Oct. 30, 2010
GIANTS PAGE GIANTS VIDEO
UPDATED: 6:25 P.M.
ARLINGTON,Tx. -- Expect some more lineup changes for the Giants on Sunday, and dont be shocked if one of them has Pat Burrell on the bench.Burrell hasnt had an impact game since the Division Series, and he was particularly bad on Saturday, striking out all three times he faced Rangers starter Colby Lewis.Hes uppercutting like he gets paid for the height of what he hits, and hes not hitting anything, anyway.Hes also something of a defensive liability, so if hes not hitting, hes essentially useless to the Giants.
Who plays left? Texas starter Sunday is right-hander Tommy Hunter, so perhaps Giants manager Bruce Bochy gives lefty-swinging Nate Schierholtz his first postseason start, in right field, and moves Cody Ross over to left.Its not ideal, but at the very least it improves the defense.
UPDATED: 4:40 P.M.
Mitch Moreland just hit the first Rangers homer of the World Series, pounding the ninth pitch he saw from Jonathan Sanchez into the right-field bleachers for a 3-0 lead.Had certain scouts gotten their wish, it never would have happened.Some people in the Rangers organization, Im told, wanted Moreland to convert from first baseman to pitcher. He even made an appearance in a Minor League game and hit 93 on the gun.But he fought the idea, and rose from third on the depth chart at first base when the season started to, for the moment, World Series hero.Just goes to show that even paid experts swing and miss sometimes. The Rangers, by the way, arent swinging and missing much against Sanchez, whos giving up a lot of loud contact through the first three innings. He might not be long for this one.
UPDATED: 3:45 P.M.
Having covered the As as a traveling beat writer for a decade,Ive been here in this part of the Lone Star State at least 20times over the years.Finally, a playoff city other than San Francisco where I dont feel lost.When the Division Series was in Atlanta, it took me 25 minutes to find my way out of Turner Field late one night after a game. When the Championship Series was in Philadelphia, a friendcolleague ofmine got lost looking for a 7-11 late one night and we didnt rightourselves until wed been aimlessly walking on the fringes of downtownfor a good 40 minutes. None of thats going to happen here, no sir-eee. Im intimately familiar with Arlington, Rangers Ballpark and even Rangers fans.Or so I thought. When I came here to cover the As, I stayed at a hotel within walkingdistance of the yard. Our postgame wind-down was always at one of threeor four spots, also close to the yard. And the fans were a lot like Asfans; not too many of them, but smart and passionate and generally nice.Now Im staying in a different hotel and quickly discovering that thoseexperiences while following the As were atypical Arlington.The typical Arlington experience is a series of 15-minute cab rides, nomatter where you want to go. Its a funky, spread-way-out township inwhich everything is, according to anyone you ask,about 15 minutes away. Waffle House? Fifteen minutes away. A good hole-in-the-wall BBQ joint?Fifteen minutes away. Walmart? Fifteen minutes away. Mellow place tograb a pop? Fifteen minutes away.The ballpark? You got it. Fifteen minutes away from the hotel.The ride in to the park today was an eye-opener, too. The closer wegot, the redder it got. Blue is one of the Rangers colors, too, butpeople seem to like the red better. Its a bigger color, and they dothings big here.Theyre doing the World Series big, too. At least the Rangersbandwagon is big. For the final couple of miles before we reached theparking lot, all we saw were tailgate parties. It was like a festival.It was a festival.The parking lots were ridiculously packed, and apparently the townshipof Arlingtons law against the sale of liquor in stores doesnt stopanyone now on the Rangers bandwagon. I saw fewer drunks back when Idhit Pioneer Days in Chico State as a college kid.As I pulled my orange-tinted tie out of my backpack once we parked, Iimmediately heard a challenge to mine and the Giants masculinity. Asleast I think thats what I heard. The dude who said it was so hammeredhe sounded like he had piping-hot marbles in his mouth.I couldnt get into the park fast enough, lest things get uglier still. It was a long walk, though.About 15 minutes, in fact.