Sums up George A. King III in this morning's New York Post: "The Yankees arrived last night deep in the heart of Texas with a pulse. Faint, for sure, but enough of a beat that the ALCS stethoscope detected it. Can the pump tick long enough to get the Yankees to the World Series? That's not the way to wager, but ..."
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Insists Tim Smith of the New York Daily News: "If the game against the Yankees Wednesday night proved anything, it was that Texas -- which just won its first postseason series by beating Tampa -- still lacks a killer instinct, while the Yankees still have the guile of a wily champion who gets battered but knows how to fight off the ropes. 'It's not disappointing,' Texas manager Ron Washington said about not delivering the KO punch. 'It's a seven-game series. Those guys are champs. We didn't expect them to lay down, and they came out today and they were very aggressive. We had Sabathia bending, but he didn't break.'"
Theorizes Ken Davidoff in this morning's Newsday: "Maybe Joe Girardi deserves credit for holding a quick meeting early Wednesday morning, when the Yankees seemed deader than disco. Perhaps top billing goes to CC Sabathia, who bent like a congressman but never cracked, giving his team the starting pitching performance it needed so badly."
Recaps Ben Shpigel in The New York Times: "The meeting in the Yankees' clubhouse after their loss in Game 4 was brief, a standard, brink-of-elimination pep talk. Mariano Rivera characterized Manager Joe Girardi's message like this: 'Win today -- period.' No ultimatums attached. None were needed. Then, the Yankees went home and packed their suitcases for a return trip to Texas. They cheerfully flew there after a 7-2 victory over the Rangers, whose plans for toppling the reigning champions in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday vanished in a hail of home runs, timely hits and crafty pitching."
Felt like spending Christmas Eve in the drunk tank.