Rangers Fall To Angels, Still Need Win For AL West


126. Final. 2. 102. 1

The Texas Rangers clinched a Wild Card playoff berth on Thursday night, but could not clinch the AL West division after a 2-1 loss to the Angels.

When you’re hot, you’re hot.

When you’re not, you’re not.

The Texas Rangers delivered some fine pitching and defense on Friday night against Los Angeles, but only Shin-Soo Choo seemed to have brought a bat to the game.

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The Rangers didn’t get a hit until the 4th inning, that being a solo shot over the left-center field fence from the bat of Choo at Globe Life Park. That home run tied the game at 1-1.

The next hit for Texas came in the 6th inning, a lead-off double by Choo. The Rangers would end up stranding Choo at 3rd base and Mitch Moreland at 1st base when Josh Hamilton flied out to end the inning.

Los Angeles scored a run in the 1st and 9th innings to squeak by with a 2-1 win and stay alive in the American League Wild Card chase.

Starting pitcher Martin Perez had a bumpy first inning in giving up that first run of the game, but everything else he did was spectacular. He went 7.0 innings while giving up just 4 hits and the same number of strikeouts.

Not until closer Shawn Tolleson came on for the 9th inning did the Angels ever come close to scoring again on Mike Trout‘s lead-off triple. This was Tolleson’s fourth consecutive game and perhaps that showed just a bit.

Right-hander Colby Lewis (17-9) takes the mound tomorrow at 12:05pm CDT in game three of this four-game series against Los Angeles. The Angels will counter with Hector Santiago (9-9).

Rangers Fact

The shocking improvement in the Rangers series marks the third-largest win improvement between two seasons in club history. This is saying something about a club that’s been playing in Arlington for some 44 years.

In just their second season in North Texas, the Rangers won just 57 games in 1973. The club turned that around the following season in winning 84 games for a plus-27 win-improvement in 1973.

The 1985 season marked a period of transition when third-year manager Doug Rader got off to a meager 9-23 start. Bobby Valentine took over from there and the Rangers went from 62 wins in ’85 to a much more impressive 87 victories in 1986.

Last season’s paltry 67 wins has obviously been greatly improved via this year’s meteoric rise to the top of the standings during essentially one half of baseball. Ron Washington‘s swan song – if we can call it that- a year ago only led to a record of 67-95. First-year manager Jeff Banister has the Rangers poised to not only win the division, but also to pick up maximum of 89 wins while sitting just one victory away from the AL West title.

By the way, in each of the seasons above, the improved following seasons were led by a different manager from the season prior.

For now, the numbers are quite simple as it doesn’t matter what any other team in Major League Baseball does.

With two games to play, the Rangers magic number is 1, the loneliest number you’ll ever see.

Next: Texas Rangers: Momentum Is On Their Side

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  • Published on 10/03/2015 at 04:01 AM
  • Last updated at 10/03/2015 at 08:20 AM