We might just have ourselves a competitive series here.
The Braves evened things up with the Giants tonight — or this morning,
really — taking Game 2 by the score of 5-4 in 11 innings. They jumped
ahead thanks to a long solo home run by Rick Ankiel, which splashed down
in McCovey Cove beyond the right field fence.
The Giants were actually in great position to win in the bottom of the
10th inning, as Edgar Renteria led off with a bunt single, testing the
hobbled Troy Glaus at third base. After Andres Torres sacrificed him
over to second base, Billy Wagner was removed from the game due to an
oblique injury. Kyle Farnsworth entered and hit Freddy Sanchez with a
pitch and walked Aubrey Huff to load the bases for Buster Posey. It pretty easy to think the worst.
Farnsworth was able to induce a groundball to Glaus at third, but instead of going the safe route and throwing home, he made the do-or-die decision to go for the double-play by throwing to second base. Incredibly, it worked. Just barely. Inning over. Without a doubt, the key play of the ballgame.
With the series now knotted up at 1-1, the Braves return home for Game 3 on Sunday. Tim Hudson will square off against Jonathan Sanchez.
Here are the Rangers and Blue Jays lineups for Game 1 of the ALDS in Toronto:
CF Delino DeShields
RF Shin-Soo Choo
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Prince Fielder
1B Mike Napoli
LF Josh Hamilton
SS Elvis Andrus
2B Rougned Odor
C Robinson Chirinos
SP Yovani Gallardo
With left-hander David Price on the mound for Toronto the Rangers are going with Mike Napoli at first base over Mitch Moreland. Beyond that it’s a pretty standard lineup for Texas, or at least standard for what manager Jeff Banister used down the stretch once Josh Hamilton was healthy enough to play left field.
LF Ben Revere
3B Josh Donaldson
RF Jose Bautista
DH Edwin Encarnacion
SS Troy Tulowitzki
1B Justin Smoak
C Russell Martin
2B Ryan Goins
CF Kevin Pillar
SP David Price
After returning from the disabled list for the final weekend of the regular season Troy Tulowitzki is in the lineup and batting fifth. That allows Ryan Goins to play second base in place of the injured Devon Travis. Justin Smoak gets the nod over Chris Colabello at first base against a right-hander.
Houston made one unexpected change to the roster for the ALDS, leaving off veteran reliever Chad Qualls.
Qualls warmed up but never appeared in the Wild Card game win over the Yankees and during the regular season the 36-year-old right-hander logged 49 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 46/9 K/BB ratio. Qualls was on the Astros’ last playoff team in 2005.
Utility man Jonathan Villar has been bumped off the roster in favor of outfielder Preston Tucker, as the Astros opted for a good left-handed bat off the bench versus the Royals rather than Villar’s speed.