Saturday, October 16, 2010
Double steal ignites Rangers
By Jeff Caplan
ARLINGTON, Texas -- To finally get the franchise's first home playoff win, the Texas Rangers attacked on the base paths from the onset and, once again, it was Elvis Andrus leading the charge and taking home at the front end of a double steal.
Andrus gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first inning, a critical run to jump in front of the New York Yankees after the demoralizing Game 1 loss the night before. The All-Star shortstop opened the game against New York starter Phil Hughes by banging a chopper off Hughes' glove for an infield hit. Andrus took second on a wild pitch and stole third.
With Josh Hamilton on first and Nelson Cruz at the plate, Hamilton took off for second. Yankees catcher Jorge Posada threw down to Robinson Cano, who stepped in front of second base to cut throw off. Andrus bolted for home. Hamilton, meanwhile, stopped dead in his tracks out of Cano's reach to force Cano to throw home. He did, but Andrus easily beat the throw for a 1-0 lead.
"It was a great play for Josh to stop and let me take home plate," Andrus said. "As soon as you see him make the throw to second you got to go. I knew Josh was running on that play and it was a great play by him."
Manager Ron Washington explained the play as something as a no-brainer: "Had speed. I had Hamilton on first and I had Elvis at third base. Opportunities seemed right, so I took a chance. That's the way we play. It worked. Got us going."