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Thursday a.m. Rangers stuff

One win away from a return to the World Series.  One win, in three tries, away from a return to the World Series.

Incidentally, I boarded my plane to San Diego late in yesterday's game.  It was a plane that had those TV sets in the seat in front of you.  I watched an inning or so, and then, with two strikes on Michael Young and Josh Hamilton on second in the 11th, the pilot came on and asked us to watch the safety video.

It was a really long safety video.

When the video finally ended, and the video screen went back to what I had been watching, I saw Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, and Adrian Beltre high-fiving each other.

I didn't have headphones yet, so I couldn't hear what was being said, but something significant apparently happened.  And I missed it so I could be told how my seat cushion could be used as a flotation device.


Jeff Wilson's game story talks about Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli coming up big for the Rangers once again.

T.R. Sullivan says in his game story that Ron Washington may never go through another game like last night's.

Drew Davison writes that the middle of the order, which had been struggling in the ALCS, came through last night.

Behind the paywall, Evan Grant writes that Cruz and Napoli broke the Comerica Curse last night.

Richard Durrett has his reactions to last night's win.

Jeff Caplan writes that both managers made controversial decisions on issuing intentional walks last night -- Jim Leyland walking Adrian Beltre with a runner on 2nd and one out in the 11th, Ron Washington walking Miguel Cabrera with no one on and one out in the 8th -- with Washington's decision working out (with some help from Nelson Cruz, who gunned down Cabrera at the plate when he tried to score the go ahead run) and Leyland's backfiring.

For what it is worth, I thought walking Cabrera was a terrible decision.

Caplan has a piece on the Rangers' bullpen coming up huge once again.

Durrett writes about Mike Napoli's breakout season, with quotes from Scott Servais about Napoli's work behind the plate.

Caplan has some details and stats about Cruz's remarkable ALCS.

The S-T's notes talk about Michael Young being 3 for 27 in the playoffs, C.J. Wilson's pending free agency, and Ron Washington wanting to get Koji Uehara back into a game against Detroit.

Young, Ian Kinsler, and Josh Hamilton all shaved their playoff beards before yesterday's game.

Randy Galloway has a column on last night's game.