Time: 4:07pm ET
Series: 1-0 New York
TV Announcers: Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling,, Craig Sager
Radio: ESPN Radio
Radio Announcers: Jon Miller and Joe Morgan
Umpires: Gerry Davis, Brian Gorman, Angel Hernandez, Fieldin Culbreth, Jim Reynolds, Tony Randazzo
MLB.com Gameday: Link
Playing in their first ALCS in franchise history, the Rangers were six outs away in Game 1 from beating CC Sabathia and taking an early lead in the series. Instead, everything came apart in the span of seven batters, as the Yankees rallied from a five-run deficit in enemy territory for a dramatic comeback win. The picture now is very different from what it could have been. The Rangers have to be worried about dropping their first two games at home. The Rangers have to be worried about how Game 1 will carry over into Game 2. The Rangers have to be worried about their bullpen. The Yankees - well, any concerns about their long layoff have been alleviated. They're in it, and they're in it to win it.
(1) The Rangers are able to stack the lineup with righties against a left-handed pitcher, but they can only get three lefties in there against a right-handed pitcher. That'll make things a little easier on Phil Hughes, whose walk rate was nearly twice as high against lefty bats as it was against righty bats. It'll be interesting to see his approach against Josh Hamilton. The Yankees might've figured that Hamilton wasn't feeling all right coming into the series, but after seeing him turn on a breaking ball from CC Sabathia in Game 1 and rip it over the fence, we may not see Hughes try to bust Hamilton inside with a cutter, instead staying away.
(2) Like Phil Hughes, Colby Lewis sees his walk rate nearly double against left-handed bats. Unlike Phil Hughes, Colby Lewis won't only be facing three of them, as the Yankees could stack the lineup almost completely full. Already a guy who works out of a lot of deep counts, Lewis could find himself at 2-2 or 3-2 a few times every inning. If the Yankees take even a moderately disciplined approach, they could get Lewis' pitch count up in a hurry, and even if they don't take great swings, they could knock him out and get another chance to feast on the bullpen. Lewis' ALDS start against the Rays lasted five shutout innings. Even if he's on his game, that kind of outing could happen again. The Rangers need to be ready to use a lot of relievers.
(3) The Rangers absorbed a heartbreaking loss in Game 1 of this series. It's difficult to say what impact that could have on their performance in Game 2, if any, but any effect would be mitigated if they came out on fire, and would be amplified if they came out cold. In some hockey games, they say it's important to weather the storm early when you're facing an amped-up opponent. The Rangers will be amped up tomorrow as they try to put Game 1 behind them, and the Yankees will want to weather the storm. If the Rangers take an early lead, they'll be back to themselves. If they struggle, they could tighten up.