So I finally get to sit down and turn it over to the American League Championship series in the fifth inning Not bad, 4-0.
I’m watching the Rangers play N.Y. (I can’t bring myself to even think the team name much less type it, the name is so taboo in my home), impressed with their determination and how well Texas is playing. C.J. Wilson is doing a heck of a job holding ‘em off.
Watching part-owner Nolan Ryan observe his team, the pride in his guys through the first 6 1/2 innings was nice. They really were something, “bringing it” and showing their opponents they are here to play hard ball.
I don't pretend to be a baseball expert, just an avid fan. As such, I couldn’t help but worry they’re giving too much too soon. At this rate, surely they’ll tire before the ninth — especially if THAT team does their usual. N.Y. lets ‘em tire then pounces, bringing it in the latter innings when their opponents have very little if no reserves left to dig deep and reach peak.
Unfortunately, I’ve seen it happen all too often. When you give too much too quick, you have nothing left to pull from when the heat is on. Plus, a phenomenal shut out win for the team considered the “long shot” to win usually has the players a bit too puffed up, leaving them vulnerable. They get taken down the next game, and losing momentum often slump and have trouble finding the confidence to fight their way back.
And, in the eighth inning, that’s what happened. N.Y. rallied, scoring five runs in one inning, and eventually pushed ahead 6-5, holding Texas off in the ninth to take the first hit of the ALCS.
Even Nolan — who was encouraging through minor bad plays in earlier innings, nodding to let everyone know it was OK, not to worry — had a disgusted look on his face. Looking down and at one point face to hand as if afraid to see what was coming next, almost ashamed of the Rangers.
But, afterward, he did like any pro should. He shrugged it off, knowing the guys have at least 3 more chances to best N.Y.
And the fielding! It seemed that as Wilson left the mound, he took the Rangers fight with him. What were those fielders doing, in and out field? Last time I checked, it was baseball 101 to call their intent to the other fielder to catch the ball if it’s within range and both players. Not only is it good etiquette, but it helps prevent collisions, misses and injuries. Whether short stop to baseman, center to left fielder, pitcher to first baseman, when the ball is sailing within range of both, one needs to call it, signaling to the other to step back and get ready for the next play, whether a run down, out at the plate or toss back in to halt base advancement.
I would love to see Texas step up with the spirit the Rangers brought to the first 6 1/2 innings of game one of the ALCS and take the next four games, shutting out N.Y.
Without seeing the Giants’ competition in action in the post season, I’m going to stick my neck out and predict that the AL team making it to the Series will win it all this year.
But, I’ll only be cheering for the AL if Texas advances. Otherwise, my focus will go to the NL— which hopefully will be the Phillies. Watching San Fran in the NLDS, I just can’t see myself getting behind this team. I dont think SF (aside from pitchers Brian Wilson, who really held it together last weekend, and Tim Lincecum, who I just can’t find in myself to like; something about his attitude that just puts me off) played well enough in the first round to deserve a shot at the title. I think Texas vs. Philly would be a Series worth watching, and one I’d seriously have to consider before deciding which to support. My vote goes to the team in “red” every time with this line up.
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