Well, they did it. The Rangers swept their final homestand of the regular season and granted us at least one more baseball game. I still want to be acrid, but by golly, these Rangers are making me like them. Is..is that the joy creeping in?
Todd Wills provides the Rapid Reaction to the Rangers' 6-2 victory over the Anaheim Angels. This was the first time since 1978 that the Rangers had swept the Angels in a four-game series in Arlington. Pretty amazing considering the Rangers needed all of them.
T.R. Sullivan's game story focuses on the Rangers finishing off the scheduled season with their seventh straight victory to extend the season at least one more game.
Jeff Wilson writes that even though the Rangers live another day, there was no champagne celebration as the team is all business in their preparation for tonight's Wild Card tiebreaker with Tampa Bay.
Evan Grant writes about Ron Washington being rewarded for relying heavily on his bullpen in the final week.
Still, with potentially more games yet to play than any other team looking to make it to the Division Series round, why would Washington take Yu Darvish out in the sixth at only 84 pitches and further tax his 'pen?
"I was afraid of Hamilton against Darvish," Washington said. "Hamilton is dangerous. I didn't want [Darvish] to make a mistake right there."
That's a fairly startling quote in regards to the level of trust the manager has in his ace and best pitcher.
Another explanation for the quick hook could be the mystery injury that Darvish has reportedly been dealing with. Even so, Drew Davison has a blog post up where he quotes Darvish as feeling fine yesterday.
Anthony Andro writes about Ian Kinsler's disappointment that the most meaningful final game of a season in Arlington history wasn't met with a sellout crowd. Nevertheless, the Rangers drew 3,135,477 fans this season for the second highest total in team history.
Master Tesfatsion writes about Ranger rookie left-hander Martin Perez getting the start in the first regular season tiebreak game in team history.
ESPN's David Schoenfield predicts a Ranger 4-3 win tonight largely because of David Price's career-long struggles against the Rangers and Texas having the better bullpen.
MLB.com's Joey Nowak recounts the brief history of MLB regular season tiebreakers. Did you know? Joe Nathan recorded a save for Minnesota in the most recent tiebreak game in 2009.
Tim Cowlishaw writes on what to expect in Game 163 tonight and notes that the Rangers have been playing do-or-die baseball for the past week.
Gil LeBreton chimes in by writing that the playoffs didn't seem like a possibility a week ago but the Rangers have earned themselves a chance to play in October.
Mark Simon of ESPN's Stats & Info blog provides some numbers on tonight's match-up between the Rays and Rangers.
Gerry Fraley writes that Nelson Cruz will be reinstated for tonight's game and that he has his chance to atone for his suspension in the biggest game of the season.
MLB.com's Richard Justice recaps the Rangers' roller coaster September and writes that a Wild Card redemption would solidify Ron Washington's place with the Rangers.
T.R. Sullivan and Master Tesfatsion share MLB.com Notebook duty and report on the Rangers welcoming back Cruz, Perez getting ready for tonight's start, an update on Craig Gentry's ankle, and other items.
(There's also this clip embedded with that article where Harold Reynolds tries to make the argument that the Rangers are using a loophole to get Nelson Cruz back and that MLB's intentions were for his season to be done. Harold Reynolds is professionally a dumb guy. It's so strange.)
Do you think he ever goes home and complains, "I wish just once they'd let me say the intelligent thing."?
Davison's notes tackle Perez's confidence, Adrian Beltre's status for Game 163, the bullpen workload, and Josh Hamilton's reaction to his season ending bitterly in Arlington.
Cash Kruth previews tonight's Game 163 as Martin Perez tries to pitch the Rangers by David Price and the Rays for the right to go travel to Cleveland...which in all other life scenarios would not be a reward.
Lastly, the DMN staff recaps all seven games played between the Rangers and Rays this season. From Joe Nathan's "strike three" 300th save to Elvis Andrus hitting a home run in the win that would eventually make tonight's game a home game.