ALCS - Rangers Punch Ticket To Second Straight World Series
The game was over when...
Detroit Tigers starter Max Scherzer was yanked in the third inning after walking Mike Napoli and Nelson Cruz to load the bases.
Given the Tigers' thin bullpen, you couldn't blame sports fans in Detroit if they sensed it was just about time to shift focus to their resurgent NFL team, because the rest of the inning felt like sitting through a Lions game circa 2008.
Scherzer had already allowed three third-inning runs to surrender a 3-2 lead to Texas before handing Cruz the free pass. After he exited, the Rangers shredded Detroit's relievers for six additional runs in the inning — three of those six charged to Scherzer — to put the series on ice.
Young, Beltre come alive
Texas's Michael Young and Adrian Beltre had gone a combined 8-for-43 with 12 strikeouts through the first five games of the series. But the two were instrumental in helping the Rangers shift the momentum.
Lone Ranger No More
Speaking of Cruz, the right fielder came into Game 6 having accounted for all five Texas home runs and 11 of the team’s 24 runs in the series. He added a sixth home run with a two-run shot in the seventh inning, but also got more than enough support as Young, Ian Kinsler and David Murphy drove in five, three and two runs, respectively to pace the Rangers' offense.
Rangers' starters not pulling their weight...
Even a 9-2 lead was not enough of a cushion to allow the Rangers' maligned starting pitching to give its bullpen a breather.
Texas starters tossed just 24 innings through the first five games of the series, while posting a 5.63 ERA in those outings, and Derek Holland added to those woes in his Game 6 start. Holland lasted just 4 2/3 innings, gave up four earned runs on seven hits and coughed up three home runs, after coming off a Game 2 outing where he was forced to make 76 pitches in 2 2/3 innings of work.
...But their bullpen is
Coming soon to SportsCenter
Not too often you’ll see a Top 10-worthy play and a Not Top 10-worthy play transpire back-to-back in the same game.
Josh Hamilton's leaping catch, while crashing into the left field wall to rob Ryan Raburn of an extra-base hit and end the top of the fifth was described by Fox baseball analyst Tim McCarver as "one of the biggest catches when a team has a five-run lead that you'll see."
The antithesis to that play? Raburn dropping an Ian Kinsler fly ball in the first at-bat of the bottom of the fifth after colliding with teammate Austin Jackson in the outfield.
Walking, Texas Rangers
Tigers batters had drawn 22 walks in the series compared to the Rangers’ 12 heading into Saturday's game. The Tigers could not squeeze out a walk in Game 6, while the Rangers drew eight.
Miguel Cabrera cranked out two solo home runs and Jhonny Peralta's solo homer in the second inning added three more solo home runs to the Tigers’ series total. Ten of Detroit’s 13 homers in the series came with nobody on.
As Cabrera rounded the bases after his homer to give the Tigers an early 1-0 lead, he paid homage to WWE wrestler John Cena with the trademark "You Can’t See Me" hand gesture.
Not many can see him, as Cabrera’s 13th consecutive League Championship Series game with a hit puts him in a very exclusive club. The Tigers first baseman is now tied with Greg Luzinski for the consecutive game hitting streak record in Championship Series games, but that wasn’t enough to help Detroit avoid elimination.
Now none of us can see him until next year.
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