Rangers Load Bases In 9th, Fail To Score

Jose Valverde has not a blown a save in 2011.

He also has not, not yet anyway, lost Game 2 of the 2011 American League Championship Series.

Valverde seemed to give it a shot, though.

Taking over in the bottom of the ninth in a 3-3 contest, Valverde's first pitch was whacked for a double by Adrian Beltre, who's been so strong lately.

Perhaps hoping for a double play, Jim Leyland ordered an intentional walk to Mike Napoli. But Leyland's hopes were dashed when Valverde's first pitch to Nelson Cruz veered inside and struck Cruz on the wrist. He went down for a few moments before finally trotting to first base.

Bases loaded. Nobody out.

And somehow Valverde, as he's done so many times this season, wriggled out of it. Granted, this was his all-time biggest wriggle yet.

David Murphy lifted Valverde's first pitch to left field. Ryan Raburn waited, but failed to set himself up for a throw home. If there was already one out, third-base coach Dave Anderson probably would have sent Beltre homeward. But there wasn't, he didn't, so Beltre stayed put.

That brought up Mitch Moreland, who grounded Valverde's 2-2 pitch to first baseman Miguel Cabrera who forced out Beltre with a throw to catcher Alex Avila who threw back to Cabrera who wasn't able to retreat to the base but who was able to swipe the onrushing Moreland with an inning-ending -- and perhaps season-saving -- tag.

Meanwhile, the second-guessers will ask Ron Washington why he didn't send in a pinch-runner -- Craig Gentry would have been the obvious candidate -- to replace Beltre. In retrospect, it seems possible that Beltre would have scored, and likely that Gentry (or Endy Chavez) would have scored.

We'll never know for sure. And now we're on to the 10th inning, still Rangers 3, Tigers 3.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Join SBNation.com

You must be a member of SBNation.com to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SBNation.com. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.