Matt Barrie, Newy Scruggs, NBCDFW.com
Time to win Games 3 and 4 of World Series or it's over.
Well. That was fun.
The first two World Series games in Texas Rangers franchise history couldn't have gone much worse. In fact, specifically in Game 1, the Rangers played the worst baseball game they have all season, all the way around.
Now, this resilient bunch is heading back home in an 0-2 hole with as many as three games to play in Arlington before hopefully heading back to the Bay for Game 6, and maybe 7.
But that first World Series title is going to be hard to come by if you look at history.
A team has taken a 2-0 lead 51 times in a best-of-7 series in MLB history. That team has won the series 40 times. The Giants battered Cliff Lee, and Cliff Lee doesn't get battered. C.J. Wilson saw another of his great postseason starts wasted.
Fact of the matter is, the outlook is bleak.
But the key thing is, this series isn't over. And like we said after Game 1, this Rangers team has proven it can bounce back from anything. And for a while on Thursday, it looked like they bounce back from the Game 1 disaster. The Rangers had their chances on Thursday but went 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position. In fact, every Rangers starter had an at-bat with a runner in scoring position, except for Mitch Moreland, and failed.
That's not going to get it done, and isn't indicative of the Rangers offense during the regular season or the postseason.
So if you're an eternal optimist, here's what you have to look forward to:
Colby Lewis is going in Game 3 against arguably the Giants worst starter this postseason, Jonathan Sanchez. Now, to say he's the "worst" is kind of crazy. He's 0-1 with a 2.93 ERA and went just two innings in Game 6 against the Phillies, a game the Giants eventually won.
Colby Lewis was arguably the stabilizing rock for the Rangers in the ALCS, winning two starts against the feared Yankees and is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in the postseason. So there's that.
If Lewis can get a win and pull the Rangers to within a 2-1 series deficit, you have Game 4 with Tommy Hunter going up against the Giants rookie Madison Bumgarner, who lasted just 4 2/3 innings in his lone NLCS start. Of course, Tommy Hunter has been on the verge of terrible in the postseason. But you have to figure he's due, and he'll be pitching at home where he was undefeated this year, until his home loss in the ALDS against Tampa Bay.
If Hunter can get a win, the Rangers are tied at 2-2 and then you start over with Cliff Lee against Tim Lincecum. I'd almost bet my life savings that the Giants won't hit Lee like they did in Game 1.
So there you go folks, that's how the Rangers go back to San Francisco either up 3-2 or down 3-2, but this thing is going back to the Bay, so you might as well be ready for it.
Remember in 2006 when the Mavericks had a 2-0 lead in the NBA Finals and were leading Game 3 by double-digits in the fourth quarter. Then, they blew Game 3, and lost the next three games to lose the series 4-2 to the Heat and break the City of Dallas' heart.
Look out Giants, it's not over yet. We know from experience.