Monday, November 1, 2010

Don't count Rangers out quite yet

Sure, it doesn't look good, Texas fans.

Down 3-1 isn't usually the recipe to a World Series title. But it just might be this year.

So, 38 of the previous 44 teams up 3-1 have closed out the deal. So, what?

All that stands in the way of the first Rangers World Series championship is a 3-game sweep. That's not impossible.

And they're in a perfect spot with Cliff Lee on the bump tonight. Before the Game 1 debacle, Lee was easily the ace of the playoffs. He had allowed 1 ER in six of his past seven starts, including 24 innings of 2-run dominance.

Baseball is a funny sport. Momentum can swing on one crack of the bat, as it did Sunday with Aubrey Huff's monster shot to right.

But a strong Lee performance sends them back to the Bay, where C.J. Wilson faces Matt Cain. The entire series would hinge on that game and even though Cain has been unhittable in his previous two starts, nobody will confuse him for Nolan Ryan, who up until now has made all the right moves, and based on his first-pitch, could probably still throw an inning or two of scoreless inning in relief.

Wilson was strong in Game 2, giving up just 2 runs, 3 hits and 2 BB in 6 IP and his 2010 splits were actually better on the road (2.91 ERA, 1.23 WHIP). The Rangers clearly need to get the bats rattling or else this is a moot point, but a Lee win and the Giants start thinking a little. A win over Cain and they're nearly toast. Baseball is a game best served up loose (just like a Maid-Rite sandwich).

Technically, anyone could win Game 7, but the "grizzled veteran" Colby Lewis is the guy I want on the mound over lefty Jonathan Sanchez.

So if you hail from Texas, fear not, as everything is bigger, including, in this case, World Series comebacks.