MLB Playoffs 2010: Do or Die for the Texas Rangers
In two days, the Rangers had over 100,000 total fans flooded into the Ballpark in Arlington hoping to see the Rangers make history. Texas had a chance to win their first home playoff game in franchise history, thus winning their first playoff series in club history.
All 100,000 of those fans left the ballpark disappointed after watching their Rangers squander away a 2-0 series lead.
The Rangers are now going back to Tampa, with the series tied at two, where they will be counting on Cliff Lee to turn things around, carrying the Rangers to a victory. Lee was beaten by the Rays three times during the regular season, but pitched seven innings allowing only one run in the Rangers Game 1 win this series.
The Rangers, however, will need more than Lee's pitching if they want to win this series on Tuesday. Young, Hamilton and Guerrero, the heart of the Rangers order, have gone a combined nine for 45 (.200) from the plate with only four RBIs.
Vlad could have been a hero in the fifth inning, coming to bat with the bases loaded, but instead struck out on a slider out of the zone stranding three runners on base. Hamilton who heard chants of M-V-P while at home has been the most disappointing of the Rangers sluggers failing to drive in a run through four games, with only two hits.
In Games 1 and 2, the Rangers seemed to have all of the momentum. The players were excited and on the top step of the dugout watching every play. Their signature "Antlers" and "Claws" were flashing left and right while the Rangers stole bases and got into the Rays' head.
However, by the time Game 4 rolled around, it was the Rays who were on the edge of their seats, at times they could be seen using the antlers and claws in their own dugout. The Rangers seemed to be passive, digging themselves into holes at the plate and not being aggressive on the bases.
If the Rangers want to snag this playoff series they'll have to beat David Price for a second time in just five games. Price was excellent in the regular season, with a 19-6 record and an incredible 2.72 ERA.
In Game 1 against Price, the Rangers scored with a pair of home runs (Molina and Cruz), along with two more RBIs off of base hits. You can't expect Price to have two bad games in a row, so the Rangers will be forced to manufacture runs via small ball.
Cliff Lee and Texas have one last chance to make franchise history at 8:07pm EST on TBS. Rangers fans, it's time.
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