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October 24, 2011

World Series Game 5 Rangers pregame notes: Harrison gets Game 7

Here are a few pregame notes before the Rangers take on the Cardinals in a pivotal Game 5 in the World Series. The best-of-seven series is tied 2-2.

* Matt Harrison is scheduled to start Game 7. That won’t change even if rain forces a one-day delay in St. Louis, Ron Washington said. “Matt Harrison earned it,” Washington said.

* Washington pointed to the leaping catch Adrian Beltre made on the first play of Game 4 as a pivotal moment. Beltre snagged a well-hit liner by Rafael Furcal. “Game-changer,” Washington said. “You never know what may have happened if that ball gets down the line.”

* The Rangers will have the day off Tuesday in St. Louis. Washington doesn’t feel the team needs to workout. “They can use that day,” Washington said.

* Washington wasn't going to let Derek Holland finish Game 4. Once he went out to the mound in the ninth inning, he was getting the ball and handing it to Neftali Feliz. Washington jokingly told Holland he'd need to get on his knees to stay in the game. Even if Holland did that, Washington said, he would have still taken him out.

* Washington is still using the postseason as teaching moments for his young players. He pointed to a play earlier in the series when Mike Napoli tagged up from third on a potential sacrifice fly. Napoli was gunned down, but Elvis Andrus, who was on deck, wasn’t in proper position to tell Napoli to slide on the outside of the plate instead of the inside of the plate. “It’ll happen again,” Washington said.

* Washington had a good laugh when team president and CEO Nolan Ryan missed George W. Bush's first pitch in Game 4. Washington said Ryan tried to "frame" the pitch, which is why he missed it. "Passed ball," Washington said.

-- Drew Davison

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