11/02/10 2:02 AM ET
Rangers unable to jump-start offense in time
By Thomas Boorstein / MLB.com
Texas followed a shutout loss in Game 4 with a 3-1 loss in Game 5 on Monday night as the franchise's first World Series appearance ended in defeat.
"We know we're a better team than the team that showed up here," outfielder David Murphy said. "But at the same time, they played the game a lot better than us for four of the last five games. Ultimately, that's the team that's going to win."
Texas scored only one run -- a Nelson Cruz homer -- over the Series' final two games, but the problems ran much deeper than that. The Rangers endured an 18-inning scoreless streak after never going more than 15 innings without a run during the regular season. Over the final two games, they got only two runners to second base and had only two innings in which they put more than one runner on in the same frame.
Texas went 1-for-18 with runners on base and had only six total hits over the final two games. After Game 1, the Rangers went 1-for-16 with runners in scoring position and had only one such at-bat in the final two games. The lack of timely hitting didn't hurt them nearly as much as the dearth of opportunities for a big hit. But the American League champs didn't think the struggles compounded their problems at the plate.
"This team doesn't get frustrated," third baseman Michael Young said. "We get [ticked] off. Frustration means we're trying too hard or we're trying to get outside of ourselves. That's not what this team is about. We're coming out with a max-effort approach. We're going to find a way to get the job done. If it doesn't happen, we're not happy about it. But at no point does this team sit here and get frustrated or get disappointed in each other."
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If the Rangers did look around, they wouldn't have any trouble sharing the blame. Of the seven players with more than 10 World Series at-bats, only Mitch Moreland, who hit a three-run homer in Game 3, had a batting average higher than .250. (He had six hits in 13 at-bats for a .462 average.) As a team, they hit .190.
Josh Hamilton, the American League Championship Series MVP, went 2-for-20 with one home run and one walk. Young finished 5-for-20 with five singles. Ian Kinsler had three hits in 16 at-bats. Vladimir Guerrero, who saw his production tail off in the second half of the regular season, had only a single in 14 at-bats.
"It takes a lot of luck to win a World Series," Kinsler said. "There's no doubt about it. Baseball is a game of luck and a game of skill. It takes both to win a World Series, and they had both. Their pitchers were extremely skilled. Offensively, we definitely expect more of ourselves, and they outexecuted us."
By the end of the World Series, three of the four Giants starting pitchers had handcuffed the Rangers. Matt Cain threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings in Game 2, and Madison Bumgarner threw eight clean frames in Game 4 on Sunday. After a rocky Game 1 start, Tim Lincecum struck out 10 in eight innings of one-run ball in Game 5. Only Jonathan Sanchez, the Game 3 loser, lacked a signature performance.
"They were as advertised," Kinsler said. "They're good. That's what got them to the postseason, that's what got them to the World Series and that's what won them the World Series. They're good at pitching -- it's no secret."
"What are you going to do at the end of the day when Lincecum throws like he does?" outfielder Jeff Francoeur said. "He's won two Cy Youngs for a reason, not because he got lucky and ran into them. Tonight, he had every single pitch working."
The Rangers scored 787 runs during the regular season, the fifth most in baseball. But after scoring seven runs in the first game of the World Series, they followed up with only five more in the next four games.
"We have a great offense," Young said. "We feel we should score no matter what. They threw really well. Give them credit for that. As a competitor, you always want to put it on yourself. You always want to say that it doesn't matter who is out there, that you want to score some runs. We just didn't get it done."
Thomas Boorstein is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.