Looks like we’ve got ourselves a World Series, baseball fans. After dropping the first two games in San Francisco, the Rangers went and got Game 3 on their home field tonight, getting an early three-run homer from Mitch Moreland and 7 2/3 solid innings from Colby Lewis to come away with a 4-2 win. Lewis won his third straight start, and in four postseason outings is 3-0 with a 1.71 ERA.
Moreland, hitting out of the nine hole, connected off Giants starter Jonathan Sanchez with two on and two out in the second inning, handing Texas a 3-0 lead that was never in doubt. Josh Hamilton added a solo homer in the fifth — his fifth of the playoffs — and the Rangers chased Sanchez after just 4 2/3, getting him for six hits, three walks and four runs. Gulleirmo Mota, Jeremy Affeldt and Ramon Ramirez combined to hold Texas off the board the rest of the night, but single runs in the seventh and eighth weren’t enough to pull the Giants back in it.
Lewis held San Francisco off the scoreboard until a Cody Ross solo homer with one out in the seventh cut it to 4-1. Andres Torres added another solo shot in the eighth to draw the Giants closer, but Darren O’Day came in and got Buster Posey to roll to short with a man on first and two down to kill any hopes of a comeback. Neftali Feliz, who hadn’t pitched since striking out A-Rod to end the ALCS last Friday, came in and set the Giants down in order in the ninth to grab the save, fanning Jose Uribe with a high fastball to end it.
The win pulls the Rangers back in the series, now down just 2-1 with Game 4 set for Sunday in Texas. As of now, Ron Washington is standing by his plan to throw Tommy Hunter, but Cliff Lee on three days rest is far from out of the realm of possibility, even after a Game 3 win. Why not, too? The Rangers still have to win three of the next four games, and even after Lee’s shockingly poor outing in Game 1, you have to figure they’d be in better shape with him on the hill for two of those games. Good chance he’s not coming back next year, so why not pitch him till his arm falls off? This is the World Series, after all.
As for myself, I’m glad to see the Rangers get back in it and make things a little interesting. I’m still undecided as to who I want to win — I was pulling for both in their respective leagues from the get-go — and figure I may just hold off on making a pick until Game 7, and until that point just root for it to get there. When was the last time we had an even slightly competitive World Series, anyway?
Sunday’s Game 4 gets going at 8:20, with Madison Bumgarner (7-6, 3.00 and 1-0, 3.55 in the postseason) currently set to deal with Hunter (13-4, 3.73 and 0-1, 6.14), though I’d be surprised if Washington doesn’t pull the old switcheroo before gametime.