“Toasted Ranger, anyone?”

Before I say anything, let me just state that the title of this post does not imply that I assume Texas is toast (Rhyme!) I simply happened to have the quote in my database and figured a more opportune time to use it was not likely to soon present itself.

The Rangers may not be toast yet, but the fact is, they have their backs to the wall. Both their fans and bloggers who picked them to win are now nervous. Coming back isn’t impossible, but it ain’t looking likely.

Tonight’s game will feature the repeat match-up of Timmy Lincecum and Cliff Lee. While the first go-around of this battle-of-aces was a thorough disappointment, I think round two will be different. I think (or at least hope) that both pitchers will be their acey selves this time. But who has the edge? This is the way I see it, broken down into a few important factors:

Track Records : This is Mr. Lincecum’s first postseason and World Series, and only Mr. Lee’s second so this factor doesn’t hold too much weight. Both pitchers have performed very well in their limited postseason experience. I see the scales tipped ever so slightly in Mr. Lee’s favor.

Composure: Not that Timmy is uncomposed or anything, but this category I also give to Mr. Lee. He always seems to eat pressure for brunch.

Hair: If any pitcher is capable of drawing some Samsonian power from his locks, it is Mr. Lincecum.

Height: Mr. Lee obviously gets this one. Sorry, Tim… it’s only fair.

Hitting: Unfortunately, neither pitcher will get to hit tonight in Texas. Cliff Lee would best Mr. Lincecum if they did. I consider it a true shame he’s been an American League lifer.

Middle Names: This one is tough. Clifton Phifer Lee or Timothy LeRoy Lincecum. In the end, I have to go with Mr. Lincecum purely because another great pitcher by the name of Halladay also bears the middle name LeRoy.

Offense & Defense: Who will be face the tougher batters, and who will be better supported their teammates? It’s impossible to know for sure. On one hand, Texas put forward some of the best offensive stats of any team during the regular season. On the other hand, the Rangers bats have been effectively silenced thus far and the Giants hitters have burst out from outta nowhere. On a third hand, it is hard to believe that such a potent offense as Texas has will be kept at bay for very long. Whether it is too late for them to salvage the series or not, I feel that the Rangers offense will do enough to support Mr. Lee tonight.

The Bottom Line: I’m giving this one to Cliff Lee and his Rangers. I think they will live to fight another day. There is still, of course, the very real possibility that tonight’s game will be the last of the 2010 Major League Baseball season. I highly recommend tuning in. You know… just in case.

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