Rangers Unlikely to Steal a Win from Cards’ Lohse
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Texas Rangers aren’t likely to swipe a win from Kyle Lohse at the World Series.
Lohse is set to start Game 3 for the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night with the teams tied at 1-all. He is 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in two postseason starts this year. He’s given up a lot of runs, but no one has run on him much.
Just three players have tried to steal with Lohse on the mound this season. Nyjer Morgan and Rickie Weeks were thrown out by catcher Yadier Molina. The lone player to make it was Eric Fryer – a rookie catcher for Pittsburgh. Fryer swiped second with backup Gerald Laird catching and that’s his only career stolen base.
“It’s a pretty low number,” Lohse said Friday. “To go through 30 starts with only three guys attempting, it makes it easier for you to concentrate on executing the pitch when you don’t have to worry about being super quick to the plate.”
Lohse gave credit to Molina, a three-time Gold Glove winner with a strong arm.
“I’m already quick, but when he’s back there, you don’t have to worry about it much,” he said.
Lohse also praised Molina’s pitch calling.
“I think maybe I’ve shook him three times this year, and I think two of those I gave up hits,” he said.
THE REST OF THE DAY: Texas star Josh Hamilton got himself a much-needed day off from the World Series.
Rangers manager Ron Washington told his ailing outfielder to stay home Friday while the team worked out. Hamilton is trying to get as much rest as possible for the groin strain that’s lately robbed him of his power.
Game 3 is Saturday night at Rangers Ballpark. Texas and St. Louis are tied at 1-all.
Last week, the Rangers had an optional workout before Game 6 of the AL championship series and Hamilton used that as another day of at-home recovery.
Hamilton has yet to hit a home run in 48 at-bats during this postseason. Yet he was still able to muscle a fly ball deep enough in the ninth inning of Game 2 to produce a sacrifice fly that drove in the tying run.
Washington could save some of the wear and tear on Hamilton’s legs by using him strictly as a designated hitter. But that’s not going to happen. It’s worth noting that Hamilton’s range in the field has been fine. He made a terrific catch crashing into the left-field wall, saving at least a run and maybe two, plus ending a Detroit rally in Texas’ cinching win in Game 6 of the ALCS.
“We’ve got five games (left), I’m not sitting him,” Washington said.
The only adjustment Washington will make is putting Hamilton in left field when facing a left-handed starter because speedster Craig Gentry, a right-handed hitter, can handle center field. But when they face a righty and lefty David Murphy is in the lineup, Washington will put Murphy in left and Hamilton in center.
“I’m not changing anything,” he said.
ACCOUNTABILITY QUESTIONED: Albert Pujols wasn’t available to reporters after Game 2 to discuss his ninth-inning fielding error that helped turn a 1-0 St. Louis lead into a 2-1 loss.
On Friday, Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said the only reason Pujols and other key players left before reporters were allowed into the clubhouse was because “it was 40 minutes before anybody let anybody know that they wanted to talk to those guys.”
“If anybody had said, `We need to talk to Albert,’ he would have stayed,” La Russa said.
La Russa added that players were in a hurry because it was a night game followed by a flight to Texas.
“They wanted to pack for their families,” he said.
Stories have been written criticizing the players and the organization for lacking accountability. La Russa didn’t like that because he said the club has a history of being very accessible for reporters.
“We’re willing to live up to it, but somebody has got to be fair with us,” he said. “I heard the criticism, and it offends me because I know our attitude as an organization is 180 degrees different from the way it’s being portrayed. Nobody asked for those guys, and they got out of there. They had other things to do.”
Rangers star Michael Young is almost always available after games because he considers it part of his job. He joked that if he didn’t show up to his locker while reporters were waiting, “you guys would follow me home.”
“I do think it is a responsibility,” Young said. “You guys have a job to do, too. I’m just trying to be respectful, that’s all.”
Young is the team’s longest-tenured player and the franchise hits leader, which also makes his voice more important on any subject. The absence of Pujols and others left younger players to discuss the loss.
“Veteran players who’ve been around a while, and guys who have certain roles on their teams, it’s a good thing to take pressure off your teammates on the field and off,” Young said.
MUSICAL MOJO: Rangers manager Ron Washington had two glorious things awaiting him on his desk when he returned to Rangers Ballpark on Friday.
The AL championship trophy. And “The Best of Soul Train,” a boxed set of DVDs.
“Thank (team broadcaster) Eric Nadel for the Soul Train tapes, and thank the players in that clubhouse for the trophy,” Washington said.
So, which did he prize the most?
“Soul Train,” he said, laughing. Then Washington did his best Don Cornelius imitation and roared, “Sooooouuuuuuuulllllllllll Train!”
CEREMONIAL LINEUP: The Texas Rangers have announced a pitching rotation featuring Dirk Nowitzki, former President George W. Bush, Nolan Ryan, Roger Staubach and former Rangers left-hander Kenny Rogers.
Nowitzki, Bush and Staubach will throw out the ceremonial pitches before Games 3, 4 and 5 of the World Series. Ryan will catch Bush’s toss, and Rogers will receive from Staubach. Rangers star Michael Young will be Nowitzki’s catcher.
RATINGS REPORT: Texas’ 2-1 victory in Game 2 on Fox on Thursday night got an 8.9 rating and 14 share, up 5 percent from the 8.5/14 for San Francisco’s 9-0 win over the Rangers in the second game last year. It marked the first time in four years that Game 2 received a higher rating than the opener.
Through two games the Series is averaging an 8.8/14, up 1 percent from an 8.7/15 last year.
Copyright Associated Press