If the Texas Rangers are to finally win the World Series this Fall, they’ll have to do something they’ve accomplished only once in their 40-year history – Win a World Series game on the road.
Because of last night’s 8-0 loss to the National League in the All-Star Game the American League representative will open on the road in the 2-3-2 format. If the Rangers get back to the World Series they’ll be on the road for Game 1 on Wednesday, October 24.
Said second baseman Ian Kinsler after the worst drubbing in All-Star Game history, “Let’s get there first and then we can worry about it.”
Commence the concern.
In its two World Series appearances the Rangers are 1-5 in NL parks and have been outscored, 40-22. They lost the first two games in San Francisco in 2010 and last year, of course, choked away the championship by losing Games 6 and 7 in St. Louis. How good would it be to open – and potentially close in Game 7 – the 2012 World Series at Rangers Ballpark? Since 2010 the Rangers are 132-75 in Arlington in the regular season and 9-7 in the playoffs, including 3-3 in the World Series.
How important was last night’s result? Since 1985, the team with home-field advantage has won 21 of 26 World Series titles.
The Rangers, tied for the most wins in baseball and with 8 All-Stars, will make the postseason. In the Division Series and ALCS home-field will be determined by best regular-season record. Then, of course, baseball throws a ludicrous curveball and awards World Series home-field advantage to the winner of the All-Star Game. Texas did itself no favors Tuesday night, with its hitters going 1-for-9 with only a single and pitcher Matt Harrison surrendering a home run to game MVP Melky Cabrera of the San Francisco Giants.
The real culprit, however, was AL starting pitcher and reigning Cy Young winner Justin Verlander.
Trying to impress fans more than record outs, he hit 100mph on the radar gun in the 1st inning but also allowed 4 hits and immediately dug the AL a 5-0 hole. Before the AL picked up a bat, the game was basically decided. Kinsler came up with the bases loaded in the 5th with his team trailing by 8, but meekly flew out to left field.
Shrugged Verlander, “I was able to laugh about it right away … hey, I had fun. We’re here for the fans. The fans don’t want to see me throw 90 on the corners.”
Come October it won’t feel so funny.
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