WORLD SERIES: Rangers’ hopes rest with Colby Lewis

Cody Ross rips a double during the second inning of Game 2 of

ARLINGTON, Texas – Colby Lewis, the pitcher on whom much of the
responsibility falls to keep the Rangers in this World Series, was

There’s really no room for error,

the righthander said Friday.
By Erik Boland – Newsday

ARLINGTON, Texas – Colby Lewis, the pitcher on whom much of the responsibility falls to keep the Rangers in this World Series, was succinct.

“There’s really no room for error,” the righthander said Friday.

The Rangers, returning home where Lewis and his teammates closed out the Yankees in Game 6 of the ALCS Oct. 22, face a tougher task than they did that night.

They trail the red-hot Giants two-games-to-none in the World Series and haven’t looked particularly good – at the plate, on the mound or in the field – in creating that deficit.

Lewis, who is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in three postseason starts – both victories came against the Yankees – faces Giants’ lefthander Jonathan Sanchez (0-1, 2.93) in Game 3.

“It’s frustrating to lose two but the most frustrating part is that we’re in the World Series and we really haven’t played our best baseball yet,” outfielder David Murphy said. “That’s the key to focus on for Game 3, just to play our best baseball and see what happens.”

Rangers’ manager Ron Washington, under fire for his bullpen management in Game 2, specifically in the Giants’ seven-run eighth inning that blew open a 2-0 game, didn’t steer away from calling Saturday night a must-win.

“It is a must-win,” Washington said. “We certainly don’t want to go down 3-0. But I don’t think you can go into the game thinking it’s a must-win. If you go into it talking about a must-win, then you’re going to miss a lot that’s happening on that field, and we can’t afford to miss anything.”

Insert punch line here regarding his team’s play the first two games in which they were outscored a combined 20-7 and committed four errors in Game 1.

The Rangers, who hit .304 with a .378 on-base percentage against the Yankees, are hitting .227 with a .293 OBP so far this series. That, in large part, has to do with Matt Cain’s dominance in Game 2 when he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings, running his 2010 postseason scoreless-inning streak to 21 1/3.

But the Rangers, who catapulted themselves past the Yankees after a devastating Game 1 loss in the ALCS, don’t see the task as insurmountable. They see no reason why they can’t become the first team since the 1996 Yankees to lose the first two games of the World Series and still win it.

“We’re confident with this lineup we have that we can win four of these next five games,” Jeff Francoeur said. “I feel very confident you’ll see us come out and play good baseball and get a win.”

While most of Friday’s focus was on the Rangers trying to make it a series, the Giants’ perspective, of course, is keeping full-steam ahead.

“Two wins doesn’t get you anything,” Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy said before his team’s workout. “That’s the only way to approach it. We’re playing a very good team, we have plenty of baseball left and we have to keep our focus.”

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