Saturday, October 30, 2010

Scenes From a Series

History will be made here tonight when the Texas Rangers host the first World Series game in their existence.

No doubt many folks in these parts had something quite different in mind, though. They didn't expect to need to rally these Rangers from a 2–0 deficit in this best–of–seven series.

It was bad enough when, as Mark Purdy of the San Jose Mercury News wrote, the Giants claimed a "psychedelic" 11–7 victory in Game 1.

They were playing in San Francisco, after all, so I guess it was appropriate that the first game was something of a mind–altering experience. Certainly, it altered perceptions — of players, of pitching rotations, of victory scenarios.

Of teams.

But at least the Rangers were conscious in that game. It was hard to tell in Game 2. The Giants won, 9–0.

Tonight, they return to Arlington, to home cooking and their long–suffering fans. And the objective should be clear, writes Jean–Jacques Taylor in the Dallas Morning News.

In the words of Al Davis — Just win, baby.

Just win this game. Worry about Game 4 tomorrow. And Game 5, if there is one, on Monday.

But don't think about those games — or the games that were played in San Francisco on Wednesday and Thursday.

A win can make a big difference, at least temporarily.

A win can take that monkey off the Rangers' backs. They will know that they can win against these Giants, that it is possible.

That is not something they can say with confidence today.

But if they win today, they know they will get two more games in Arlington. And they will have a chance to return to San Francisco with a 3–2 lead.

But if the Giants win today, the Rangers will be down 3–0. They will have to run the table against a team they still haven't proven they can beat at least once.

So they better not think about that right now.

Or that, historically, teams who got off to 2–0 leads in the World Series went on to win it all about 80% of the time.

The odds are against these Rangers, no matter what happens tonight.

But the odds will be much longer if they don't win this one.

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