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ALDS Game 2: Rangers at Rays

Oct 7, 2010, 6:00 PM EDT

Photo courtesy Tampa Bay Rays
C.J. Wilson faces James Shields today at Tropicana Field.

In a short, five-game series, Game 2 takes on added significance. In a seven-game series, it's not impossible to rally from a 2-0 deficit. In a five-game series? Well, it's not impossible, but it's really, really difficult.

So the Rays face a stiff challenge today in trying to win Game 2 of their Division Series against the Rangers, evening the series at one game apiece before it heads west to Texas for the next two. They'll send James Shields to the mound, a right-hander who two years ago earned the nickname "Big Game James" because of his penchant to come through in crucial situations. This would be an opportune time for him to live up to the moniker.

After getting thoroughly dissected by Cliff Lee yesterday in Game 1, the Rays have some lineup changes against fellow left-hander C.J. Wilson. Carlos Pena, who struck out three times and wasn't exactly sparkling in the field, takes a seat. Ben Zobrist moves in from right field to take over at first base, with young Desmond Jennings in right. Also, Rocco Baldelli, who served as DH yesterday, had to be taken off Tampa Bay's roster due to what is being called "left leg fatigue." Baldelli suffers from a rare mitochondrial disorder that causes incredible muscle fatigue, and his return to play this postseason was shaping up to be an inspiring story. Sadly, it looks like he's done.

I'll share some thoughts along the way and will be interested to read your comments as well. Enjoy another day of postseason baseball. There's really nothing else like it…

AMERICAN LEAGUE DIVISION SERIES — GAME 2
TEXAS RANGERS at TAMPA BAY RAYS
Where: Tropicana Field
Gametime: 2:37 p.m.
TV: TBS Radio: WTNT-570 AM
Weather: Dome

RANGERS
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Michael Young
CF Josh Hamilton
DH Vladimir Guerrero

Read more »

  1. natsfan1a - Oct 7, 2010 at 6:30 PM

    That's a shame if Baldelli is done. I found his story quite inspiring in 2008 as well.

  2. Anonymous - Oct 7, 2010 at 6:40 PM

    On Baldelli, it's not just that he was an inspiring story. Before stricken, he was a promising ballplayer with five tool capability. Sic transit gloria.John C.

  3. Anonymous - Oct 7, 2010 at 6:52 PM

    I see tons of commercials for drugs to treat middle leg fatigue on every MLB game I watch on TV. Sadly, apparently no one has found the drug to cure left leg fatigue yet. Although maybe if he sat in the left bathtub on the hill outside his house it might help.

  4. souldrummer - Oct 7, 2010 at 7:47 PM

    A lot of this series is starting to turn on Josh Hamilton looking like he can do everything he's capable of while Evan Longaria cannot.

  5. NG - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:10 PM

    Take out star pitcher in 4th inning, reliever gives up 3-run homer, manager ejected. If Tampa was in serious trouble before, where are they now?

  6. Michael J. Hayde - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:14 PM

    At times like this, you wish the anchor team included someone who, like the great Vin Scully, can read lips… although we can clearly see where the "bleeps" were.

  7. Michael J. Hayde - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:25 PM

    Also, it's nice to read the phrase "the wheels have come off" knowing it DOESN'T apply to the Nationals for once.

  8. Tcostant - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:48 PM

    If Texas can close this out without pitching Lee again and then pitch him 3 times (Game 1, 4 & 7) in the next round, that could be huge!

  9. JD - Oct 7, 2010 at 8:55 PM

    Tcostant,I t doesn't hurt to have Wilson pitch behind Lee either,

  10. dj in Fl's wife - Oct 7, 2010 at 11:23 PM

    Anonymous @ 2:52, we haven't stopped laughing at our house – those bathtubs crack us up every time!

  11. Anonymous - Oct 8, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    Who knew CJ Wilson had it in him, Rangers look like more than a winner of a bad division.

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