Washington knew he could be placing Game 1 in the no-longer-sure hands of Guerrero by starting him in right field in order to make him the cleanup hitter.
In the eighth inning, Texas' chances to erase a four-run deficit slipped through Guerrero's fingers. Guerrero's two fielding errors helped lead to a three-run inning for the Giants, and the Rangers ended up losing, 11-7, at AT&T Park on Wednesday.
Age, wear and tear have led to a reduction of outfield time for the nine-time All-Star -- from 99 games in right field for the Angels in 2008 to two for them in '09. This year he served as the Rangers' primary designated hitter and saw just 18 games in the outfield, all but one in right. Washington, who started him in right against the Angels on Oct. 2 anticipating a possible need to start him in the World Series, didn't second-guess himself for opening Texas' first World Series with Guerrero in right.
"No, I don't," Washington said. "A couple balls got by him."
Edgar Renteria opened the eighth with a single into the right-field corner, but Guerrero bobbled the ball in foul ground to allow Renteria to motor to third base. Renteria would score on Travis Ishikawa's double for a 9-4 Giants lead.
Three batters later, Freddy Sanchez knocked a hard single to right. Guerrero misplayed the ball again to allow Sanchez to take second. Sanchez would score on a Nate Schierholtz single with two out to make it 11-4.
Guerrero's mistakes became even more painful after Texas scored three runs in the ninth. Had the Giants not scored in the eighth, the Rangers would have had a one-run deficit when Ian Kinsler came up with two down and two on in the ninth. Instead, the difference was four runs when Kinsler flied to right to end the game.
The Rangers, in the first World Series game in their history, committed four errors. That total doesn't count a baserunning mistake by Kinsler, who thought a wide throw after his leadoff single in the eighth had gotten past first baseman Aubrey Huff. Instead, Huff grabbed the ball and tagged Kinsler, who had begun toward second.
"They hit well and we didn't," said Guerrero, who went 1-for-4 with two RBIs, one on a sacrifice fly. "We are just going to have to come out here tomorrow and play a better game.
"We made four errors and I had two of them, but what happened has happened. I can't hang my head. We'll see what happens tomorrow."
Washington has other options in right in Jeff Francoeur and David Murphy. However, Guerrero hit .300 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs in 152 games, which could make it difficult to overcome the temptation to write his name on the lineup card.
Washington looked at the errors as correctable mistakes.
"Vlad went down and let one get by him," Washington said. "And it [the second one] was a line drive, he came in, he played it a little too short and it got by him."