The MLB playoffs 2010 did not have a Cinderella sendoff for Bobby Cox. The Braves’ MLB playoffs 2010 berth was achieved in spite of massive injuries, but they finally took their toll against the Giants. Without their biggest offensive weapons, the Braves had little chance against the Giants’ powerful rotation. Even though they were facing a 21-year-old rookie instead of Tim Lincecum, they could not take advantage at home. As such, the playoffs said goodbye to Bobby Cox in more ways than one, with the Giants sending him to retirement.
Once again, the Braves and Giants played a low-scoring game, with few runs or hits to speak of. In fact, Derek Lowe held San Francisco hitless for 5 1/3 innings, as Atlanta got a 1-0 lead on Madison Bumgarner. Yet the Giants’ first hit was a tying home run by Cody Ross in the sixth.
This year’s playoffs have already seen two sweeps, and a surprising Game 5 for the Rays and Rangers. The Braves’ efforts to forge a second Game 5 finally fell apart, as the bullpen blew another one-run lead. After Atlanta went back up 2-1, San Francisco got two more runs in the seventh, with Ross driving in the go-ahead run.
From then on in, the Giants’ bullpen held off Atlanta’s final threats, as their pitching has done for almost the entire series. Bobby Cox would not get one final game, as the 3-2 Giants win ended his final season at last.
Injuries and a blown NL East division lead didn’t stop the Braves, but the Giants’ arms, various errors, and the loss of Billy Wagner did. Cox got a big sendoff from the crowd and the Giants, but he did not get one final game in San Francisco. As such, the playoffs have the NLCS completely set up now.
Starting Bumgarner in Game 4 and saving Lincecum for Game 5 could have backfired in a few ways for San Francisco. Even if Lincecum got a Game 5 win, he couldn’t be used in the NLCS against the Phillies until Game 3. Yet, instead, historic pitching matchups are on tap for the NLCS.
The 2010 playoffs have already seen a share of dominant pitching. Much of it has come from the Phillies and Giants rotations, and now they will be pitted against each other. No-hit king Roy Halladay will face Lincecum in Game 1, with Roy Oswalt against Matt Cain in Game 2, and Cole Hamels vs Jonathan Sanchez in Game 3. Bamgarner will likely get the Game 4 start against Joe Blanton afterward.
There has already been one no-hitter in the playoffs this year, but no one would probably be surprised if another one happened in this series. At least six pitchers are capable of it, although they’ll settle for a World Series berth – since someone will eventually have to score a run.
Yahoo Sports- “Giants send Cox into retirement with Game 4 win”