10/30/10 10:30 PM ET
Texas' latest celebrity -- Ron Washington
By T.R. Sullivan and Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
Hurdle still could be managerial candidate
ARLINGTON -- There is still speculation that Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle could end up on somebody's managerial candidates list before all the open positions are filled.
Pittsburgh apparently is the last best possibility. The Pirates' search for a manager seems to have gone on hiatus during the playoffs while others have been filled. The Blue Jays have hired Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell, the Mariners have hired former Indians manager Eric Wedge and the Cubs re-signed interim skipper Mike Quade.
The Marlins seem to be moving at a slower pace to hire their manager, the Brewers are down to a final four that does not include Hurdle, and the Mets are only getting started after hiring Sandy Alderson as general manager on Friday.
The Rangers have been expecting some interest in Hurdle. But he remains focused on the World Series.
"It would be very inappropriate for me to talk about anything other than Rangers baseball during the World Series," Hurdle said.
Hurdle was the Rockies' manager from 2002-09 with a record of 534-625, but guided them to the 2007 World Series against the Red Sox before losing in four games. Hurdle is in his first year as Texas' hitting coach.
Rangers want to get their running game in motion
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are capable of running their way back into the World Series. Entering Game 3 on Saturday, leadoff man Elvis Andrus was 8-for-9 and Josh Hamilton 4-for-4 on steal attempts this postseason, and the Rangers were 16-of-18.
Of course, through losses in the first two games of the World Series, especially while suffering a 9-0 setback in Game 2, Texas didn't consistently fulfill the requirement to start a running game.
"That's the thing, we've got to get on base," Hamilton said with a smirk.
The numbers suggested there was an opportunity to run against Giants Game 3 starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez. Opponents were successful on 17-of-26 attempts with him on the mound during the regular season.
The Rangers did attempt two steals in their 4-2 victory in Game 3, but both were against reliever Guillermo Mota. Ian Kinsler was safe at second, while Vladimir Guerrero was thrown out.
It was clear that that the Giants have devoted attention to controlling runners.
In Game 1, starter Tim Lincecum, who addressed Texas' running game in his news conference the day before the game, used a slide-step that the Rangers had not seen on video. After Kinsler doubled in Game 2, Matt Cain, aware Texas liked taking off for third (Andrus, Nelson Cruz, Julio Borbon were all in the top 25 in attempts at stealing third in the American League), varied his looks and release times and made Kinsler stay put.
But there haven't been many opportunities to run.
"We just haven't had a chance to open up our game," Rangers manager Ron Washington said before Saturday's game.
Texas actually welcomes the extra attention, since preoccupation with runners can make a pitcher less effective.
If the Rangers are reaching base the way they believe they will, they will not be conservative.
"As a team, we've been aggressive all year, and we're going to stay that way," Hamilton said. "We've done that through the playoffs. Hopefully, we'll get back to form as far as doing all the things it takes to have a productive baseball game."
-- Thomas Harding
Sundberg has been part of an 0-2 Series deficit reversed
ARLINGTON -- On the morning of Game 3, Rangers legend and senior executive vice president Jim Sundberg represented the club as it and Major League Baseball presented the Medical City Children's Hospital with a new Starlight Fun Center -- a mobile video-game unit that seriously ill children and their families can enjoy during difficult times.Sundberg spoke at the event and afterward talked about having a World Series here and why Rangers players and fans should savor every moment and not be discouraged by losing the first two games. He's been there, as a catcher on Kansas City's 1985 World Series champions that lost the first two games to the Cardinals.
"We lost the first two games at home and then had to go on the road," Sundberg said, before the Rangers defeated the Giants, 4-2, on Saturday night to get to 2-1 in the Series. "It's not easy being down two games right off the bat, but it's possible to come back. We think our guys have the ability to do that. We lost two at home, won two of three at St. Louis, and then came home and won two."Sundberg was involved in the famous comeback in Game 6, when the Royals scored two in the bottom of the ninth to win it. He scored the winning run on Dane Iorg's two-run pinch-single in a rally that started when umpire Don Denkinger famously missed a call at first base on Jorge Orta's leadoff infield single. "I was the headfirst slide that scored the winning run in the ninth inning of Game 6," Sundberg said. "Obviously, the call at first base with Don Denkinger was a call that went for us. My run actually would have been the tying run instead of the winning run had that out been made. "So St. Louis has no bragging rights when it comes to that controversial call. I always have to tell St. Louis fans, and correct them -- as the years go by, they tend to forget exactly how that came down. If Jorge Orta would have been called out, then the run I scored, instead of the winning run, would have been the tying run. And we still would have been playing, I guess."
-- Mark Newman
Moreland in lineup, with no big changes, but one big swing
ARLINGTON -- Down 0-2 going into Game 3 of the World Series, Rangers manager Ron Washington had no big changes or big speeches planned for his team.He stayed with the same lineup he has been using against left-handers, with Jonathan Sanchez on the mound for the Giants. That meant Jeff Francoeur in right field instead of David Murphy. That also meant that Mitch Moreland stayed at first base. Moreland is a left-handed hitter but entered batting .342 for the playoffs. He paid immediate dividends on Saturday, slugging a three-run homer in the bottom of the second, the big blow in the Rangers' 4-2 victory. Moreland went 1-for-3 and is now hitting .500 in the Series. "Moreland's doing a good job, so I'm going to leave him out there," Washington said before the game. "I'd just like to have somebody on the bags so he can do some damage with some of those knocks." Washington is also not planning on using Cliff Lee on three days' rest and pitch him in Sunday's Game 4. "Tommy Hunter is pitching tomorrow," Washington said. "Tommy Hunter is scheduled to pitch tomorrow and he's going to be pitching tomorrow." Washington also said he hasn't approached Lee about pitching on three days' rest. Lee has never pitched on three days' rest in his career. "I haven't had any conversations and never did have any conversations," Washington said. As far as big speeches before Game 3, Washington said that's not going to happen either. "They know what needs to be done," Washington said. "We've just got to get a win. We need to play within ourselves and everybody does their job. We don't need to start pressing."
Washington preaching relaxed play
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers, manager Ron Washington understands fully, are at their best when they're playing free, without fear of making mistakes. He is driving that point home on a daily basis as they try to recapture their winning ways at home in a World Series that went the Giants' way in San Francisco.
"Every single day," Washington responded before Game 3 when asked how often he emphasizes that players need to play with freedom. "That's the one thing I do pound all the time, is not being concerned about things you can't control, only being concerned about the things you can. Just playing the game. That's the only way you can be relaxed.
"I talked to them about that at the beginning of the series, and we talk to them about that every single day when we're in our meetings -- just about being relaxed and trusting your teammates, trusting your ability, only doing what you're capable of doing. So we're covering all of that.
"But you know, when the game starts, it's on them. They have to go between the lines and they have to see what the game is asking them to do and just execute it. Our guys are relaxed. But we have to go out there and put something together so those types of things won't creep in."
Washington will continue along the same path for Game 4, after the Rangers won on Saturday, 4-2.
Vlad, familiar surroundings return
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington had his regular lineup back with the return of the designated hitter in the American League park. Vladimir Guerrero, who did not play in Game 2 after starting in right field in Game 1, was back in the cleanup spot against Giants southpaw Jonathan Sanchez.
Guerrero, primarily a DH this season but a full-time right fielder for 11 seasons, had two runs batted in and committed two errors in the opener. on Saturday, Guerrero went 0-for-3 with a walk and was caught stealing.
"It's what we've been all year," Washington said before the game, a 4-2 Rangers win. "Just one game in San Francisco, we ended up having to get out of that continuity. But that's what we've tried to maintain all year, and it's just nice to be back home, be in friendly surroundings, be around our fans, be around the people we know love us the most.
"Now we've just got to go out there and get us a win. I really didn't see them tense in that first game. I thought we came out and [were] able to do some things we wanted to do, and then when we started making a few mistakes, I think we may have tried to do some things a little bit outside of ourselves.
"The second game, it was all Matt Cain. He was good; he was very good. When we did get an opportunity to do something against him, he squashed it. It's [the Rangers'] first time in a World Series. I won't say that they maybe [weren't] a little anxious, but it certainly didn't have anything to do with what happened to us in San Francisco. They just shut us down with their pitching."
Game 3 is third ever in Lone Star State
ARLINGTON -- Game 3 was the first World Series game ever played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and the third ever played in Texas.
The Astros lost two games at Houston's Minute Maid Park to the White Sox in 2005.
Rangers Ballpark, according to researchers David Vincent and Bill Arnold, is the 55th park to host a World Series game. There have been 191 World Series games in six different parks in New York, 62 in four different parks in Missouri and 59 games in seven different parks in California.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.