It's an elimination game for the Yankees!!! C.J. vs. C.C.
They send Big CC on regular rest to try to right the ship, and to their credit their pitching is decent enough to get back into this series. CC, Hughes, and Pettitte, but so far all three have been out-pitched.
The Rangers send out C.J. "Cliff Lee, Jr." Wilson, who had little to do with the Ranger collapse, venturing into 8th inning, getting into some trouble and couldn't be bailed out by his bullpen.
Let's not forget the Yankees have been outscored in this series 22-5, and the only reason why they weren't swept was one bad inning by the Texas bullpen.
I'm not doing any celebrating until the final out is recorded. 2004 and 2007 reminded me of that, as did last May. Different sport, but similar idea of momentum and confidence: The Boston Bruins were leading the Philadelphia Flyers three games to none in the 2nd round of the playoffs, only to see the Flyers storm back and win the series.
...but I've got a good feeling about this evening. The action begins at 4:00 PM.
Game 4 of the NLCS is tonight and I have absolutely loved this series. The baseball has been entertaining, the pitching fantastic, and there's been a lot of respect on both sides and a lot of good characters. How about Cody Ross, eh? He's been RAKING in October. He's batting .348 this postseason with 4 dongs (3 in the NLCS) and a 1.336 OPS in the playoffs (1.990 in NLCS).
Cole Hamels was asked after the game what he does when a hitter is "hitting differently" (aka RAKING). Hamels said, "Hit him! Nah, I'm just kidding."
Phillies Manager Charlie Manuel said, "Matt Cain was too good. He didn't give us any runs!"
It'll be Joe Blanton for the Phillies and Madison Bumgarner tonight. Blanton didn't pitch in the LDS so he's had a ton of rest. Bumgarner pitched Game 4 of the LDS against Atlanta (6-6-2(2)-2-8).
Like in the first three games of the series, Game 4 is one giant toss-up. I don't think this series ends in 5 games.
First pitch at an incredibly accurate 7:57 PM ET.