Friday, October 22, 2010

Rangers Snuff Yankees in Six, Head to First World Series

Players of the Day for Friday, October 22, 2010

American League

Back on their home field at the Ballpark in Arlington, the Texas Rangers eliminated the reigning world champion Yankees and are headed to the World Series for the first time in franchise history with a 6-1 victory in front of a stadium packed with excited fans.

Vladimir Guerrero, traded from the Angles to the Rangers following the 2009 season, paid huge dividends, driving in the first Ranger run on a fielder's choice ground out in the first, and delivered a 2-out double that broke a 1-1 tie and plated two runs in a decisive 5th inning. When Nelson Crus followed with a line drive two-run homer to left center, the Rangers led 5-1 and were on their way.

While the Rangers were piling up the runs, Colby Lewis was calmly working over the Yankee lineup. Lewis worked eight innings, gave up three hits and three walks, striking out seven. The lone run scored off Lewis was sketchy. After Alex Rodriguez doubled to lead off the 3rd inning and moved to third of Lance Berkman's fly to deep right center, the Yankee third baseman trotted home on what was called a wild pitch, though replays clearly showed that the pitch had hit Nick Swisher, who should have been awarded first, keeping Rodriguez at third. There was no umpire meeting or discussion on the field of what was certainly a blown call.

In the end, it amounted to nothing except a slight rise in Lewis' ERA.

The Yankees were out-gunned in the series, displaying a pitching staff about an arm and a half short of championship caliber. Texas outscored them, 38-19, and the Rangers won their four games by margins of 5, 8, 7 and 5 runs.

Texas will have sufficient time to ready their roster and rest their pitchers. The first game of the World series isn't until Wednesday, October 27, to be played at home of the National League champions.

Josh Hamilton, who singled and scored in the first, intentionally walked the next three times he went to the plate in game six, was awarded the MVP. The Texas center fielder batted .350, drove in seven runs and homered four times in the series.

National League

The Phillies and Giants renew acquaintances on Saturday afternoon, 3:57 pm ET, at Philadelphia for game six of the NLCS. San Francisco leads the Phillies, three games to two.

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