What to watch for in Game 3 today

ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's playoff time in Texas for the first time since 1999. And with the Rangers up 2-0 in the best-of-5 ALDS, here are a few things to watch today:

* Colby Lewis has an opportunity to close things out and follow in the footsteps of Cliff Lee and C.J. Wilson, who held the Rays to a combined one run and eight hits in the first two games of the series. This is Lewis' first real taste of postseason play and we'll see how he responds to it. The plan is simple: throw strikes, get ahead and stay aggressive. Can he execute it?

* While the Rays lineup isn't formidable on paper, they won 96 games and scored more runs than the Rangers did in 2010. They score by getting runners on and moving them over. They didn't get many on and couldn't move them over against Lee or Wilson. But it seems unlikely they could go an entire series without hitting. Lewis and catcher Bengie Molina must do what they can to slow the Rays running game and make sure they don't allow Tampa Bay to get some momentum.

* David Murphy is in the starting lineup for the first time since straining his left groin last week. He says he's at 90 percent and feels good enough to play all nine innings. Watch how he moves in left field and how his timing is at the plate. He hit .355 in September and was a major offensive producer in the final two months of the season. Can he come up with yet another big hit today?

* Manager Ron Washington hasn't had to use but three bullpen pitchers in this series so far -- Darren O'Day, Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz. That means Alexi Ogando, Dustin Nippert and Derek Holland have yet to throw their first pitch of the 2010 postseason. Will they have nerves the same way Feliz did in Game 1 if they get in the game? How will they handle it?

* The Rangers' crowd should be a big factor in this game. Texas was 51-30 at home, the fourth-best mark in the AL. It was the best home record for the club since 2004 (also 51-30). The players talked some on Friday about how important the fans have been for them this season. A loud home crowd can only help the Rangers. It's worth noting that the Rays had the best road record in the majors this season.

* Michael Young didn't have a postseason hit until his big three-run blast in the fifth inning of Game 2. Is that the hit he needed to get on a roll? He's the franchise's all-time leading hitter and the leader of this team. If Young starts getting hot at the plate, that could really be critical if this team advances in the postseason.

* A random thought: The Rangers clinched the AL West on a Saturday (in Oakland). Today is Saturday. Just saying.