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Thursday a.m. Rangers stuff

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I'm still reeling from the events of last night.  That was the most amazing night of baseball I've ever experienced,* and will probably ever experience.

*  When I expressed similar sentiments on Twitter last night, people suggested ALCS Game 6 as a more amazing night.  I'm speaking more in a baseball sense and less in a Ranger-centric sense, however.

We have two of the biggest collapses in MLB history that culminated last night in Boston and Atlanta getting knocked out of the playoffs.  Atlanta takes a 3-2 lead into the 9th, at home against Philly, only to see their stud rookie closer, ridden hard all season, cough up the lead, with Philly tying it up, forcing the game into extra innings, and ultimately stealing a 4-3 victory in 13 innings.

You had Boston taking a 3-2 lead into the 9th inning at Baltimore after a rain delay that could potentially have ended the game a couple of innings earlier with the Red Sox leading.  You had Jonathan Papelbon striking out the first two hitters before allowing a double to Chris Davis, a double to Nolan Reimold, and a single to Robert Andino to give Baltimore a 4-3 win that was meaningless to them but crushing to the BoSox.

You had Tampa Bay, at home, getting down on the Yankees 5-0 early, and 7-0 after 5, before putting up 6 in the 8th, with the final three coming on an Evan Longoria 3 run homer.  Then, with two outs in the 9th, two strikes on Dan Johnson, the Rays down to their final strike, Johnson yanks a home run right down the line in right field to tie the score, send the game into extra innings, and setting the stage for a 12th inning walkoff home run by Longoria to give the Rays, who were down 7-0 in the 8th inning, an 8-7 win.

Oh, and the Rangers beat the Angels, 3-1, on the strength of a pair of home runs by Angel castoff Mike Napoli to clinch home field advantage in the ALDS.

Baseball.

Jeff Wilson's game story talks about Napoli's big ninth inning home run to win last night's game, and the players then watching in the clubhouse to see what A.L. East team they'd be facing off against.

Behind the paywall, Evan Grant writes that Napoli got the last laugh against his former team.

Richard Durrett writes on his reactions to last night's game.

The S-T's notes talk about Derek Holland as Game 2 starter, Andres Blanco likely being out for the ALDS, Mark Lowe's status, and Mitch Moreland getting his swing back.