10/27 Postseason Review: Rangers Trade Smoak For Choke

Giants 11, Rangers 7 (San Francisco leads series 1-0)

What can I say? Despite my gloomy outlook before yesterday's game, I did enjoy it tremendously. How can you not love watching a hyperbolic media-manufactured storyline about an invincible pitcher demolished on live TV, all at the expense of a hated rival? Many of us were very pleased, to say the least.

Lost in the ZOMG WUTZ UP WITH CLIFFY!?! eruption on the intertubes this morning was the fact that Tim Lincecum kind of pitched like crap too. His 8 hits and 2 walks to only 3 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings is probably even less inspiring than Cliff Lee's 8 hits, 1 walk, and 1 hit batter to 7 strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings when you factor out the number of runs allowed.

Lee actually recorded half of his outs by strikeout, which is even more impressive when you remember that the Giants are the fourth least strikeouting-est team in the National League. I think he just got hit. That happens. He wasn't helped at all by Michael Young's porous glove and the automatic extra-base hit that is Vladimir Guerrero in right-field at AT&T Park. Cliff will still make his bazillion dollars to sign with the Yankees through 2040. I'm not worried about his retirement plan.

We can all hope that Cliff Lee has thrown his last pitch as a Ranger (which resulted in an RBI single back up the middle). Of course, that belief requires unjustified faith in the Giants' offense based on a single game (although I think it's pretty cool that Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross acknowledge their own frailty). Still, the question is: will Texas ultimately regret trading for Lee should they lose the World Series?

I don't know. They would have made the postseason even without him, but they probably would have just lost to the Rays. Staying alive as long as they have brings obvious financial gains. The deeper I look into Justin Smoak's numbers, though, the more convinced I am that he will be a serious menace with a bat. The Rangers could have just taken their chances without Lee this season and still thrown money at him in November. Does Mitch Moreland negate that argument (I'm developing a mild baseball-geek crush on him)?

Whatever, all I want to see now is more improbable runs out of the less-than-giant Giants offense. Tonight's a good night for it, since I nearly choked on hard candy when I saw CJ Wilson's mugshot headlining mlb.com.

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