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Monday, October 18, 2010
Rangers won't force steals against Pettitte

By Jeff Caplan

NEW YORK -- New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte is one of the best in baseball at holding runners. He has a built-in advantage being left-handed, but he's always had a spectacular pick-off move. That will be a challenge for the Texas Rangers in tonight's Game 3.

The Rangers love to take extra bases. They have 11 stolen bases in the postseason and have already nabbed five against the Yankees in the ALCS. Elvis Andrus has a team-high five and Josh Hamilton has four. Of course, those two completed the rare double steal in Game 2 that gave the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the first inning.

Rangers manager Ron Washington said they won't force things if it's not there.

"We can play baseball in many ways. Whatever it takes for us to do on that day to win a ballgame, we'll do," Washington said. "If our base-running has been taken away from us, we have to do it in other ways. We're ready to do that. I think everybody in baseball knows what Andy Pettitte is all about. We certainly know. We're not going to give in simply because we can't be aggressive on the base paths."

As a team, the Yankees ranked last in the AL in throwing out base stealers, nailing just 15 percent. But, that number is a bit skewed because the New York bullpen has not been good at holding runners. Certainly not nearly as good as Pettitte or Game 1 starter CC Sabathia.