ANDRES TORRES – Sully Baseball Unsung Post Season Hero for October 31

Tim Sharp/Reuters

Tim Sharp/Reuters

OCTOBER 31, 2010 – World Series Game 4

Andres Torres is one of those players that a fan base loves disproportionately to their stats.

A casual look at his career shows he was a journeyman minor leaguer with some cups of coffee in the big leagues before earning a starting job with the Giants while in his 30’s.

He had one good full season and followed that up with 3 nondescript seasons before seeing his career end in the minors.

Bring his name up among Giants fans and see them light up. Still a fan favorite at AT&T Park, he cemented his status of permanently loved Giant when they played on Halloween, 2010.

The Giants won a hotly contested NL West title over a surprising Padres squad. After beating Atlanta in the Division Series, they stunned the heavily favored two time defending NL Champion Phillies in the NLCS.

Bruce Bochy’s squad was filled with solid starting pitching, led by Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain, and an outrageously deep bullpen, anchored by eccentric Brian Wilson. They would face the Rangers in a World Series of snake bitten franchises.

The Giants took the first two in San Francisco but Texas won Game 3. The fourth game was a showdown between two young pitchers who shone that regular season. Rangers pitcher Tommy Hunter was 23 years old, had the best winning percentage in the American League after going 13-4 and threw to a 3.73 ERA. The Giants threw 21 year old rookie Madison Bumgarner. He would show up again in subsequent Octobers.

The Rangers hoped that with a win, they could hand the ball to Cliff Lee to get a 3-2 lead. The Giants knew a Game 4 win would mean handing the ball to Lincecum with a chance to clinch.

The Giants leadoff man was Andres Torres. He had been drafted back in 1998 by the Tigers but never caught on in Detroit. He played 19 games for the Tigers in 2002, 59 in 2003 and 3 in 2004 before making an 8 game cameo for Texas in 2005 and returning to the minors.

After bouncing around between the Twins, Cubs and Tigers again, Torres landed with the Giants in 2009 and stayed with the big league club for most of the season.

In 2010, he started 124 games, making the most of the playing time opened up with injuries to Mark DeRosa and Aaron Rowand. Torres won the Willie Mac Award, given to the Giant who showed the greatest leadership and spirit on the Giants. On a roster filled with beloved San Francisco stars, that was quite an honor.

The leadership, and more importantly the bat, of Torres was on display in the World Series. He led off Game 4 with a single and stole second. He would not score but he was setting the tone for the game.

He led off the third with a double and would score on Aubrey Huff’s homer. Meanwhile, Bumgarner held the Rangers scoreless inning after inning.

In the 7th, the score was still 2-0 Giants. A modest Texas rally would tie the game. With 2 outs in the top of the 7th and Edgar Renteria on first, Torres stepped up to the plate again.

He lined a double to centerfield on the second pitch and Renteria came all the way around to score. Now the Giants had a 3-0 lead. Bumgarner and Wilson would make it stand as the final was 4-0.

Torres final line was 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, a run scored and another knocked in. The Giants would clinch the next day. For the series, Torres batted .318 with an OPS of .984. Not bad for a career minor leaguer.

Eventually, Torres was dealt to the Mets for Angel Pagan, who would go on to become a World Champion Giant himself. Torres returned to San Francisco in 2013. He hasn’t played in the bigs since.

But he will always be a beloved World Champion Giant and his worth will go beyond the box score. That makes him the Unsung Post Season Hero for October 31.

I saw a Little League game played better than Mets Giants today

I’m not kidding.
My seven year old kids play in a “Coach Pitch” league. Today, the kids made a few nice plays, a catch or two and my son Matty made a nice pick and ran it to second for the force.

A few times as a coach I had to yell to the kids “Go to the base!” or “Throw to first.” But they are all new to baseball. They’ve only been around for 7 years!

Some times the throws to first weren’t caught, but we applauded them for throwing it the right direction.

Meanwhile the Mets allowed the Giants to tie the game in the 9th with a potential game ending pop fly that dropped for a 2 run 2 out double.

Then the Giants had a chance to send the game to the 10th but Aubrey Huff was playing second base for reasons unknown.

Evidently he didn’t have a coach yelling “RUN AND COVER SECOND!” because he didn’t do that and the Giants couldn’t pull an inning ending double play.

No excuses for Huff. He’s not 7 years old. He’s been a major leaguer since 2000. You’d think he would know where to go on a ground ball!

And how did it end?

With a bad throw from home to first of course.

But in THIS league you don’t applaud someone for throwing to the wrong base.

Giants… Mets… my kids are NOT impressed.

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After you… no after you

Was it just me or did neither the Mets nor the Giants seemed interested in winning this game tonight?

The Giants get the go ahead run in scoring position in the 8th… Gotch.
The Mets get the go ahead run in scoring position in the 8th… nada.
The Giants load the bases in the 9th… zilch.
The Mets get a lead off double in the bottom of the 9th… zippo.

FINALLY it took a Huff homer in the 10th and even then Wilson lets the tying run aboard and had the winning run at the plate in the bottom of the 10th.

The World Champs throw Lincecum tomorrow and they’ll be back at .500.
Maybe they’ll play with some URGENCY tomorrow.

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