The San Francisco Giants are on the verge of claiming a World Series baseball title as they visit the Texas Rangers in Arlington, Texas on Monday night. The Giants, who last won the Fall Classic 56 years ago when the franchise was based in New York, shut out the Rangers, 4-0, Sunday to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. With the Rangers facing elimination at home, they are sending ace pitcher Cliff Lee to the mound try to keep their season alive.
Cliff Lee came into the World Series with a 7-0 career record during Major League Baseball's post-season. He was the Rangers' starting pitcher for Game 1 in San Francisco, a game they lost, 11-7. Seven of the Giants' runs came off of Lee, who had a rare outing in which he had trouble with his throwing accuracy. Lee says he wants to redeem himself and is ready for his most important start of the season.
"I am looking forward to it," said Lee. "Been working hard, [I'm] ready for it. It is basically the last start of the season for me. I want to do everything I can to help this team win the World Series."
Lee has a history of coming up big in Game 5 of post-season series. He won the clinching fifth game of this year's American League Divisional Series against the Tampa Bay Rays. And pitching last year for the Philadelphia Phillies, he won the fifth game of the World Series against the eventual champion New York Yankees.
Opposing Lee on the mound for San Francisco and trying to close out the Rangers will be Giants' ace and game-one winner, Tim Lincecum. Lincecum was not at his best in the Series opener, surrendering four runs in 5 2/3 innings. He was good enough, though, and improved his post-season record to 3-1.
Lincecum thinks he can do even better the second time around against the Rangers.
"You know, I think the experience of being there is a big help," said Lincecum. "You know, just going through the lineup again, know you are pitching in another World Series Game, it eases the tension there. But, uh, just try to approach it, keep my nerves together, keep poised."
Even if the Texas Rangers are victorious at home, they still face the daunting task of winning two straight games in San Francisco in order to capture the first World Series crown in the team's 50-year franchise history. Games 7 and 7, if necessary, will be played Wednesday and Thursday in California.