GAME 4 – Rays 5, Rangers 2: My Top 10 Observations
10. After a wasted weekend in Arlington we know this: Derek Holland isn’t ready to be a playoff pitcher. Saturday he allowed a single and a walk to ignite Tampa’s game-tying rally and in today’s Game 4 loss he served up a two-run homer to Evan Longoria that broke the Rangers’ spirit.
9. Down 5-0 in the 5th, the Rangers missed their one shot to make Game 3 interesting. After Josh Hamilton ended a gritty at-bat by drawing a two-out walk to load the bases, Vladimir Guerrero uncharacteristically stared at the first pitch from Wade Davis. It was fastball. Belt-high. Perhaps on the outer half. But juicy nonetheless. Three pitches later Vlad chased a curve in the dirt to strike out and effectively end the game. The rest was just window dressing.
8. Rally caps, claws, antlers and good hitters be damned, Rays’ pitchers retired the final nine Rangers’ hitters over innings 7-8-9. So much for drama. Come to think of it, this series is yet to produce the October late-inning theater we’ve been craving. The final margins: 4, 6, 3 and 3. Probably means Game 5 will be a one-run nail-biter.
Read Richie’s full Sporatorium blog at DallasObserver.com.