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Wilson Unravels After Bad Break, Series Returns to Texas

Before this series even started, I predicted it would be a six-game affair.  Both teams looked really strong, and I knew neither one was going to roll over and play dead.  Not this far into the playoffs.  And not after the seasons they had.  Naturally, I secretly hoped I'd be wrong and my boys would secure a World Series bid early ... especially after they jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series.  My hopes seemed founded as the boys headed into game 5 today after an exciting rally to take game 4 and extend their series margin to 3-1.  I mean, I hadn't bought my champagne yet, but I was feeling pretty good.  I'm glad I waited.

C.J. Wilson looked really good early in today's start.  Even though the Tigers had a 2-1 lead after four, Wilson still looked like he was in complete control. He was matching Justin Verlander pitch for pitch each inning, and he was being efficient in his pitches.  His offense helped him out by tying things up in the 5th and making Verlander work a little harder.  Things looked to be well in the Rangers favor.

It all came unraveled in the 6th inning.  With a runner on first, Miguel Cabrera hit a ground ball to the third base side.  Adrian Beltre was positioned perfectly to pick it up and start a double play ... but the ball hit the front of third base and bounced over Beltre's head and down into the left field corner.  Raburn scored and Cabrera moved to second.  The Tigers were only up by one run at this point, but the hiccup rattled Wilson.  He immediately gave up a triple and then a home run before finally recording an out.  He escaped that inning without further damage, but the Tigers now had a 6-2 lead. 

Koji Uehara took over in the 7th and gave up his third home run in as many postseason appearances before the inning was over.  Meanwhile, Verlander was still on the mound for Detroit, well past the 100-pitch mark, and the Rangers offense had gone silent.

As has been the case lately, the Rangers started to rally late.  Josh Hamilton hit a two-out double and then scored on a Michael Young single.  Beltre walked, and Mike Napoli stepped up representing the go-ahead run.  Unfortunately, his game 4 magic did not make a repeat appearance, and he grounded into a fielder's choice.

Game over.

But the ALCS continues.  The teams return to Arlington for a Saturday evening match-up, and I know a lot of people with tickets to the game.  I have a good feeling they will get to see a memorable game.


KISS:  Josh Hamilton.  2 for 4 with two RBI.  And he started that 9th inning rally that gave me just a little hope.

MISS:   C.J. Wilson.  He looked so good so early, but that 6th inning was a killer.  Cabrera's hit off the base was just bad luck, but everything after that is on him.  He's supposed to be a veteran and our team's ace, so he should know how to push that play aside and move on.  He's a better pitcher than what he displayed today.



Rangers :: 5 R, 10 H, 1 E, 10 TLOB

Tigers :: 7 R, 10 H, 1 E, 4 TLOB


Saturday's match-up

@ TEX, 7:05 p.m. CST

Derek Holland vs. Max Scherzer


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