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Texas Rangers vs. NY Yankees (3-2): Championship number 1 or number 28?

Updated on October 22, 2010
NY Yankees Pitcher - Phil Hughes
NY Yankees Pitcher - Phil Hughes

Texas Rangers vs. NY Yankees (3-2): Championship number 1 or number 28?

The Texas Rangers have never been this close to winning a World Series. All they need is one more win and then they can exorcise the demons that have haunted them since 1961 – for almost 50 years!

On the other hand we have the NY Yankees who have won 27 championships. If the Yankees can hold off the Rangers for just two more games we will have championship number 28. But first, our Yanks have to beat the Rangers in front of an expected exceptionally vociferous crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

So what will it be? Will there be two more games or will it all end tonight?

Tonight’s pitching match-up is between the Ranger’s Colby Lewis and the Yankee’s Phil Hughes. Lewis, who had never pitched more than 180 innings in a professional season, crossed 210 innings in Game 2. The heavier load seems to be limiting how deep he can pitch into games. Hughes had a seven-day layoff between his ALDS start and Game 2 of the ALCS. In game 2 he allowed 10 hits and seven runs in four innings. In three previous appearances at Rangers Ballpark, he had allowed only three hits and no runs in 15 innings.

Even if the Yankees win tonight, they will face Cliff 'the great' Lee in a decisive Game 7 on Saturday. The pressure is on the Yankees to win 2 straight. The Rangers have the comfort of knowing they only have to win one game and have a great playoff pitcher ready for Saturday’s game (if needed). Given their options I believe that the Yankees would love to face Lee one more time.

Payback might be a huge inspiration for the Rangers tonight, after all the Emperors from the Empire State have defeated and as a result prevented them from making it to three World Series during the 1990s! A victory would finally put Texas into the World Series.

The question tonight for the Yankees is which Phil Hughes will show up. Will it be the pitcher who gave up seven runs on 10 hits in four innings in his last appearance against the Rangers or the super pitcher who was unbeaten (2-0, 0.00) in four appearances against Texas coming into the series? Hughes is 19-9 overall for the season and New York is 21-10 in his starts.

Lewis hasn't pitched into the seventh inning in over a month and the Rangers are just 15-19 in his starts this season. However, in Game 2 he gave Texas a solid outing allowing just two runs in 5 2/3 innings and he’s had seven straight starts with two earned runs or less.

History is against the Yankees who haven’t overcome a 3-1 postseason deficit in 52 years.

The best the Yankees can hope for is another shot at Lee, who overmatched them with remarkable ease in Game 3. It will be interesting to see if Hughes can gain some personal redemption Friday night and force an anticipated Game 7.

The weather fairies say that it will be hot and humid with a fifty percent chance of thunderstorms and temperatures in the 70s at Rangers Ballpark tonight. 

Tonight's game will broadcast on TBS - coverage begins at 7:30PM EST; first pitch at 8:07PM.

Go Yankees!

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