Long Winter Ahead For Yanks After Game 6 Loss

Hughes Struggles, Bats Go Silent In 6-1 Defeat To Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Their Texas-sized wait is over. The Rangers are going to the World Series.

And they got there with a win over their old nemesis, the defending champion New York Yankees.

Vladimir Guerrero drove in three runs before Nelson Cruz hit a towering, two-run homer and the Rangers beat New York 6-1 Friday night in Game 6 of the AL championship series, the biggest victory in the franchise’s 50 seasons.

EXTAS: Boxscore | Photos | Audio

Colby Lewis dominated over eight innings for his second win of the series and Josh Hamilton earned the ALCS MVP award. And in a state where most sports fans gear up for fall weekends by watching high school football, the Rangers gave a new meaning to Friday Night Lights.

“The World Series is coming to Texas,” said Michael Young, the longest-tenured Ranger in his 10th season. “These fans have waited longer than we have. I know how bad we wanted it and they must have wanted it more.”

“Totally worth the wait, totally,” he said.

When Alex Rodriguez took a called third strike to end the game, fireworks exploded in the sky high above, confetti filled the air and the Rangers embraced each other near the mound.

Rangers icon Nolan Ryan, the Hall of Fame pitcher who is the team president and co-owner, embraced his wife in the front row before going on the field to join the team.

“Our fans have waited a long time, this organization has waited a long time,” Ryan said. “This team coming out of spring training was on a mission.”

Hamilton, who homered four times in the series, admitted he shed a tear in center field right before the final out.

“We are here as a group. This group is here because they don’t know how to fail,” Hamilton said.

Cliff Lee was waiting if needed by the Rangers for a deciding Game 7 against the Yankees. Now the ace left-hander can rest up for Game 1 of the World Series, on Wednesday night in either San Francisco or Philadelphia. The Giants lead the NLCS 3-2.

The Rangers, who had never won a postseason series or a home playoff game before this year, dispatched the $200 million-plus Bronx Bombers with little drama — especially after a four-run outburst in the fifth inning snapped a 1-all tie.

And that makes it even more satisfying for the Rangers and their fans since New York knocked Texas out of the playoffs in each of the club’s three previous appearances. Derek Jeter is among several players remaining from those teams in the late 1990s and Rodriguez is among several former Rangers now wearing pinstripes.

The Rangers outplayed the Yankees in every facet. Along with their slugging, they showed off something Ryan has brought them — a culture where pitching rules, and starters expect to go deep into games.

“We didn’t accomplish what we set out to. And as I told my guys, this hurts,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I’ve been through it as a player. I’ve been through it as a coach and now I’ve been through it as a manager. It’s not a lot of fun watching other teams celebrate. They beat us. They outhit us, they outpitched us, outplayed us and they beat us.”

Moments after closer Neftali Feliz fanned Rodriguez for the final out, a flag proclaiming the Texas as the AL champion flapped above the ballpark. The Rangers celebrated on the field with ginger ale in deference to Hamilton’s well-documented substance abuse problems.

Players dumped the contents of a water cooler on fourth-year manager Ron Washington, who in the summer of the 2009 wasn’t even sure he’d keep his job after admitting to using cocaine once. But Ryan and general manager Jon Daniels stuck by Washington then and again last spring when the story became public.

A championship is quite a feat for the franchise that began in 1961 as the expansion Washington Senators. They moved to Texas in 1972 with Ted Williams as their manager.

By reaching the World Series in the franchise’s 50th season, the last 39 in Texas, it marks the longest it has taken a club to get there for the first time. Montreal/Washington (42 seasons) and Seattle (34) haven’t yet made it.

Ryan, whose only World Series as a player came for the 1969 New York Mets, was presented with the AL championship trophy after spending much of the game standing, clapping and hollering along with the rest of the raucous crowd of 51,404 fans.

They rarely sat in the final innings, cheering wildly with each strike and screaming for every out that got their beloved team — the one that had the fewest wins in the regular season among the eight playoff teams — closer to the World Series.

Chants of “Colby!, Colby!, Colby!” filled the air for the pitcher back with his original team after pitching the last two seasons in Japan, where he fully expected to finish his career before returning to Texas last winter.

“I got a little too overamped when they were saying my name. It was really, really cool,” Lewis said. “I’m speechless. I never thought I’d be in this position.”

Before going the full five games in the AL division series this season to beat Tampa Bay for their first-ever postseason series victory, the Rangers had been knocked out of the playoffs by New York in 1996, 1998 and 1999 — and the Yankees went on to win the World Series each time.

When the Yankees overcame a 5-1 deficit in the ALCS opener a week ago for a 6-5 victory, their postseason winning streak over Texas had reached 10 games.

Texas led 5-1 again in Game 6, after Guerrero’s two-out, two-run double that chased Yankees starter Phil Hughes in the fifth before Cruz greeted reliever David Robertson with a homer to one of the deepest parts of Rangers Ballpark.

Guerrero didn’t have an RBI in the series until his grounder in the first drove home Elvis Andrus.

The big hit by Guerrero came right after Hamilton was intentionally walked for the second time in the game.

After going 2 for 18 with two singles in the division series, Hamilton hit four home runs in the ALCS. He was intentionally walked five times, an ALCS record, including three times in the clincher.

When Yankees manager Joe Girardi signaled for the first one in the third with a runner on second, Hughes’ first pitch was too wide and got by Jorge Posada. The Yankees still walked Hamilton, the majors’ leading hitter in the regular season (.359), who also had 32 homers and 100 RBIs.

Hughes, who also lost to Lewis in Game 2, allowed four runs and four hits over 4 2-3 innings.

Lewis was drafted by the Rangers in 1999, the last season they had made the playoffs until now. He won 10 games as a rookie in 2003 before tearing a rotator cuff the next season, setting up a journey that led through three other organizations before he went to Japan.

New York got its only run in the fifth when Nick Swisher was hit by a pitch, though umpires missed that part of the play.

Rodriguez was at third base after leading off with a double, the first hit off Lewis. Then a pitch bounced, hit Swisher just below the left knee and ricocheted under and away from catcher Bengie Molina toward the backstop.

A-Rod jogged home and Molina started vehemently arguing with home plate umpire Brian Gorman that the ball hit Swisher and should be dead. Washington also came out and Gorman conferred with other umpires.

None of them saw the ball hit Swisher, though replays cleared showed it did.

Notes: Curtis Granderson was caught stealing to end the Yankees first. He and Girardi both questioned second base umpire Tony Randazzo about the call. Replays showed the ump got it right. While Granderson beat the throw, his foot was over but not touching the base when he was tagged.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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  • steve

    J, Take a look at the players. It Wasn’t the manager who won this. If he had the Yankees would they win?

  • steve

    They need a new Manger.Bring back the other Joe

  • scott

    Just give them more money, Raise the price of the tickets, Build them new stadiums with tax payer money and fess up more money for there autographs. Maybe they’ll play better next year if they don’t go on strike again.

  • Anonymous

    The way Girardi used Jobba this post season leeds me to believe he is trade bait this off season.

  • Anonymous

    Tex was lucky he went down, the fans may forget his 0Fer performance.

  • Anonymous

    Gardner isn’t productive enough to be the everyday left-fielder. 270 and no power.

  • Anonymous

    Burnett should be traded, he has some value. The Yanks may need to eat $12 million a year, he’ll never be any good pitching for them, he has been corrupted.

  • jay bee

    can petite say thes words .. ” yes i’m gonna work my butt off and come back next year and lead this team to another championship ” .. instead its the same ole song … “i dont no wut um gone do … wiish i knew wut um gone do ” ..

  • Anonymous

    Girardi made two terrible decisions, the first was to leave AJ in one batter to many, the second was to leave Hughes in to confront Glad’s mother’s meatballs.

  • Anonymous

    The moment was to big for Robertson and just right for Cruz.

  • Steve

    No problem, The Yankees will be Back!

  • Anonymous

    Jeter’s market value is < $5 million. The Yankees will be bidding against themselves.

  • Anonymous

    Swisher’s terrible dual post seasons should be rewarded with a ticket out of New York. Swish has value as long as it’s anon contender.

  • Anonymous

    Cliff Lee wasn’t the deciding factor in the Yankees demise, they crumbled under their own weight.

  • Anonymous

    Berkman of all people was the most productive Yankee player.

  • Anonymous

    Will Texas look to buy A Rod’s contract back from the Yankees?

  • Anonymous

    Will the Yankees hang their Wild Card Banner in the Stadium?

  • Common Knowledge

    Ballgame Over. American League Championship Series Over. Rangers Win.

  • dabooch

    Time to Rebuild-Reload. Gardner, Swisher, and Possada are not good enough, need to be replaced. A-Rod, Jeter to old, especially this time of the year. CC and Mo are ok. Andy may pack it in. All the other pitchers are expendable. Sorry, it’s the truth.

  • irving katz

    The YANKEES LOSE, the YANKEES LOSE! How sweet it is, Alice.

  • jay bee

    hey francesa !! do u still believe that “a fraud ” is more significent to yankee history than reggie jackson ? go rangers ! good luck giants ! i know mad dog’s having a sip of cola in your reguards

  • roger

    go rangers!!!!!

  • David

    YES! FINALLY! The Texas Rangers are AL Champions! and they did it in style going threw The Rays and The Yanks!

  • jay bee

    i bet francesa is throwing up his coca cola ! the last thing he can digest is his beloved yankees being beat by a team led by a black manager .. the racist he is

  • Chris

    I’m listening to John and Susan on the radio while watchig the tv. I noticed that the tbs booth thought that Swisher being hit by that pitch meant ARod shouldn’t have scored. As John Sterling pointed out, the ball hit the ground first – it was a wild pitch. ARod was right to come home. TBS saw that it ht the ground, but didn’t think that mattered.

    This is why I listen to 880. But someone should walk over t the TBS booth and stop them from talking about how the lone Yankees run is due to a bad call.

    • noclue

      It hit the ground, then hit the player so it’s a DEAD ball and the runner should not have scored. As usual Sterling has NO clue what he is talking about. Obviously you have less if you think listening to him is better. However, does it not matter, they are now getting tee times.

    • Tom

      ball is dead by rule. Batter goes to first as long as he tried to avoid being hit (ground doesn’t matter), runners can not advance. This even applies to yankees!

  • dico j.

    can’t we get a clutch hit please? 1-1 after 4.5.

  • dabooch

    Yanks balls are not finding holes. Texas balls are dropping in. Yankees don’t know how to use speed, Granderson thrown out stolen base. No hit and run in the fourth. They look old and will be heading to New York this evening if this keeps up.

  • dabooch

    SOS Hughes doesn’t have it , Take him out

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