Pettitte calmed down and pitched lights out the next six innings, keeping the Yankees in the game through seven innings. Cliff Lee, however, had other plans, as he didn’t even allow a New York base runner until he walked Mark Teixeira in the fourth. Jorge Posada picked up the first Yankee hit in the bottom of the fifth, when he singled to right with two outs, but Curtis Granderson struck out to end the inning.
The Yankees threatened in the sixth, when Brett Gardner lead off with a single to center. Gardner stole second before Derek Jeter struck out. Nick Swisher grounded out to second, but Gardner moved to third. The Yankees, however, could not capitalize on the opportunity, as Teixeira grounded out to short to end the inning.
Kerry Wood did his job in the eighth, sitting the Rangers’ batters down in order, but the Yankee bullpen imploded in the top of the ninth. Boone Logan gave up a double to Hamilton to start the inning. He was replaced by David Robertson who gave up a single to Vladimir Guerrero, who was pulled for pinch runner Julio Borbon. Nelson Cruz then singled to left, scoring Hamilton. Ian Kinsler struck out for the first out of the inning and Robertson intentionally walked David Murphy to load the bases. Bengie Molina singled to left, scoring Borbon and Mitch Moreland grounded a single to right sending two more runs home. A double by Andrus plated another run and a wild pitch by Sergio Mitre would allow Moreland to score. When the half inning finally ended, the Rangers lead had quadrupled, giving them an 8-0 advantage.
With a healthy lead, the Rangers sent Neftali Feliz to the mound in the bottom of the ninth. He struck out Jeter to start the inning and Swisher grounded out. Feliz then struck out Teixeira to end the game, as the Rangers won 8-0 and took a 2-1 lead in the ALCS.
David Robertson: Even if it didn’t feel like it, the Yankees always had a chance to win this game. Down by just two heading into the ninth, the game was not over, but Robertson gave the Rangers plenty of breathing room. In just .1 inning of work, he gave up five runs on five hits and a walk. Pettitte may have gotten the loss, but Robertson deserved it.
Derek Jeter/Marcus Thames: While Cliff Lee was clearly dealing, the Yankees offense looked uninspired. Jeter and Thames each struck out three times, with Jeter going 0-4 while Thames went 0-3.
Andy Pettitte: Andy went seven innings, giving up just two runs on five hits, walking no one and striking out five. If he hadn’t been pitching against Lee, perhaps he would have come away with a win instead of a loss.
Kerry Wood: Wood did a great job in the eighth, holding the score to 2-0 and keeping hope alive for the Yankees as he pitched a perfect inning.
In The On Deck Circle:
The Yankees will try to pull the series even again on Tuesday, as they send A.J. Burnett to the mound for his first start of the 2010 postseason. Burnett’s last start came on October 2nd, when he held Boston to just two runs on six hits over six innings in a no decision. While Burnett has struggled mightily this season, he has done alright against the Rangers, going 1-0 with a 2.50 ERA over his three starts against Texas. Tommy Hunter will take the mound for the Rangers. He gave up three runs in four innings, picking up the loss in Game 4 of the ALDS. He made one appearance against New York this season, giving up two runs in five innings on September 11, when he was pitching against Burnett. Hunter was 13-4 with a 3.73 ERA this season. The young righty has struggled some on the road, where his ERA is 4.48. First pitch will be a little after 8pm on Tuesday.