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ALCS G4: Rangers homer their way to verge of World Series!

A reading from the book of Kurt Cockran Chapter 1 Verse 1..

“If the Yankees get a hit and no one is there to see it, does it count?”

When this game started, I was of the ilk of “Well, OK, we’re either going to bomb them, or Burnett will pitch a gem, and it’ll be tied 2-2″. We ended up bombing them, but man, was it NOT in the way I thought it was going to happen.
There was a ton of talk about Burnett not having pitched in awhile, and that he was having an awful season, and nobody in their right mind could believe that Burnett was starting this game. Girardi was committing post season suicide by doing this. I thought we had a shot if Burnett didn’t pitch well. Thing is, he did for the most part. If you take out the last pitch he threw, his line would have been 6 innings, five hits, two earned runs. Not too bad, but as we know that’s not what his line was. It was 6 innings, 6 hits, five earned runs.
The bottom of the second was interesting enough. It brought back memories of 1996 where a home run ball was disputed in the right field wall, then we brought instant replay into it. But not on that play, on another play where it was ruled a home run, but called back. The Yankees were briefly up 2-0 until it was reverted back to 1-0.
The top of the third was interesting too, as we scored two runs without the benefit of a ball leaving the infield. Walk, hit by pitch, sac bunt, ground out to first, infield single to third. That was the way we scored two runs in the third. We let the Yankees back in it by allowing ‘em to tie in the bottom of the third and to take the lead in the bottom of the fourth.
It stayed that way for awhile – the Yankees up 3-2.
Tommy Hunter was “eh”. He wasn’t going to be Cliff Lee from last night, but I was expecting him to survive the fourth. He didn’t. 3.1 innings, 5 hits, 3 ER. No walks, but he wasn’t very good with control. Could have been worse, mind you, but we managed to keep it together – or at least off the scoreboard after that. The Yankees didn’t score any more runs after the fourth inning.
They certainly tried in the 8th. They had the bases loaded again after some awful bullpen work by Clay Rapada & Darren O’Day (plus the only batter Holland faced in the 8th). Those guys walked the bases loaded. Darren Oliver came in and did not repeat his Game 1 meltdown, and got the job done. Flyout by Swisher, and a groundout by Berkman. It was certainly dicey there in the 8th as the tying run was up at bat.
Not that half the stadium would know, as they started a mass exodus again early. So much for the vaulted Yankee fan loyalty. They’re about as fickle as Cowboys fans are. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that, but I am.
There was a lot of offense late, but the best moment came on the final pitch that A.J. Burnett threw, which was to Bengie Molina. The Yankees had made the right move and walked David Murphy to get to Molina. He’s obviously not a slouch with the bat, but it is the odds move to make. Walk the lefty to get to the righty. Problem is Burnett grooved a pitch first to Molina, and he nailed it – almost got to the second deck in left field. At the time, it put the Rangers up 5-3. It was a HELL of a feeling, as I was feeling kind of down at that time, to be honest. Not ready to give up – but feeling that we weren’t going to win the game. Molina made use of Nelson Cruz’s boomstick, and bam – it changed in an instant. It led to this:

Yeah, I know the image is a total hack job, but I didn’t have the time to fiddle with putting Nelson Muntz in there properly. :)
After that, there were three more home runs. Two by Josh Hamilton, the second of which landed right in the middle of the Yankees bullpen. Very amusing. The other was a titanic blast by Nelson Cruz in the ninth to get us to the final score of 10-3. But Molina was the big power guy for me – his home run was the game (and dare I hope series) clincher. After that it was our game, except for a moment in the bottom of the 8th when we danced with letting the Yankees back in – but this time we did manage to step on their throats.
Also, Vlad Guerrero is hot, he went 4-5 this game. That bodes well assuming we do advance. :)
Below is my list of game notes, there’s some good stuff in there. Check it out. Oh man, we’re only ONE GAME away from the stinkin’ World Series. We could be there in about 17 hours from the moment I’m typing this. It’s by far not over, but then again, I’m the fan, not the player. Players will say the right thing, but they have to be lying if they don’t at least smell it. :)

Here’s the list:

  • Got a feeling aj will do welltonight. No big numbers, just gut feeling.
  • Better first for Burnett than any other Yankees starter so far.
  • 7 pitch 1-2-3 for Hunter, beating Burnetts 9pitch 1-2-3 in the first.
  • Burnett has 3 ks through two
  • Chalk one up for replay. Bs for umpires for not checking the Cruz one.
  • The first two innings aj looked like the one i didn’t want to show up. So far in the thirds, he is the one I enacted to show up.
  • Teixeira saved a run with a great play on Andrus grounder. Did tie the game though.
  • The chiller couldn’t get the ball out of his glove on a Young grounder. inf 1b and RBI for young.
  • The Rangers take the lead without a ball leaving the infield
  • And the game is on. Yankees tie it up with a two out single scoring Jeter who had tripled.
  • Hunter nails Arod with a pitch in the fourth. Wheeeee!
  • Tommy Hunter is NOT Cliff Lee. Out after 3.2 innings. Leaves with 2-2 score, but bases loaded.
  • Really nice play by Elvis for a 6-5 fc to get an out. And save a second run.
  • Got to see my favorite thing. A camera that is on get hit by this time not a ball, but a bat. Put a HOLE in the camera lens. Wow.
  • Nice work by Holland to keep a potentially disastrous inning from getting out of hand.
    Tex annoys me. Period.

  • Nice at bat by young in the 5th, working a walk after a million pitches.
  • Steve Bartmann II?
  • Ok, we didnt cash in in the 5th. Got that sinking feeling right now.
  • I do not want to see Holland again in the playoffs.
  • If the Yankees open it up here, im done scoring the game,
  • Tex looks like he’s coming out, he’s holding his hamstring.
  • The TBS guys name dropped Rich Harden. That was the only was he was getting into the playoffs.
  • The chiller strikes again with a 6-4-3 double play.
  • Tex is out.
  • Before Cruz’s at bat in the 6th, I “put in the call”. Didn’t work.
  • Rangers have had the leadoff hitter on in innings 2-6.
  • Capt uppercut flew out on.. Wait for it… An uppercut swing flyball to center
  • Holy crap! Bengie makes em pay for the intentional walk to Murphy. Heard some fans on the open mikes going Noooooo! As well as a few f bombs.
  • In the 7th, you’re watching the rainmaker hr by Hamilton go, and I’m thinking, “Can one of these please get out, instead of being caught in front of the wall”? Then it went out. I’m happy.
  • Rangers are starting to run away with it. Not done by far, but feeling confident for sure.
  • Joba was pretty much ineffective, allowing three hits, and finally striking out Kinsler.
  • Ok, I was wrong about Holland. :)
  • O’day & Rapada are letting them back in. Not liking this!! Three walks – WTF!
  • This feels like the top of the 8th in Game 1 again. Not good.
  • We lucked out. It appeared that an Oliver pitch hit Swisher in the pants leg, but not called.
  • HUGE HUGE play by Michael young to keep the game from going back the Yankees way.
  • What a middle finger there. Josh delivers a second home run this game right after the Yankees could plate anyone after a pretty big gift from our bullpen.
  • That’s the second multi homer game in Ranfers history – 96 ALDS by Juando Game 2.
  • Hamilton’s second HR wet right I to the Yankee bullpen. Just an additional little bit of fun.
  • If our bullpen didn’t melt down in game 1, the series would be over now.
  • Wow.
  • As my wife said.. “Just five minutes after game over, and the place is totally cleared out!”

Photo by Vernon Bryant of the Dallas Morning News.

Comments

  1. Ew, we are not the longhorns in any way shape or form. Give me the claw and antlers over that crap any day.
    Thanks for the shout-out. (misspelled my name btw)

  2. Joe Siegler says:

    I don’t think that was the Hook ‘em Horns use of the gesture. :)

  3. I can feel it too Joe! Only 1 game. It’s Time!

  4. I have a Rangers fan friend going to Baylor who’s LOVING the claw. Right at home with him.

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