ARLINGTON -- The Rangers were not the first team to lose Game 1 at home in the American League Division Series. It has happened 14 times since the expansion of the playoffs, and in seven cases, the losing team at home still came back to win the series.That includes the 1996 New York Yankees. They lost the first game at home to the Rangers when John Burkett pitched a complete game, then won the next three. The last two were in Arlington. The Rangers lost Game 1, 9-0, to the Rays on Friday. They managed just two hits, both by Josh Hamilton, against Rays rookie starter Matt Moore. Manager Ron Washington said before Game 2 that the Rangers will be fine. "They've just never let my confidence waver," Washington said. "They play each day for what it is. You lose ballgames. We just got beat. They put some runs on the board and they did a good job keeping us off the board. "It would have been different if we were booting stuff, throwing balls around the place, the catcher constantly running to the backstop, giving them opportunities. They just beat us." The Rangers were only two-hit once during the regular season. That was in a 6-1 loss to the Twins on June 12.
Washington moves up ranks in AL seniority
ARLINGTON -- With Ozzie Guillen leaving the White Sox and Terry Francona doing the same with the Red Sox, Ron Washington now ranks fifth in the American League in managerial seniority.The Rangers hired Washington as their manager in 2007. The only AL managers who have been on their current job longer are Mike Scioscia with the Angels, Jim Leyland with the Tigers, Ron Gardenhire with the Twins and Joe Maddon with the Rays. In the National League, only Charlie Manuel of the Phillies and Tony La Russa of the Cardinals have more seniority. "I'm most fortunate because I almost put myself in a position last year where I don't have a job," Washington said. "But the Rangers stayed behind me, they supported me with a good coaching staff and they supported me with good talent. We've figured out a way to get it done. As long as we figure out a way to get it done, I'll have a job. If it stops getting done, they may have to look elsewhere." This is his fifth year and the Rangers have been better each season. They were 75-87 in his first season, 79-83 in 2008, 87-75 in 2009 and 90-72 last season, when they went to the World Series for the first time in club history. They set a club record with 96 wins this season.
"That's what it's all about: growth and getting better," Washington said. "Going through things and believing in things. The only reason all of that comes together is the guys in the clubhouse become one. They play for each other and have each other's back. When that stops, that's when things go astray."You get hired to be fired. It could be 15 years, it could be 10 years. Things go dry. If things go dry, you hope you get a chance to rebuild. If not, you move on."
Michael Young said he is focusing all of his pregame defensive work at first base. He is not expecting to play third, shortstop or second base in the playoffs.
Friday's crowd of 50,498 was the 12th largest ever at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Josh Hamilton is the first player to have his team's only two hits in a playoff game since Ivan Rodriguez in the Rangers' 8-0 loss in Game 1 of the 1999 American League Division Series.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.