SAN FRANCISCO -- Former teammate and current Rangers catcher Bengie Molina isn't the only American League postseason participant to whom the Giants should vote a World Series share. Perhaps another should go to Minnesota closer Matt Capps -- who wore the Washington Nationals' uniform when he picked up the win in the July 11 All-Star Game, earning Fall Classic home-field advantage for the National League.Thanks largely to that, the Giants are in position to take commanding control of the World Series. Their raucous, hyper AT&T Park fans helped lift them to a convincing comeback win over Cliff Lee in Wednesday night's Game 1, and now they can secure a rare feat. This is the Giants' 18th World Series, but a victory on Thursday in Game 2 would give them a 2-0 edge for only the fourth time. The first three led to World Series championships in 1922, 1933 and 1954 -- the franchise's last title. (Opposing view: Why the Rangers will win Game 2) And now the Giants hand the ball to their prime home pitcher. Matt Cain has lost only one of his past nine starts at AT&T Park, including his magnificent efforts in both the NL Division Series and NL Championship Series that endow him with an 0.00 ERA over 13 2/3 postseason innings.
This is the same AT&T Park where Texas has now lost 11 straight games, reverting to 1997 Interleague Play. The Rangers had all the hex-busting ingredients in order early Wednesday: quick 2-0 lead, Lee on the mound. That was their best chance to gain an upper hand. Now the Giants are poised to double them up.So the tables have quickly turned. The Rangers were the popular pre-Series picks to win -- and quickly. "If that's what they're writing," Cain said, referring to the prognosticators, "I guess we'll have to change it." Having solved Lee big time fills the Giants with confidence to face another left-hander, C.J. Wilson. Texas manager Ron Washington, who in hindsight erred in playing Vladimir Guerrero in right field in Game 1, may have also erred in keeping his southpaws back-to-back in his Series rotation. Wilson, though not quite as unerring as is Lee normally, gives the Giants a similar enough look to make them feel quite comfortable approaching this game. Offering no argument was San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who called the 14-hit effort in Game 1 "something that hopefully the hitters can build on. You get confidence like that." None of the G-Men are locked in quite as much as is Freddy Sanchez, whose four-hit game on Wednesday continued a solid postseason and gave further testimony as to why the Giants were so patient through his halting transition to their club. Sanchez, you might recall, was acquired from the Pirates on July 29 last season -- hence appeared in only 29 games with the 2009 Giants because of left knee and shoulder injuries. Recovering from an operation in his left shoulder further kept him out of sight until late this May. Now he is one of the San Francisco transplants -- along with Aubrey Huff and Cody Ross -- leading an awakened offense.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.