World Series 2010: 10 Ways the Texas Rangers Can Still Win the Series
The 2010 World Series could not have started worse for the Texas Rangers, who return to Arlington, Texas down 2-0 to the San Francisco Giants.
Returning home for three straight games is the best news for the Rangers right now, and to be fair, the Giants have only won two home games, which is what you're supposed to do.
Cliff Lee will pitch again, and the offense is almost certain to wake up.
The boost the Rangers need may come from their fans, who will no doubt be very wild for Game 3, which will be the first home World Series game in the history of the Texas Rangers.
The Rangers are still a legitimate threat to the Giants, and here's 10 reasons why.
10.) Cliff Lee Will Pitch at Least Once More
Today, the Texas Rangers were contemplating pitching Cliff Lee on short rest. This means he could possibly pitch Games 4 and 7 if necessary.
After a rare, awful performance in the series opener, Lee will have a chance to redeem himself, and it may come in a must-win situation.
Cliff's career postseason ERA was third best all-time going into Game 1 on Wednesday, but as he walked of the mound in San Francisco after allowing six earned runs, his ERA had plummeted to 18th best all time.
Cliff Lee will be more comfortable in his home ballpark and in front of his own fans.
With the series on the line, as well as millions of dollars for him in the offseason at stake, can we really expect Lee to falter again? No.
9.) Neftali Feliz Will Close Out Games
The 2010 MLB season was Texas Rangers' closer Neftali Feliz's coming out party.
The Texas closer had 40 saves during the regular season, giving the Rangers a stopper they've desperately needed for years.
If the game is one line in the ninth, or even eighth inning, Feliz will be ready to close out the game.
He has a great fastball, and the energy of the hometown crowd will give him an adrenaline boost.
Feliz has yet to make a big impact in this series, but his time will come, and he'll be ready.
Neftali has pitched in big pressure situations already this postseason, finishing off the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series.
8.) Games 3, 4 and 5 Are at Home
There is no need for Rangers fans to be worried just yet. The Giants did what they were supposed to do, win the first two home games.
With the series shifting to an American League ballpark, the DH comes into play. This gives the struggling Rangers offense another potent bat in the lineup.
Texas will receive a major adrenaline boost from the excitement of their fans, who will be attending the first-ever World Series home game in the Rangers franchise's history.
Several news outlets are reporting that both former President Bushs will be throwing out the first pitch in Texas this week, who are huge Rangers fans.
Texas is returning home for three straight games, one of which Cliff Lee will pitch. If they can win all three, the Giants are in a difficult situation, even returning home for Games 6 and 7.
7.) The Giants Offense Is Likely To Cool Down
Until Game 1 of the 2010 World Series, the San Francisco Giants hadn't scored more than four runs in a game since Sept. 25, a four-week offensive slump.
Fortunately for the Giants, their pitching is excellent, making it not necessary for the offense to score a lot of runs.
Can the Giants keep up their offensive outburst in Texas? It's unlikely, for a couple of reasons.
Playing on the road in the World Series is a lot tougher, for obvious reasons. The Texas crowd will be amped to see the Rangers first-ever win in a World Series.
Players like Juan Uribe and Cody Ross have had excellent playoff batting success, but are not known as great hitters.
The Giants are scoring runs, but if they don't produce as much runs as they did at home, the Giants could be in a world of hurt.
It will be interesting to see how the Giants play if they are behind early in Game 3. Playing with a lead is very comforting, especially at home, but trailing on the road is a tall task against a team like Texas.
6.) Game 3 Is a Must-Win
The Rangers face a must-win in Game 3; no team has ever recovered from a 3-0 deficit to win a World Series title.
Eleven teams have won a World Series when losing the first two games, and the last team to accomplish this was the 1996 New York Yankees, who defeated the Atlanta Braves in six games.
If the Rangers win Game 3, Cliff Lee is likely to pitch Game 4, which will give Texas confidence knowing their ace is on the mound with a chance to tie the series.
Going down 3-0 would be the end for the Rangers.
5.) C.J. Wilson Was Good In Game 2 and Will Pitch Again
Lost in the story of Game 2 of the 2010 World Series is the pitching performance of C.J. Wilson, who tossed six innings Thursday night, allowing only three hits and two earned runs.
Wilson left the game with the Rangers trailing only 1-0. By the end of the seventh, the Rangers were down 2-0, and at the end of the eighth inning, the Rangers had fallen nine runs down.
For Wilson, it was like watching a train wreck. C.J. had pitched very well, but watched the usually reliable Texas bullpen surrender run after run.
Wilson will pitch again, but only if the series goes back to San Francisco, unless he is willing to pitch in Game 5 on short rest.
For the Rangers, however, last night's performance by Wilson was encouraging, especially for a player who was pitching in the World Series for the first time, on the road no less.
4.) Lady Luck Will Find the Rangers
The Rangers have not had their share of good luck this World Series, and Game 2 was a perfect example.
After the Game 2, Texas manager Ron Washington told the media, "I don't think we've caught any break yet."
Ian Kinlser appeared to hit a home run in Game 2 off Matt Cain in the fifth inning, only for the baseball to defy the laws of physics and bounce back into the field of play after hitting the top of the wall.
Giants starter Matt Cain thought it was a home run, and so did Kinsler, who was stunned to only earn a double out of it.
Meanwhile, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has not made a wrong decision yet. Any move he's made, whether it be lineup changes or deciding which guys to bring in form the bullpen, Bochy has nailed them all.
The Rangers are sure to find more luck at home, but they cannot rely on it. They say it's better to be lucky than good, but you cannot win games in the World Series if you don't play well because you cannot rely on any luck.
3.) The Rangers Must Beat Tim Lincecum and/or Matt Cain
The San Francisco Giants are as high emotionally as they could have dreamed of being through two World Series games.
Having beaten the Rangers' two best pitchers already and scoring runs in amounts they're unaccustomed to, the Giants are feeling really good about their chances in this series.
Texas has too eliminate the comfort of the Giants, and that goes beyond winning Game 3.
The Rangers have to beat the Giants badly, but they also have to beat Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain.
The Giants will not be afraid when they know Lincecum and Cain will pitch again and are almost certain to win.
Texas has to show the Giants they can beat their best pitching, or San Francisco will not panic.
2.) The Texas Offense Will Wake Up
After two high-scoring games, many fans and experts alike would have taken the Rangers to win games where offense was the difference.
Instead, the Giants have been the team whose offense has risen to new heights.
Texas' offense is too good to be this dormant the entire series, and playing at home in a hitters friendly park will surely help.
Players like Ian Kinsler, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton and Elvis Andrus are sure to see their offensive production rise in Arlington, Texas.
With the added DH spot in the lineup, Texas is positioned for a big offensive explosion in Game 3.
1.) The Rangers Will Get Better Results From the Bullpen
The Texas Rangers bullpen has been a solid group all year, and into the 2010 MLB playoffs, but in Game 2 they were downright pitiful.
Game 2 starter C.J. Wilson gave up only two earned runs through six innings, but witnessed his bullpen allow the Giants to build a nine-run lead by the end of the game.
Relief pitcher Derek Holland has been a good player for Texas this season, but his Game 2 performance is one he'll never forget for all the wrong reasons.
Holland threw 13 pitches, and only one was a strike, as he walked all three batters he faced.
It is unlikely Holland or any other Texas pitcher will have that sort of command issues going forward, but that remains to be seen.
The Rangers bullpen needs to play better because if they can get to the closer, Neftali Feliz, he will deliver the victory.
Texas Still Has a Chance
The Rangers have been beaten in every possible facet of the game through two World Series games.
The Texas offense will no doubt be better at home, where the crowd will be roaring with excitement, as the Rangers play the first-ever home World Series games in franchise history.
The Giants have played perfectly and have made few mistakes, but it remains to be seen how much longer they will be mistake-free.
The Rangers still have Cliff Lee available for two more games, and that is a welcoming sign. There is no need to panic Rangers fans, but you have to win Game 3 or the dream season is over.