Posted on: October 16, 2011 12:07 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 1:21 am

Eye on Photos: Rangers win ALCS over Tigers

By Matt Snyder

The Texas Rangers have taken down the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS, four games to two. They have now advanced to the World Series for the second straight season after having never gone before. Let's take a look at the series that was, in pictures.

Click on any photo below to enlarge.

Beautiful pre-game festivities for Game 1 in Texas. (Getty Images)
Tigers ace Justin Verlander discusses things with home plate umpire Tim Welke after allowing a Nelson Cruz home run. (Getty Images)
Game 1 had a few rain delays, which affected the work of both starting pitchers -- Verlander and C.J. Wilson. (Getty Images)
Neftali Feliz records the final out of Game 1. (Getty Images)
Game 2 was called well before the scheduled time due to expected inclement weather. Instead, it was sunny and the grounds crew even watered the field. (Getty Images)
Scott Feldman's effort out of the Texas bullpen in Game 2 was paramount to the Rangers victory. (Getty Images)
Wait, Nelson Cruz hit a home run? Really? (Getty Images)
Priceless shot of the Rangers' dugout immediately after the crack of the bat on Nelson Cruz's Game 2 walk-off grand slam. (Getty Images)
Cruz celebrates the big blow of the series as he approaches home plate. (Getty Images)
Doug Fister made sure this series wouldn't be a sweep with a huge effort in Game 3 for Detroit. (Getty Images)
Game 3 was rough for Adrian Beltre, as he just couldn't quit fouling the ball off himself. (Getty Images)
Close play, except the ball was jarred loose. (Getty Images)
Jose Valverde's subdued reaction -- for him -- to closing down Game 3. (Getty Images)
Yes, weather was a major player in this series. (Getty Images)
Believe it or not, this was a successful double-play turn by Ian Kinsler. (Getty Images)
Miguel Cabrera was thrown out by a country mile at home, and the ensuing collision with Mike Napoli was one of the more awkward ones we'll ever see. (Getty Images)
The biggest hit in Game 4? Why, a Nelson Cruz home run, of course. (Getty Images)
Miguel Cabrera and Adrian Beltre share a laugh after Cabrera's grounder hit third base and jumped over Beltre's head for a go-ahead RBI double in Game 5. (Getty Images)
After Cabrera's double, Victor Martinez tripled as Cruz couldn't come up with a diving catch. (Getty Images)
And then Delmon Young put the game out of reach with a two-run homer. Wanna find the ball? Look at the red ad in the scoreboard, specifically the letter "f." (Getty Images)
Cabrera's solo homer drew first blood for the Tigers in Game 6. (Getty Images)
But the Rangers would go on to put nine runs on the board in the third inning alone to break the game wide open. (Getty Images)
Max Scherzer had two good innings in Game 6 before falling apart in the third. (Getty Images)
Josh Hamilton sacrifices his body in order to make a spectacular catch, ending the top of the fifth inning of Game 7. (Getty Images)
And then the first play of the bottom of the fifth showed the difference in the two ballclubs Saturday night. (Getty Images)
Really? Again? That's six home runs and 13 RBI in the series for Cruz. (Getty Images)

ALCS Coverage
Up next for the Rangers: Either the Cardinals or Brewers in the World Series. Due to the American League's All-Star Game loss, the Rangers won't have home-field advantage, despite having a better regular-season record than St. Louis and being tied with Milwaukee. Of course, Rangers' ace C.J. Wilson was the losing pitcher in that All-Star Game by virtue of allowing a three-run home run to Milwaukee's Prince Fielder.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 13, 2011 12:15 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2011 3:49 pm

Eye on Baseball live LCS chat, Thursday at 3:30

By Matt Snyder

Thursday, assuming the weather cooperates, brings us two League Championship Series games. Game 5 of the ALCS pits C.J. Wilson and the Rangers against Justin Verlander and the Tigers and it's set to begin at 4:19 p.m. ET. It's entirely possible this game is the end of the series, too, as the Rangers hold a three games to one lead.

Join us here as we discuss the action and interact with what makes the sport go: The fans. We'll crank this thing up at 3:30 ET and stick around until the thing is concluded.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:48 am

Remembering Ventura's grand slam single

By Matt Snyder

Aside from Albert Pujols reminding everyone he's still Albert Pujols, the big story in baseball Monday night was Nelson Cruz's walk-off grand slam giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the ALCS. Cruz's blast was the first walk-off grand slam in MLB postseason history.

And, if you're like me, your reaction to hearing that news was: "No, that's not true ... oh, wait ... that is right."

Because in the 1999 NLCS, Mets third baseman Robin Ventura came to bat with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 15th inning in Shea Stadium with a tie game. And he hit a Kevin McGlinchy pitch over the right-center field wall to beat the Braves. It wouldn't be a technical grand slam, however, because Ventura's teammates mobbed him before he could reach second base. Thus, the official scorebook says it was a walk-off single. Ventura only got one RBI for it.

Here's the highlight, via MLB.com:

It's funny, two weeks ago Ventura hadn't been in the news in ages, other than for someone to mock him for being used as Nolan Ryan's punching bag once upon a time. All of a sudden, he's the White Sox manager and we get to reminisce about his grand slam that wasn't.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 11, 2011 9:21 am
Edited on: October 11, 2011 9:28 am

Cruz slam a big winner for gambling fans

By Matt Snyder

While betting on baseball isn't near as prevalent as in football or basketball, it still happens. And wouldn't you know it, the over/under for Monday's Rangers-Tigers ALCS Game 2 was nine. So heading into extra innings knotted at three meant those who had the under felt like it was a definite win and those who had the over probably gave up. Certainly the two teams wouldn't combine for four more runs when one run by either club could win it.

More ALCS coverage
Hitting the over was even more improbable when the Rangers loaded the bases with nobody out. One run wins the game. Literally, the only possible outcome that could result in an "over" bet winning was a grand slam. Any other type of hit, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly ... anything, and the under wins. But Cruz came through with the slam, winning the game for the Rangers. In the process, he won millions of dollars collectively for the betting public.

Roughly two-thirds of the approximately $4.5 million in action worldwide was on the over, RJ Bell, founder of Pregame.com tells CBSSports.com.

"So the OVER cashing allowed the players to MAKE $1.5 million in net (over bettors won $3 million, under bettors lost $1.5 million); rather than losing $1.5 million in net (3 mill loss, 1.5 won)," Bell said in an email. "Meaning the Grand Slam made a $3 million dollar positive difference for players worldwide."

We often hear the lament or joy of gamblers on meaningless 3-pointers or touchdowns, so now baseball has its own high-profile case of one swing shifting the balance of money so significantly.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 1:14 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 1:51 pm

Delmon Young out for ALCS

By Matt Snyder

Full Playoff Coverage
Tigers left fielder Delmon Young suffered an oblique injury toward the end of the Tigers' Game 5 win in the ALDS against the Yankees. He apparently isn't close to being 100 percent, because Young has been left off the Tigers' roster for the ALCS against the Rangers. The roster cannot be changed again until after the series, so Young's out for all seven potential games.

This is a big blow to the Tigers. Young had been thriving in the three-hole with Miguel Cabrera behind him in the batting order. He hit .316/.381/.789 with three home runs in 21 ALDS plate appearances.

Utility infielder Danny Worth will take Young's place on the roster. Expect Ryan Raburn and Don Kelly to get the majority of the work in left field.

The Rangers also made a change to their roster, but it was minor. Relief pitcher Yoshinori Tateyama is in, while third-string catcher Matt Treanor is out.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.

Posted on: October 7, 2011 4:40 pm

Video: Previewing the Tigers-Rangers ALCS

After a thrilling ALDS Game 5 victory in New York, the Tigers shift their focus to the Texas Rangers, who have been waiting a few days on an opponent. Can the Rangers return to the World Series for the second consecutive season after never having won a postseason series through 2009? Can Justin Verlander help carry his Tigers to the World Series for the first time since 2006? Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free-Press joins CBSSports.com's Lauren Shehadi to preview the sure-to-be-exciting American League Championship Series.

To view the series schedule with probable pitchers, click here.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com