Kirkman's playoff debut better than TV
Rangers reliever dreamed of pitching in postseason as a kid
Rookie left-hander Michael Kirkman made his postseason debut at Yankee Stadium in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series on Wednesday, throwing two scoreless innings against New York.
"It was everything I ever dreamed of," he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You always dream of that as a kid. You watch these games on national TV every year. Last year I was sitting at home watching this. It's a great experience, and hopefully, I will be able to get in there again."
After entering the game in the sixth inning, he allowed one hit and walked two batters.
Werth shows range with arm: Jayson Werth ended a threat by the Giants in the fifth inning of Game 5 of the National League Championship Series on Thursday night with a perfect throw to third baseman Placido Polanco.
"I just caught it and let it fly," Werth told the San Jose Mercury News. "The thing I was worried about the most was it hitting the runner or skipping away, because there's nothing back there behind third base to stop the ball. You need to be fairly accurate. But when I let it fly, it felt pretty good coming out, so I was just waiting on the umpire."
Cruz not being hampered by hamstring: Nelson Cruz, who has worked through tightness in his left hamstring much of the season, planned to play in Game 6 of the ALCS.
"I feel good right now," Cruz, who spent time of the disabled list three times during the regular season -- twice because of the left hamstring -- told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "It's just tight. [Manager Ron Washington] said he didn't want to take any chances, so he shut me down."
Cruz is hitting .353 with one home run and three RBIs in the series. Tightness in his left hamstring forced him to leave Game 5 in the fifth inning.
Berkman opts for spike change after scare: Lance Berkman gave New York fans a scare in Game 5 when he lost his footing while chasing a foul pop fly and landed flat on his back. He remained down for a few minutes.
"I thought I hit my head. When I saw the replay, I didn't hit it, but it felt just like I did," Berkman told the New York Daily News. "It felt like I just got lit up in football. I was a little out of it. It didn't feel great."
Berkman was eventually able to get to his feet and remained in the game. But in between innings the trainers used smelling salts to keep Berkman alert. Berkman also changed shoes, going from plastic cleats to metal cleats.
Posada provides spark with return to lineup: Jorge Posada was back behind the plate on Wednesday for Game 5 of the ACLS and went 2-for-4, collecting an RBI single in the second inning to break a scoreless tie and stroking a single in the fifth inning as the Yankees went on to win, 7-2.
"You know, it's tough to sit down on the bench," Posada told the New York Post. "You know, I think you have to be prepared and you have to be ready. And I was back in there again. I take a lot of pride in what I do. I have fun playing the game."
Lidge glad to see Oswalt on mound: Brad Lidge was comfortable with the decision to use starter Roy Oswalt in the ninth inning with Game 4 of the NLCS tied at 5 on Wednesday.
"That's kind of the way we've always handled it," Lidge told MLB.com of his role in a tie game in the ninth on the road. "Charlie is not one to panic and change things. He keeps things going the way they've gone right for us, and that's what we did [Wednesday] night. And it just didn't work out last night, but it wasn't a bad idea. I mean, it was great to see Roy go in that game."
Halladay credits bullpen: After working six innings and allowing two runs in the Phillies' 4-2 win over San Francisco on Thursday night, Roy Halladay gave the credit to the Philadelphia bullpen.
"[I was] just battling," Halladay told MLB.com. "We were able to get the lead, and you're just trying to do all you can to hold it. I would've liked to go deeper, but the bullpen did it for us."
Bryan Pena has big plans for 2011: Bryan Pena has a plan for this offseason.
"I'm going to emphasize my blocking, and I want to come to Spring Training 10-15 pounds lighter," the Kansas City catcher told MLB.com. "So I'm going to be working on that, and I'm going to keep working on my throwing and my defense in general. Mostly, I'm going to be working on my flexibility and trying to get leaner and report to Spring Training in great shape -- not just in good shape, but in great shape."
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.