Blog Entry

Michael Young finally comes through for Rangers

Posted on: October 12, 2011 8:44 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 12:00 am

By Evan Brunell

DETROIT -- Michael Young's struggles in the postseason has been a popular topic as manager Ron Washington keeps insisting on running Young out in the cleanup spot.

On one hand, you can understand Washington's rationale. Young hit .338 in the regular season and will probably get some MVP votes. You don't suddenly move on from your cleanup hitter after a few bad games, but Young was especially helpless this October, collecting just three singles in 29 plate appearances, plus two walks. That's simply horrid production from an integral spot in the lineup.

"Michael has done a great job for us there, simply because he hits a spell where things aren't going well, for me to make that type of change would be panic," Washington said prior to the game. In essence, he's largely right. It's important for players to have a chance to play out of their slumps, and so far in October, it hadn't bitten Texas to keep Young in the cleanup spot. But things looked to be changing Tuesday when Detroit jumped out to a 2-0 lead behind the commanding arm of Rick Porcello.

"We are talking about Michael Young. Seven years of 200 hits," Washington said.

The skipper's confidence in Young finally paid off in the sixth inning after he had already gone 0 for 2 and looked silly on a fourth-inning strikeout. With Elvis Andrus on first base and two runners in, Young ripped a single to center field to plate Andrus with the go-ahead run and stun Tigers fans. Suddenly, Young had put Texas in the lead with a great chance of extending the series lead three games to one. It was Young's first RBI in his last 30 at-bats, but it was a major RBI that could be the turning point of the series.

"Today could be the day that Michael Young stops all this talk about him hitting in the fourth slot and hitting .111," Washington cautioned. He proved to be correct.

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Since: Sep 14, 2006
Posted on: October 13, 2011 2:50 pm

Michael Young finally comes through for Rangers

It was nice to see Young come through with a big hit, but he followed it up with an ugly at-bat and strikeout in the 11th.  With Josh Hamilton at second with a leadoff double and no outs, all he needs to do is get it into the outfield to advance the runner.  It didn't end up costing them, obviously, but it could have been a big play if Leyland's intentional walk of Beltre had worked out.  Mike is one of the greatest Rangers of all time and I hope that hit will get him going because they'll need him if they advance to the WS.

Since: Oct 21, 2007
Posted on: October 13, 2011 7:54 am

Michael Young finally comes through for Rangers

I agree with the comments Beltre walk. As a Rangers fan, I was happy to see him walk Beltre. With his injury, he just didn't look the same at the plate, so I was surprised to see him get a free pass. If this is a couple of days ago, sure (right after seeing him hit 3 (!) HRs in one game). But after that foul ball off his knee, his bat has not been nearly as dangerous.

Since: Jan 19, 2007
Posted on: October 12, 2011 11:32 pm

Michael Young finally comes through for Rangers

I thought the Beltre walk was strange, but I disagree on the other two.  Bottom of the 8th, one of the best pitchers in bb on the mound...make the defense make a play instead of hoping that the next guy gets an unlikely hit off Adams.  same basic concept with Jackson...with the Rangers bullpen, try to make something happen where one hit wins, instead of hoping to string several hits together.

Since: Oct 8, 2010
Posted on: October 12, 2011 10:46 pm

Michael Young finally comes through for Rangers

The ninth and tenth innings were very hard take. How could third base coach Lamont possibly think that Cabrera, who pushes 245 lbs., could tag on a short fly to right and score? Absolutely unbelivable! In the tenth why and how could Leyland send Jackson w/ one out? Idiotic. And then why would Leyland walk Beltre in the 11th; When Beltre hadn't hit anything but dribblers? Leyland gets an F for his performance tonight. He turned in one of the worst mangerial performance I have ever seen in a playoff series. His mismanagement will, most likely, cost the Tigers the pennant

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