Yu almost made it

Wasn’t there an unwritten rule that you don’t talk about a possible no-hitter in progress? Did nobody tell the press? ESPN had a no-hitter watch on their crawl. Sheesh.

8 2/3rds of a perfect game. Unfortunately, it’s like winning 4/5ths of the lottery. You have to close it out. You have to get them all. Still…

111 pitches and only one Yu Darvish probably wants back. I guess that’s why a pitcher that plays good defense is such a find. Has anybody found one?

Still, an amazing outing and a win. Wins count, no matter how many hits you give up.

Next time, for sure.

World Series Bound

The Texas Rangers are going back to the World Series. Who would have thought anyone would type “The Rangers are back in the World Series” before they typed “The Cowboys are back in the Super Bowl”?

The Rangers declawed the Tigers 15-5 last night to win the AL Championship. The turning point was the 9-run third inning where the Tigers used a good portion of their bullpen and the Rangers hit around the order. Michael Young hit two two-run doubles in the same inning. I’m sure there were people in Detroit thinking, “Maybe baseball should try that “Play for an hour and stop” rule like other sports”, but the Rangers just kept hitting.

It was the first Rangers game I saw in person this year, and I think I picked the right game.

That’s two championships clinched while I was in the stands this year. It’s interesting sharing a ballpark with 51,000 other people instead of 900. The crowd’s emotion level is similar when the final out clinched the victory for the home team, but it’s a different level, partially because of the crowd size and partially because of the relationship of the fans to the players. I know the Rangers – I see them on TV all the time. However, I know the AirHogs – I talk to them, I have dinner with them, we’re connected online. So, as happy as I am for the Rangers (and this team deserved the victory and I think they may be the ones to bring a World Series victory to Texas), it’s different.

Now, the wait to see who the opponent will be, just like the end of the AirHogs season. At least the Rangers don’t have to stay in a hotel in Wichita.

The series provided the beauty of baseball for me – you can win in dramatic fashion on offense (a walk-off grand slam) or you can win on defense (a first baseman’s glove cradling a pop-up for the final out.) It doesn’t matter what the score is, the visitor gets their at-bats, and the home team gets their chance to respond. You can’t run out the clock, you have to get the outs.

The Rangers got the hits, then they got the outs. Now, it’s on to the World Series.

An interesting scheduling note – the Cowboys will be playing at home next week while a potential game 4 of the World Series is next door at Rangers Stadium. I hope Jerry Jones won’t gouge the baseball fans that park in his lot when the Ballpark lots fill up. Baseball will never break the stranglehold football has on the Texas psyche, but I think the Rangers may be a slightly better team than the Cowboys.

Mighty Casey

So, for the second year in a row, Mighty Casey has stuck out. Alex Rodriguez, the former Texas Rangers Captain (not the mascot, the guy with the “C” on his uniform), sent the New York Yankees home last night by striking out to end game five of the ALDS. It’s too bad he was the “only man” on the Rangers team back when he was here, because if he were still a Ranger, he’d still be in the post-season.

Of course, Mighty Casey only saw three pitches. A-Rod went down on a 1-2 pitch.

A-Rod also struck out swinging in the seventh on a 2-2 pitch with the bases loaded, which is probably even more painful. From an offensive standpoint, that’s a lot of people to leave stranded in a critical game.

If he gets a tattoo, it should just say “Offer Expires September 30th.”

I usually don’t wish ill on specific players (well, not many players, anyway), but in his case, I make an exception. (The one advantage of his moving to New York is now he can be a putz. Not as many in Texas know the term. Down here, he was just a┬ápiss-ant.)

Last night, it wasn’t wishing ill, it was more of a premonition. We weren’t actually watching the game, we were following along sporadically online while cleaning off the DVR, since the Spousal Unit is convinced watching the game on TV may jinx them. After I looked at the box score and saw he had struck out in the seventh, I said, “Well, at least he won’t be up again.” Then, she said, “No, he’s up in the ninth.”, and read me the batting order. I said “Wow. He’s going to be the final out.” Of course, that required two other people to get out ahead of him, but they complied. To their credit, at least they both hit the ball.

It’s interesting how one player can still cause so much angst years after he is gone. Last night, many of the sportswriters in Dallas were not simply tweeting that the Yankees lost (basic news reporting) but rather how they lost (A-Rod struck out. Again.) Apparently, I was not the only one he failed to charm.

So, the Yankees are done for the year which annoys the Spousal Unit no end, but the Rangers are still in, so we have a reason to watch the rest of the playoffs.

Actually, there’s a reason to watch the playoffs even if the Rangers were out – it’s freakin’ baseball.

Texas Rangers. AL Champions.

You can all exhale now. Your Texas Rangers knocked out the New York Yankees last night to win the ALCS, 4-2. Now, at last, they can make their first trip to the World Series.

Alex Rodriguez struck out looking for the final out. So much for “going down swinging.” Since he was the beginning of the bankruptcy of the team (morally and fiscally), it seems fitting that he brought a championship to Texas, simply by watching yet another pitch go whistling by. He wasn’t with the Rangers long enough for us to find out he tends to choke in the post season. The Yankees got to find out, instead. Playing to win tends to crush playing for money eventually.

Perhaps, baseball will get a bit more respect around here – for sportscasters who have been reporting constant Cowboys trivia since before training camp opened, maybe it’s time to cover a team that’s winning. I was heartened to see that one of the local Sunday wrap-up shows was almost 50% baseball last week, which is unheard of during the sacred days of football.

Arlington will host a World Series and a Super Bowl within four months of each other. At least the World Series will have a local team playing.

Congratulations to the Rangers players and organization. It’s been a long time coming. There is one less team on the “never been to the World Series” list this morning.