Saturday, October 9, 2010

ALDS Game 3: Rays at Rangers

Photo courtesy Texas Rangers
The Rangers look to sweep the series today at The Ballpark in Arlington.
I'm not sure even the most ardent of Texas Rangers supporters could have seen this one coming: Their team has a chance to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays with a win today in Game 3 of their American League Division Series. While plenty of people thought the Rangers would win this series -- full disclosure: I wasn't one of them -- no one could have seen them dominating the first two games at Tropicana Field the way they did. Now, they've got the opportunity to wrap this up right here and now.

The man starting for Texas today is right-hander Colby Lewis, whose name may ring a bell. Yes, the same Colby Lewis who was one of about 247 non-roster invitees to Nationals camp in the spring of 2007 and had an opportunity to win a rotation spot. Lewis was horrible in only a couple of spring appearances, got released, never pitched anywhere in the Nationals organization and wound up reviving his career in Japan. The Rangers scouted him, signed him over the winter and look at him now: He's a 12-game winner starting a potential playoff clincher. Pretty amazing.

Matt Garza, who tossed a no-hitter during the regular season, starts for Tampa Bay, hoping to keep his team's season alive. Garza has the ability to dominate on any given day, but he's also prone to implosions: He allowed six or more runs six times this season, including three straight starts in September. He'll have to be on today for the Rays to stave off elimination.

I'm posting this early because I'm heading out for the afternoon, and the Rays haven't posted their lineup yet. If anyone out there is so inclined and wants to add Tampa Bay's starting nine in the comments section once it comes out later, it would be much appreciated. Enjoy the game...

Where: The Ballpark in Arlington
Gametime: 5:07 p.m.
TV: TBS Radio: WTNT-570 AM
Weather: Sunny, 86 degrees
C John Jaso
2B Ben Zobrist
LF Carl Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
RF Matt Joyce
DH Dan Johnson
1B Carlos Pena
CF B.J. Upton
SS Jason Bartlett
(P Matt Garza)

SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero
RF Nelson Cruz
2B Ian Kinsler
LF David Murphy
C Bengie Molina
1B Mitch Moreland
(P Colby Lewis)
7:35 p.m. -- So I got home a little while ago, just in time to see a terrible strike three call on Carl Crawford to end the top of the seventh (that pitch was at least six inches outside). And, as has been the case several times already this postseason, the team that benefitted from the blown call immediately took advantage. Ian Kinsler led off the bottom of the seventh by homering down the left-field line, knocking Matt Garza out of the game. So just like that, the Rangers lead 2-1 and are six outs from clinching the series. Also, was it just me or did I see CBS Sports announcer Jim Nantz standing next to Rangers president Nolan Ryan and applauding after the Kinsler homer? What's up with that?

7:56 p.m. -- And they're now tied thanks to an RBI single by Carlos Pena. Big clutch hit for the Tampa Bay first baseman, who went 0-for-3 with three strikeouts in Game 1 and then was benched for Game 2.

8:09 p.m. -- And now the Rays take a 3-2 lead. John Jaso with an RBI single on an 0-2, two-out pitch from Rangers closer (and presumptive AL Rookie of the Year Neftali Feliz). All of a sudden, Tampa Bay is six outs from winning this game.

8:23 p.m. -- The Rays can't be stopped. Crawford avenges that earlier bad strike three call by homering off Feliz in the ninth. It's now 4-2 Tampa Bay.

8:38 p.m. -- It would appear Carlos Pena has redeemed himself. Two-run homer makes it 6-2 in the ninth. Looks like we're headed for Game 4 tomorrow afternoon.

8:46 p.m. -- Well, the Rangers tried to make it interesting, with Nelson Cruz homering in the bottom of the ninth. But the Rays hung on and won 6-3, staving off elimination for tonight. Game 4 tomorrow at 1:07 p.m.


BinM said...

Wow, Colby Lewis was part of the 'cattle-call' for SP's in 2007; Who'da thunk? Nice work on digging that little tidbit out, Mark.
Let's see which version of Matt Garza shows up this evening - The no-hit pitcher, or the middle of the rotation pitcher. If the MOR version takes the mound tonight, then stick a fork in Tampa, 'cause they're done.

The Anti-Clint said...


J Jaso C
B Zobrist 2B
C Crawford LF
E Longoria 3B
M Joyce RF
D Johnson DH
C Pena 1B
B Upton CF
J Bartlett SS
(M Garza P)

dj in Fl. said...

This was a very enjoyable game. Glad to see Crawford and Pena put this club on their backs to right the ship. With both probably gone next year they need to get it done this year.

Good thing they got a few extra runs, it looks like they may be needed.

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_for_Me said...

Congratulations to the champs. But really beating their Minnesota cousins is no cause for celebration. I was surprised to see the Yankees celebrating with champagne in their clubhouse. For what? Beating Minnesota in the playoffs? Doesn't everybody?

natsfan1a said...

Yes, was good to see the Rays come to life. And I'm sooo glad that MLB is only using the best umps this postseason, so as to avoid any controversial calls (sarcasm off).

In other news, I thought the "O'Day" song for the Texas reliever was funny, and how about those antlers on the fans? Think I'm gonna get some to wear to Nats Park next season. Not.

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