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Baseball purists delight in low-scoring, tightly pitched games that highlight the subtle nuances of the sport.
The first two games of this World Series weren't for those people.
They were for fans of wild action (and occasionally wild pitches), of hitting and running for extra bases and of runs flooding across the plate in near-record numbers.
Had it up to here with the so-called "Year of the Pitcher?" This is your reprieve:
With a combined total of 27 runs in the first two games, the Rangers have simply lulled the pitching-oriented Giants into playing their game. Sandbagging on a master level, possibly the precursor to something we have not seen since San Francisco was last in it -- a seven-game Fall Classic. The last time Texas surrendered 20-plus runs in consecutive games (on May 14-15, in 16-6 and 6-0 losses to the Blue Jays), the Rangers followed it up with a third straight defeat -- then reeled off five wins in a row.
The Giants, meanwhile, scored at least nine runs in consecutive games just twice during the regular season. San Francisco is just the second team in history to score at least nine runs during the first two games of the World Series. The Yankees earned a 9-6 win over San Diego in Game 1 and a 9-3 victory in Game 2 of the 1998 World Series.
Coming back from 0-2? You wouldn't want to make a living at it, but it has been done 22 percent of the time. The Giants are the 52nd team to go up 2-0, and 40 of the previous 51 sealed the deal. The last team to leap out of an 0-2 hole was the 1996 Yankees, who had it even tougher after losing the first two games to the Braves at home.
Aside from the 1996 Yankees, the following clubs won the World Series despite dropping Games 1 and 2: '86 Mets (over Red Sox), '85 Royals (over Cardinals), '81 Dodgers (over Yankees), '78 Yankees (over Dodgers), '71 Pirates (over Orioles), '65 Dodgers (over Twins), '58 Yankees (over Braves), '56 Yankees (over Dodgers), '55 Dodgers (over Yankees), '21 Giants (over Yankees).
Starting in 1985, 17 of the last 25 Fall Classics, including this year's, have headed to Game 3 with one team on top 2-0.
The Giants are up 2-0 in the World Series for the first time since 1954, when they took their last championship in a sweep over the Indians. This franchise has made 18 appearances in the Fall Classic, and outside of '54 and the current Series, the only other time it's won the first two games of the Series was in 1933. The Giants also earned a 2-0 advantage in the 1922 World Series, but Game 2 ended in a 3-3 tie and they didn't pull ahead 2-0 until after the third game.
More 2-0 history (the cup-is-half-full version, for the optimistic Texas fan): Sixteen of the last 24 World Series began with one team losing the first two, and nine
times (56 percent) that team bounced back to win Game 3.
More 2-0 history (the cup-is-half-empty version, for the pessimistic Texas fan): Of the 34 previous teams to grab a 2-0 lead at home, the last 11 and 28 overall have gone on to win the Series.
The combined 27 runs by the Giants and the Rangers is the seventh-highest total in history for Games 1 and 2 of a World Series. The list is topped by the 30 runs plated in 1956 by the Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and it has another Giants entry -- for 2002, when they and the Angels totaled 28 runs.
The teams have set straight those who believed the Yankees and the Phillies to be the bad boys of this postseason. The Giants scored 19 runs in six National League Championship Series games against Philadelphia and already have 20 in 18 Fall Classic innings -- compared to the 19 the Rangers allowed the Yankees in their six-game American League Championship Series.
Since the Rangers didn't make a deposit on Thursday night, 20 of the runs belong to the Giants -- perhaps as uncharacteristic of the Torture Troop as Prince Fielder laying down a bunt.
Why, the Giants may just be warming up: They scored 38 runs in a three-game series, against the Reds, as recently as Aug. 23-25.
The Giants became the first World Series team to plate 20-plus runs in back-to-back games since the Angels did it to them in Games 2 and 3 in 2002, in 11-10 and 10-4 victories.
San Francisco's 9-0 victory was the largest output in a Game 2 shutout in World Series history. It also marked the most one-sided shutout victory in Series history since Game 7 in 1985, when the Royals earned an 11-0 victory over the Cardinals.
The Giants notched seven runs in the eighth inning on Thursday, marking their highest-scoring inning in World Series play since Game 3 in 1921. The Giants, located in New York back then, scored eight runs in the seventh inning of that game.
Texas notched just four hits, the team's lowest total in a playoff game since Game 1 of the 1999 American League Divisional Series. Both Nelson Cruz and Elvis Andrus ended their 12-game postseason hitting streaks on Thursday night, a bit of coordination that will leave them tied for the third-longest streak to start a postseason career.
And on the pitching front, the Giants have demonstrated that they are in complete control. San Francisco's pitchers have struck out 109 batters and walked just 34 through their first 12 games of the postseason. The Giants have three shutouts in that 12-game span, including blankings of the Braves in Game 1 of the NLDS and the Phillies in Game 3 of the NLCS.