Rangers Defeat Yankees To Earn First Ever World Series Berth
Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees
Game 2 recap: The Texas Rangers — longtime the joke of Major League Baseball — are headed to the World Series for the first time.
It only took 50 years.
They did it Friday behind the most unlikely pitching of Colby Lewis — who spent two years pitching for the Hiroshima Toyo Carp, yes, a Japan league team. He only just rejoined the Rangers this season.
Lewis didn’t give up a hit until the fourth inning Friday. He went eight innings, surrendering just three hits total, before giving way to Neftali Feliz, who shut the door on the Yankees. Just a year ago, they used their own dominating pitching to win the championship.
The Rangers started early with a run in the first on Vladimir Guerrero’s RBI groundout. The equalizer came in the fifth when A-Rod scored on a controversial wild pitch.
It made no difference by the end of the fifth. In the bottom of the frame, the Rangers took over behind key hits from Guerrero and Nelson Cruz. Ian Kinsler’s sac fly in the seventh added an insurance run.
Key moment: The Yankees were made to regret another intentional walk to Josh Hamilton.
During a four-run outburst in the fifth inning, it was Guerrero who made the Yankees pay most with a two-run double off Phil Hughes.
In all, the Yankees walked Hamilton three times intentionally to get to Guerrero. Overall, that made five intentional walks to the slugger over the LCS, a record.
It still couldn’t keep Hamilton from receiving the ALCS Most Valuable Player award.
Game changer: Following Guerrero’s double, the Yanks pulled their starter, replacing Hughes with David Robertson.
It made no difference. Nelson Cruz — who hit three home runs in the AL division series against the Tampa Bay Rays — ripped a shot out to left and over the fence, sending the fans into hysteria. Those two runs suddenly put the Rangers up 5-1.
Play of the game: With the pressure really on in the eighth inning, Lewis struck out the side, putting an exclamation point on his phenomenal afternoon. Feliz did the rest of the work, striking out two, including Rodriguez, for the final out.
Unsung hero: Few players have done as much in their careers and been as unsung as Michael Young.
From 2004 to 2009, the Rangers' shortstop made every All-Star game. He was the 2005 American League batting champion. In 2003, he even changed positions — moving from third to shortstop — opening up a spot for Alfonso Soriano. He was an All-Star Game MVP once.
He also was on the deplorable Rangers. He made his debut for the Rangers in 2000 and has played his entire career with them, finally earning a chance to win the Series.
He is first in Rangers history in hits and at-bats.
Quotes of game: “I’ll be honest, in the ninth A-Rod was up and I’m tearing up out there, holding back in case he hit the ball to me. I’m so excited, so blessed.” – ALCS MVP Josh Hamilton
“You can’t just keep walking a guy to get to Vladimir Guerrero. He’s one of the best right-handed hitters in the game, period. He’s going to do some damage eventually.” – Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler
To reach writer Dan Watson, click here.
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