Tonight in Arlington, the Texas Rangers punched their ticket to the World Series by defeating the defending champs, New York Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS. This tremendous win marks the first time in the franchise’s 50 year history that the Rangers have been crowned champions of the American League.
Throughout the six game series, Texas looked in control with strong pitching and lots (and lots) of offensive firepower. ALCS MVP, Josh Hamilton lead the way on the offensive end with a series high 4 home runs and 7 runs batted in. Hamilton was so dangerous for Yankee pitching, he was walked three consecutive times in the final game, which was met with much displeasure from the Texas faithful.
Defensively, strong starting pitching helped the Rangers take the series 4 games to 2 behind big starts from their ace Cliff Lee and tonight’s winner Colby Lewis. The duo allowed only two earned runs in nearly 22 innings of work. As a collective the Texas pitching staff held the Yankee offense to only 18 runs total over the series, quite the feat against one of the league’s most dangerous hitting clubs.
The Rangers ALCS victory represents more for the team than just a trip to the World Series. Redemption came tonight for a club that has overcome many challenges and difficulties in the months leading up to the Game 6 win. In March, skipper Ron Washington admitted to cocaine use but was given a second chance by the front office. The same front office, took a chance two years ago signing a troubled outfielder dealing with similar issues of his own after years of battling drug and alcohol addiction.
Poignantly the team celebrated their history making victory not with the usual champagne popping celebration but with ginger ale, out of respect for their MVP slugger’s continued recovery.
Texas will now await the winner of the NLCS match up between the San Fransisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies. The Giants currently hold a 3-2 lead over Philly as they head into Game 6 in Philadelphia tomorrow evening.
If necessary, the Phils will host Game 7 on Sunday night to determine who will meet Texas. Regardless of which team wins, the Rangers will be playing the first game of the World Series on the road as the National League won bragging rights and home field advantage in the MLB All-Star game over the summer.