Thanks to Napoli deciding to become Mickey Mantle at the plate and Johnny Bench behind it in this World Series, the Rangers find themselves one win away from winning the whole damn thing.
One of two things will happen now: Either the Rangers are going to win a World Series, or we're going to see a World Series Game 7. This has been an incredible postseason. Each game seems hellbent on somehow topping the classic from the night before. Either way it goes, we really couldn't ask for more than what we've been given by this game we love.
- T.R. Sullivan writes that with a win last night, the Rangers are a win away from ending a classic World Series.
- Jeff Wilson: Rangers are on the brink of a championship as the Cardinals let Game 5 get away.
- Richard Durrett has his reactions to the Rangers winning an impossibly bizarre and pulse-pounding Game 5.
- Drew Davison wraps up the Rangers 4-2 victory with several fascinating notes. Not lost on me, a note on the eternal Texas Ranger Darren Oliver picking up the win.
C.J.'s 2011 Swan Song:
- Anthony Andro writes that it wasn't the performance of an ace, but C.J. Wilson did enough to keep the Rangers in the game.
- Durrett quotes Wilson as saying the standing ovation he received upon his exit from the game was "more than he deserved." Wilson also said that since his Plan A wasn't working, he was trying to "hold the line" until the bats could score runs.
- Behind the DMN paywall, Evan Grant predictably writes that C.J.'s start summed up his entire Ranger career if indeed it was his last start as a Ranger.
If this is the end, C.J.: See you in another life, brother.
The "Genius" vs. Arlington's Finest:
- SI.com has an AP article up that examines just how Tony La Russa allowed lefty Mark Rzepczynski to face Mike Napoli with the bases loaded in a tied game in the eighth inning. Somehow, poor managing isn't blamed.
- Tom Verducci tries to figure out just what the heck Tony La Russa was doing last night. (This article is actually all kinds of hilarious.)
- Jeff Passan writes that La Russa just couldn't take ownership of "the single worst inning" of his entire career.
- Durrett explains how Texas Rangers fans now enter into World Series lore as a loud crowd at The Ballpark was the excuse used by La Russa to explain away his insanity in the 8th inning last night.
- Jayson Starks writes that if the crowd being too loud is the story La Russa is sticking with, then Rangers fans now belong in the same October mythos as Bill Mazeroski, Bill Buckner, and Curt Schilling's bloody sock.
Ron Washington vs. Perception:
- Randy Galloway has a piece about how Ron Washington out-managed La Russa in Game 5.
- Scott Miller writes that Washington, who had to assure the media before the game that he wasn't dumb, ended up looking like the brilliant manager.
- Jim Reeves writes that future Hall of Fame manager "Tony Genius" wasn't even the best manager on the field last night.
- MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince writes about Washington's unusual winning combination of trusting his players and intentionally walking Cardinals on Monday.
Mike Napoli - Born in October:
- Yahoo!'s Steve Henson writes about how Mike Napoli delivered again for the Rangers with an entire fanbase chanting his name.
- Behind the DMN paywall, Tim Cowlishaw says that Napoli has validated "The Year of the Napoli."
- Gil Lebreton writes that the Rangers acquired Mike Napoli because he could hit lefties. Now, even as a high caliber starting catcher entrusted to hit against anyone -- as fate would have it -- Napoli got an opportunity to come through against a lefty on the biggest stage.
- Jean-Jacques Taylor writes that Napoli is thriving under pressure this postseason.
I also enjoyed this quote from Ron Washington:
"All those strikes he took from Carpenter early in the game never bothered him because they weren't pitches he wanted to hit."