Down 5 runs in the 6th inning of a post season game where you have only mustered a few hits up to that point of that game usually means things aren’t going your way. For the most part they weren’t. C.J. Wilson was almost masterful up to the seventh inning of game 1 of the ALCS last night. Then the wheels fell off for the Texas Rangers, or you can say the New York Yankees woke up.
After a big layoff the Yankees bats seemed to be in a slumber for most of the night, which could have been expected. With the score 5-1 going into the 8th inning the Texas Rangers seemed poised and destined to finally win that first home playoff game. But moments after Brett Gardner reached first base on an infield single, you had that gut feeling that the Yankees were about to do something magical. After all, it is October. That hit was as common as Derek Jeter hitting a clutch single opposite field as he has done in past Novembers, you just knew they weren’t going away. Ironically Jeter did single again off Wilson, to end his night right after Gardner. This pitching change will criticized by Rangers fans, but in hindsight it did look like Wilson was losing some steam. The Rangers bullpen had been great all season and playoffs, Washington did the right thing at that point.
Then the trainwreck inning then really began. The heart of the Yankees order arrived to the plate and ate away at every matchup Ron Washington threw at them. Just like I mentioned before in a previous post, the Rangers pitching had to be near perfect to win this series and on Friday night they imploded. Call it pressure, or call it the experienced lineup of New York. Two walks, three singles and and four Texas relief pitchers later and the Yankees had a 6-5 lead going into the bottom of the 8th. Enter the lights out Yankees bullpen of Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera and the Rangers had officially blown a great chance to win the game and take some momentum in the series.
The Yankees ability to not be rattled down this many runs late should worry Texas. The Rangers need a big win on Saturday to lift their confidence and play. Anything less would spell disaster going into the Bronx for three straight games.
GAME 2 Info
Location: Rangers Ball Park @ 4pm EST
Probables: NYY Phil Hughes @ TEX Colby Lewis
About the Author
Written by George Kouvalis
A huge fan of sports who loves to travel for major events. I've seen my fair share of major games and events including three Olympics, Wimbledon, The Masters etc.... Always up for a road trip or a drink to talk over sports or pro wrestling, in any city I am in or online. Favorite Teams: Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto FC, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Bulls, San Francisco 49ers, Toronto Argonauts, Manchester United, and of course the teams I blog for, the Texas Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. Follow me on twitter at the handle georgekouvalis