Although it sounds ridiculous, given the Rangers lost by 9 runs, last night was a winnable game.
The blown call on the Napoli tag by Ron Kulpa was huge. If that play is called right, the Rangers give up 0 or 1 runs in the 4th inning, Matt Harrison is still in the game instead of Scott Feldman and Alexi Ogando, and the entire dynamic of the game changes.
If Napoli makes a good throw home in the 4th inning, rather than throwing it away, Harrison may escape allowing just a run, and may end up staying in the game for a while.
If Ian Kinsler's fly ball to Matt Holliday in the bottom of the 4th scores Napoli, rather than leading to a double play, things change. If Kinsler does something productive, rather than popping out with the bases loaded in the 5th, things change.
The Rangers lost this game primarily because everyone who came into the game to pitch after Matt Harrison left the game was awful, but the opportunities were there for 1) Matt Harrison to stick around past the 4th, and 2) the Rangers to score enough runs to keep them in the game. It just didn't happen.
Jeff Wilson's game story talks about how the things that have been strengths for the Rangers so far this offseason hurt them yesterday.
T.R. Sullivan's game story says the Rangers were on the wrong side of history last night.
Richard Durrett has his rapid reactions from last night's game.
Jeff Caplan writes about the game-changing moment when Holliday gunned down Napoli at the plate.
Despite being victimized by a blown call, Mike Napoli says he doesn't want instant replay.
Ron Washington says, though, that he's still confident in Napoli at first base, saying "any baseball player in the world" could have made that bad throw.
Behind the paywall, Evan Grant writes about the bullpen's self-destruction.
Anthony Andro writes that the bullpen, which has been a strength this postseason, was no help last night.
Anthony Castrovince says that Washington's confidence in Alexi Ogando has likely waned, given his performance last night.
Randy Galloway, meanwhile, is already foreseeing a 3-1 deficit with Holland starting today.