After enduring demoralizing defeats at the hands of the San Francisco Giants on consecutive nights at AT&T Park, the Texas Rangers finally get to make their way home. With Texas' magical run on the road coming crashing to a halt, they return to the venue where they constructed the bulk of their 2010 playoff credentials.
If you were paying attention all season, you would have known that the Texas Rangers aren't really the road warriors they've been pretending to be throughout the postseason thus far. Before the World Series began, Texas was an impressive 5-1 away from Arlington, beating up on both the Rays and Yankees, outscoring them 36-12 throughout the ALDS and ALCS.
Not bad for a team that was 39-42 on the road during the regular season.
Of course, the Rangers being thoroughly dismantled by San Francisco over the first two games of the series may have come as a slight surprise, but it should be noted that the Giants were 49-32 in their home stadium in 2010.
Baseball has a way of bringing things back to where they should be, of forcing everything to revert to the norm. If you were 39-42 on the road in the regular season, and suddenly you're 5-1 away from home in the playoffs, the odds are that you have some losing to do in the near future. Aside from the odd outlier, baseball players and teams generally perform according to their rates and averages.
Sure, in any given eight game stretch, a team can get hot and outperform their overall record, but basically, your 39-42 road ledger gave us an idea of what to expect.
The great news for the Texas Rangers is that they're done with the beautiful city by the bay, for at least a few days. However, if they hope to continue their 2010 season and potentially win the World Series, they know they'll have to book a return trip.
That can wait for now, as they return to the familiar environs of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington desperately seeking victories. With games scheduled for Saturday, Sunday and hopefully Monday evenings, the Rangers have the opportunity to get themselves back into this series, even if they have a steep hill to climb.
Returning from an 0-2 deficit is clearly not the optimal situation to find yourselves in, but it's certainly not insurmountable. If they had lost the first two games at home, the story would be altogether different, but thankfully that's not the case.
Facing a must-win scenario in Arlington, the Rangers will send right-hander Colby Lewis to the mound to face lefty Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants. With Game 3 scheduled for Saturday evening at 6:30 PM Eastern Time, let's examine some key factors for each team as the Rangers and Giants prepare to do battle.