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Rangers Blow Plenty of Chances, Series Heads to Game 7

I honestly don't have words right now.  I feel nothing but misery and nausea.  Good thing I write a little bit as the game progresses.

This game was such a mess.  Both teams left the bases loaded more than once.  Five errors between the two teams, and, honestly, that is probably some generosity from the scorekeeper.

Michael Young, alone, made two errors, and they cost his team two errors and Colby Lewis a win.  Horrible.  I like Young.  A lot.  But he was a disaster tonight.  Many will say he's been terrible this entire postseason, but I can't go that far.  No, he hasn't been the hero.  By any stretch, but he's come through in a few key opportunities, so I can't hate.  But boy, was I saying bad words at him tonight.   Ron Washington apparently disapproved of Young's defense too.  He pulled Young after the 6th and put Mitch Moreland in.

Speaking of Colby Lewis, poor Colby Lewis.  He was having a fantastic night.  He allowed just two earned runs (plus two unearned, thanks to Young) in 5.1 innings.  He struck out four and walked three.  But, really, at least one of those walks was bull.  The strike zone was pretty inconsistent.  But despite that, and despite some really crappy defense, Lewis was getting it done.  It's a shame Young's second error of the night ended Lewis' outing. 

Fortunately, amidst all of this ... somehow ... the game was merely tied at four runs each.  At least until the 7th inning. That's when the Rangers bats really got going.  Texas scored three times on home runs by Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz and an RBI double by Ian Kinsler.  Cue camera shots of sad St. Louis fans.

But wait.  The horrible baseball wasn't over yet.  Derek Holland gave up a two-run home run to Allen Craig in the 8th to bring the Cardinals within two.  But, don't worry Derek, I ain't even mad.  And then, with two outs, Andrus took too long getting rid of a grounder and St. Louis got two baserunners.  They loaded the bases before Mike Adams mercifully got Furcal to hit one back to the pitcher.

Exhale.

Not so fast.

Neftali Feliz came on for the 9th.  He got the first out pretty easily, but then he had to add some drama.  He gave up a double to Pujols and then walked Berkman.  To face Allen Craig.  The Cardinals' postseason hero.  I couldn't watch.  Or I couldn't look away.  I don't really know which it was.  But I'm pretty sure I stopped breathing.  My heart dropped when he lined one down the left field line.  Thank goodness it went foul.  And Feliz eventually struck him out looking.  It felt like a really long at bat.  David Freese's was shorter but more  damaging.  Down in the count 1-2, he hit a fly ball to right field, and Cruz couldn't come up with it.  Two runs scored.  Tie game.  We were down to the final strike ... and Feliz couldn't finish it.  So disgusted.

Commence nausea.

With one out, Andrus hit a single up the middle.  And Josh Hamilton, who is likely playing with a sports hernia, hit a home run!!! 

Commence joy.  But not too much.

That was all the Rangers got, and they got another chance to try and shut it down.  Darren Oliver allowed the first two batters to reach, and then they barely recorded an out when Kyle Lohse (that's right, a pitcher) bunted.   Oliver was done.  Scott Feldman was on.  He got Ryan Theriot to ground out to third, but a run scored.  Two outs, runner at second and Pujols is up to bat.  The Rangers intentionally walked Pujols to get to Berkman.  On a 2-2 count, he hit a bloop single into centerfield to bring in the tying run.

More bonus baseball. 

With Mark Lowe on the mound and Esteban German in the outfield.  But the defense didn't really matter.  David Freese hit a home run to walk it off in the 11th.

 

KISS: Josh Hamilton.  Who else could it be, honestly?  3 for 6 with that huge, improbable home run in the 10th.  Not bad for a guy who is in more pain than we will probably ever know.

MISS:  This is a tie between Young and Feliz.  Young's errors are just inexcusable.  And if Feliz hadn't walked a batter in the 9th, this game might have gone differently.

 

FINAL SCORE (in 11 innings)

Rangers :: 9 R, 15 H, 2 E, 12 TLOB

Cardinals :: 10 R, 13 H, 3 E, 11 TLOB

 

Game 7 match-up

Matt Harrison vs. TBA

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