Posted on October 17, 2011 at 8:21 PM
ARLINGTON - The celebration is over, so today the Rangers began their preparations for the World Series.
They'll fly to St Louis on Tuesday, a place where Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus has never been.
"No never," Andrus said. "It's going to be the first time in St. Louis."
The history between the two teams consists of only one three-game series. On June 12, 2004, Hank Blalock hit a grand slam off Game 1 starter Chris Carpenter. That's the only win Texas has ever had over St. Louis.
The two teams enter the World Series with similar issues.
Of the seven wins so far in the post season, both teams have just three wins from their starting rotation. C.J. Wilson is winless in his last six post-season starts.
"I'm not worried about it all," Wilson said. "We've been pitching great all year. The starting pitching carried us this deep into the season."
At least one member of the bullpen wasn't concerned about the starters.
"They've been doing a great job," said Rangers relief pitcher Scott Feldman. "They're the reason we're here. I think they'll get back to their usual way of throwing."
But that doesn't mean the starters are taking any pressure off of themselves.
"Us as starters, we've got to go out there and perform and we know what we've got to do that," said Rangers pitcher Derek Holland.
The starting pitchers for Texas failed to win a single game during the American League Championship Series. The question now is this: Can Texas win the World Series when the bullpen has to do all the work?
"That's hard to answer, because we just won the American League Championship Series that way," said Rangers manager Ron Washington. "That's hard to answer because we haven't played a ball game, but if we play the ball games and that's the route I have to go, I feel like we'll win."
Rangers starter Colby Lewis was more blunt in his assessment of how the rotation has pitched.
"You know our bullpen has been freaking unbelievable, so if we go out there and suck again, then the bullpen has to step up," Lewis said. "That's just the way it is. We've got to win, there's no if, ands or buts about it. That's just the way it goes."
Rangers first baseman Michael Young believes it doesn't matter which pitcher is hot, so long as the team's pitching combines for positive results.
"I think our bullpen is doing a great job," Young said. "We have a ton of confidence in our starters. However we get wins, we'll take them."
Four more wins is all they need.