ST. LOUIS -- When you count spring training, the Texas Rangers have played more than 200 games this year. When you count all the games they've played since moving to Arlington in 1972, they've played more than 8,000. But they've never played one like tonight.
And that's the challenge: Keep everything the same heading into the first game in franchise history that the Rangers can win a World Series.
"I went to bed last night very relaxed, and I woke up this morning very relaxed," manager Ron Washington said in his pre-Game Six session with reporters late this afternoon at Busch Stadium. "I did what I always do; I got up and ironed my clothes, I ate breakfast, I read the newspaper, and I left the hotel at 1, and I came to the ballpark. That's my routine. I didn't feel any different feeling.
"I walked out of the hotel feeling as confident about my baseball team as I've always felt all year. I walked in the clubhouse with the same confidence. I'm sitting right here with the same confidence. The butterflies haven't started yet. I'm quite sure they will once 7:05 rolls around. But the more that [starting pitcher] Colby Lewis goes and gets outs in an inning the more my butterflies will subside."
Washington said he can't press to win tonight and avoid a Game Seven. He has to simply keep putting his team in position to win like he's done all year.
"I am going to manage this game according to the way the game says I have to manage it," Washington said. "Of course our intentions are no different than they've always been, to go out there and win the ballgame. I'm certainly not going to go out there and start trying to outsmart the game of baseball. I'm just going to go out there and whatever the situation says needs to be done, I'm going to try to make sure I put my guys in a position that we can be successful."
Be sure to check my earlier post on the Cardinals' thoughts heading into Game Six and join me for the live game blog in the 8 p.m. hour.
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