Chat with Tim MacMahon
Welcome to SportsNation! On Friday, ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon stops by to chat about the World Series, which moves to Rangers Ballpark for Game 3 on Saturday.
MacMahon joined ESPN in September 2009 and covers the Cowboys and Mavericks. He has covered the local sports scene from high schools to colleges to pros during his six-year tenure at The Dallas Morning News. MacMahon is a graduate of UNT.
Send your questions now and join MacMahon Friday at 3 p.m. CT/4 p.m. ET!
Tim MacMahon (3:58 PM)
The Rangers returned home after a regrettable trip to San Francisco. But they won't wave the white flag in the World Series. What can the Rangers do to get this series turned around? Let's discuss.
I think in his press conference Ron Washington threw his pitchers under the bus just like Brad Childress did to Brett Favre. Yet, no one makes a fuss about it. I understand that these guys aren't future legends, but you're still going to need them at one point to win. Classic modern day society...
Tim MacMahon (4:00 PM)
The one thing I would never worry about is Ron Washington alienating his players. He is loved in that clubhouse. He always has his players' back, but he holds them accountable, unlike a certain coach down Randol Mill Road. There's nothing wrong with a manager calling it like he sees it.
Hi Tim! I think Colby Lewis shuts the Giants out in game 3. Let's see them hit the righty?? Your thoughts?
Tim MacMahon (4:02 PM)
You have reason to be optimistic, Rachel, although I'm not sure about a shutout. Colby Lewis was phenomenal in the ALCS. His Game 6 start was the best by a pitcher not named Cliff Lee in Rangers' postseason history. (OK, that's not saying that much, but it was impressive.) You'd have to think that the Giants' lineup, which hasn't wowed anybody all year, will come back to earth. For the Rangers' sake, it better happen in Game 3.
if it gets to game 6, will cj be able to pitch by then?
Tim MacMahon (4:04 PM)
We don't have an update on C.J. Wilson's blister yet. It's something he's been dealing with for a while now. I'd be surprised if it prevented him from taking his turn in Game 6. It's just a shame that it forced him off the mound last night.
whats up with our bullpen? do u think this series is over?
Tim MacMahon (4:07 PM)
Frankie Francisco is sorely missed. He was the Rangers' eighth-inning guy all season until he got hurt. They're mixing and matching in those situations now. Alexi Ogando might be the best answer, but he's inexperienced and threw two innings in Game 1. The rest of the bullpen has been inconsistent, although it performed well as a whole after the Game 1 meltdown in the ALCS.
Wes Brewer (San Angelo,Tx)
What in your opinion will the Rangers have to do to get back into the World series? Besides win games 3,4,5....what does Ron Washington do to get the guys playing better?
Tim MacMahon (4:09 PM)
I don't think Washington needs to do anything drastic. And I doubt that he will. His message throughout the postseason was that the Rangers just need to keep playing their game the right way. It got them to the World Series. You can't panic after losing a couple of games on the road.
Sam (San Francisco)
Hey Tim. What are the chances for the Rangers now to come back and win this thing? Consider that they have to win at least one game at AT&T Park, where Giants fans are crazy and they have never won in their history.
Tim MacMahon (4:10 PM)
Obviously, the chances of that happening aren't very good. But what were the chances that a bankrupt team could pull off a trade for Cliff Lee? A lot of strange things have happened with the Rangers this season. You can't count them out after two road losses.
Are the Rangers going to be a legit team for years to come or more along the lines of the 2005 Astros / 2008 Rockies?
Tim MacMahon (4:12 PM)
The Rangers should be a factor for years to come. Jon Daniels has done an outstanding job of rebuilding the farm system. It's already paid off at the big league level, particularly with 22-year-old All-Stars Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz. The majority of the Rangers' core consists of players who are in their prime. They now have ownership in place that is willing to do what it takes to be a contender on a consistent basis. That includes making a strong effort to re-sign Cliff Lee.
there's been talk about how ron washington isn't making right moves, but i haven't yet seen anyone comment on how he let the game end w/o vlad getting an at bat. i realize by 9th inning maybe made more sense to get some other guys their first at bat....but how does he let treanor bat in the 7th? and why borbon instead of vlad in the 8th? it just seems that if vlad gets a hit in seventh or 8th---or dare to dream--- leads off eighth w/ a home run, then maybe entire rest of game plays out differently. your thoughts? any inside info re this?
Tim MacMahon (4:16 PM)
That's a reasonable second-guess, but if you're going to have Vladimir Guerrero pinch-hit, don't you want it to happen with at least one runner on base. Say he pinch-hit for Treanor with nobody on and one out in the seventh. Wouldn't you want that bat if that spot in the order came up in a clutch situation in the ninth? The Rangers' bullpen ensured that situation didn't happen, but I don't blame Washington for trying to pick the best possible spot to play the Vlad card.
Wash seems slightly over his head in this series to this point. The fact no relievers were warming when Holland was collapsing is distressing. I know his self-admitted weakness is in-game strategy, but he's got a good one next to him in Maddux. Can't he turn to Wash and say, "Hey, let's get some guys loose in case this doesn't work..."
Tim MacMahon (4:17 PM)
That's why Mike Maddux is as much to blame as Ron Washington for that. You can't credit Maddux for everything that goes right with the pitching staff and blame Washington for everything that goes wrong.
Sending a message is well and good in May. Was this the right time to bench Vlad over a couple errors?
Tim MacMahon (4:19 PM)
"Bench" isn't the word that I would use. Washington went out of his way to put his DH in the lineup in a NL park in Game 1. It backfired. He made the right decision in Game 2. You can't have that kind of defensive liability for nine innings, especially in that outfield.
Rangers offense (back of a milk carton)
Tim MacMahon (4:20 PM)
Matt Cain happened. Give him credit. He hasn't allowed an earned run in 21.1 innings this postseason. For all the talk about Cliff Lee and Tim Lincecum, you can make a strong case that Cain has been the best pitcher in baseball this October.
Does this batting order need some shaking up?
Tim MacMahon (4:23 PM)
Again, you don't do anything drastic at this point. All that would do is send a message to the players that it's time to panic. Dallas sports fans will recall how well Avery Johnson's knee-jerk decisions to change hotels in the middle of the 2006 Finals and to change the starting lineup before the 2007 playoffs worked out for the Mavs. You can make a strong statistical case for dropping Vlad in the order, but folks in the know say that wouldn't be a wise move, in part because he's such a leader to the young Latin players on the team. Plus, Nelson Cruz got his chance in the cleanup spot last night and didn't come through.
I heard that Cliff Lee might start sat.night,any truth to that?
Tim MacMahon (4:24 PM)
That's pure speculation. But it will be interesting to see what Ron Washington decides to do if the Rangers lose Game 3. If they win, there's no way they bring Cliff Lee back on short rest.
The Rangers looked more than nervous last night, they looked panicked at the plate. What's worse is Nelson Cruz saying that he's lost at the plate right now. I know baseball, much more than other sports, isn't necessarily driven by momentum because one good/bad pitcher can change everything in a hurry. But how to explain the absurd number of swing-for-the-fences pop ups last night?
Tim MacMahon (4:26 PM)
Cruz's comment was certainly interesting. But, once again, give Matt Cain credit. A lot of guys have looked lost at the plate against him this month.
Tim MacMahon (4:26 PM)
We'll wrap it up with that. Appreciate you joining me and enjoy the rest of the World Series.