The only numbers that really matters are 2 and 0, as in the Giants 2-0 lead over the Rangers, but that isn’t going to stop me from relaying a whole host of numbers that have come to light in the 2010 World Series.
* There have been 106 World Series match-ups, and this is the 52nd time that a team has taken a 2-0 Series lead. Of the 51 previous times it occurred, the team with the 2-0 lead has won 40 times – a winning percentage of 78.4 percent. The last seven teams to go ahead 2-0 have won the Series, and 13 of the last 14 (Atlanta came back in 1996). This is the fourth time that the Giants have led a Series 2-0, and they won each of the previous three times (1922, 1933 and 1954).
* Matt Cain is a star (note to East Coasters, he has been for a while now, he didn’t just all of a sudden get good). Cain is one of only four pitchers in history to post 20 or more scoreless innings in a single postseason. Here are the others: Christy Mathewson (27 IP), Waite Hoyt (27 IP), Kenny Rogers (23 IP) and Carl Hubbell (20.0). Some more Cain knowledge. Cain is the 8th starting pitcher in postseason history who has not allowed an earned run in 3-straight starts. Cain is the fourth pitcher out of that group to do so in his first three postseason starts. Only one pitcher has ever gone 4-straight – Whitey Ford in 1960-61.
* Elvis Andrus and Nelson Cruz both lost their playoff hitting streaks in Game 2 at 12 games. They had become the 4th and 5th players to compile a 12-game hitting streak to open up their playoff careers. The record is 15-straight by Marquis Grissom in 1995-96.
* The Giants, going all the way back to the New York vintage, have won 47 World Series games. The only two teams with more victories are the Yankees (134) and the Cardinals (52).
* FOUR: The number of starters the Giants have used through the playoffs, and each one of them is homegrown – Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, Jonathan Sanchez and Madison Bumgarner, That makes the Giants the first team since the 1986 Red Sox to have a 4-man World Series rotation of entirely homegrown hurlers (Roger Clemens, Bruce Hurst, Oil Can Boyd and Al Nipper).
* The Giants don’t score seven runs very often, they were held to six or fewer runs in 141 of their previous 172 games before Game 2, but when they do score seven runs they hardly ever lose (they are 29-4). Speaking of scoring runs, here are some other amazingly relevant facts.
The Giants went 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position in Game 2 and are now 13-for-26 in the Series.
Each of the Giants runs, all 20 of them, have come with two outs.
The Giants have scored more runs in their last 12 innings (19) than they did in winning the NLCS (17).
The Giants have scored nine runs in back-to-back World Series games, only the ninth time a team has done that in Series history.
* The heart of the Rangers lineup has been held in check. Michael Young (1-for-8), Josh Hamilton (1-for-8) and Nelson Cruz (1-for-9) are hitting a combined .120 through two games.
* Edgar Renteria, who is playing with a torn left biceps, has played 63 games at shortstop in the playoffs, second in baseball history to the 147 games of Derek Jeter. Oh, and after producing three RBI in Game 2 Renteria now has one 3-RBI game this season.
* Cliff Lee had never allowed more than three extra base hits in any playoff game. In Game 1 he allowed three doubles to Freddy Sanchez.
* TWO: The number of catchers in World Series history who have hit third in the lineup. Yogi Berra did it for the Yankees in 1947, and Buster Posey is currently doing it for the Giants.
By Ray Flowers