BY: Richard W. Humphrey
ARLINGTON, Texas – The Texas Rangers are headed to the World Series for the second year in a row after beating Detroit 15-5 Saturday night to claim a four wins to two series win. Texas is the first American League team to appear in consecutive World Series since the Yankees were in four from 1998 through 2001.
The Rangers put this game away early when they exploded for nine runs in the third inning. They finished with a 17 hit bombardment on Detroit’s depleted pitching staff. Nine Ranger batters had at least one hit, and seven had at least one RBI. Michael Young and Nelson Cruz had the two round trippers.
After that third inning, the outcome was all but decided. Almost all of the boisterous crowd of 51,508 remained until well after the game ended to watch the players celebrate and to see the award presentations. Included in that crowd was former President and First Lady, George and Laura Bush, as well as Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzky.
Derek Holland was the Rangers starting pitcher. He allowed solo home runs in the first (Miguel Cabrera) and second (Jhonny Peralta) innings. He scrambled through the fourth with the 9-2 lead; but in the fifth, he gave up another long ball to Austin Jackson with a runner on base and was lifted one out shy of qualifying as the winning pitcher. Scott Feldman, Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and Neftali Feliz finished the game. Adams allowed a home run to Cabrera (who else?) in the eighth for the only tarnish on the bullpen’s scoring ledger. Ogando was credited with the win, his second in the series. All four Ranger wins in the series were credited to relief pitchers.
Michael Young finished the evening 3-6 with five RBI’s. He had a pair of run scoring doubles in the nine run third inning to go along with his seventh inning home run off Brad Penny. It was gratifying to see Young have a big night. He had struggled at the plate early in the series. He has been the heart and soul of the team. Mike Napoli called him, “All time greatest Ranger ever.” This is a long way from early in the year when Young was demanding a trade, and the Texas Rangers’ front office was doing its best to accommodate him.
Cruz was named the series MVP. He was 2-4 Saturday night with two RBIs and finished the series with six home runs and 13 RBI’s; both records for not only the ALCS, but for any post-season series in history.
Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland was gracious after the game. He said, “They (the Rangers) proved in this series that they are the team that should represent the American League in the World Series, and I tip my hat to them.”
The World Series will start Wednesday in either St. Louis or Milwaukee. St. Louis currently leads the NLCS three games to two with game six scheduled Sunday in Milwaukee. The Rangers have played the Cardinals in inter-league play in the past, but always in Arlington, never in St. Louis.