ARLINGTON -- Lost amid the bullpen meltdown in the top of the eighth inning of Friday's 6-5 loss to the Yankees was a baserunning mistake by Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler in the bottom half of the frame.Right after the Texas bullpen allowed five runs to give the Yankees their first and final advantage of Game 1 in the best-of-seven American League Championship Series, Kinsler drew a leadoff walk against reliever Kerry Wood. It seemed the Rangers might find a way to push across a run before having to face closer Mariano Rivera in the ninth. Representing the tying run, Kinsler was desperate to get into scoring position, and that may have led to a little over aggressiveness on his part.
Wood fell behind David Murphy 2-and-1, and as the right-hander came set, Kinsler took one extra step. When Wood turned and fired to first, he caught Kinsler starting to break for second. A quick rundown ensued, and Kinsler was erased.Wood seemed to regain his footing and went on to get Murphy to ground to first before he fanned pinch-hitter Julio Borbon to end the inning. "I was being a little bit too aggressive," Kinsler said. "He picked off at the right time and got me." The call for the pickup came from third-base coach Tony Pena in the Yankees dugout.
"We are in clear view of the baserunner and what he's trying to do ... if he's trying to time it," Joe Girardi said after the play. "Kinsler broke and Kerry picked at the right time. Tony [Pena] was a catcher and understands the running game, and what teams are trying to do to us and we discuss it and it worked out for us."
Kinsler was 15-for-20 in the stolen-base department during the regular season.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.