10. And that, my friends, is why I wanted the New York Yankees. Between CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera, this is a flawed pitching staff. Just ask the Rangers, who in this series have posted 5, 7, 8 and 10 runs in building a commanding 3-1 lead in the series. The 10-3 blowout tonight came despite two blown calls by right-field umpire Jim Reynolds, who allowed Robinson Cano's homer despite obvious fan interference - Jeffery Maier, anyone? - and ruled Lance Berkman's obviously foul ball as a homer. Seriously, the guy went 0 for 2 and all he calls are balls down the right field. He should be ejected from the playoffs. Right now.
9. To me the biggest play of the game was Elvis Andrus' diving stop on Brett Gardner's hot smash in the hole with the bases loaded in the 4th inning. A run scored on the play, but Andrus got the force out at third and helped limit New York to one run and only a 3-2 run lead. Also I've been hard on Derek Holland in the playoffs, but tonight he pitched 3.2 innings of one-hit ball. Bueno.
8. At Yankee Stadium tonight: Martha Stewart, Yogi Berra, Mark Cuban and Michael Jordan who, when shown up on the center-field video screen, clearly mouthed an "Oh shit!" I know I was hard on the old/new joint today, but any stadium that plays Linkin Park and Marilyn Manson between innings and Parliament during the game is OK by me.
7. Down 3-1 and facing C.J. Wilson Wednesday in Game 5 and possibly Cliff Lee in Game 7, I wonder if Yankees' manager Joe Girardi will admit his team is in trouble now? "I believe in this team," Girardi just said, so I guess not. Even worse (better), Mark Teixeira is out for the series after pulling his hamstring (or was it his uterus?).
6. In unrelated news, the most ridiculous, least enforced law in our land is the $350 fine for New York taxi drivers honking their horns on the streets in and around Central Park. If anyone was paying attention, my driver this morning ran up a bill of around, oh, $4,550. And in un-un-related news, was it just me or was TBS reporter Craig Sager dressed like Austin Powers?
5. Do I believe in superstitions? Nope. But, just in case, I'll keep writing this until the Rangers make me stop. All-time in the playoffs wearing red caps the Rangers are 1-12; in blue caps 6-0, including an unlikely 5-0 this season. Yep, after an underwhelming 39-42 record on the road during the regular season the Rangers are unbeaten away from Arlington this post-season.
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4. Bengie Molina doesn't look like a player, much less an athlete. At times he's awkward and s-l-o-w reacting to pitches high or wide behind the plate. But I got to hand it to that sucker, his three-run homer - on an A.J. Burnett 92-mph fastball that jammed him, by the way - gave Texas a 5-3 lead after the Yankees walked David Murphy to get to him.
3. Yankees fans, enough with the "M-V-P!" chants when Robinson Cano comes to the plate. There's a guy named Josh Hamilton. Plays for the Rangers. Perhaps you've heard of him? He's the guy who hit two homers tonight, three the last two nights in your park and has four in the series. He's the batting champion and the best player on the team that's bashing in the ears of Cano's team. Bow to him. Now.
2. Antlers my ass. Early in the series the Rangers ran the Yankees ragged, but mostly they've clubbed New York via the Claw, i.e. the homer. Texas has homered in all nine playoff games, longer than any streak it constructed in the regular season. Tonight seven of their 10 runs scored on the long ball. Consider the Bronx bombed.
1. If I would've offered you the Yankees +18.5 runs through the series' first four games you would've bet your savings, borrowed your buddies' 401k and made plans to buy an island in the Carribean. I know, me too. Aggregate score through four games: Rangers 30, Yankees 11. In Games 3-4 at fabled Yankee Stadium, the Rangers have outscored New York 18-3. Yes, surreal. But no, don't pinch yourself. Not yet.