Texas is batting only .186, St. Louis is stuck at .203. Hamilton and Pujols are hitless, and Cruz has been held to a mere single after tearing through the AL championship series.
On Friday, Cruz gave the Hall of Fame the bat he used to hit a grand slam in the ALCS. It was cracked — maybe Texas and St. Louis need new timber, too.
It seemed fitting, in fact, that when Texas scored those two runs Thursday night to even the Series, both crossed on sacrifice flies.
Each team has scored four runs overall. Back in 1983, Baltimore and Philadelphia also combined for eight through two games — it’s more than 60 years since the total was lower than this October.
“I think honestly we got out of our approach a little bit, maybe a little over aggressive trying to create things that necessarily weren’t there,” said Ian Kinsler, whose bloop single and daring steal keyed the Texas comeback. “If we can just relax and play our style of baseball, let the game come to us, we’ll be all right.”
Rangers outfielder David Murphy hopes it plays out that way, eventually.
“It’s the World Series. We’re going to face a guy tomorrow that most of us have never faced, if at all. Game 4 is a little different because Edwin Jackson has been in the American League enough to where most of us have probably faced him,” he said.
“I feel like just watching the first two games, offensively, it’s just a matter of who is going to make adjustments on the fly. We’re facing their guys that we’ve never before and it’s the same thing on their side. The pitching performances have been good, but we have confidence in our offense to put up runs, as well,” he said.
So does Texas hitting coach Scott Coolbaugh. He was promoted from the Triple-A job when Thad Bosley was fired two months into his first year with the team.
Coolbaugh watched Young swing through strike three from Jaime Garcia in Game 2, then saw Adrian Beltre wave at a couple of low off-speed deliveries.
“I think it was evident that some of our guys were seeing someone for the first time,” Coolbaugh said. “You can watch all the video you want and read all the scouting reports. But when you step into that batter’s box, it all looks different.”
Coolbaugh, however, was not surprised when the Rangers put together better at-bats in the ninth against Jason Motte and the St. Louis bullpen.
“That was two days in a row that we were seeing their relievers. The more we see them, the better off we’ll be,” he said.