As predicted, I didn’t have any time to blog the past couple of days because it was a blood before baseball kind of weekend. But I did manage to catch a decent amount of Games 3 and 4 while putting family first and it’s time to play catchup …
* Texas starting pitcher Colby Lewis looked sharp in Game 3. A great gamble by Rangers general manager Jon Daniels in the offseason last year.
* It was nice to get a Neftali Feliz sighting in Game 3. Note to Texas manager Ron Washington: Don’t forget about the kid tonight if you get into trouble before the 9th inning rolls around. There’s nothing to save him for if you let an elimination game get away from you in the 7th or 8th inning.
* It probably seemed a little premature for me to call the Rangers goners before Game 3 but now that the weekend is behind us I don’t feel any differently about Texas. They’re going to start their offseason really soon and it’ll be on a sour note. I don’t think they’ve shown anything in this series to indicate that they can win 3 elimination games in a row including 2 on the road.
* Giants manager Bruce Bochy made a light-hitting lineup even lighter in Game 4 by starting left-handed defensive specialists Travis Ishikawa and Nate Schierholtz and guess what happened? He won again and the Giants are 1 victory away from a World Series title. Bochy’s next stop has to be Las Vegas because right now every call he makes is a winner.
* I know history says starting pitchers on short rest in the playoffs is a recipe for disaster but I still would have liked to see Washington be aggressive and go with Cliff Lee in Game 4. Pitch Lee in Game 4 and you could start him in Game 7 too if you get that far. Now Wash only has him for Game 5 and maybe for an inning of relief in a possible Game 7.
The only way Tommy Hunter was the right call against Madison Bumgarner is if they were facing off in a rib eating contest in Arlington, not Game 4 of the World Series.
It’s a miracle the Rangers weren’t down by 5 runs when they pulled Hunter from the game.
* I have a hard time wrapping my head around this fact: Gawdawful Jeff Francoeur was in the starting lineup for the Rangers 2 days in a row … in the World Series. That. Should. Never. Happen.
* So can the Rangers win tonight and bring the series back to San Francisco?
With Cliff Lee on the mound their chances are as good as they’ll ever be.
I think they need at least 7 1/3 to 8 innings out of Lee, 1 big inning out of the heart of their lineup in the first few innings if they’re lucky enough to catch Giants starter Tim Lincecum with less than his A game and they’ll need to catch a break late in the game for a little insurance. Maybe a walk, an error and then a couple of doubles off former A’s reliever Santiago Casilla.
If some of those things break in Texas’ favor they’ll be the lucky winners of a World Series game and a free trip back to San Francisco to be eliminated.