Rangers looking for closeout win in ALCS

Rangers looking for closeout win in ALCS

Credit: WFAA

Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux talks to pitcher C.J. Wilson during Friday's workout in Arlington. Texas hopes starter Derek Holland can lead them to a second straight trip to the World Series on Saturday

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA

Posted on October 14, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 15 at 6:56 PM

ARLINGTON - While the Tigers took the day off on Friday to prepare for ALCS Game 6, the Rangers chose to work out.

"It's been a long season," said Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler. "We've played many days in a row, so a workout doesn't bother us too bad."
 
Rangers outfielder David Murphy was happy the Rangers' bullpen arms will get a day to recover.
 
"I think it's good for the pitching staff that everybody can kind of reset a little bit, and that we can have a group of fresh arms tomorrow," Murphy said. "We just have a day to focus on game six."
 
Texas needs to regroup after losing Game 5 in Detroit. They now have two chances to close out the series at home.
 
"We worked hard to get home field advantage," said Rangers designated hitter Michael Young. "I think one win separated us to get an opportunity to come back for the last two games here."
 
Kinsler said they wish they had locked up the series by now, but clinching at home would be nice.
 
"We would have loved to have done it yesterday," Kinsler said. "We weren’t going into yesterday's game saying, 'We're going to lose this one, so we can do it in front of the home crowd.' Tomorrow is our next opportunity and hopefully we can make it a lot of fun for the home crowd.”
 
The Rangers were in the same position last year, up three games to two when they won Game 6 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Colby Lewis was the winner that day. On Saturday, it's Derek Holland who gets a chance to extend their post season run.
 
"You know, we're going to try to do the best we can to take care of business and do everything we have to do," Holland says. "I'm not going to look too far head. I've got to look one pitch at a time."
 
Ron Washington said Holland needs to find a tempo and not get ahead of himself. He pitched just 2 -2/3 innings in Game 2, putting a lot pressure on the bullpen.
 
"I think that's the problem right there," Washington said. "Him being able to corral the energy and the anxiety that goes along with competition, that's been his problem. It's not his stuff. It's just trying to control anxiety."
 
Holland didn't necessarily agree, but he too is focused on his mental game.
 
"I felt calm [in Game 2,] but everyone says you could see that I was going a little too fast for the way I usually work, so the big thing now is to just control myself and I feel I’m going to do just fine with that tomorrow," Holland said.
 
If not, it could be long day. Texas hasn't lost back-to-back games since late August against Boston. The stakes are much higher now.

 

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