Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 ALCS ~ Rangers vs Yankees ~ Game 5



Texas Rangers
New York Yankees
Bronx, New York


Lead Series 3-1

In the heart of South Bronx sits a place synonymous with Autumn and Baseball's post-season.  There's a game today that will be played there, like so many October games played during a different era when America was still relatively unaffected by looming, dramatic changes.  Today's leg in the great Chase for the American League Pennant takes place under a gray, overcast, with a stillness in the air, Fall afternoon sky.

Championship Baseball in the October daytime shadows; Like it used to be.  There is nothing quite like it.


Pre-Game; NYY ~ Win Three or Else.
The New York Yankees send CC Sabathia to the mound in the hopes he can stave off elimination from this year's post-season.  The Texas Rangers lead this series three games to one and pretty much have out-played the Yankees in just about every aspect of the Game.  The Yanks will have to do it without Mark Teixeira who stained his hamstring in last night's game.  The grade-2 strain will sideline Teixeira the rest of the playoffs, however long they last for the Bombers.

But the Yankees' backs are indeed backed up against the wall.  There is no game six without a victory today.

Outside of the five run eighth inning the Yanks had in game one, the offense has been out to lunch; all but Robinson Cano, who's been insanely hot.  If the Yanks are to win today and even-up this series afterwards, they need to hit; bottom line.  Say what you will about Girardi and his decisions or about the starting pitching let-downs.  These are the Bronx Bombers and it's high time they lived up to the name.

The Texas Rangers have been beating the Yankees playing and excelling at their own brand of Baseball.  The time is now, for the Yankees to start playing their own brand of Baseball and slug teams into submission.  Then with a lead you create the bridge to Mariano Rivera and make him a factor in this series again.  They have no choice.

Win three games or clean out your lockers.


Texas Rangers lead series 3-2 after tonight's game.

New York Yankees:
JETER   1-4; single, walk
SWISHER   1-4; 2 runs, Home Run, rbi, walk
CANO   1-4; run, Home Run, rbi
RODRIGUEZ   1-2; run, double, 2 walks, stolen base
THAMES   0-3; walk
BERKMAN   0-2; run, walk, K, rbi
POSADA   2-4; run, double, K,  rbi
GRANDERSON   3-4; run, double, Home Run, 2 rbi
GARDNER   0-3; 2 K's

112 pitches ~ 74 strikes
6.0 innings pitched
11 hits
2 runs/earned
0 walks
7 strikeouts
1 home run

2) - K. WOOD - RP - 7th inning
28 pitches ~ 21 strikes
2.0 innings pitched
1 hit
0 runs
0 walks
3 strikeouts

3) - MARIANO RIVERA - RP - 9th inning
Non-Save Situation
23 pitches ~ 15 strikes
1 inning pitched
1 hit
0 runs
0 walks
0 strikeout

POST GAME: It's Gonna Be a Good Ol' Time in Big Texas.

There is Life!  Game Six here we come.

The Bronx Bombers were in the house.  Home runs by Swisher, Cano and Granderson powered the Yankees to victory over the Rangers tonight at the Stadium.  Texas will not be doing any Square Dancing or Two Steppin' on the Yankees' home field or any where in the Bronx for that matter.  It's straight to the airport for everybody as the series shifts back to Big Texas for the next game, and if needed a deciding seventh game.

CC Sabathia, clearly more effective in this outing than last, mowed down 7 Rangers by himself as his team-mates helped with the rest over six innings.  Kerry Wood muted the Rangers for two more innings before Mariano Rivera came on in the ninth to finish Texas off and any idea they may have had about celebrating an American League Championship in New York City tonight.

C.J. Wilson got tagged for six runs runs, but only five were earned.  He was flat and right over the plate, coming in belt-high.  His ineffectiveness was evident early as he surrendered back to back home runs to Swisher and Cano.  But you knew the Yankee bats couldn't be silenced that long and by this Texas rotation..., right?

Whether C.J. Wilson was up to the task or not, the Yankees did what they have to do in order to win.  The Yankees hit home runs.  If they don't hit home runs, they're usually not winning.  Yankee Baseball is predicated on starting pitching, yes, but the are designed primarily to hit home runs in bunches.

The Rangers threw the ball around, committed an error and played unlike they have in this series till now.  Their defense was a liability tonight.  They did not run the bases well at all (actually, they were horrible).  The starting pitching was not effective as the Rangers fell behind early.  And the middle of the line-up was dormant.  All these factors contributed to the Rangers' inability to close this series out tonight.

The Rangers need a short memory.  They just need to get a good night's sleep over the next two evenings and take their home field with confidence.  If they do that and take what the game gives them, as Ron Washington says, they'll have two supreme chances to erase tonight's setback.

Hope lives for the Bombers.  For Texas however, the old adage rings true; The fourth game is always the hardest to win.


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