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DETROIT, MI - OCTOBER 11: Colby Lewis #48 of the Texas Rangers throws a pitch in the first inning of Game Three of the American League Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 11, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
When Nelson Cruz flew out to left field to end Wednesday night's World Series opener with a 3-2 win for the St. Louis Cardinals, the Texas Rangers definitely got off on the wrong foot.
The winner of Game 1 has won 12 of the last 14 World Series. When a home team wins Game 1, they haven't lost the World Series since 1993.
But there's no need for the Rangers to panic.
Chris Carpenter is the best pitcher there is in the World Series, and the Cardinals absolutely had to take Game 1. The Rangers got to Carpenter early, had a hit-and-run busted, and got a two-run home run from Mike Napoli.
C.J. Wilson held his own against Carpenter. Wilson didn't lose the game, the Rangers bats did. Again, because Carpenter is a former Cy Young winner.
But for the next three games before Carpenter takes the hill in Rangers Ballpark on Monday, the Cardinals' pitchers aren't nearly as impressive.
Jaime Garcia (0-2, 5.74 ERA in postseason) takes the hill on Thursday against Colby Lewis, who is the best postseason pitcher the Rangers have and pitches his best away from Arlington.
In Game 3, the Cardinals will pitch Kyle Lohse (0-2, 7.45) and Edwin Jackson (1-0, 5.84) in Game 4.
In those two games, the Rangers will send Matt Harrison (1-0, 4.22) and Derek Holland (1-0, 5.27) to the mound with both of them likely having the advantage against Lohse and Jackson.
The key is for Lewis to get the Rangers a win in Game 2 and for the bats to attack Garcia, a lefty. The Rangers hit .282, tops in MLB, against left-handed bats this season.
If Lewis and the offense can do their jobs, the Rangers will once again be the favorite with three straight games coming in Arlington Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
Falling in an 0-2 hole will be tough to come back from, just ask the 2010 Rangers.