ARLINGTON -- The Rangers gave catcher Bengie Molina the start against the Yankees in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series. He doesn't seem worried that the Yankees are ahead in the series.
"I think the [Rangers] are very loose. They enjoy the game," Molina said. "And this group right here, they forget things real quick. They don't get rattled by anything, from what I've seen. They are very good at it. I'm probably the worst one of them, but they are awesome at that. I think we are going to be fine."
This is Molina's fourth postseason of his career. The previous three were with the Angels. It was as a member of the Angels that he saw his team down 1-0 in the 2002 AL Division Series to the Yankees. The Angels won that series in five games and went on to win the World Series.
"I think it helps you out in your mind, it helps you out just knowing you can do it," Molina said. "Is it going to happen? Who knows? But at least you know that can happen and you go out with the mentality of playing every day, like, 'Let's win today and forget about what's going on [yesterday] or the next day.' I think that's the mentality we are going to have -- just try to win today."
Rangers end 10-game playoff skid vs. Yanks
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers brought an end to their 10-game postseason losing streak to the Yankees with a 7-2 victory in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series on Saturday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington.The Rangers' last victory over the Yankees in the playoffs was a 6-2 victory on Oct. 1, 1996, in Game 1 of the AL Division Series at Yankee Stadium. The Rangers had just won their first division title and were playing in postseason for the first time in franchise history. John Burkett pitched a complete game and Juan Gonzalez and Dean Palmer both hit home runs for the Rangers in a five-run fourth inning. Yankees starter David Cone was the losing pitcher. But the Yankees won the next three, then swept the Rangers in three games in both 1998 and 1999. Their victory in Game 1 of the 2010 ALCS ran the winning streak to 10 games until the Rangers won on Saturday afternoon.
Yanks' respect for Hamilton shows with walks
ARLINGTON -- The Yankees' respect for the Rangers' Josh Hamilton is now in the history books.
Hamilton was walked four times by Yankees pitching during Saturday's 7-2 Rangers win in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series, including two intentional walks. The four free passes match a postseason record that has been achieved 14 times previously, including four times in LCS history.
The others in LCS play include the White Sox Frank Thomas in Game 1 of the 1993 ALCS, the Phillies' Darren Daulton in Game 4 of the '93 NLCS, the Padres' Ken Caminiti in Game 2 of the '98 NLCS and Philadelphia's Chase Utley in Game 2 of the 2008 NLCS.
Hamilton -- who hit a three-run homer off CC Sabathia in the first inning of Game 1 -- was walked on a 3-2 pitch by Phil Hughes in the first inning on Saturday and given a free pass in the second, setting up an inning-ending fielder's choice. He also walked against Hughes in the fourth and took an intentional walk in the eighth.
The walks to Hamilton marked just the second time the Yankees have walked a batter four times in a postseason game, joining the four free passes issued to Jackie Robinson in Game 5 of the 1952 World Series.
Rangers miss Francisco as option in 'pen
ARLINGTON -- Manager Ron Washington has been saying all season long that the Rangers needed Frank Francisco. In Game 1 of the American League Championship Series, they received a reminder of just how much they miss him.Francisco, who was 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, had been the Rangers' eighth-inning setup reliever for most of the season before going on the disabled list at the end of August with a strained muscle in his right rib cage. "Of course we miss him," Washington said. "I made the statement throughout the year that it would be tough to get this done without him. We're getting it done, but it's tough. We've got to make do with what's available." Washington has been using left-hander Darren Oliver and right-hander Darren O'Day as his primary setup relievers. But they were two of five pitchers who allowed five runs in the eighth inning in Game 1 as the Yankees rallied for a 6-5 victory. C.J. Wilson had a 5-1 lead going into the eighth but allowed an infield single to Brett Gardner and a run-scoring double to Derek Jeter. Oliver took over and walked Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira. Then came three consecutive singles by Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Marcus Thames off O'Day, Clay Rapada and Derek Holland. "We were comfortable with Ollie coming in," Washington said. "Usually he has pinpoint control. He just didn't have it. We certainly felt Ollie could get those outs, but he just didn't have his command." Francisco has had a number of setbacks in his throwing program and is not expected to return for the remainder of the playoffs.
Rangers unable to solve Yanks' bullpen
ARLINGTON -- Part of what happened on Friday night at Rangers Ballpark was an extension of what happened to the Rangers against the Yankees in previous playoff encounters.The Rangers have never been able to score late against the Yankees in the playoffs, struggling to get to their bullpen. The Rangers, after scoring five runs in four innings against CC Sabathia, were shut out over the final five innings against relievers Joba Chamberlain, Dustin Moseley, Kerry Wood and Mariano Rivera. Moseley pitched two scoreless innings. "Moseley was the guy," manager Ron Washington said. "He came in there throwing a cut fastball, a different look, and pounded the strike zone." On Saturday, it was more of the same, as Texas tagged Phil Hughes for seven runs in four-plus innings but came up empty against Chamberlain, David Robertson, Boone Logan and Sergio Mitre over the final four frames in a 7-2 win. In 12 playoff games, dating to 1996, the Rangers have now scored just two runs -- one earned -- while tallying 37 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings against the Yankees' bullpen. They have scored just three runs against the Yankees after the fourth inning and none after the sixth inning. Mariano Rivera has now made eight relief appearances against the Rangers. In 12 scoreless innings, he has allowed three hits and two walks while striking out seven. The Rangers are hitting .081 against Rivera in the playoffs.
Washington knows Yankees are tough
ARLINGTON -- Rangers manager Ron Washington has already figured out why the Yankees are the defending world champions and have a history of winning World Series titles. They have a tough mentality and never give up before the last out is made.
Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday was an example of how tough the Yankees can be. New York was down, 5-1, until it scored five runs in the eighth inning to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.
"Well, their mentality is tough," Washington said. "And if you go up and down their lineup, it's tough. We went through their lineup yesterday for about five or six innings, and you know, it looked like those guys were sleepwalking.
"But the game is played for 27 outs, and they have a mentality in New York of playing 27 outs. And we are developing that mentality in Texas of playing 27 outs. And that's what they have always done. That's why they are champions. And you look at the personnel that they have in there as to the way they go about their business; they never seem concerned. And that's only because, look at the championships they have. That's what they expect in New York."
Rangers World Series tickets on sale Sunday
ARLINGTON -- Tickets for a possible 2010 World Series games at the Ballpark in Arlington will go on sale at 9 a.m. CT Sunday.Tickets can be purchased online at texasrangers.com, on the phone at 972-RANGERS, and in person at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington First Base box office. Hours for the phone sale and box office will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. on Monday. There is a possibility of up to three World Series games that could be played at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The World Series is scheduled from Oct. 27-Nov. 4. The three games in Arlington would be Game 3 on Saturday, Oct. 30; Game 4 on Sunday, Oct. 31; and Game 5 (if necessary) on Monday, Nov. 1.
Game 1 trivia
The Rangers have hit a home run in six straight playoff games, matching their longest streak in the regular season. The Rangers scored three runs on the first three hitters of the game on Josh Hamilton's three-run home run. That has happened just once in postseason history. Mo Vaughn hit a three-run home run for the Red Sox against the Indians in Game 1 of the 1998 American League Division Series.
Hamilton's home run was the first three-run blast given up by CC Sabathia to a left-handed hitter. Hamilton's home run was on an 0-2 pitch. The Rangers had just one home run on an 0-2 pitch during the regular season. Taylor Teagarden did so on Aug. 6 off Dallas Braden.
Rangers offer parking rebate
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers are offering a $5 rebate for any fans who paid $15 for parking in the cash lots for Game 1 of the American League Championship Series on Friday night.Fans just need to present their parking receipt at the Ballpark at Arlington ticket office beginning at 9 a.m. CT on Monday. All cash parking will be $10 for the remainder of the ALCS.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.