1) The Rangers couldn't overcome their inability to play at AT&T Park, especially that GIGANTIC center and right field areas. Vladimir Guerrero's misadventures during Game 1 made the Rangers get him out of the lineup for Game 2, and the Giants were able to shut down Josh Hamilton in Game 2.
2) The Giants' awesome pitching staff was something that put the dread in everyone if the Giants managed to get into the playoffs. Once the Giants got into the playoffs, they shut down the Braves, Phillies and Rangers hitting very quickly.
3) Losing Barry Lamar Bonds was the BEST thing to happen to the Giants. As such, it forced the Giants to build a cadre of players that could play as a team, and the whole team jelled just at the right time.
4) I'm SO happy that many members of the 1962 season Giants--who lost the World Series in that heartbreak loss--are still around to experience this season's victory.
The Rangers couldn't overcome their inability to play at AT&T Park, especially that GIGANTIC center and right field areas.All AT&T Park is when you think about it is an inversion of Yankee Stadium. You adjust to the park. You don't start a Vladimir Guerrero in right field when he's been ground down by injuries over several years and doesn't have the fielding range or the arm he once had. And if you're a hitter going up against that Giants pitching staff, in that park you try to make them throw the strikes you can hit to those nether regions or pull over the left field fence. Just the way opponents playing the Yankees try to make the Yankee staff throw them things they can a) lose in the nether region of left center field; or, b) pull over the right field fence.
I'm still amazed that Ron Washington let himself get so completely out-managed by Bruce Bochy that he didn't take the park factors into consideration as well. I'm not surprised the Giants won the World Series, but I wouldn't have expected this swift a conquest even given the Giants' superior pitching.
The Giants' awesome pitching staff was something that put the dread in everyone if the Giants managed to get into the playoffs. Once the Giants got into the playoffs, they shut down the Braves, Phillies and Rangers hitting very quickly.The Giants' pitchers have arms and brains together. For all the image this year's Giants had of a gang of fun-loving misfits, these guys played baseball with their brains as much as their arms or gloves or bats---just like another bunch of fun-loving fools breaking a long, long, long dry spell in 2004.
(Underrated Series factor: the Giants' defence. Those guys played the field like they took lessons from Brooks Robinson, Willie Mays, Joe DiMaggio, and Bill Mazeroski. Even their pitchers were swift enough with the gloves when they had to be, Tim Lincecum's Game One brain vapour notwithstanding.)
They had the stuff to keep the other guys at bay (and I was thrilled to death with all the breaking stuff thrown in this Series, you don't have to live on the fastball to pitch and win and these guys have the breaking stuff to win), but to me it also looked like they did their homework on the other guys' hitters and pitched them accordingly. They went up against some terrific hitters and made them look like rookies. I've seen few more intelligently pitched World Series games than Tim Lincecum in Game Five or Matt Cain in Game Two, or even Madison Bumgarner in Game Four.
OK, who's next to break the long dry spell at last? The Rangers? The Indians? The (God help us) Cubs? And who would have thought you could look at the Baltimore Orioles as being in the middle of a long dry spell? (They haven't won a World Series or even been to one since the Reagan Administration, MK I . . . )