10/28/10 2:19 AM ET
Why the Rangers will win Game 2
By Doug Miller / MLB.com
Deep in the heart of what many pundits considered devastation and despair, Texas called upon that inner strength and belief to rediscover the mojo that made it a great team and a great story.
We're talking, of course, about Game 1 of the AL Championship Series, in which the Rangers famously blew a late five-run lead against the vaunted Yankees, then dominated the rest of the way. (Opposing view: Why the Giants will win Game 2)
Guess what? Texas lost a bizarre 11-7 slugfest in Game 1 of the World Series to the Giants in San Francisco and also watched as its previously unhittable ace, Cliff Lee, was knocked around like never before in his nine playoff outings.
And guess what? After the game, manager Ron Washington was as cool as ever -- as he should be.
The Rangers are far too talented to let one setback disrupt the roll they're on, and aside from one bad six-run inning, they actually outplayed the Giants on Wednesday night.
Sounds familiar, right?
Texas dominated New York in Game 1 of the last series, only to see one inning -- a five-run eighth -- cost the club dearly. It wasn't the same scenario in Wednesday's World Series lid-lifter, but it was close enough.
After the Giants erupted for six in the fifth to take an 8-2 lead, the Rangers started playing like the Rangers again.
Not only did Texas get to San Francisco ace Tim Lincecum like nobody else had in the playoffs (four runs on eight hits, 93 pitches in 5 2/3 innings), but it knocked the ball all over spacious AT&T Park.
The Rangers batted .306 (11-for-36) with four doubles for the game, despite the fact that their best hitter, Josh Hamilton, took a rare 0-for-4 collar.
And, even more important, they kept coming at the Giants.
Immediately following the Giants' six-pack in the bottom of the fifth, the Rangers opened the top of the sixth with a hard-earned two-spot. And when San Francisco extended its lead to 11-4 with three in the bottom of the eighth, Texas came right back with three runs of its own in the ninth, including a run-scoring hit off All-Star closer Brian Wilson.
The Rangers got better during the course of Game 1 and can take that late-game momentum forward.
That explains Washington's nonchalance in the aftermath of Wednesday's weirdness, when asked if his club's four errors -- two by DH-turned-outfielder Vladimir Guerrero -- indicated frayed nerves on account of a first appearance in baseball's ultimate showdown.
"Jitters didn't have anything to do with it," Washington said. "They put 11 runs on the board. They beat us. We'll get it back tomorrow."
That's called Texas-sized confidence, and it will get the Rangers on the board Thursday.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.