Renteria saves his best for when it matters

By Julian Linden

ARLINGTON, Texas (BestGrowthStock) – Just moments before San Francisco Giants shortstop Edgar Renteria strolled to the plate in the seventh inning of Monday’s World Series showdown against the Texas Rangers, he knew something special was going to happen.

Game Five was in the balance, tied at 0-0, but the Giants had two runners on base. Renteria told a team mate he thought he was going to knock the ball out of the park.

And he did, connecting with a cutter from Cliff Lee for a three-run homer that eventually gave the Giants a 3-1 win in the game and a 4-1 series win.

“I got confidence in me, but I was joking,” Renteria told reporters. “I got lucky, he threw a cutter inside… the ball stayed in the middle.”

Renteria was named as the Most Valuable Player of the series and enhanced his reputation as a player for baseball’s biggest stage.

In 1997, when he was with the Florida Marlins, he struck an RBI single in the 11th inning of Game Seven against the Cleveland Indians to win his first World Series.

“It’s the same feeling, the same emotions,” he said. “It’s unbelievable being in that situation. I enjoyed both World Series.”

CREAKING BONES

As a five time All-Star and two-time Golden Glove winner, Renteria has already enjoyed a stellar career in the Major League but time had started catching up on the 35-year-old Colombian.

He was placed on the disabled list three times this season because of niggling injuries and was contemplating retirement.

He started the playoffs on the bench but made the most of his opportunity when it came, hitting a home run in Game Two of the World Series before his championship-sealing blast on Monday.

“That’s life. I’ve been hurt all year but I keep myself in shape, keep myself working hard, and I keep telling myself, let’s be patient, let it come over,” he said.

Despite his fitness problems, Giants manager Bruce Bochy said he never lost faith in Renteria.

“Edgar has been through it and I wanted a leader out there. He’s a guy all the players look up to,” Bochy said.

“I know it’s been a tough year with the disable list and missing playing time but what a pro he’s been through all this and waiting his turn.

“I know how bad Edgar wanted it. It wasn’t too long ago we had a little talk and he said ‘I just want to go out and win another World Series’… I couldn’t be prouder for him. I mean, it’s pretty incredible what he’s done in his career.”

Texas manager Ron Washington was also full of praise for the Colombian and his sense of occasion.

“I’ve seen him do that before. He’s a quality ballplayer,” Washington said. “This wasn’t his first rodeo in the World Series, either. He’s a big time player.”

(Editing by John O’Brien)

Renteria saves his best for when it matters