ALCS 2010: 5 Reasons The Texas Rangers Will Wrap Up The Series in Game 5 Tonight
The Texas Rangers have dominated the New York Yankees in this series. They have outscored them 30-11, outhit .307 to .198, and the Yankees are only hitting .154 with runners in scoring position. Aside from the top half of the eighth inning in Game 1, the Rangers have dominated the Yankees in every way.
C.J. Wilson dominated Yankee ace CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee dominated Andy Pettitte and Colby Lewis dominated Phil Hughes.
The Ranger bats have also dominated Yankee pitching. Josh Hamilton has hit four home runs in this series, and is looking more like the regular season MVP candidate. Nelson Cruz, Bengie Molina, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Michael Young and even Mitch Moreland have all been swinging hot bats. The Nos. 7, 8, and 9 hitters in the Rangers' order have produced 10 RBI this series, and Molina has four of them. The Texas Rangers are in prime position to advance to their first ever World Series.
Now, with a commanding 3-1 lead, the Rangers look to step on the Yankees' collective throat, when they send C.J. Wilson to the mound tonight.
Here are five reasons the Rangers will wrap up this series in Game 5 tonight.
1. Josh Hamilton
Josh Hamilton is perhaps swinging the hottest bat in the postseason right now, except for maybe Cody Ross. Hamilton has hit four homers in four games, while showing the MVP-like hitting he produced in the regular season.
Hamilton has had many clutch hits in this series. His home run in the first inning of Game 3 gave Cliff Lee all the support he would need in that game. His homers in the seventh and ninth innings of last night's game put the nail in the Yankees' coffin en route to a 10-3 win.
If Hamilton continues to swing a hot bat, then the Rangers will have no problem wrapping up this series in five games. A five-game series is something few people predicted at its start and Hamilton is the main reason it could end in five.
2. All-Around Play of Elvis Andrus
Elvis Andrus has been a monster to date.
He has affected every game in every way. He has a hit in every game this postseason. He is one of the best on the team at making productive outs. Elvis Andrus has affected games at the plate, in the field, and on the base paths. He has the ability to get on base from the leadoff spot, to advance the runners over, or to drive a runner who is in scoring position in.
Perhaps his most effective quality, however, is in the field.
Last night was a prime example of this, Andrus made a diving stop on a grounder, and while still on the ground made the force out at third. This saved a run or even two, and changed the whole complexion of the game.
If Andrus can continue his stellar all-around play in Game 5, the Rangers will make quick work of the Yankees.
3. No Mark Teixeira
Mark Teixeira severely strained his right hamstring sliding into first to beat a throw on Tuesday night in Game 4. He will need six to eight weeks to recover from an injury where he came up awkwardly on a fielders' choice.
Even though Teixeira was hitless, going 0-for-14, he is still one of their most dangerous hitters, and he hits in the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Teixeira is one of the most dangerous hitters in the game and could hit it out at any time.
More than his hitting, Teixeira is a phenomenal fielder. He made two outstanding plays on balls hit to the right side of the infield, saving runs. His defense will be hard to replace, and could provide opportunity to take advantage.
4. Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero
Cruz and Guerrero hit in the Nos. 4 and 5 spots in the Texas lineup. Cruz has been on a tear this postseason, hitting home runs, doubles and driving in a lot of runs. On the other hand, Guerrero has been quiet this postseason, looking like he is in a slump, but he showed signs of resurgence last night, when he was able to produce three hits.
When Cruz and Guerrero are both productive, it makes the Rangers lineup even more dangerous. This does not allow Yankee pitchers to pitch around Hamilton to get to Guerrero.
If Guerrero and Cruz come alive tonight, the game, and the series will be over before the Yankees know it.
5. C.J. Wilson
C.J. Wilson pitched a gem in Game 1, even though the Rangers took the loss. He outpitched Yankee ace CC Sabathia in every way, and fooling the Yankees time and time again. He is left-handed like Cliff Lee, is showing signs of even pitching like Lee, and that is a scary sign for opposing hitters.
Wilson went 15-8 this season, and the Rangers went 23-9 when he pitched. Wilson will look to expand on his Game 1 performance, and shut the Yankees down.
C.J. Wilson has the ball in his hands to lead the Rangers to their first ever World Series.
The Rangers have the Yankees on the ropes with the ability to deliver the knockout blow tonight. C.J. Wilson has the chance to lead a whole state into jubilation.
The eyes of the entire state will be on this game tonight, with anticipation of a first ever World Series.
Will there be rejoicing in Arlington, Texas tonight?
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Paul Ferguson is an intern at Bleacher report
Follow him on twitter at: @paulwall5
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