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Rangers’ bullpen shines in rainy ALCS Game 1 victory

Oct 9, 2011, 1:26 AM EDT

Texas Rangers pitcher Mike Adams reacts after striking out Detroit Tigers' Jhonny Peralta to end the eighth inning of Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship Series baseball playoffs in Arlington Reuters

A fifth-inning rain storm caused two hours of delay time in Saturday’s ALCS opener at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, stripping C.J. Wilson of his command and forcing Justin Verlander from the game. A battle of aces turned into a battle of bullpens. And while both relief corps posted zeroes, it was the fellas from Texas who came away victorious.

Entering to a bases-loaded mess following the second of two rain-induced pauses, Rangers lefty Mike Gonzalez got Tigers catcher Alex Avila to hit into a two-out groundout to end the fifth inning.

Alexi Ogando, a highly effective starter during the regular season, then took over in the top of the sixth. He delivered two scoreless innings, fanning three Tigers and yielding no hits. Darren Oliver followed and retired both batters he faced before giving way to trade-deadline acquisition Mike Adams, who got Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta to chase a fall-off-the-cliff breaking ball to end any potential threat in the eighth.

Neftali Feliz closed it all out in the top of the ninth, at one point hitting 101 mph on FOX’s radar gun.

The Rangers battled the rain and put trust in their bullpen on the way to a 3-2 ALCS Game 1 victory.

  1. texasdawg - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:36 AM


  2. spytdi - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    Great game

  3. cur68 - Oct 9, 2011 at 1:59 AM

    I thought this would be the game the Tigers would win. Verlander has been money up till now. The Rangers though came with the offence. Nelson Cruz has indeed been taking the BP. Wilson was as good as he had to be for long enough. Feliz was Feliz. This could be a sweep.

    • addictedzone - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:10 AM

      Tampa Bay was talking about a sweep not too long ago

      • Rob Mac - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:17 AM

        agreed – way too early to call a sweep. TX got lucky that Verlander got pushed out due to rain. He can still come back for Game 4 and the Game 7. Far from over.

      • kilo0986 - Oct 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

        Yeah I wouldnt say sweep, but robmac maybe you didnt see the game but verlander got 3 runs scored on him and the bullpen shut out tx. Verlander being forced out made no difference on the final score

    • lukeslice - Oct 9, 2011 at 9:29 AM

      Can we stop assuming every game Verlander pitches will be a CG/SHO? His postseason ERA this year is now at 5.54 and it was an even 5.00 in the Yanks/Tigers series. Yes, he had a glorious, dazzling, Cy-for-sure year, but when you really break it down, he’s been a postseason disappointment.

      Tigers need to lean on their other guys for once…Fister and Scherzer specifically (Scherzer who has outpitched Verlander all October).

  4. txnative61 - Oct 9, 2011 at 5:10 AM

    Two runs to a good lineup in a hitter’s park, and three off a Cy Young Ace. What’s not to like? Great bullpen, great game.

  5. polegojim - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:22 AM

    Congrats to Rangers pitching…

    But Tigers big bats were a No-Show. RISP failure. Looked at WAY too many strikes and were then swinging defensively and tentatively.

    Let’s Go TIGERS baseball… get your teeth back for game 2 boys, you’ve got it in you.

  6. goldensombrero3000 - Oct 9, 2011 at 10:24 AM

    Since C.J. Wilson is straightedge that means he crys at Hardcore Shows. I didn’t know straightedge still existed. That’s Texas for ya.

  7. nothanksimdriving123 - Oct 9, 2011 at 2:09 PM

    I’d love to hear what the TV ratings were for this game, especially here on the East Coast, where not as many fans care who wins it and where it ended at about 1am. With both coasts out of the playoffs, I suspect that Fox execs and sponsors are less than elated.

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