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Thursday, October 28, 2010
World Series Game 2 Preview

By John Fisher

A quick preview of Game 2 of the World Series between the Texas Rangers and San Francisco Giants.

The Giants will try and sweep the first two games of the World Series at home, although history is not on their side. The American League team has won Game 2 in each of the last eight seasons. The last National League team to win a Game 2 is the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.

Thirteen previous teams have won the World Series in their first appearance, as the Rangers are trying to do this year. Six of those teams came back to win that series after losing Game 1. And two of them did it against the Giants.

The winner of Game 1 of the World Series has won six of seven and 11 of the last 13 Fall Classics. There have been 101 Best-of-7 World Series all-time and the Game 1 winner has won the series more than 62 percent of the time.

Matt Cain
Cain
Matt Cain takes the hill for the Giants, his first start since holding the Phillies to no runs and two hits in seven innings nine days ago. Cain’s undefeated in two postseason starts and has not allowed an earned run yet. And he’s had a lot of success against the Rangers’ hitters.

The biggest decision facing Ron Washington in Game 2 is whether to start Vladimir Guerrero in right field. If Vlad doesn’t get the call, expect it to be the left-handed David Murphy (who would play left, with Nelson Cruz in right) over the right-handed Jeff Francoeur. Not only does Murphy have the platoon advantage -- although he is hitless in four career at-bats against Cain -- but Francoeur is 0-14 lifetime against the Giants hurler. His 15 plate appearances are the most among all hitters who are hitless against Cain.

C.J. Wilson
Wilson
The Rangers counter with C.J. Wilson, who is 1-1 in three postseason starts. Texas has lost Wilson’s last two starts, both in the ALCS against the New York Yankees, with Wilson allowing eight earned runs in twelve innings, and walking as many batters as he struck out. He’s only faced players on the Giants roster 18 times in his career, but Pat Burrell has two hits (both doubles) and a walk in three career plate appearances against Wilson.

Neither pitcher will be particularly excited to see Sam Holbrook calling balls and strikes tonight. Wilson has a 5.40 ERA in seven relief appearances, while Cain is 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA in four career starts with Holbrook behind the plate.