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ALCS 2010: Texas Rangers Even Up Series, Beat New York Yankees, 7-2

It’s not going to be a sweep for the Yankees. The Rangers got their first postseason victory at home in their nearly 50 seasons with a 7-2 blowout win over the Yankees.

After a bullpen collapse Friday night, the Rangers were able to hold on to their lead. The Rangers’ bullpen was the complete opposite of what it was in their loss to New York on Friday. The Yankees were only able to obtain one hit in a little over three innings against the Rangers’ bullpen.

Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis pitched well into the sixth inning, and Texas threw in five relievers that completely shut down the Yankees’ star-studded offense. Y

ankees pitcher Phil Hughes had arguably one of the worst outings in ALCS history—the young pitcher had four innings of work, while surrendering 10 hits, along with seven earned runs. He also gave up three walks and struck out three. According to the Bill James Game Score rating system, Hughes had the third-worst ALCS pitching performance in baseball history, only behind Jim Perry (1970 Twins) and Fausto Carmona (2007 Indians). The rating system showed that Hughes scored a 14.

Texas’ Elvis Andrus got the Rangers off to a fantastic start, after an incredible steal of homeplate, putting the Rangers up 1-0. MVP candidate Josh Hamilton also stole second base on the play

“Opportunity seemed right, so I took a chance. That’s the way we play. It worked. Got us going,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said about the play.

Outfielder David Murphy would then hit a solo shot in the second inning, putting the Rangers up 2-0. Michael Young would then double later in the inning, scoring Mitch Moreland.

Murphy would come back in the third inning, doubling to right field and scoring Nelson Cruz on the play, while extending the Rangers’ lead to 4-0. Bengie Molina proceeded to double, scoring Murphy on the play.

The Yankees would finally get on the board in the fourth inning when Lance Berkman singled and scored Robinson Cano—Berkman was thrown out at second, trying to extend the play.

In the fifth inning, Ian Kinsler got the lone triple of the night, scoring Cruz, putting the Rangers’ lead at 6-1. Moreland then singled and scored the aforementioned Kinsler. The Rangers were now looking at a blowout, and had the Yankees at a 7-1 lead.

Robinson Cano hit a 448-foot blast in the sixth inning, but it was too late. The Yankees would not get another run, and the game would end at 7-2.

Neftali Feliz came in the ninth inning and pitched near-perfect. He did surrender two walks in the inning, but struck out Derek Jeter to start the inning. That set the tone for the rest of the inning and after walking Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixiera, he was able to get Alex Rodriguez to ground out and Cano to fly out to end the game.

Game 3 will be on Monday at Yankee Stadium. Cliff Lee, who has won his last four starts in New York, will start for the Rangers. Andy Pettitte will start for the Yankees. But, that is Monday night, and the Rangers are looking forward to it.

With their win on Saturday, the Rangers ended their 10-game postseason losing streak against the Yankees. With the momentum on their side, they’re hoping that they can take a 2-1 series lead on Monday.

“That’s what they have been doing for us all year. That’s how we got to this point. (Friday) night, we didn’t get it done. We didn’t make any excuses about it,” Washington said after the game. “We took the whipping, we took a shower…I was going to give the ball back to those guys if it presented itself. It presented itself, they did a great job. I expected that.”

And we expected it, too, Mr. Washington.

By Tyler Ward
: Sports Guys Universe; SJ  Contributing Author

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Red Sox Pitcher Dick Drago Recalls Legendary Sixth Game of ’75 World Series

Back in 1975, I watched the sixth game of the World Series in a bar called the First and Last Chance Cafe in Pawtucket (It’s still there, now called Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub).

Like nearly everyone else who watched the Red Sox beat the Cincinnati Reds at Fenway Park to tie the series that night, I remember Carlton Fisk’s 12th-inning home run. Rather than run when he he hit a drive down the left-field line toward the foul pole, he turned sideways and willed the ball fair with his body English, at right.

But what made that possible was pinch hitter Bernie Carbo’s game-tying home run into the center field bleachers in the eighth inning that shooed in Fred Lynn and Rico Petrocelli while Dick Drago was warming up to pitch for the Sox.

For Dick, warming up to pitch the ninth inning with his team down by three runs, it suddenly became his chance to win a World Series game.

One Sunday afternoon last month, Drago, who pitched 13 seasons in the MLB, from 1969-1981, and three scoreless innings in one of the best World Series games ever, sat on my back porch and told the tale of that game from his perspective.

A longtime friend of my brother, Dick was visiting Providence and they both came over to watch a Patriots game.

Dick, a good cook, brought a pot of pasta sauce made from his Italian family’s recipe and some killer guacamole. When we paused the game and took a break on my back porch, I asked him about that World Series game, his earliest baseball memories growing up in Toledo, Ohio, and his current involvement with a nonprofit project involving a baseball-themed children’s book.

I turned on a digital recorder and just let him talk. (You’ll hear birds.)

Here’s a snippet:

“When Bernie hit that ball into the center field seats, and I just remember kind of jumping up and down on the bullpen mound when it happened to tie the game up, and I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, all of a sudden I’m in a game that’s tied up in the sixth game of the World Series, and I’m coming in to pitch and everything is now on the line.” So all of a sudden my game face has to change and I have to get that little fire in you, and it’s good because when it happens, the nerves start, and you get the little butterflies in your stomach, knowing now we’re into the ninth inning of a tie game… I faced three future Hall of Famers, back to back to back. I think it was Rose, Bench and Perez in the top of the ninth, and retired them in order in the ninth… All that nerves — it’s an adrenaline that you either thrive on or you succumb to. And I enjoy it. It was a pressure that I like….”

Pulled for a pinch hitter after holding off the Reds through the eleventh inning, Dick didn’t become the pitcher of record.

Rick Wise pitched the twelfth and final inning.

The Sox went on to lose the seventh game, which none of us remember, and the Series.

front_cover1.jpg Drago, now 64, lives in Tampa, Fla., and spends much of his time promoting a children’s book called A Glove of Their Own which schools, PTOs and other nonprofit groups use as a fundraising tool.

The picture book is a long poem co-authored by Debbie Moldovan, Keri Conkling and Lisa Funari-Willever and illustrated by Lauren Lambiase, that tells of sandlot pickup games by a group of kids who share gloves and ratty bats until an old man comes by with bags of sports equipment from his garage, once used by his own kids, now long grown and gone.

A portion of the proceeds from sale of the book is donated to three non-profit organizations, Pitch In For Baseball , Sports Gift , and Good Sports to provide sports equipment for kids who don’t have enough bats, balls and gloves to go around.

Original article posted at   and reposted here and at Sports Jabber at the request & permission of Dick Drago.

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The End of Interleague Play for Now: Who Came Out on Top?

Inter-league play is over. Once again, the AL dominated (134-118), which they have done for six out of the last seven years. As regards the contenders, some notes first, especially in light of the uneven level of difficulty in the inter-league schedule:

• BOSTON: Probably had the best result for a team with a difficult schedule (five of their six series were against teams over .500)

• CHICAGO WHITE SOX: Made the best (big time) of a weak inter-league schedule (five of the their six series were against teams under .500)

• TEXAS: They too made the best of it, and well they should have. They had by far the easiest NL schedule of any team in the AL.

• LOS ANGELES ANGELS: Held their own with a relatively tough schedule.

• ATLANTA: Like the LAA, the Braves held on in spite of a relatively difficult AL schedule.

• PHILADELPHIA: A reasonably good result given the second toughest schedule in the NL.

• NEW YORK METS: Like the Red Sox, the Mets did well. Though their schedule was not quite as difficult as Boston’s, they managed to end with a good record.

• WASHINGTON: Blew a golden opportunity. Very weak inter-league schedule. Poor performance.

• CINCINNATI: The Reds should have done better. They too had a very weak schedule and managed only a modest result.

• LOS ANGELES DODGERS: The Dodgers had arguably the worst time of it of any NL team, both in terms of difficulty of schedule and result.


Here’s how the contenders fared:


TAMPA BAY RAYS (7-11) : Houston (2-1), Florida (1-2), Atlanta (1-2), Florida (1-2), San Diego (1-2), Arizona (1-2).

NEW YORK YANKEES (11-7) : New York Mets (1-2), Houston (3-0), Philadelphia (1-2), NY Mets (2-1), Arizona (2-1), LA Dodgers (2-1).

BOSTON RED SOX (13-5) : Philadelphia (4-2), Arizona (3-0), LA Dodgers (3-0), Colorado (1-2), San Francisco (2-1).



MINNESOTA TWINS (9-9) : Milwaukee (2-1), Atlanta (1-2), Colorado (2-1), Philadelphia (2-1), Milwaukee (1-2), NY Mets (1-2).

DETROIT TIGERS (11-7) : Los Angeles Dodgers (1-2), Pittsburgh (3-0), Washington (3-0), Arizona (2-1), NY Mets (1-2), Atlanta (1-2).

CHICAGO WHITE SOX (15-3) : Florida (2-1), Chicago Cubs (2-1), Pittsburgh (3-0), Washington (3-0), Atlanta (3-0), Chicago Cubs (2-1).


Mudge is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author. Read more of Mudge at

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MLB 2010: The Year of the Youth

It may be only a few months into the baseball season, but some young players are already starting to become household names. Whether they play in the outfield, behind the plate, or on the mound they’re making an impact in their early careers.

Stephen Strasburg, the most hyped pitcher in recent memory, has played better than expected.

In his major league debut, Strasburg tied the Nationals franchise by record, fanning 14 batters in seven innings without walking a single batter. Now that’s how to start your career.

In only three starts, Strasburg has a 2-0 record with 32 K’s and a mere five walks. In 19.1 innings, he’s given up only 10 hits and has a 1.86 ERA.

Strasburg has already made a case to be an All-Star selection, and with stats like those, how can you disagree.

His fastball can clock at over 100 miles per hour, and his curve ball can drop eight inches at times. His circle change is also a deadly pitch that can reach 90 miles per hour. With pitches like that, it’s hard to image anyone can get a hit off this guy.

It’s obvious Strasburg has a bright future ahead of him, and I have a feeling we will see him become one of the most elite pitchers in the game. We can only image what’s to come from this 21-year-old phenom.

Jason Heyward, the Spring Training break-out right fielder, started his MLB career with a homer and hasn’t let up.

He’s batting .263 with 11 homers and 44 RBI’s, not to mention coming through in a few crucial moments this season.

When runners are in scoring position with two outs, Heyward is batting .353 with 14 RBI’s off of 12 hits. Also, with the bases loaded Heyward is 4-12 with nine RBI’s.

Can you say clutch?

Twenty-six of Heyward’s 62 hits have resulted in extra bases and you can tell the Braves are happy with his production. Heyward seems to be a future star in the MLB.

Florida’s recent call-up, Mike Stanton, is already making an impact. The right fielder, like Heyward, has only played in 10 games, but contributed eight RBI’s off of nine hits.


Golden_State_of_Mind is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author

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Strasburg’s Debut the First Chapter in New Era

Remember where you were on June 8, 2010. That was the day where, more likely than not, the future face of the MLB debuted. His name: Stephen Strasburg.

Strasburg’s debut was probably the most hyped debut in the history of any professional sport. The craze over the 21 year old started when the Washington Nationals drafted him with the first pick in the 2009 first-year player draft.

While many expected him to start the 2010 season in the majors, the Nationals, for good reason, decided to test him at Double-A and Triple-A. To say he mastered his tests would be an understatement. So, the Nationals decided it was time for Strasburg to make his mark in the show. That’s exactly what he did.

Strasburg made his debut against the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates; a good team to get your feet wet against, a AAAA-team. But, don’t let his opponent skew your judgment of his start. Strasburg dominated the Pirates in many different ways, with the only hiccup being a two-run home run by Delwyn Young.

In the much-anticipated debut, Strasburg pitched seven innings, allowing just two runs. And just after his first start, Strasburg already finds himself in the Nationals’ record book. Strasburg struck out 14 Pirates, a Nationals franchise record for strikeouts in a game. Strasburg just missed out on the all-time record for strikeouts in a debut which is 15.

But the two pitchers who hold that record both pitched complete games. One can assume that if pitch count wasn’t such a big part of today’s game that Strasburg would have broken that record.


Crawfordfan14 is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author

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Crawfordfan14’s power rankings: Updated 6/7

Power rankings (6/7 update)

1. Tampa Bay Rays – The Rays have been scuffling lately, but the Rays still have the best squad thus far in the majors. The offense is due for an offensive explosion, and while the pitching hasn’t been as good as it was in the beginning of the season, it has still been more consistant than a lot of people expected. One thing to watch for is if Wade Davis can turn it around. Lately he has been ice cold, and if he doesn’t turn it around, he could find himself in Durham. The Rays have Jeremy Hellickson waiting in the wings.

2. New York Yankees – The Yankees continue to be another bright spot in the league this year. They finally got a great outing from Javier Vazquez, when he took a no-hitter late into the game. It’s going to be a very long and grueling season in the AL East this year, and the Yanks are a big part of that.

3. Minnesota Twins – Continuing the trend of AL teams, here are the Minnesota Twins. The Twins have an admirable 3.5 game lead on the Tigers in a less-than-stellar division, but those two teams are the exception. The Twins should continue to lead that division for the rest of the season, and be a force in the postseason.

4. San Diego Padres – The Padres are the only NL team in my top 6, and for good reason. There are other NL teams with better records than some of the AL teams to follow, but the Padres are the only ones who I see as a legitimate threat in the postseason at this point, except for maybe the Phillies, who are struggling. It might not always be pretty, but the Pads usually find a way to get it done.

5. Toronto Blue Jays – The Blue Jays are undoubtedly the surprise team in the AL this year. They hit home runs like nobody else in the league, and their pitching staff has been miles better than anyone could have imagined going into the season. Unfortunately for the Jays, they play in the AL East, so let’s see how much longer they sustain.

6. Boston Red Sox

7. Cincinnati Reds

8. St. Louis Cardinals

9. Atlanta Braves

10. Los Angeles Dodgers

11. Texas Rangers

12. Philadelphia Phillies

13. Detroit Tigers

14. Oakland A’s

15. Los Angeles Angels

16. San Francisco Giants

17. New York Mets

18. Colorado Rockies

19. Florida Marlins

20. Chicago Cubs

21. Washington Nationals

22. Chicago White Sox

23. Pittsburgh Pirates

24. Kansas City Royals

25. Milwaukee Brewers

26. Arizona Diamondbacks

27. Cleveland Indians

28. Houston Astros

29. Seattle Mariners

30. Baltimore Orioles

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Give Me My Instant Replay

Last year, Major League Baseball stepped up to the technology plate and adapted instant replay. However, these implementations were very minor.

Instant replay could only be used on home run boundary calls, such as if a ball touched anything in “home run land” and bounced back into play, or if a fan reached over and caused what would be a double appear to be a home run. For the most part, I was very much in agreement with these rules. However, it’s time for change.

This comes after the call made in a near perfect game on June 2 by Armando Galarraga. Galarraga had retired the first 26 batters of the game when Cleveland’s Jason Donald hit a ground ball to the right of first baseman Miguel Cabrera. Cabrera came up with the ball and tossed it over to Galarraga, who was covering first base. Veteran umpire Jim Joyce called Donald safe at the base. Replays later showed that the ball and Galarraga beat Donald to the bag.

It’s one thing that a call is missed from time to time on regular games. But now we’re messing with history. This could have been, and should have been, the 21st perfect game in major league history, and the third in the span of less than 30 days. That’s just too much history to let a judgement call mess up.


Ryan is a Jabberhead and an SJ contributing author

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