2010 World Series - Rangers vs. Giants: Game 2 Preview

Categories: Texas Rangers

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Given my druthers, I'd rather get blown out than lose a heart-breaker.

We could digest and regurgitate and over-analyze the Texas Rangers' 11-7 World Series Game 1 loss to the San Francisco Giants here Wednesday night, or we could simply say that - for the first time in his playoff life - Cliff Lee sucked.

Lee called himself "erratic," which is akin to me referring to myself as "suave." Just doesn't happen. Totally uncharacteristic.

The feeling in the Rangers' clubhouse certainly wasn't giddy, but it was much less doom-'n-gloom than after that come-from-ahead-loss to the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the ALCS. That game, the Rangers should've won. Last night - in a game in which their previously robotic and seemingly immortal ace recorded only 14 outs - the Rangers should've lost.

Ol' Dallas Mavericks coach Dick Motta - who knew his way around a lopsided defeat or two in the mid-90s - commonly described blowout losses thusly:

"It's like sitting on the toilet after a night of bad Mexican food," he would say not so eloquently. "The best thing is to get it out of your system and move on. The worst thing to do is to sit there and wallow in the stench."

Game 1 appropriately flushed, how will the resilient Rangers respond in tonight's Game 2? 

If I'm Ron Washington I put Nelson Cruz back in right field, David Murphy in left and have Vladimir Guerrero be my first bat off the bench. It didn't really cost them in last night's blowout, but Guerrero misplayed four balls by my count, two resulting in 8th-inning errors. In a tight, low-scoring game defensive miscues could cost the Rangers not just pile-on runs, but a precious game.

After two strong playoff starts, Game 2 starter C.J. Wilson threw only 48 strikes and 45 balls in a Game 5 loss in New York last week. The good news is he is following Lee to the mound. In those starts, C.J. is 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA.

Another reason to sit Guerrero is that Giants' Game 2 hurler Matt Cain was so tough on right-handed batters this season. He limited righties to a .217 average, 8th-best among NL pitchers. In 13.2 innings this post-season he's allowed only one unearned run. Cain faced the Rangers last year in San Francisco, limiting Texas to one run on three hits in eight innings.

If all else fails, the Giants are 0-2 in Game 2s in these playoffs and the Rangers are 2-0.

Antlers? Check. Claw? Check. Resiliency? Check.

C.J. Wilson? ...

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