Friday, October 15, 2010

Game one of ALCS recap

By Kshell

The league championship series began tonight in Arlington, Texas. We have one team in the New York Yankees who have won 27 World Championships and been to 41 World Series playing a team who just had their very first postseason series victory. It was a wild game in the ball park of Arlington. Nolan Ryan the Rangers owner and president threw out the first pitch. Sitting next to Ryan was former U.S. President and former owner George W.Bush. The Rangers were in a great position to make something special but they forgot one thing they are still playing the defending world champions who aren't going to give up their title easily.

Cano leads Yankees comeback victory over Rangers in 6-5 win

The Yankees scored five runs in the eighth inning to rally from a 5-0 deficit to take game one of the American League Championship series in Arlington, Texas. The Yankees improve to 10-1 all-time in postseason history against the Texas Rangers. This will be one of those losses that hurts the Texas Rangers for a while.

The Rangers got off to a fast start and had Cy Young candidate C.C. Sabathia on the ropes in the very first inning. The Rangers had first and third with nobody out in the bottom of the first with Josh Hamilton at the plate. Hamilton hit a line drive three run home run to right field to give the Rangers a quick 3-0 lead. Texas wasn't done yet either. Sabathia had bases loaded and two outs already given up three runs throws a wild pitch that bounces off the backstop right to Posada who tossed it to Sabathia and then Sabathia tagged Cruz out for the final out of the inning to escape the jam.

The Rangers left another run on the board in the third inning when Hamilton was on third base after a stolen base and a balk by Sabathia. With just one out Sabathia induced Cruz to ground out to third base which didn't score Hamilton then got Kinsler to ground out as well escaping yet another jam. Sabathia wouldn't be so lucky in the fourth inning. Sabathia allowed a two run double to Michael Young to give the Rangers a 5-0 lead.

Sabathia was finished after just 4 innings allowing 5 runs, 6 hits, and 4 walks. This was the second straight bad start by Sabathia in the playoffs. The Rangers should have scored a lot more runs than five as well. The Rangers game one pitcher C.J.Wilson was cruising pitching six shut out innings. He finally gave up a run in the seventh inning allowing a home run to Robinson Cano making the game 5-1. The Rangers holding a four run lead heading into the eighth inning and with Wilson cruising appeared to be in good position. A simple little play in the eighth inning would change the game around and allow the snow ball effect to occur.

The Rangers bullpen had struggled in the previous playoff series which is probably why manager Ron Washington decided to go with C.J. Wilson in the eighth inning. Wilson allowed an infield single to Brett Gardner who was safe at first because Wilson was late to cover. Then for some reason fearing a bunt by Jeter the Rangers had Michael Young playing up on the grass. Jeter then lined a double down the left field line scoring Gardner from first base and cutting the lead to 5-2. Washington then brought in reliable reliever Darren Oliver. Oliver then walked both Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira. The bases were now loaded for Alex Rodriguez and Washington brought in righty Darren O'Day.

The snow ball avalanche had already began. A-rod hit a hard line drive off of Young's glove scoring Jeter and Swisher cutting the lead to 5-4. There was still nobody out in this inning and Washington had to make yet another pitching change. He brought in Clay Rapada who had pitched just 12 and a third innings in two years to face Robinson Cano. Cano who had already homered ripped a single up the middle to tie the game at 5-5. Washington made yet another pitching bringing in Derek Holland to face Marcus Thames. Thames singled to shallow left field and A-rod scored giving the Yankees a 6-5 lead. There was still nobody out at the time. The Rangers eventually got out of the inning but when you add it all up the Rangers had three straight relief pitchers who didn't even record an out in that dreadful eighth inning.

The Rangers would continue to blunder more runs in the next two innings. Ian Kinsler would get a leadoff walk off of Kerry Wood then would be picked off at first base. In the ninth inning off of the greatest postseason closer ever Mariano Rivera the Rangers had a runner on second base with one out for Michael Young and Josh Hamilton. Rivera struck out Young then got Hamilton to ground out to take the series opening game.

It was quite a comeback for the Yankees who improve to 10-1 all-time against the Texas Rangers in the playoffs and Texas is still looking for its first every postseason victory at home falling to 0-7. The Rangers missed out on a golden opportunity having shelled Sabathia. The Rangers had they won would be up 1-0 in the series but with Cliff Lee going in game three that would have been a ton of pressure on Yankees youngster Phil Hughes in game two on the road. Now the pressure falls on Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis. Since Sabathia was shelled and could only last four innings he can now come back on short rest in game four instead of pitching the dreadful A.J.Burnett.

Texas is finding out just how hard it is to win playoff games. The Yankees bullpen was excellent pitching 5 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. Dustin Moseley received the win pitching two innings allowing no hits and striking out four batters. The Rangers bullpen was a mess throwing four pitchers to get two innings allowing three runs and one of Wilson's runs. That is the big "X-factor" this series is the battle of the bullpens. The Yankees have the stronger bullpen and they showed why they are still the defending world champions. The Rangers don't have much time to get it together or there wonderful season will be over quickly.

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