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Yankees’ rally leaves Rangers reeling

by Matt Smith

MlbHlSqThey did it again.

Isn’t that what all the great sides do?  Like Man Utd getting an injury time winner, some teams just seem destined to come out on top and that was the case last night with the New York Yankees.  A five-run eighth inning rally turned a 5-1 deficit into a 6-5 lead and left the Rangers reeling.

The game couldn’t have started any better for Texas. 3-0 up in the first inning, they increased their lead to 5-0 in the fourth and chased CC Sabathia from the game with a pitching line of four innings pitched, five runs conceded.  While Phil Hughes pitched brilliantly in his ALDS start, Sabathia has been the only Yankee starter who has performed well consistently in recent weeks.  Beating CC but not beating the Yankees was a mistake that the Rangers couldn’t afford to make.

It wasn’t their only mistake either.  Ian Kinsler’s carelessness on the base-pads helped Kerry Wood settle down and shut off a Rangers rally in the eighth, while Ron Washington’s bullpen usage was questionable, and not for the first time.  Game One doesn’t decide a series, but the Yankees are hard enough to beat without giving them a head start.  Neftali Feliz is the Rangers’ best reliever and he should have been called on to stop the damage in the eighth.

He wasn’t and now the Yankees are 1-0 up in the series, and even further ahead in the minds of the Rangers’ players. 

I had a feeling that the Rangers, good team though they are, could get steamrollered in this series if the Yankees got on top early.  Last night’s game did nothing to allay those fears, but it’s probably a good thing for the Rangers that Game Two takes place today.  There’s no time to dwell on what has happened.  Get back out there and level the series before heading out to New York.

Today’s game should begin at a little past 9 p.m. UK time, with Phil Hughes and Colby Lewis taking the mound in Arlington.

Meanwhile the Giants-Phillies series gets underway at half past midnight. If ever there was a pitching match-up worth missing sleep for, Tim Lincecum versus Roy Halladay is it.

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