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Blog Entry

Cruz heroics send Texas to ALCS Game 2 win

Posted on: October 10, 2011 8:47 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 10:12 pm
 


By Evan Brunell


ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers won Game 2, 7-3. The series is now in the Rangers' favor, 2-0.

Hero: With the first pitch of the ninth inning, Adrian Beltre bombed a double that came close to being a walkoff. Following a Mike Napoli intentional walk, Nelson Cruz was plunked to load the bases with zero out.  One would imagine that left plenty of chances for the Rangers to walkoff, but the bottom two hitters in the lineup couldn't come through. A David Murphy flyout followed by a 3-2-3 double play by Mitch Moreland left Texas scoreless. A similar opportunity awaited in the 11th with the bases loaded and no out, but this time, Nelson Cruz made sure the Rangers scored, ripping a grand slam.

It was Cruz's second homer of the game and third extra-base hit of the game, the sixth straight ALCS game he has recorded at least one extra-base hit and the eighth straight he's collected a hit. "First two pitches, I was too aggressive," Cruz said after the game. "I hit the ball, foul ball, foul ball. So after that, I told myself, ' just slow down and try to hit a fly ball to the outfield.'"

The grand slam was all that much more impressive given the scary hit-by-pitch he suffered in the bottom of the ninth inning, collapsing to the ground in pain as the throats of each Rangers fan clenched. "He was scared," manager Ron Washington admitted. "It was black and blue ... but after the doctor checked him and told him he was fine, then Nelson got up."

Cruz's walkoff was not only the first in franchise postseaosn history, but the first walk-off grand slam in the postseason. However, Cruz brushed that accomplishment aside.

"It's special, you know. When you get a chance to get a W, that's the most important thing."

Goat:
Don Kelly was just 4-for-21 against left-handers and was pinch-hitting in a big spot in place of Delmon Young in the ninth inning. Manager Ron Washington of Texas was apparently so intimidated, he yanked Alexi Ogando, who was spinning a beaut in relief, per usual, for lefty Mike Gonzalez. The move backfired, as Kelly ripped a double that should have scored Ramon Santiago from first, but Santiago has no type of wheels. Still, it was a clutch hit but the Tigers couldn't make it pay off after a Miguel Cabrera intentional walk led to a Victor Martinez pop-out to short in shallow left-center.

Turning point: Max Scherzer had settled into a groove and kept the Rangers in check after pitching in and out of trouble to start the game. With his night nearing an end, manager Jim Leyland tried to squeeze one more inning out of the righty. However, Nelson Cruz had other things in mind leading off the seventh, crushing a fastball into left field for his second homer of the postseason, the first coming in Game 1. Cruz also added a double earlier in the game, extending his ALCS hitting streak to eight and ALCS extra-base hit streak to five. He leads all Rangers in postseason homers with eight. The solo blast tied the ballgame at 3-3 and made it anyone's game.

It was over when ...  The Rangers got the 11th inning started with a Michael Young single, and from there it was all over for the Tigers.

Next: Game 3 is in Detroit at 8:05 p.m. ET. Colby Lewis will go for Texas while Detroit counters with Doug Fister.

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Comments
peulouy
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 17, 2011 7:36 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 11:02 am
 

Cruz heroics send Texas to ALCS Game 2 win

I hope you usually have improving your articles often in case you have a single committed ebook reader proper.


brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:10 pm
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:25 pm
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brian8ball
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Posted on: October 12, 2011 6:32 pm
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brian8ball
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Posted on: October 12, 2011 2:06 pm
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brian8ball
Since: Aug 3, 2011
Posted on: October 12, 2011 2:04 pm
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Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 6:49 pm
 

Cruz heroics send Texas to ALCS Game 2 win

Any idea why Santiago doesn't try to score on Kelly's double?  It looked to me like he had a decent chance.  Maybe not.  I'm not piling on Lamont, but with as few chances as we've had to score, it might have been worth it.

I don't know man... tough to say.  I watched that replay a couple times, Santiago was barely AT 3rd base when the outfielder was about to throw the into the infield.   I mean yeah, if he makes it everybody's a hero... but if he gets called out, he gets slammed.  It's one of those decisions that unless the player makes it, the coach making the decision is toast. 



Since: Mar 7, 2008
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:55 am
 

Cruz heroics send Texas to ALCS Game 2 win

Any idea why Santiago doesn't try to score on Kelly's double?  It looked to me like he had a decent chance.  Maybe not.  I'm not piling on Lamont, but with as few chances as we've had to score, it might have been worth it.



Since: Jun 25, 2009
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:28 am
 

Cruz heroics send Texas to ALCS Game 2 win

Maybe with 1 out you have him go halfway, but with 0 outs, and that ball possibly being caught, you think it's worth it to get possibly doubled off at first rather than be at 3rd base with no outs and 2 chances to sacrifice a run home? 

When there's less than 2 outs and a player is going to run, he better be 100 percent sure the ball is gonna drop or he's an idiot.  You don't play baseball that way, you NEVER run with less than 2 outs unless you know the ball is dropping.  Not to mention this is game 2 of the ALCS where every single play means something.... 


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