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Rangers dominate ALCS Game 6 for 15-5 victory, move along to World Series

Oct 16, 2011, 12:01 AM EDT

Texas Rangers' Nelson Cruz celebrates after hitting a two run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the seventh inning of Game 6 of MLB's ALCS baseball playoffs in Arlington Reuters

The Rangers’ rotation has managed just one quality start in 10 postseason outings, but it doesn’t really matter. Texas is advancing to the World Series for the second consecutive year on the back of a dynamic and powerful batting order — one that strung together 17 hits and 15 runs in Saturday’s ALCS-clinching Game 6 victory over Detroit.

Ian Kinsler, the leadoff man, went 2-for-5 with three RBI. Elvis Andrus, the fleet-footed shortstop, was 2-for-5 with a stolen base and two runs scored.

Then there’s the heart of the Rangers’ lineup.

Josh Hamilton has eight RBI in these playoffs, Michael Young tallied five RBI on Saturday night alone, and Adrian Beltre has remained productive while also contributing his usual brand of elite defense at third base.

But the vaunted Texas lineup doesn’t fall off from there. Mike Napoli batted .320 with a 1.046 OPS during the regular season and carries massive power potential out of the six-hole. Nelson Cruz, the MVP of the ALCS, had six homers in the Rangers’ six-game series win. David Murphy, 2-for-2 on Saturday, is also a producer.

The Rangers won’t have many favorable pitching matchups in the Fall Classic, no matter if they face Milwaukee or St. Louis, but they boast the kind of offensive firepower that could render that shortcoming moot.

Congratulations to manager Ron Washington, team president Nolan Ryan, general manager Jon Daniels, and the Rangers’ entire 40-man roster. There’s little doubt that Texas has become a premier MLB franchise. And they should be heavy favorites, despite no home-field advantage, in the 2011 postseason’s final round.

  1. spytdi - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:17 AM

    Growing up a Ranger’s fan wasn’t always the easiest, especially with some of the teams they put on the field in the late 80’s and early 2000’s. Pitching has always been a sore spot, but the bullpen is good enough and the lineup just blisters mediocre pitching performances. They’re gonna be tough to beat.

  2. Old Gator - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Congratulations to Rangers fans but let’s face it, this had to be one of the most boring LCSes in recent memory.

    • polegojim - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:40 AM

      WOW Old Gator… how can you type that with a straight face?

      Boring… because for almost the entire series, the pitching was very good?
      Boring… because for 60% of the innings played, the score was only separated by 1 run or tied?
      Boring… because the two truly best teams in the AL were battling it out and neither team simply ran away with the AL Title?

      That Mr. Gator, was a CLASSIC BASEBALL BATTLE. THAT was EXCELLENT BASEBALL to true MLB fans.

      I don’t believe neither the Cards nor Brewers will hang very long with this Ranger team.

      • Old Gator - Oct 16, 2011 at 2:55 AM

        Six games. Blowout final. Pitching collapse. The Tiggers overmatched for the entire series. Yawn. No one will remember this series except maybe for the Tiggers bullpen – except when they’re hung over.

      • polegojim - Oct 16, 2011 at 10:17 AM

        Old Gator – get back on your medication.

        If the Tigers were overmatched the entire series, how did it go 6 games?
        You don’t like close games and a series that almost goes the distance.
        You don’t like game sixes that are blowouts
        You don’t like games with good pitching that are close
        You don’t like games with bad pitching and good hitting

        You’re just crying in your Wheaties that your team wasn’t good enough to play either team.

        Maybe baseball isn’t your game. You don’t grasp the concept.

      • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Oct 16, 2011 at 11:36 AM

        Boring… because for almost the entire series, the pitching was very good?

        Tigers gave up runs of 3, 7, 2, 7, 5, 15 and Rangers gave up 2, 3, 5, 3, 7, 5. Pitching wasn’t that good. Average at best

        Boring… because the two truly best teams in the AL were battling it out and neither team simply ran away with the AL Title?

        Not sure what objective measure you are using to describe them as the “two truly best teams” but they definitely weren’t. They were the last two standing.

        So you’re right on 1/3 points, and it might have been your best argument. Doesn’t necessarily mean it wasn’t boring though.

      • jimeejohnson - Oct 16, 2011 at 12:55 PM

        “Get back on your medication…” Only a low class chump responds with this worn out loser line.

  3. polegojim - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    OUCH – that one hurt…bad.

    CONGRATS TO THE RANGERS – that was a freakish display of hitting. With the way the series had gone, you’d think 5 runs would’ve won it. Great Job.

    Thank you Tigers!!!! You gave us LOT’S to cheer about in Detroit!!!

    • texanadeb - Oct 16, 2011 at 11:35 AM

      polegojim
      I know a 10 run lead might seem excessive. But with the way the Tigers were playing, all it would take is a lucky hop or Cabrera on base with the bases loaded to make a good come back. The Rangers just wanted to end it; they couldn’t chance a game 7 win. I think the Rangers are great, but the Tigers were a worthy rival.

  4. xmatt0926x - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:52 AM

    Yeah, I don’t see how either NL team will beat this Rangers team. Milwaukee’s starters have proven to be solid to good, but not great starters. No real top flight ace. The Cards have a real elite ace in Carpenter but the Rangers should eat up the rest of that staff if they face them. The Rangers starters are ok but the bullpen is great and that lineup is just one of the great lineups in recent memory. Power, average, they don’t strike out much. Great pitching usually beats good hitting but I just don’t see either the Brewers or Cardinals ok/ good staff’s holding them down enough to win the series.

  5. clydeserra - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:55 AM

    texas won 96 games. explain to me why St. Louis, the wildcard team, would have home field advantage.\ again.

    • 1bigtex - Oct 16, 2011 at 8:25 AM

      The All Star game victory by the National League, that’s why the National League team gets home field. BTW, you reckon the Tigers are a little upset to get raked by former Detroit prospect, Nelson Cruz?

    • hotkarlsandwich - Oct 16, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      Do you actually FOLLOW baseball clyde?

  6. cur68 - Oct 16, 2011 at 4:14 AM

    Whew. A marathon thesis session today and I finally get to check HBT to find out that the team I picked to go all the way when the Blue Jays were eliminated from realistic playoff contention (lo those many months ago) has come though. Payoff enough for me for wearing my nose right down to my cheekbones on the old grind stone. Wish I’d seen this game.

    Nelson Cruz, ALCS MVP sounds about right. He’s been an absolute beast this post season. Who ever has to face him better just walk him a lot. The real question will be if there is going to be lineup tinkering. Young could bat higher in the order but he’s been raking where he is, ditto Cruz. Disrupt the flow of the hitters and follow conventional lineup ordering or leave it alone because it works? I predict whatever Ron Washington does will get him castigated ad nauseam. Even if it works.

    Well done Rangers, you’re making me look like pretty smart these days…which is quite a change for me…I could get used to it (*hint* *nudge* *wink*).

  7. uyf1950 - Oct 16, 2011 at 4:20 AM

    Congratulations to the Rangers and their fans. A well deserved 2nd trip to the World Series. Good luck the rest of the way.

  8. antlerclaws - Oct 16, 2011 at 6:15 AM

    And kudos to Jim Leyland for going out with dignity; in his post-game interview he said that the Rangers are the deserving team to represent the AL in the World Series.

    • mgflolox - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:44 AM

      Jim Leyland has alway been one of the classiest individuals to ever wear a Major League uniform. Congrats to the Tigers, they had a helluva season.

  9. muffinb - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    I’m a staunch Cardinal fan….but I think if they get to the Series they will get stomped. Hope not, but that is just wishful thinking…..I think!!

  10. anythingbutyanks - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:24 PM

    I’m happy about the Rangers being in the Series, and also happy at least one writer knows the difference between moot and mute.

  11. PanchoHerreraFanClub - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    Just a quick reminder before any of you bet your house on Craig’s analysis. This is the guy who told us that two best team were the Red Sox and Phillies. Not to mention that the Cubs would win the Central.

  12. jason9696 - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    The ghetto looking Ron Washington has a few days to smoke some more crack before the World Series begins.

  13. barklikeadog - Oct 16, 2011 at 1:45 PM

    Old (fart) gator doesn’t have a straight face – not after all those strokes.

  14. texanadeb - Oct 16, 2011 at 2:44 PM

    Jason
    The Rangers believe in giving second chances. Hamilton and Washington are just two of the examples. They both have proven that they deserved the chances and are doing everything they can to live up to Ryan’ and the rest of the Ranger’s trust. GO RANGERS!

  15. artisan3m - Oct 16, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Whatever the Cards or Brewers bring, it won’t be any tougher than the Tigers. Detroit has a helluva team, well managed, and solid everywhere. The Rangers just have more firepower and a defense second to none. Most teams point to their ace and starting rotation ~ Texas (even the ace and starting rotation) points to the bullpen. That is a priceless luxury.

  16. mgflolox - Oct 17, 2011 at 3:46 AM

    Good luck to Wash, one of the truly good guys in the game today. Wish you were managing the Green & Gold.

  17. foreverchipper10 - Oct 17, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I got my cheesy headline about the Rangers Cruz-ing into the Series :)

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