Colby Lewis, MVP Josh Hamilton lift Rangers to first ever World Series

Texas Rangers players celebrate after defeating the New York Yankees to win their Major League Baseball's ALCS playoff series in Arlington, Texas October 22, 2010.  REUTERS/Hans Deryk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

With a dominating effort over the Yankees in the ACLS, the Texas Rangers have punched their first ticket to the World Series in club history.

Colby Lewis allowed just one run over eight innings in the Rangers’ 6-1 win in Game 6 Friday night. The only run he allowed shouldn’t even have counted, as A-Rod scored on what was deemed a wild pitch, but replays showed that the ball actually hit Nick Swisher’s leg.

No matter. Lewis yielded just three hits and struck out seven while frustrating Yankee hitters with his outstanding command of the strike zone. He won both of his ALCS starts, posting a 1.98 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP with 13 Ks over 13 2/3 innings.

Josh Hamilton was named series MVP, as he reached base in all four plate appearances on Friday and batted .350 with four long balls in six games. Considering his long personal battle with drugs, alcohol and immense ups and downs, it’s amazing how far he’s come. He’s an easy guy to root for if you know his background and he’s a true comeback tale.

As for the Yankees, they can only blame themselves. They hit just .201 to the Rangers’ .304, while driving in 19 runs to Texas’ 38 RBI. They were also bested in home runs (9 to 6) and ERA (6.58 to 3.06).

This is yet another example of how baseball is won on the field – not in the offseason. The Bombers could have spent triple what they did this year to field a team and they still would have had to execute on the field. But they didn’t and now they’ll be at home come November.

Comment Starter: The Rangers now await the winner of the NCLS between the Phillies and Giants, as San Fran currently holds a 3-2 lead. What matchup would you most like to see? The two underdogs or a powerhouse Phillies-Rangers matchup?

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Well done, baseball fans

Colorado Rockies second baseman Eric Young, Jr. dives back to first base with the pick off throw going to Cincinnati Reds first baseman Joey Votto at Coors Field in Denver on September 10, 2009. Young stole two bases with two base hits against the Reds. Colorado swept Cincinnati 5-1 in the series finale. UPI/Gary C. Caskey... Photo via Newscom

While fans are often criticized (and deservedly so) for making the MLB All-Star Game a popularity contest when it comes to voting, they got it right on Thursday when they selected the Reds’ Joey Votto to be the final representative for the National League at this year’s Midsummer Classic.


Votto earned the 34th and final spot on the National League roster by beating out Washington third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, Colorado outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Atlanta closer Billy Wagner. Padres reliever Heath Bell was a candidate before being chosen as an injury replacement on the NL squad.

“I would say I’m relieved,” Votto said. “I’m really glad this whole thing is over with. It was kind of taxing on me. I’m excited and I really, really appreciate the fans and their support.”

Cincinnati players campaigned for their teammate, donning “Vote Votto” red T-shirts during batting practice Wednesday before their game against the New York Mets.

“I just really appreciate the accomplishment. I’m going to take it in,” Votto added. “It means a lot to me. I’ve always wanted to be an All-Star.”

Votto hit his 22nd homer early in Thursday night’s game against Philadelphia. He began the day batting .313 and leading the NL in homers, slugging percentage (.588) and on-base percentage (.417).

As I wrote earlier this week, I’m well aware that Votto plays in the same league as Albert Pujols, Ryan Howard and Adrian Gonzalez. But that doesn’t change the fact that he has better numbers than all three of those stars and deserved to play in the ASG this year. It would have been a sports tragedy if he weren’t selected.

Outside of Ubaldo Jimenez of the Rockies, one could make the argument that no player in the National League has meant more to their team in the first half then Votto. Collectively, the Reds have played good baseball this year, but it’s mainly because of Votto that they’re currently three games ahead of the Cardinals for first place in the NL Central.

Hopefully Votto will have a couple of good at bats and show a national audience what Cincinnati fans already know: that the 26-year-old first baseman can play.

Oh, and Nick Swisher of the Yankees was the fans’ vote in the American League, which is also a well-deserved honor. (Even though he basically politicked for his votes.)

Yankees take 2-1 series lead with Game 3 win

Apparently all Nick Swisher needed was a fire lit under his ass.

Swisher, benched in Game 2, homered and doubled in the Yankees’ 8-5 win over the Phillies in Game 3 of the World Series on Saturday night. With the victory, New York takes a 2-1 lead in the best of seven series.

Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui also went deep for the Bronx Bombers. A-Rod’s shot was memorable because it was the first call overturned by replay in the history of the World Series. He finished 1 for 2 on the night with two RBI and a walk, while Swisher went 2-for-4 with two runs and a RBI.

The Phillies got two home runs from Jayson Werth and one from Carlos Ruiz to take a 3-0 lead in the second inning. But the Yankees answered with two runs in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings on their way to victory. Philadelphia starter Cole Hamels was touched up for five runs on five hits in just 4.1 innings of work. He struck out three and walked two.

With this win, the Yankees have the Phillies right where they want them because CC Sabathia opposes Joe Blanton tomorrow night. But a win is vital for the Bombers because if they lose, not only will Philly even the series but it’ll also have the momentum with Cliff Lee (who beat the Yankees in Game 1) starting Game 5.

Tomorrow is critical for Joe Girardi, who decided to start Sabathia on only three days rest. If the Yankees can’t take a 3-1 series lead, then Girardi’s gamble could wind up costing his club.

Yankees bench Swisher for Hairston Jr.

In a move that will no doubt bring a smile to most Yankee fans’ faces, the Bronx Bombers have decided to bench Nick Swisher in favor of Jerry Hairston Jr. for Game 2 of the World Series.


Hairston is 10-for-27 (.370) lifetime against Phillies starter Pedro Martinez and Swisher is 11 for his last 77 (.143) with one homer dating back to the regular season. Of course, it’s also worth noting that Hairston hasn’t faced Pedro since 2004 and hasn’t started in right field since joining the Yankees.

This move won’t be the difference in whether or not the Yankees can even the series, but something had to be done. Swisher has been awful so far in the postseason and Joe Girardi had waited long enough. If Hairston is productive right away, I doubt Swisher will return to the starting lineup the rest of the series.

Then again, if Hairston is just as brutal, then who knows what Girardi will do in order to conjure up some more production from his outfield.

Angels win thriller, stave off elimination

Thanks to their 7-6 victory over the Yankees in Game 5 of the ALCS on Thursday night, the Angels saved themselves from elimination to force a Game 6.

L.A. starter John Lackey gave up three runs on six hits over 6.2 innings of work, while striking out seven and walking three. He was cruising until the sixth inning when he allowed a double to Melky Cabrera, then walked pinch hitter Jorge Posada on a terrible call by home plate umpire Fieldin Culbreth.

The call definitely rattled Lackey, who wound up walking the bases loaded before retiring the second out of the inning. He was relieved with the two outs and the bases loaded, but the Halos bullpen wound up getting shelled as the Yankees put six runs on the board to take a 6-4 lead.

But the Angels answered back with three runs of their own and then held on over the final two innings to secure the victory.

The call by Culbreth completely swung the momentum in the Yankees favor. Lackey had every right to be pissed, although he allowed his emotions to get the best of him and Mike Scioscia had little choice but to relieve him. Had New York wound up winning, the Angels could have pointed to that call as their death nail.

Joe Girardi will once again be subject to criticism following his decision to let starter A.J. Burnett go back out for the seventh inning. The Yankees had all the momentum and Girardi should have had more faith in his bullpen, but he allowed Burnett to start the inning and A.J. would up allowing the first two batters to reach base to spark the Halos.

Another Yankee that will face some heat is Nick Swisher, who went 0-for-5 and popped out with bases loaded in the top of the ninth to end the game. He had a solid regular season, but he’s hitting just .118 so far in the postseason and has killed several scoring opportunities for the Bronx Bombers.

Game 6 is set for Saturday at 8:07 p.m. ET and will feature Joe Saunders vs. Andy Pettitte.

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