Cain, Renteria Take Giant Steps to win

October, 29, 2010
10/29/10
12:27
AM ET
The San Francisco Giants take a 2-0 lead in the 106th edition of the Fall Classic with a 9-0 shutout of the Texas Rangers.

The Giants have history on their side as they head to Arlington for Game 3 on Saturday. Of the 49 teams all-time to take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven World Series, 39 have won the whole thing.

The 9-0 blanking ties the largest shutout in a World Series game in franchise history, and is the largest by any team since the 1985 Royals beat the Cardinals 11-0 in Game 7. The only other National League team with a larger shutout in a World Series game was the Cardinals 11-0 win over the Tigers in Game 7 of the 1934 Fall Classic.

One night after an 11-7 win, the Giants become the first National League team to score at least nine runs in consecutive World Series games. The last time any team did that was the 2002 Angels in Game 2 and 3. Only two other NL teams have scored at least nine runs in back-to-back postseason games: the Braves in the 1993 NLCS and the Mets in the 1969 NLCS.

The Giants led 2-0 entering the eighth inning and exploded for seven runs in the frame, all of them coming with two outs. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, only one other team has scored at least seven runs with two outs in a single inning of a World Series game: the Red Sox tallied seven two-out runs in the fifth inning of Game 1 in 2007.

Matt Cain continued his postseason brilliance, pitching shutout ball for the third time in three starts. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that Cain is the sixth pitcher all-time with three starts in a postseason in which he didn't allow an earned run, and the first since Kenny Rogers in 2006.

He now has gone 21 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run to start his postseason career. That is the sixth-longest streak in major-league history, and second-longest in Giants history, trailing only Christy Mathewson. Cain and Mathewson are only Giants pitchers with three starts in the same postseason in which they allowed no earned runs.

Edgar Renteria homered and had three RBI from the number eight slot in the batting order. Fred Merkle in 1913 is the only other Giants starting No. 8 hitter with at least three RBI in a World Series game. The last No. 8 hitter to get three RBI in a non-DH World Series game was Tom Lawless for 1987 Cardinals, who hit a three-run home run in Game 3. The Giants now have four homers from their No. 8 hitters, matching the 1998 Yankees for the most in a single postseason.

As the Giants try for their first title since the franchise moved to San Francisco, they will look to continue a trend of dominance by recent teams taking a two-games-to-none lead: The Giants are the fourth team since 2004 to go up 2-0 in the Fall Classic. The other three teams – the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, and the White Sox in 2005 – each swept the series.

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