SAN FRANCISCO -- They're the team that can't hit. He's the shortstop they wasted so much money on.
There are a whole lot of things we thought two days ago that don't seem nearly as true now. There are a whole lot of things people wish they'd never written.
Like the guy who told you that the Rangers would win this World Series in five games, because the Giants would never score enough runs (that would be me). Or the Giants blogger who wrote a few months back about "Why Edgar Renteria is a waste of a roster spot" (I won't further embarrass him, but you could probably find it with an Internet search).
Anyway, here we are two games into the World Series, and the Giants have scored 20 runs. It was 9-0 Giants in Thursday night's Game 2, and long before it became a second straight blowout, a guy named Edgar Renteria hit a huge home run.
A lot of us could not have been more wrong -- and that includes all you Giants fans who spent the better part of the last two seasons complaining about the $18.5 million the Giants spent on Edgar Renteria.
To be honest, they haven't gotten much for their $18.5 million. Not until now.
Not until Renteria's Giants teammates brought him back to what we really should be thinking of as his time of year.
He was a 22-year-old World Series hero with the 1997 Marlins, with his 11th-inning, game-winning hit in Game 7. He was a 29-year-old contributor with the 2004 Cardinals, who made it to the World Series but lost to the curse-beating Red Sox.
And now he's 35. Now he has a big World Series home run on his ledger, because no matter how it looks when you see the final score, it was Renteria's fifth-inning home run off C.J. Wilson that changed the tone of what had been a scoreless game Thursday night.
The Rangers couldn't have been more stunned. The Giants couldn't have been happier.
"He's a special guy," Mark DeRosa said, repeating what many of Renteria's teammates have said throughout his career.
DeRosa then told the story of Renteria's previous biggest contribution to the 2010 Giants. It wasn't a home run. It wasn't a hit. It wasn't even a play in the field.
It was a speech, during a mid-September hitters meeting in Chicago.
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"He pulled the team together and got emotional with us," DeRosa said. "He said his career was closing down in a year or two, and he wanted another shot. He felt like we had an opportunity to do something special, and he wanted to tell us that.
"He spoke, and his words resonated the loudest with the guys. He's a man of very few words, and for him to step up and ask the guys to give him another shot ..."
Well, that meeting came the day after the Giants were shut out for the 16th time this season. They scored 13 runs the next day. They haven't been shut out since.
And while they still would in no way be considered an offensive powerhouse, they have shown the last two nights that they are capable of scoring.
As hitting coach Hensley Meulens said, "There's no bigger time than now."
Meulens insists he's not shocked by all the runs. He insists that he always believed these hitters could hit, despite all the evidence to the contrary.
He also said -- and this is fully believable -- that he always believed in Edgar Renteria. And Meulens said that he wasn't the only one.
"Mr. Neukom is a big fan," Meulens said, referring to Giants owner Bill Neukom. "Mr. Neukom told him all the time, 'You're not done with us. You're going to help us more this year.'"
Renteria's career hasn't always taken a smooth path since that magical night when he handed the Marlins a championship. He had one terribly disappointing season with the Red Sox, and another disappointing one with the Tigers.
He still got the big contract with the Giants, but in two years and 196 games, he gave them just eight home runs and 70 RBI, with a .259 batting average that is his lowest at any spot. He spent a good part of this season hurt, and even now he's playing with a torn biceps tendon (although he said Thursday that he feels he's healthy).
He suggested Thursday that maybe all the time he missed ended up helping him, that playing just 72 games this season has left him fresher for these games that matter most.
"If I played all through the year, maybe I wouldn't be in this situation," he said.
That may be true, but it's also true that when Renteria came back from the disabled list in September, Juan Uribe had taken his job. Renteria didn't start any of the four games in the Giants' first-round series with Atlanta, and it was only when first Pablo Sandoval and then Mike Fontenot proved inadequate at third base that manager Bruce Bochy shifted Uribe to third and installed Renteria at shortstop.
Until then, the Giants had been playing without any of their three highest-paid players. Barry Zito ($18.5 million this year) isn't even on the postseason roster, Aaron Rowand ($13.6 million) is nothing but a reserve outfielder, and Renteria ($10 million) couldn't get in a game.
Zito and Rowand are still basically lost money, even though Rowand contributed a pinch-hit triple in the Giants' seven-run eighth inning Thursday night.
Before that inning, which was helped along by four walks and some questionable Ron Washington decisions, the Giants were playing a fairly typical (for them) 2-0 game. It was only after that inning that we started looking in the record books for the last team to score nine-plus runs in back-to-back World Series games.
It turns out the last team to do it was the 2002 Angels (against the Giants), and the only team to do it in Games 1-2 was the 1998 Yankees.
That's the Yankees team that swept through the regular season with 114 wins, then swept through the postseason, too.
No one said that team couldn't hit. Plenty of people (me included) said this Giants team couldn't hit.
But maybe there is an explanation, and maybe we should go to Edgar Renteria right away to get it.
"It's Halloween," Renteria said. "Anything can happen on Halloween."
He should know. It's his time of year.