Game 1, bottom of the 7th, no outs, Frazier up with Texas leading 3 to 2
Following a valiant effort of long relief from Dunning, Texas made the call for Josh Sborz to face the back portion of the Baltimore lineup. The Rangers had gone down in order in the top half of the seventh, so a shutdown inning would bode extremely well for them in the bottom half.
But the sentiment of the Texas faithful quickly went from one of confidence to one that screamed "oh no, here we go!" Sborz missed the strike zone on four straight offerings to Hicks, sending the tying run to first. He then proceeded to miss on the next three to Frazier and didn't appear to have any ability to even catch a corner.
But his fourth pitch, a four-seam fastball at the top of the zone did just that. He then sends a second four-seamer to almost the same spot, invoking a swing and a miss to fill the count. Sborz decided to go four-seamer one more time to the inside edge, resulting in a high, lazy fly to right field for the first out.
As if the proverbial ignition had been lit, Sborz went into a new gear and started dancing curveballs to Mullins. On a 1-2 count, Sborz pulls the string on him with a nasty curve in the dirt to get a miss and a much-needed second out. He then freezes the pinch-hitting Ryan O'Hearn with deuces wild on a 98 MPH four-seamer to end the frame.
After an inability to hit the strike zone, Sborz suddenly developed an inability to miss. With 12 pitches that looked nothing like the seven before them, he got the Rangers to the 8th with their lead in tact.