There's lots of bad news today if you're a Texas Rangers fan. They're down 3-1 in the World Series with only one remaining home game. They're facing Tim Lincecum, the San Francisco Giants ace and two-time reigning Cy Young winner tonight in Game 5. The offense and team just looked lifeless last night - the game felt much further out of reach than it actually was.
Yet, there's still reason to be optimistic.
Cliff Lee is starting tonight for Texas. That's enough reason to give hope that the series will get to at least six games and return to San Francisco. If it gets back there, Texas just has to find someway to beat Matt Cain and win to get to Game 7 where the Rangers would have Colby Lewis on the mound and Cliff Lee in the bullpen. Of course, the Rangers can't look that far ahead and neither can the fans. It's got to be a one game at a time mentality if Texas is going to come back- and it's completely plausible.
Some things need to change, though. The bats really need to wake up and it should start with a change in the lineup and batting order. Michael Young needs to be dropped in the batting order. Ian Kinsler should bat second - if not leadoff. Vladimir Guerrero needs to either be dropped in the lineup or better yet, completely removed against the right-handed Lincecum. Ideally, David Murphy would start in his place. Giving away outs on the basepaths, like Hamilton attempting to steal on Posey last night, needs to stop immediately - especially when you only get so few baserunners against the Giants pitching.
I tend to think that Texas will win tonight and force a Game 6 in San Francisco. I do think that Lincecum v. Lee is essentially a toss up - but I just don't think Cliff Lee loses at home with his team on the brink of elimination.
Also, for those interested, I'll be sharing some World Series thoughts on Blog Talk Radio with Clyde Wilson of Chasing the Gold. Hopefully this will spawn good luck for the Rangers tonight - and be an interesting listen as well.