Oct 11, 2011, 11:00 PM EDT
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Nelson Cruz was again the hero for Texas in Game 2.
Though the Rangers have stormed out to a 2-0 advantage in the ALCS, this has actually been a very competitive series. The Tigers certainly had a chance to win Game 2 last night in Arlington, only to squander some late opportunities before serving up Nelson Cruz's walk-off grand slam.
So Detroit has to still feel like it has a chance to emerge victorious, except for two problems: 1) Injuries and 2) Jim Leyland's refusal to pitch Justin Verlander on short rest.
Magglio Ordonez has already been shelved with a fractured ankle. Now Delmon Young has been scratched again, his strained oblique not healed enough to allow him to play. Seemed like a pipe dream for him to play through the pain. As for Verlander, he could theoretically come back on short rest to start Game 4 (and then possibly Game 7). But Leyland emphatically shot down that possibility today, saying Verlander will stay on schedule and pitch Game 5.
Given that, it's tough to see the Tigers coming all the way back to win this series. But, of course, they play these games for a reason, and I'm not about to stop watching now…
AL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – GAME 3
TEXAS RANGERS at DETROIT TIGERS
Where: Comerica Park
Gametime: 8:05 p.m.
Radio: WTEM (980 AM), WWXT (92.7 FM), WWXX (94.3 FM), XM 89
Weather: Partly cloudy, 66 degrees, Wind 6 mph in from LF
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
1B Michael Young
NL EAST STANDINGS
x-Clinched division title
THU: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
FRI: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SAT: Nats at Marlins, 7:10 p.m.
SUN: Nats at Marlins, 1:10 p.m.
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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