So tonight is the night. In just a few hours the Rangers' first ever American League Championship Series game will kick off. Too bad they have already been swept by the Yankees. At least that's what seems to be the case judging by the plans in New York for a victory parade and the media talking about a repeat of last year's World Series. You know, my Dad says that paper is nice but you gotta play them all. Perhaps he's on to something?
Frankly, Texas does have a big job ahead if they want to win the series, or even a few games. The pitching has to hold up. Both the rotation and the bullpen need to remember that the Yanks put their pinstripes on one leg at a time. They also strike out on three, just like everyone else.
The offense also needs to show up. Kinsler, Cruz, and Vlad need to keep the heat on. Michael Young and Josh Hamilton need to get it going as well. Both Josh and Michael, shown here on card number 95 of the 2006 Upper Deck Artifacts set, struggled during the ALDS. Both are capable of better though and need to ignite starting this evening.
The final thing the Rangers are going to need is their defense. They can play great defensive ball. It's been a delight to have Andrus and Kinsler up the middle this season and to have the outfield arms that have been patrolling Arlington. Just need to stay calm and keep it up.
The Yankees are beatable. Just play hard, stay focused, and don't let them intimidate. Much like a lot of other bad guys. Beating C.C. Sabathia in game one would go a long way towards dispersing the butterflies and intimidation.
Go Rangers! It's time.