Some random notes on Game 1 of the Rangers-Yankees ALCS:
- This was a huge loss for the Rangers. Beating C. C. Sabathia would have wiped out the purported advantage the Yankees held by Cliff Lee being spent in Game 5 of the ALDS. Instead, Sabathia gets off the hook and the Yankees hold the 1-game road advantage that many assumed they would achieve.
- Coolstandsings.com gives the Yankees a 70% chance of winning the ALCS after their Game 1 victory, as compared to 56% before Game 1.
- Darren Oliver has appeared in 18 post-season games, with the first and last coming for Texas against the Yankees 14 years apart:
- Rangers pitchers have now made 41 relief appearances in the playoffs (all-time). That includes 4 in yesterday's game as well as 6 in Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays. Johnny Oates once used 7 in a playoff game--Game 4 of the 1996 ALDS also against the Yankees.
- Alex Rodriguez ran his post-season career RBI total to 38 (in 215 at-bats--pretty damn good.) It just goes to show you, though, how weird baseball is. His 2-run hit was this close to being a double-play grounder.
- The Rangers defense didn't look very good to me, beyond just the bobble by Hamilton that was charged as an error. This could be a big factor in the rest of the series.
- Many comments from Yankees after the game mentioned how they never felt out of it, they knew they could rally, etc. I guess I can understand this, as the Yankees have rallied from plenty of deficits in both the regular season and the playoffs in the last 15 seasons, but I wonder whether this helps or hurts them. The fact that this comeback win won't provide much of an emotional lift might mean something, or perhaps their overriding confidence is the more important thing. The fact that the big 5-run rally didn't involve any homers definitely matters, though--it gives both teams the impression that the entire Yankee lineup is a force.
- The biggest WPA plays is an interesting list. Cano's tying single is tops, followed by A-Rod's 2-run single. Next up, though, is Kinsler's caught stealing against Kerry Wood. That was a huge play. Marcus Thames' go-ahead RBI doesn't even make the top 5.
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