It's not going to be a sweep for the Yankees. The Rangers got their first postseason victory at home in their nearly 50 seasons with a 7-2 blowout win over the Yankees.
After a bullpen collapse Friday night, the Rangers were able to hold on to their lead. The Rangers' bullpen was the complete opposite of what it was in their loss to New York on Friday. The Yankees were only able to obtain one hit in a little over three innings against the Rangers' bullpen.
Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis pitched well into the sixth inning, and Texas threw in five relievers that completely shut down the Yankees' star-studded offense. Y
ankees pitcher Phil Hughes had arguably one of the worst outings in ALCS history—the young pitcher had four innings of work, while surrendering 10 hits, along with seven earned runs. He also gave up three walks and struck out three. According to the Bill James Game Score rating system, Hughes had the third-worst ALCS pitching performance in baseball history, only behind Jim Perry (1970 Twins) and Fausto Carmona (2007 Indians). The rating system showed that Hughes scored a 14.
Texas' Elvis Andrus got the Rangers off to a fantastic start, after an incredible steal of homeplate, putting the Rangers up 1-0. MVP candidate Josh Hamilton also stole second base on the play.
"Opportunity seemed right, so I took a chance. That's the way we play. It worked. Got us going," Rangers manager Ron Washington said about the play.
Outfielder David Murphy would then hit a solo shot in the second inning, putting the Rangers up 2-0. Michael Young would then double later in the inning, scoring Mitch Moreland.
Murphy would come back in the third inning, doubling to right field and scoring Nelson Cruz on the play, while extending the Rangers' lead to 4-0. Bengie Molina proceeded to double, scoring Murphy on the play.
The Yankees would finally get on the board in the fourth inning when Lance Berkman singled and scored Robinson Cano—Berkman was thrown out at second, trying to extend the play.
In the fifth inning, Ian Kinsler got the lone triple of the night, scoring Cruz, putting the Rangers' lead at 6-1. Moreland then singled and scored the aforementioned Kinsler. The Rangers were now looking at a blowout, and had the Yankees at a 7-1 lead.
Robinson Cano hit a 448-foot blast in the sixth inning, but it was too late. The Yankees would not get another run, and the game would end at 7-2.
Neftali Feliz came in the ninth inning and pitched near-perfect. He did surrender two walks in the inning, but struck out Derek Jeter to start the inning. That set the tone for the rest of the inning and after walking Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera, he was able to get Alex Rodriguez to ground out and Cano to fly out to end the game.
Game 3 will be on Monday at Yankee Stadium. Cliff Lee, who has won his last four starts in New York, will start for the Rangers. Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees. But, that is Monday night, and the Rangers are looking forward to it.
With their win on Saturday, the Rangers ended their 10-game postseason losing streak against the Yankees. With the momentum on their side, they're hoping that they can take a 2-1 series lead on Monday.
"That's what they have been doing for us all year. That's how we got to this point. (Friday) night, we didn't get it done. We didn't make any excuses about it," Washington said after the game. "We took the whipping, we took a shower...I was going to give the ball back to those guys if it presented itself. It presented itself, they did a great job. I expected that."
And we expected it, too, Mr. Washington.
By Tyler Ward : Sports Guys Universe; SJ Contributing Author