The Rangers just defeated the Yankees 6-1 in Game 6 of the ALCS, advancing to the World Series for the first time in franchise history.
Colby Lewis pitched the proverbial “game of his life,” allowing just three hits over eight innings of one-run ball. The only run scored on a blown wild pitch call by home plate umpire Brian Gorman in the top of the fifth inning. Otherwise, the Yankees couldn’t touch him. Lewis struck out seven in the clincher, including the final three batters he faced in the top of the eighth inning.
And to think, just one year ago, Lewis was pitching in Japan. Now he’ll forever be known as a franchise hero.
Lewis was dominant on his own, but the Rangers got a little help from Joe Girardi. Admittedly, the Rangers’ lineup was “pick your poison” during this series, but the Yankees paid dearly after walking Josh Hamilton intentionally in the bottom of the fifth inning. Vladimir Guerrero jumped on a breaking ball from Phil Hughes and sent it deep into the gap in left-center field to bring home Mitch Moreland and Hamilton for a go-ahead two-run double. The Rangers never looked back.
Hamilton was named the ALCS MVP for batting .350 (7-for-20) with four home runs and seven RBI during the series. He was intentionally walked a grand total of five times, tying an ALCS record.
Neftali Feliz came on to record the final three outs in the top of the ninth inning, striking out Alex Rodriguez, of all people, to end it. Ginger ale showers for everyone!
The Rangers now await the winner of the Giants-Phillies series. Game 1 of the World Series is set for next Wednesday. And, because the Rangers didn’t need a Game 7 to get there, they have their ace Cliff Lee perfectly lined up for the series.
Horrible news: Miami Marlins ace starting pitcher Jose Fernandez was killed in a boat crash off of Miami Beach late last night.
No details have been released yet, apart from the fact that Fernandez was one of three people killed. The Marlins have issued a statement confirming Fernandez’s death, stating that the organization is devastated and that their thoughts and prayers were with Fernandez’s family. Today’s Marlins game against the Braves has been canceled.
Fernandez was only 24 years old. Though only in his fourth season in the majors, he was easily one of the best and most exciting pitchers in the game. In his four seasons he won 38 games and posted a fantastic ERA of 2.58 while striking out 11.2 batters per nine innings. He was an electric presence on the mound and was poised to become one of baseball’s most highly-paid and entertaining superstars.
His baseball exploits seem trivial now, however. His loss at such a young age, tragic. Our thoughts today are with Fernandez’s family, the Marlins organization and those who knew and loved him.
Another day, another division title in the bag. The Nationals coasted to a 6-1 finish over the Pirates on Saturday evening; coupled with a Mets’ loss later that night, the NL East title was theirs for the third time since 2012.
The Nationals put up a three-spot in the first and fourth innings, scoring five of six runs on productive outs while Washington starter Joe Ross tossed 2 ⅔ innings of one-run ball in his second start off the disabled list. Prior to the game, manager Dusty Baker seemed reluctant to delegate a set number of pitches to the right-hander, opting instead to base Ross’s workload on his performance.
Washington’s bullpen carried the team the rest of the way, combining for 6 ⅓ scoreless frames to preserve their five-run lead. When Anthony Rendon snared a liner from Andrew McCutchen to end the game, all eyes turned to the clubhouse TVs:
Murphy had sufficient cause for worry: After trailing 10-0 through four innings, the Mets returned with an eight-run drive that culminated with Jay Bruce‘s solo shot in the ninth inning. Had Bruce hit the home run after Philadelphia closer Michael Mariot issued a pair of walks, and not before, the Mets would have edged out the Phillies, 11-10. Instead, their late-game rally ended on a fastball down the middle, and the Phillies’ 70th victory confirmed the Nats’ place atop the NL East.
While Max Scherzer donned his two-toned goggles and Bryce Harper braved the champagne showers in U.S. Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky’s swim cap, Baker was already thinking about Sunday’s start. Against the Pirates’ Tyler Glasnow, Baker announced his plans to start 24-year-old A.J. Cole, whose seven starts have yielded a 4.68 ERA and 0.2 fWAR in 32 ⅔ innings this year.
Cole hasn’t displayed the sharpest stuff in his sophomore season, touting a high 3.03 BB/9 and 1.93 HR/9, but with the division locked down and the Cubs in sole possession of home field advantage through the NLCS, the Nationals have bigger concerns as the playoffs draw near.