It was a long-drawn out moment in the sixth inning when Mike Napoli came to the plate to face Edwin Jackson with two on and Texas holding a 1-0 lead. A visit to the mound from Yadier Molina bought time for Mitchell Boggs to get warm in the pen. With the reliever still not ready, Napoli stepped in. Jackson stepped off the mound after feigning a pickoff throw. Finally the charade ended and Tony LaRussa came out to get the ball. Boggs came in and after all that, it took precisely one pitch for Napoli to send one rocketing somewhere toward the Oklahoma border and gave the Rangers a 4-0 lead they would not relinquish in tying up the game.
Derek Holland is rightfully the hero this morning, working 8.1 IP of shutout baseball. Neftali Feliz seemed determined to make things interesting, walking one man and then going 3-0 on Matt Holliday with the tying run on deck. Finally Feliz battled back and struck out Holliday to tie the game.
Personally, I feel the pressure is far more on Texas—no team since the ’79 Pirates has won the final two Series games on the road, and even looking at the bigger picture of the Series, you would have to think that Wilson could split his two starts with Carpenter if Texas was going to win. The Rangers need tonight’s game more and I think they’ll get it.