The Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees square off in game 6 of the 2010 ALCS, a series that has been historic, exciting, and defining for many players. The Rangers have the chance tonight to put the Big Apple away for good, clinching their first ever World Series appearance. The Yankees, on the other hand, obviously need to show their experience and playoff dominance as they close in on their greatly desired 29th World Series Championship against a team who has never even been in a Conference Series until this year.
Keys to Success
Nelson Cruz. the Rangers' right fielder, is the player of choice for Texas. In this post season, he's batting .378 with 4 home runs and 6 RBI. Behind MVP contender Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz has contributed the most to this club. He needs to get his hits early in the ballgame against the young right hander Phil Hughes to develop some momentum for the rest of the lineup.
Also, Texas' team post season batting average? .285 so far. More video game stats? I think yes.
This lineup is no joke, and it is vital for them to wear down the opposing pitchers tonight with a lot of hits. They put up over 10 hits in four out of five games this series, and I don't expect anything less from them tonight.
Pitching. Colby Lewis is not a great pitcher. In game 2, he was relatively dominant, giving up only two runs in 5 2/3 innings - very respectable considering the Yanks are basically a team of all stars. However, this game 6 win will not be Colby Lewis by himself because let's face it, mediocre pitchers usually don't shut down the New York lineup more than once, especially in the playoffs.
Prepare the blankie and bottle for Mr. Colby Lewis if the Texas bats don't show up tonight.
Run support and a solid bullpen performance will definitely be needed.
It is this simple.
Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter NEED to start trying. I understand they want to make things interesting, humoring a inexperienced playoff team, but the way things are looking, without the faces of the Yanks playing to their fullest ability, New York will be packing their bags for a long and lonely flight back to the Big Apple. Maybe Arod needs a new pair of wicked cool sunglasses for all those spotlights shining on him, and for Jeter, he needs to stop looking so damn good. Let's pick it up boys. (Between the two of them this postseason - .250 BA, 0 HR, 5 RBIs)
We all know now the true power of Robbie Cano. He's hitting close to .400, and it seems that every third time he gets a hit, it's a home run...oh wait, that is the case. I commend him on a great performance this postseason, and without him, the Yankees would not be where they are.
Phil Hughes, this is your time to shine. Show the world what you're made of, and it's no huge deal that the opposing lineup has been smacking the seams off the balls against your team. In all seriousness though, Hughes needs to get in a groove early. A 1-2-3 first inning would do him wonders, and it would keep the Texas hitters a little more on edge. A 5.73 playoff ERA will not suffice tonight. I feel that he's going to have a pretty good outing, going deep into the ballgame. The keys to success, just as it is for any pitcher, keep the pitch count low, keep your command, and shut down guys like Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, and Ian Kinsler.