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Saturday October 23, 2010 2:05 pm

Texas Rangers punch ticket to first World Series




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Championship, MLB, Playoffs,

New York YankeesMaybe everything would have been different if even one umpire ever noticed that Nick Swisher was hit by a pitch. Twice in the ALCS Swisher was hit without a call, resulting in Yankee baserunners advancing and scoring and, at least in Friday night’s game, it couldn’t be more obvious that Swisher took one for the team. If an umpire sends Swisher to first and keeps the runners where they are, maybe we have a whole different space-time continuum and we’re still watching Game 6 right now.

Instead, the 27-time champion New York Yankees are going home and the Texas Rangers will attempt to become one-time champions, heading to their first World Series in franchise history. This leaves the Seattle Mariners as the only American League team to never visit The Show. Cliff Lee will take his exceptional pitching talents into the biggest game in Rangers history. He’s yet to falter in a postseason appearance, so whether he draws Tim Lincecum or Roy Halladay, it’s going to be a great matchup.

Joe Girardi seemed scared of Texas. He intentionally walked eight Rangers in six games, including Josh Hamilton five times, and it came back to hurt him a bunch. In total, eight runs followed. Texas has proved to be a better bunch of hitters than anybody thought, and when you’re giving guys free passes to first base, good hitters are going to make you pay for it. It cost the Yankees their chance to repeat as World Series champions.

The Yankees basically played one good inning of baseball in the first four games, and should have been swept if not for some questionable bullpen management by Ron Washington. Instead, the series goes to six games before the Rangers prove that in a seven-game series in October, the Rangers are the superior team. Can they keep this up against San Francisco or Philadelphia, whose pitching staffs are inarguably better than New York? They’ll answer that question next week.

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