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Sunday, October 17, 2010
Tommy Hunter won't be in pen for Game 3

By Jeff Caplan

NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers starting pitcher Tommy Hunter warmed up in the bullpen in the sixth inning of Game 2 of the ALCS in case he was needed for a righty-righty matchup. It never came to that, and Hunter sat down for the rest of the game.

"I was ready to go," Hunter said. "If they needed me, I was ready."

Hunter will watch Cliff Lee duel Andy Pettitte in Monday night's Game 3 from the dugout and not the bullpen. He won't be on call for emergency spot duty. The next time the 24-year-old takes the mound will be as the Game 4 starter in his Yankee Stadium debut.

Hunter is coming off his first postseason start in Game 4 of the ALDS in which he lasted just four innings and allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits. He'll either be trying to give the Rangers a commanding 3-1 series lead or looking to even it up heading into Wednesday afternoon's Game 5. Either way, he said he won't be intimidated pitching in the Bronx.

"What better time than the ALCS to make the start? Everybody knows about the tradition they have. Everybody knows about the players they have. Everybody knows that stuff," Hunter said. "I hate to say it, but you got to treat it as another game. You can’t blow it out of proportion for yourself. You can’t try to do more than you’re capable of.

"I’m not that kind of guy. I have to stick to what I do best. I don’t overpower people. I don’t strike a lot of people out. I’ve got to go out there; I’ve got to hit spots. I’ve got to get them to hit it to my defenders. That’s what I’ve been doing the whole year -- trying to."