The season was supposed to come to a close last night after Mitch Moreland, Ian Kinsler, and Adrian Beltre combined to commit four errors in a single inning, first time in franchise history, allowing the Los Angeles Angels to take a 4-3 lead.
If the Texas Rangers really were those Texas Rangers, the season should have come down to that.
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On Friday morning, everyone should be talking about what might have been for this 2013 team. They should have a 5-4 lead before Tanner Scheppers gave up a triple and an RBI single in back-to-back at bats. At that point, we should be talking about how the Angels came from behind and made the playoffs chances almost an impossibility for this Rangers club.
However, that’s not how the night went.
Thanks to the heroics that seem to have defined the last four games between these two teams, it was Jurickson Profar’s turn to provide the walk off home run in the bottom of the ninth.
The Rangers, tried as they might to beat themselves, lived to see another day.
As the week comes to an end and we all celebrate Friday night baseball, we’ll watch former Ranger CJ Wilson take the mound for the Angels and not only have the chance for win number 18, but to give his former team a little bit of payback for not bringing him back when he became a free agent.
Wilson, disliked by just about every Ranger fan you talk to, will have the chance to thumb his nose at the fan base and the Rangers themselves. While I’m sure he’s already waxed down his surfboards in preparation for the offseason that begins in just three days, he is in a prime position to do some real damage and in a position to say “I knocked my former team out of the playoffs, dude!”
To oppose Wilson, the Rangers will throw out Alexi Ogando who is coming off one of his best starts of the season, holding the Kansas City Royals scoreless over seven innings of work, giving up just two hits and striking out five.
The greatness of that start needs to transfer to this one. There’s no start bigger than this one right here and, with a win, there won’t be a bigger start than tomorrow.
For the last four days it’s been one win at a time. For the last four days, the Rangers have not been beaten and they’ve controlled their own fate. For now. Say what you want about their dominance of the Houston Astros like a pitbull staring down a chihuahua, losing one of those games may have made this series with the Angels irrelevant.
Thursday night heroics would have made for the perfect story line and the all too perfect time to gain ground in the chase for the second wild card spot. They almost got it if not for the Cleveland Indians, who almost pulled a Cleveland in the ninth inning, surviving a monumental scare from the Minnesota Twins.
The Indians just couldn’t do Texas a favor and do what we all expect Cleveland sports teams to do; fall flat on their face.
So, it’s CJ Wilson for the red coats and Alexi Ogando for the good guys with huge playoff implications on the line for one of them.
Happy Friday everybody.