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Nolan Ryan made unhappy by Rangers collapse against Yankees

Big League Stew

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The body language of Texas Rangers president Nolan Ryan in this screen cap says it all.

Ryan, sitting next to his former employer President George W. Bush, had a front-row view of the Rangers' five-run collapse in Game 1 of the ALCS.

The New York Yankees, dormant against left-hander C.J. Wilson(notes) for most of the game, scored once in the seventh and struck for five big ones in the eighth against Wilson and the Texas bullpen in a stunning 6-5 victory at Rangers Ballpark on Friday night.

The Rangers are still looking for their first-ever playoff victory at home. The Yankees are still looking like the Yankees.

Makes an ex-president want to chew on his glasses until someone comes up with a solution!

The Rangers battered Yankees ace CC Sabathia(notes) for five runs over four innings, getting a three-run homer by Josh Hamilton(notes) and a two-run double by Michael Young(notes). But the Yankees bullpen — notably Dustin Moseley(notes) — held Texas scoreless and gave New York's offense time to warm up.

Brett Gardner's(notes) slide into first for a single on what looked like an otherwise routine grounder started the Yankees rally, which was aided by two walks by ineffective Texas relief pitchers. Two of the Rangers' relievers — Darren O'Day(notes) and Clay Rapada(notes) — each threw one pitch that resulted in a run-scoring single.

Meanwhile, Rangers manager Ron Washington — who made four pitching changes in the inning — left closer Neftali Feliz(notes) in the bullpen as the lead was frittered away.

And I didn't even mention another heart-skewering moment, when Ian Kinsler(notes) got himself picked off in the eighth to subdue a budding Rangers rally.

It must have been agonizing — on several levels — for Ryan to watch from his seat.

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Heck, look how happy Nolan and W were earlier in the game with Wilson dealing and the Yankees reeling. Quite a contrast.

Even earlier, in throwing out the ceremonial first pitch, Ryan looked like a much better option than anyone else Washington used in the eighth.

Nolan put some heat on that thing.

Now, the heat's on the Rangers, who come back with Colby Lewis(notes) — against Phil Hughes(notes) — on Saturday afternoon.

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