tight through the early innings, the Giants feasted on the Rangers’ pitching to score lopsided victories.
Baseball is a funny game, often confounding expectations. I’m planning on enjoying the whole series, whether it goes seven games or just four.
Fans of either losing side might consider a trip to Luckenbach, Texas, where scores of baseball caps like the Rangers’ model in the middle of the photo above hang from the rafters of the tavern. As the song goes, it’s a place where nobody’s feelin’ no pain.