During two seasons in Japan, Colby Lewis became accustomed to pitching nearly every night in front of raucous, sellout crowds.
He points to those experiences in 2008 and '09 with the Hiroshima Carp in helping him gear up for the pressures of the postseason. The 31-year-old Lewis twice pitched the Texas Rangers to victories after their losses to the defending champion Yankees in the AL championship series.
The Rangers now turn to Lewis to lead them in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night, trailing the San Francisco Giants 2-0 as the scene shifts to Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.
"We've got to win either way. That's just the way it is," Lewis said Friday. "We have to win four out of five. So, there's no room for error. It's just a situation where we're back at home and we played really well here. I'm looking forward to it."
Jonathan Sanchez takes the ball for the Giants, hoping to bounce back from a rough outing in his team's Game 6 NLCS clincher against the Phillies last Saturday. The left-hander was done after two innings.
"Everybody is human, everybody makes mistakes," said Sanchez, the most reliable starter down the stretch for the NL West champions. "Everybody is going to have bad days and good days."
Sanchez seems to have moved forward, even if everybody remembers the benches clearing in the third inning after he plunked Chase Utley and then yelled at the All-Star second baseman for tossing the ball back toward the mound on his way to first base. No punches were thrown and nobody was ejected, though Sanchez was pulled.
"We're in the World Series against Texas, the Phillies are at home," he said. "I don't want to talk about that."
Despite the importance of Lewis' next start, he reminds himself to treat each outing on the big stage like it's any other during the course of a season.
"I want to try to keep the same mindset," Lewis said. "If you try to get too amped or too overly confident, I think you get yourself in trouble."
A LITTLE CHEAPER
The average asking price for Game 3 tickets dropped to $1,209 late-afternoon Friday, down from $1,655 a day earlier, according to fansnap.com
The average asking price dropped to $1,133 from $1,340 for Game 4 and remained at $1,164 for Game 5.
If the Series shifts back to San Francisco, the average is $1,320 for Game 6 and $1,642 for Game 7.