Rangers 3, Yankees 0: As Good As it Gets
Same as we shouldn't get too low with the Dallas Cowboys, let's not get too high with the Texas Rangers.
Because, well ... oh eff it. You know what, let's do get high. I know the Rangers didn't face C.C. Sabathia or Andy Pettite, but sweeping the New York Yankees in September is about as good as it gets for our baseball team.
In case you were in football mode, you missed one of the most exciting weekends in Rangers' history.
The first two games featured 22 innings, over nine hours and two walk-offs. And Sunday? Cliff Lee showed up as Cliff Lee.
FRIDAY - In a game the Rangers trailed 4-1, Nelson Cruz homered to tie it in the eighth and then went yard again on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the 13th. In the amazing 6-5 game that took over five hours, Rangers manager Ron Washington used 11 - that's right, 11 - pitchers.
SATURDAY- Hard to top the series opener but the Rangers just might have pulled it off with an improbable 7-6 rally. Down 6-5 in the bottom of the ninth, they rallied and - for the second time this season - beat Hall of Fame reliever Mariano Rivera. In an unlikely start to the rally, Vladimir Guerrero walked. Nelson Cruz singled and Ian Kinsler doubled to tie the game before the Yankees inexplicably walked welcome-back-to-town Chris Davis. With the bases loaded, Rivera then unbelievably hit Jeff Francoeur with a pitch for the first walk-off hit batsmen in Rangers' history.
SUNDAY - After four miserable starts with an ERA over 9.00 and having to skip a start with a sore back that required an injection, Lee looked like a pitcher who could dominate a playoff series. In the 4-1 victory he didn't allow a ball out of the infield into the sixth inning, retired 14 consecutive Yankees at one point and permitted just two hits. After the Rangers produced enough runs via the speed of Elvis Andrus and the daring two-out drag bunt of Julio Borbon, Neftali Feliz struck out the side in the ninth. Game. Set. Sweep.
In all, the memorble weekend series drew 137,396 fans. It proved the Rangers do belong on the big stage with the Yankees. They've won five in a row and, in case you're counting, it drastically lowered Texas' magic number: 12.