World Series 2010: What the Rangers Must Do To Win in 7 Games Over Giants
Few teams in MLB history have come back from a 2-0 deficit in the World Series. But maybe the Rangers have what it takes to continue their ride through new club precedents.
For a team running through new experiences with each pitch, spotting the opposition a two-game lead must seem like climbing a mountain made of wet soap bars. A serious strategy seems like the remedy, but how do you stop superb pitching and clutch hitting?
Where does a team turn after its ace implodes in Game 1 and its offense turns comatose for Game 2?
Here are five aspects the Rangers must address to avoid embarrassment in the 2010 World Series.
1. Colby Lewis Must Hit The Books, and The Tapes
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So far the Giants have provided plenty of offense to support their strong pitching staff, and even Rangers ace Cliff Lee looked like a little-leaguer hanging breaking balls.
In Game 3, it will be Colby Lewis' turn to toe the slab, and he will have had two games to watch how the Giants' batters have adapted.
The best part about getting pounded into the dirt by an opposing offense in the first two games is learning their strengths, which leads to sifting out their weaknesses. Knowing what San Francisco does well provides insight into what to avoid, and Lewis should have some things underlined three times.
The Giants will be facing a right-hander for the first time in the Series, and the Rangers are hoping a change in perspective will bow in their favor.
2. Get To Jonathan Sanchez Early
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Seems like an easy task, but think again. So far San Francisco's starting pitching has yielded just four runs in 13.1 innings pitched, all of them coming in Tim Lincecum's Game 1 start.
Meanwhile, the Giants bullpen has seen limited action, mostly also in Game 1, where they saw a few innings while spotted a large lead.
If the Rangers can knock Sanchez out of the game early, the bullpen would be called on with limited action under its belt. This could be key to the Rangers putting Game 3 away while gaining a much needed victory.
3. Sound Fielding Can Be The Difference
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While the Rangers were much more sound defensively in Game 2, the first game of the series was a prime example of what not to do when facing a potent offense.
Four errors led to several opportunities for the Giants to pull away, and San Francisco took advantage. It's rare that Texas' offense goes silent, so expect them to score some runs in Game 3 against Sanchez.
If the Rangers step up the offense, defense will also need to be very sharp to make it stand up. Home field may change things slightly for the Rangers, as nerves likely played a part in their Game 1 hiccups.
4. Take Advantage of Playing at Home
One of the best remedies for the wounds of a two-game hole is returning home in front of thousands of faithful fans encouraging you to keep trying.
Rangers fans have waited a long time to see their team in the Fall Classic, and emotions will be running high in Arlington on Saturday. AT&T Park is a tough place to play if you're the opponent, but the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington is no slouch, and it just might be the boost the Rangers need.
5. Defy The Odds
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The last team to win a World Series after trailing 2-0 was the New York Yankees. They are the only team in the last 14 to come back from a 2-0 deficit.
In fact, it will be the 52nd time in MLB history a team has been down two-games-to-none, and only 11 times has the losing team come back to win it all.
While the Rangers are setting new franchise standards, they will have their biggest challenge with the next one, coming back against the Giants while winning four of the next five games.
With Game 1 ratings down 25 percent from last year, MLB needs the Rangers to step up and at least make the series interesting. We'll find out on Saturday if we are looking at a comeback or a landslide.
Game 3 is set for Saturday, Oct. 30th at 6:30 pm ET on Fox. Jonathan Sanchez will be starting for the Giants opposite Colby Lewis of the Rangers.