ARLINGTON -- For a team down two games to one in the World Series, the Rangers are as close to the driver's seat as can be going into Game 4 on Sunday. Game 3 was the daunting task. Would this Rangers team, a franchise that had never been to the World Series -- never won a game in the World Series -- be able to avoid dropping the first three games of the Fall Classic? Would it fall into that seemingly insurmountable hole? That monkey's off the Rangers' backs now.
"We knew we had to come home and start doing our job, get off to a fresh start after a rough beginning," said Mitch Moreland, whose three-run homer keyed a 4-2 Game 3 win on Saturday. "Oh, yeah [it's a new series]." All season and into the postseason, the Rangers have been relentless. Remember Game 3 of the American League Championship Series? Texas led, 2-0, going into the ninth and lashed out for six runs against the Yankees. On the road.
The Rangers came back for 10 runs the next night.Whether it's within one game or within one series, the Rangers don't let up on the gas pedal. They just couldn't find it in the first two games of the World Series. They rediscovered it in Game 3, when they were rejuvenated in front of the home crowd. Now they have the momentum, and firepower, to pull even going into a matchup that doesn't figure to be built around pitching. No. 4 starters Tommy Hunter and Madison Bumgarner are scheduled to start Game 4, which airs at 7 p.m. CT on FOX. "I feel great," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We wanted to get back home. We felt comfortable here." Outwardly, Hunter might not appear to be the best candidate to start in Game 4. He's allowed five runs over 7 1/3 innings in two postseason starts. But the 24-year-old has stood tall against National League teams in the few chances he's had. He's 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA against the NL in four career starts, and he's let up just one homer to a Senior Circuit club. Hunter's also been tremendous at home, posting a 3.06 ERA in Arlington compared to a 4.48 ERA away this season. The Giants' bullpen has been said to be a separating point between the two clubs, but the Rangers go into Game 4 with a well-rested 'pen, and now, a tested closer. Colby Lewis' 7 2/3 innings in Game 2 let Texas' relief corps rest after it was called in five times in Game 2, and rookie Neftali Feliz showed in Game 3 that he can nail down a save on the biggest stage. The Rangers have been relentless because their players have been the same way: Josh Hamilton and his battle with addiction, Lewis and his trip overseas to play pro ball in Japan. If they weren't scared of a 2-0 deficit the day before Halloween, why would they be scared of a 2-1 deficit on Halloween?