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Rangers Blew a Great Chance on Sunday

By Adam Boedeker
|  Monday, Nov 1, 2010  |  Updated 11:45 AM CDT
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Trick Not Treat For Texas Rangers

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People are going to be calling Tommy Hunter the goat of the postseason.

And in a way, they're right. He deserves some criticism.

"Big Game" Hunter's postseason struggles continued in Game 4 of the World Series on Sunday night, as he lasted just four innings, throwing 83 pitches and over 40 of those in the first two as he labored, and labored through the Giants lineup.

Hunter, who went 13-4 with a sub-4.00 ERA in the regular season and went undefeated at Rangers Ballpark, has struggled mightily in the postseason. He took his first home loss of the year in Game 4 of the ALDS, got a no-decision after leaving in the fourth in Game 4 of the ALCS, and went four innings on Sunday, taking the loss after he left the Rangers in a 2-0 deficit after an absolute moon shot allowed to Aubrey Huff. It was a gamer's effort by Hunter, but he simply has no "out" pitch, and that makes it tough.

Hunter caught a few bad breaks with a bang-bang call at first that extended the inning by 11 pitches until Josh Hamilton's Superman catch to save at least one run. He didn't force a Giants hitter to swing and miss until the 72nd pitch of the game, as the Giants battled and battled, fouling off nearly a quarter of Hunter's offerings.

But then again, where was the offense?

Obviously, Giants 21-year-old rookie Madison Bumgarner is a star in the making, as he held the Rangers to three hits in eight scoreless innings, but his stuff wasn't overpowering. The Rangers put bat on ball plenty of times, they just had nothing to show for it.

Vladimir Guerrero looked helpless at the plate, as he has for much of the postseason, as he struck out three times with some feeble attempts at swinging the bat.

Just facing the facts, when you get four innings and give up just two runs from Tommy Hunter, and hold that score until the seventh inning behind Alexi Ogando and Darren Oliver, you need to win the game. Sadly, in the postseason, Tommy Hunter starts have basically equated to makeshift bullpen starts, which is something you don't want in the postseason.

And the Rangers couldn't touch Madison Bumgarner, simple as that.

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