NEW YORK -- Rangers reliever Frank Francisco threw 20 pitches on the mound without any pain on Sunday afternoon, but team officials still don't expect him to be activated if the team advances to the World Series.Francisco has been on the disabled list since Aug. 28 because of a strained muscle in his right rib cage. Francisco, who was 6-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 52 2/3 innings, was the Rangers' eighth-inning reliever for most of the season. Asked he could play if the Rangers advanced to the next round, Francisco said, "I don't want to put that in my mind. I want to take it step by step."
Rangers won't slow down against Pettitte
NEW YORK -- Left-hander Andy Pettitte, the Yankees' starter for Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, is known for controlling the running game. His 27 pickoffs in the past five years rank second behind White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, who has 41.The Rangers are known to be active on the bases. After all, they pulled off a double steal in Game 2 against New York on Saturday. But don't expect them to stop wrecking havoc on the bases because Pettitte is on the mound, according to Rangers manager Ron Washington. This year, the Rangers have stolen two bases in three attempts against Pettitte. "You know, we'll show up, as usual," Washington said. "We'll go play. If we can't run the bases, we're not going to force it. We can play baseball in many ways. Whatever it takes for us to do on that day to win a ballgame, we'll do. "I think everybody in baseball knows what Andy Pettitte is all about. We certainly know. It's going to be a very good game tomorrow night. And once again, we're looking for opportunities. We're looking to take advantage, as they are."
Non-roster pitchers staying fresh
NEW YORK -- Rangers relievers Matt Harrison, Mark Lowe and Dustin Nippert are off the postseason roster for the American League Championship Series, but they had bullpen sessions on Sunday afternoon. The team would like them to be ready in case they are put on World Series roster.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also can be reached on twitter -- @washingnats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.