A couple new developments in Day 2 of LCS play: For one, despite my earlier claims, the Rangers are far from dead in their series with the Yankees, and two, Roy Halladay isn’t capable of pitching no-nos every time he takes the ball in postseason play. Texas bounced back from an ugly 6-5 loss Friday with an easy 7-2 win in yesterday afternoon’s Game 2, and San Francisco got the NLCS off and rolling with a 4-3 win over Doc and the Phillies in the late game.
The Rangers jumped on Phil Hughes early, much like they did CC Sabathia the previous night, by scoring five times in the first three innings, and unlike Game 1, they never came close to relinquishing it this time. Colby Lewis pitched into the sixth and five Texas relievers, including three that teamed up to blow the opener (Clay Rapada, Darren Oliver and Darren O’Day), combined to record the last 10 outs to grab the win. David Murphy went 2-for-3 with a double and a second-inning homer, leading a Texas attack that combined for 12 hits and had Hughes chased after four-plus innings and seven runs.
Over in Philadelphia, the Giants got seven strong innings from Tiny Tim Lincecum and Cody Ross hit a pair of solo homers off Halladay to pick up a win their series opener. Coming off his routine no-hitter against the mighty Reds last Wednesday, Doc lasted seven and gave up eight hits and four runs to pick up his first playoff loss. A two-run shot by Jayson Werth pulled Philly within a run in the sixth, but Lincecum recovered and Brian Wilson recorded a four-out, four-strikeout save to shut things down.
Anyway, we’ve got a suddenly competitive ALCS on our hands and exactly what we were looking for out in the NL, hopefully with much more to follow. The Rangers and Yankees shift to New York for Monday’s Game 3, with playoff legend Cliff Lee getting the ball against Little Andrew Pettitte, who may or may not have accomplished a few things in his postseason career as well. So, Yankees fans, do you feel good about your chances after Lee wins and sets up A.J. Burnett in Game 4?
As for the NLCS, the Giants and Phillies continue tonight at 8:19, with Jonathan Sanchez and Roy Oswalt on the hill.