Rangers: One Win Shy of ALCS


The Texas Rangers are back in Arlington with an opportunity to sweep the Blue Jays in Game 3 of the American League Division Series.

Whoever thought the Texas Rangers would be coming back to Arlington up 2-0 over the sizzling hot Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS?

If you’re a Rangers fan, hopefully that sunk in already.

So many baseball critics counted out the Rangers before the postseason started. They said the Rangers would get swept by the Blue Jays. The Rangers offense can’t beat David Price. The Rangers pitchers couldn’t fool the Blue Jays batting lineup. Josh Donaldson can’t be stopped.

Well, Texas has turned the tables, at least for the moment. The Rangers proved many wrong and did all of those things.

It’s obviously impossible for them to get swept. They beat Price in the series opener. Texas pitching shut down the Toronto offense and they contained Donaldson, all on Canadian turf.

That’s why they’re back home tonight with a chance to sweep the Blue Jays in this best 3-of-5 series at Globe Life Park.

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Entering the 2015 postseason, the Blue Jays were one of the hottest, if not the hottest team in all of baseball.

That didn’t faze Texas going north of the border.

With the Rangers dynamic pitching duo in Yovani Gallardo and Cole Hamels, starters for the first two games, they did just enough for the team to leave Rogers Centre victorious and one win shy of advancing to the ALCS.

Gallardo had just one strikeout in Game 1 of the series, but lasted five innings and gave up only two runs on four hits in the Rangers 5-3 victory on Thursday.

Hamels didn’t look his best in the Rangers 6-4 triumph in Game 2 on Friday while giving up four runs on six hits. But enduring a significant seven innings and chalking up six strikeouts was all the Rangers needed from their ace.

Pitchers like Sam Dyson and Jake Diekman came up big for the bullpen, as well as Keone Kela and Shawn Tolleson. It’s not easy shutting down the Blue Jays offense late in close games, but they proved otherwise.

Even without Rangers captain and third baseman Adrian Beltre, who went down with a sore back in Thursday’s game, the Texas offense has been able to get the job done and find ways to tally runs with their speed on the base paths.

Rougned Odor is a prime example.

Not only has Odor been exceptional on defense, but he’s been a terror on offense as well with the way he has trotted the bases, especially in Game 2 of the series. If the ALDS ends today, there’s no question Odor would be the MVP.

But there’s still work to do before the Rangers even think about moving on to the next series.

Yes, they’re at home and just one win away from inching closer to their goal, but sometimes home field advantage means nothing. Never count out the Blue Jays in 2015.

Delino DeShields is looking pretty good. Hanser Alberto has come up huge in filling in for Beltre. These players are certainly pluses for the Rangers.

We’ve yet to see the outburst of Josh Hamilton and Prince Fielder this postseason. It’s not too late, but the Rangers will need the veteran bats to come alive at some point if they intend to continue their success.

That said, the Texas Rangers are ready to end this thing. With these next two games at Globe Life Park, Game 4 being Monday if necessary, they’ll get another opportunity to pop some champagne in Arlington.

Game 3 airs tonight at 7:10pm CDT.

Next: Texas: Has Charlie Strong Finally Taken Control

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