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Rangers, Tigers prepare for ALCS showdown

It feels like weeks since my Rangers last played a game, but it was only two days ago.  Boy, the off-season is going to be long if this is how my mind is working already.  Alas, the off-season has not yet arrived for me.  Instead, my boys are gearing up to take on the Detroit Tigers in the American League Championship Series. 

I am nervous about this series.  But I was nervous about the Tampa Bay series too.  There's just so much riding on every inning and every game, and last year's trip to the World Series whetted my appetite for a return (with a different outcome).  It's exciting to still be on that road this season, and I'm trying to remind myself to just enjoy the ride.  Easier said than done.

Home field advantage should help my Rangers a bit given their horrible luck at Comerica.  So Saturday and Sunday's matches will be important.


The times and starting rotations for the ALCS are as follows (all times CST):

Game 1 @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Sat.): 7:05pm - Justin Verlander vs. C.J. Wilson

Game 2 @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington (Sun.): 6:45pm - Max Scherzer vs. Derek Holland

Game 3 @ Comerica in Detroit (Tues.): 7:05pm - Doug Fister vs. Colby Lewis

Game 4 @ Comerica  in Detroit (Wed.): 3:19pm - Rick Porcello vs. Matt Harrison

*Game 5 @ Comerica in Detroit (Thurs.): 3:19pm - Verlander vs. Wilson

*Game 6 @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington  (Sat.): 7:05pm - Scherzer vs. Holland

*Game 7 @ Rangers Ballpark in Arlington  (Sun.): 7:05pm - Fister vs. Lewis

* if necessary


I'm counting on C.J. Wilson to have a healed blister and a focused mind.   He has only started one game against the Tigers, and has not beaten them.  In 11.1 innings against Detroit, Wilson has given up 12 runs on 10 hits (including one home run) and six walks.  That last category is probably the key for Wilson's success.

The Rangers offense will have to be sharp as well to get to Justin Verlander, easily one of the best pitchers in the league.  But as Wilson said earlier today, the Rangers have beat Verlander before, so it can be done again. In his career, Verlander is 6-2 with a 2.31 ERA against the Rangers. In 58 innings, Texas has scored 18 runs, slapped 47 hits (including four home runs) and earned 15 walks from him. 

All that said, I refuse to believe the analysts and general haters who are ready to declare the Tigers the winners of this series before it's even played.  Yes, the Tigers have to be feeling the momentum after knocking out the New York Yankees, but the same could have been said of the Rays after they swept the Yankees to reach the post-season, yet they fell short against the Rangers.  Maybe I'm biased, but I'm not ready to count my boys out just yet.  Then again, if I was ready to throw in the towel, what kind of fan would I be?  Definitely not the kind of fan my parents raised me to be.

Let's go Rangers! Defend that American League title.


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Remember, the pundits said Texas wouldn't win the division, wouldn't beat the Rays and now won't beat the Tigers. Guess I find the predictions to be amusing but no longer irritating.

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