Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Rangers Dodge a Bullet

2010 ALCS:

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Game 2: Texas Rangers 7 - New York Yankees 2
Series tied, 1-1

AT LAST!

The Texas Rangers FINALLY win a postseason game AT HOME.

Prior to yesterday's must-needed win, the Rangers were 0-7 at home in their postseason history-- a major league record.

The win was huge because it evened the series at 1-1 heading into HOSTILE Yankee Stadium. An 0-2 start would definitely have been disastrous for the Rangers. No doubt.

The Rangers bullpen rebounded from a nightmare Game 1, pitching 3.1 scoreless innings, meanwhile, the Yankees bullpen AGAIN was magnificent, pitching 4 scoreless innings of their own. The Rangers scored all 7 runs off of starter Phil Hughes and for the series all 12 Rangers runs have come off of the starting pitchers (Hughes and CC Sabathia).

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Some quick thoughts--

The Rangers FINALLY brought in their closer Neftali Feliz, who pitched a scoreless 9th inning in Game 2.

WHY didn't the Rangers bring Feliz in to pitch in the 8th inning of Game 1?

WHAT'S the use of having a dominant stopper for the 9th inning if your team is bleeding to death in the 8th as the Rangers were in Game 1?

NOT all games need to be saved in the 9th inning-- sometimes saves need to be registered in the 8th inning. When the Yankees pulled to within 5-4, why wasn't Feliz summoned to stop the hemorrhage?

As a result, the Rangers kept him on the shelf and the Yankees went on to take a 6-5 lead as the rest of the bullpen fell apart.

In a nutshell, Feliz became useless in the 9th because there was no lead needed to be saved.

Anyway--

The Rangers (who should be up 2-0) head into Yankees Stadium with some momentum and with the best possible security blanket-- Cliff Lee.

If Lee wins Game 3 to put the Rangers up 2-1, it'll be interesting to see if manager Joe Girardi sticks with Game 4 starter, the eccentric and inconsistent A. J. Burnett?

If he does, like I said in an earlier post-- where A.J. goes, the Yankees go.

Should be interesting....

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