Last night went exactly how the Texas Rangers needed it to. Down 2-0 in the World Series and facing an almost impossible mountain if they went down 3-0, the Rangers got the start they needed from Colby Lewis and got enough offense to get their first franchise win in the World Series. After being the big hero in game 6 against the Yankees, Lewis continued to dominate from the mound last night for the Rangers. He is not an overpowering pitcher, but he changed up speeds and locations almost perfectly all night and had the Giants on confused a bunch of times last night. Mitch Moreland and fan favorite and MVP candidate Josh Hamilton launched a couple of balls into the crowd and providing 4 runs, 3 of them coming off of Moreland’s homerun. Great time for the rookie to step up again, and after Molina was walked with Cruz on third and 2 outs, the rookie launched one deep but foul. At that moment it almost felt like another good opportunity might be lost without any runs scored. But Sanchez left one just two pitches later and Moreland puts in into the right field fans. The three run shot ended up being enough, but Hamilton adds on a single run HR when a curveball is just left over the middle of the plate. Lewis did the rest, as he lasts 7 2/3 innings and only gives up two solo homeruns. Neftali Feliz picks up his first save of the playoffs and looked solid doing so. He got all three batters he faced, and two of them were strikeouts. He was throwing heat and just attacking the hitters. Good to see he can do it, as he could be needed a couple more times in this series if the Rangers are to win.
Tonight is game 4, and I expect this one to play out a little differently. The Rangers looked completely different at home, and both teams throw out young pitchers tonight. Tommy Hunter will get the start for the Rangers, and has not been successful in the postseason. After putting up a 13-4 record with a 3.75 ERA during the season, he is 0-1 in the playoffs with a 6.14 ERA. Two starts, but only 7 1/3 innings pitched. The Rangers will need him to be better tonight, and will most likely have to rely upon the bullpen, which has been inconsistent, for at least 3 innings tonight. The Giants throw out rookie Madison Bumgarner (1-0, 3.55 ERA) for game 4, and may rely on their bullpen late as well. The Giants bullpen has been better this postseason, but if the Rangers can get runs off Bumgarner and get the crowd fired up early, then the Rangers have a good chance at tying up the series. And after being down 2-0, going into game 5 with the series tied at 2-2 and a rematch of Lee and Lincecum, the Rangers could be in good shape. I know he faltered in game one, but I have a feeling Cliff Lee is just waiting to get back on that mound and prove himself with the series hanging in the balance.