ARLINGTON -- Maybe if the Rangers had lost Game 3. But they didn't.So manager Ron Washington said there were never any discussions about Cliff Lee pitching Game 4 on three days' rest. "We never talked about it," Washington said. "You never know what might have been said if the game didn't go the way it did. But we never discussed it." Instead Colby Lewis had a terrific outing in a 4-2 victory over the Giants in Game 3 on Saturday night and Tommy Hunter was on the mound for Sunday's Game 4. Lee will go to the mound Monday for Game 5 on four days' rest, with Texas' season on the line after Sunday's 4-0 loss. Lee has never pitched on three days' rest in the Major Leagues, and others who have done it in the playoffs over the past nine years have not been too successful. Since the beginning of the 2002 postseason, there have been 55 starts on three days' rest, with an overall record of 14-22 and a 4.92 ERA. Lee will pitch Game 5 and could be available as a reliever if the Series returns to San Francisco for Games 6 and/or 7. "Knowing Cliff, he'll do whatever we need him to do, but we haven't discussed that at all," Washington said.
Texas postseason starters rank among best
ARLINGTON -- Rangers starters were 7-4 with a 2.91 ERA in their 14 postseason games. Going into Tommy Hunter's start in Game 4 ... The 2.91 ERA was the 25th lowest by starting staff since the playoffs were expanded to a third round in 1995. The starters were holding opponents to a .202 batting average, the 10th lowest for any rotation since 1995. The 94 strikeouts by the starters were the second most. D-backs starters -- mainly Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling -- struck out 117 batters in 2001. Rangers starters had struck out 9.76 batters per nine innings. The only rotation to average more since 1995 belonged to the 2007 Cubs. But Chicago played only three games and struck 10.95 batters per nine innings. Rangers starters had allowed 9.87 baserunners per nine innings, 11th best since 1995.
Moreland's numbers: To the nines
ARLINGTON -- Mitch Moreland, going into Game 4, was batting .344 from the No. 9 spot. That was the second-highest average by a No. 9 hitter with a minimum of 10 postseason games at that spot. Adam Kennedy hit .351 with four home runs and nine RBIs in 12 games as a No. 9 hitter back in 2002 for the Angels.Moreland went 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in the No. 9 spot for Game 4, and manager Ron Washington said there was no thought of moving him up in the lineup. "Moreland is fine where he is in the lineup," Washington said Sunday afternoon before Game 4. "I'm not moving Moreland anywhere. He's a couple years out of college, he's comfortable right where he is. He's not going in front of the guys I have at the top." Moreland's home run in Game 3 was only the second by a rookie first baseman who was in the starting lineup in a World Series. The only other was by Bill Terry for the Giants in Game 1 of the 1924 World Series against Walter Johnson of the Senators. Moreland's .341 average going into Game 4 was the sixth highest by a rookie in a postseason with a minimum of 35 at-bats. The highest ever was by Ichiro Suzuki, who hit .421 for the Mariners in 2001. Moreland's .512 slugging percentage was the fifth highest by a rookie with at least 35 at-bats. Andruw Jones had a .690 slugging percentage for the Braves in 1996. Moreland's home run in Game 3 was also the first by a first baseman out of the No. 9 spot in World Series history.
Holland appears, not right after Hunter
ARLINGTON -- Tommy Hunter made two starts in the playoffs before Game 4 of the World Series, and both times Derek Holland was brought in relief when he ran into early trouble. Manager Ron Washington said before the game that was still the plan, even though Holland walked all three batters he faced in the eighth inning of Game 2 of the Series."I will go back to Holland," Washington said. "I'm comfortable going with any of our guys. I'm not changing. I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing. He's a big part of our bullpen. I believe in him. At this point I don't think you can start eliminating people." Holland had a 2.61 ERA in his first four postseason outings before running into trouble in Game 2. He pitched 7 2/3 innings in two relief appearances behind Hunter.
Holland did make it into Game 4, but not immediately following Hunter, who left after four innings. Alexi Ogando, Darren Oliver and Darren O'Day all relieved before Holland, who worked the ninth inning and gave up another walk but not a run in the Rangers' 4-0 loss.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.