The Yankees and Rangers both asserted themselves this weekend.
The Yankees never flinched in Game 1. Their best starter was knocked out after four innings, and their offense was nearly shutout through the seventh, but the Yankees scratched their way to a huge win in front of a big, loud crowd. They didn’t win it with home runs. They won it with good at-bats and good relief pitching. They’re the veterans of this series, and they weren’t going to be pushed around by the up-and-comers.
The Rangers bounced right back. They’re a a very good team built on more than Cliff Lee’s impeccable control. They can pitch, they can hit and they’re willing to run their way into good and bad situations. They’re aggressive, and through the first two games of the franchise’s first American League Championship Series, they weren’t intimidated.
“Certainly we’re not looking at it like we’ve got a leg up,” Lance Berkman said. “We’re in a fight. It’s 1-1.”
Splitting on the road is a good thing, and it’s not easy to do when two starting pitchers last a total of eight innings. The Yankees did enough to reverse home-field advantage before bringing the series back to New York. They missed some scoring opportunities, and they need to fix some things with a few pitchers, but none of that is new.
“We’re going to go home and try to win some games,” Mark Teixeira said.
Sometimes it’s just that simple.
* Blonde on Blonde and Highway 61 Revisited deserve all the hype they receive, but for my money, Dylan’s best album is Bringing It All Back Home. I love the historical significance. I love the blend of electric and acoustic. I love It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). Just a terrific record, start to finish.
Associated Press photo of Alex Rodriguez