This was the Rangers’ answer to those of us—many of us—who just assumed they would fold after the demoralizing loss Friday night. They hung tough this time and tied the series 1-1.
What’s more, they made the next few days extremely intriguing. Now the Yankees are in a rare tight spot. Now they have the prospect of facing Cliff Lee in Game 3 Monday and the issue of what to do about the Game 4 starter Tuesday.
To their credit, the Yankees are insistent that Lee has to worry about going up against them as much as they have to worry about going up against him. They will start the fellow, Andy Pettitte, who has more postseason wins (19) than anyone in history. And they are as imposing in Yankee Stadium as Lee is on a mound in the postseason (6-0).
Still, Lee was really good against the Yankees in the World Series last year, beating them in the Bronx.
And if you’re Joe Girardi, do you wait until after that game to decide whether to tempt fate and pitch A.J. Burnett Tuesday, or do you face reality and announce that CC Sabathia will come back on short rest. It wouldn’t be unfathomable because Sabathia didn’t go deep into the game Friday.
That in itself is a question, too. What’s with the Yankees starting pitching? Sabathia was mediocre, getting bailed out by the late rally, and Phil Hughes was bad. Can Pettitte bail them out of a tight spot, as he has done over and over in the past 14 years?
These are not issues from the brink, but they are a set of questions that the Yankees didn’t seem likely to face amid their inspiring late show Friday.