Rangers end historic drought, win ALCS

Most Seasons Played Before Reaching First Championship

The Rangers advance to their first World Series, ending a drought of 49 seasons dating back to their inaugural season in 1961. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, no other franchise among the four major pro sports had played as many seasons as the Rangers before reaching their first championship round. There are now two current MLB franchises that have never reached a World Series – the Mariners and the Nationals.

The Rangers are the third team all-time to defeat the Yankees in an ALCS, along with the 2004 Red Sox and the 1980 Royals. Texas also joins the 1997 Indians as the second team to defeat the Yankees in either the LCS or LDS when the Yankees were defending champions.

Here’s what else you need to know about the Rangers historic win as we empty our Stats & Info research notebook:

Elvis Andrus doubled in the first inning and now has a hit in each playoff game this season. His 11-game hit streak is tied for the fourth-longest to start a postseason career all-time.

• In the fifth inning, Nelson Cruz hit his fifth career postseason homer, all of which have come in 2010. He matches Juan Gonzalez in 1996 for the most home runs by a Ranger in a single postseason, and is one shy of the postseason career record set by Gonzalez.

Josh Hamilton was intentionally walked four times. He is the fourth player to draw three intentional walks in a postseason game, joining Rudy York (1946 Red Sox), Jose Cruz (1980 Astros) and Barry Bonds (2002 Giants).

Josh HamiltonHamilton• Hamilton, who tied the record for home runs in a LCS with four, was named series MVP. He is the first outfielder to win ALCS MVP since David Justice for the 2000 Yankees.

Colby Lewis earned the win, becoming the third starting pitcher to beat the Yankees twice in a League Championship Series. Freddy Garcia beat the Yankees twice in 2000 and Tim Wakefield beat the Yankees twice in 2003.

• The Elias Sports Bureau also tells us that Lewis joins Johnny Podres in the 1955 World Series as the only pitchers with a losing record in the regular season to defeat the Yankees twice in the postseason.

8+ IP, 1 R or Fewer
Starter Won and Eliminated Yankees

• Lewis went eight innings and allowed just one run in the victory. He is the sixth starting pitcher to win and eliminate the Yankees while pitching at least eight frames and giving up no more than one run, and the first ever to also give up just three hits in the game.

• The Rangers join the 2007 Red Sox as the only other team in postseason history to win a best-of-seven series, with all four wins coming by at least five runs.

• With Cruz’s homer, the team has now homered in all 11 postseason games, which is one shy of the record for consecutive games with a HR in a single postseason set by 2004 Astros.

Phil Hughes had a series to forget, losing both of his starts while giving up 11 earned runs and seven doubles. He is third Yankees starter to lose twice in an LCS, joining Denny Neagle (2000) and Mike Mussina (2003). His 11 earned runs allowed are tied for the second-most in a single LCS, and his seven two-baggers allowed are the third-most in a single LCS.

Alex Rodriguez struck out to end the game. He is the third Yankee to get punched out to end a postseason series, joining Jorge Posada in the 2007 ALDS and Willie Randolph in the 1980 ALCS.

• The Yankees had just three hits in the loss. That set a franchise record for fewest hits by the Yankees in a game in which they were eliminated from the postseason. In Game 8 of the 1921 World Series the Yankees had four hits in their 1-0 loss.

• New York allowed 38 runs in this series, the second-most allowed by the team in a single postseason series. The only time they allowed more was in 2004 when they gave up 41 during their seven-game loss to the Red Sox.