Are you ready for some Wild Card?! No? Well, too bad, because in a few hours you're going to get some Wild Card. The Rangers will face the Baltimore Orioles tonight for the right to face the New York Yankees beginning Sunday.
We begin today with T.R. Sullivan writing a piece on how the Rangers are dealing with the knowledge that they're fighting for their lives tonight as a Wild Card team.
This doesn't really have anything to do with what T.R. wrote here but it is interesting to me to note that had Bud Selig not introduced this silly schedule-destroying Wild Card game, the Rangers and Orioles would have played under the old format anyway as they ended the season with the same record. YOU GAIN NOTHING, SELIG. NOTHING.
Jean-Jacques Taylor writes about the Rangers having the Yu Darvish trump card for this game tonight. While the Orioles are forced to use Joe Saunders, the Rangers are able to bring an Ace to the postseason play-in.
Sullivan has more on Darvish as he prepares for his first postseason game as a Major Leaguer. As Sullivan writes, however, Darvish is no stranger to postseason baseball. And if you're curious as to if Yu feels he's ready for this start or not, here's a quote from Yu on the subject:
"Of course, I'm ready," Darvish said. "If I wasn't ready, I wouldn't be named to pitch that game. I'm just going to try to approach it like any other start and try to win."
Jeff Wilson has an article with a bunch of quotes from Rangers on how they're feeling about the turn of events that led to them playing tonight's game and the challenges facing them tonight.
Behind the DMN Paywall, Kevin Sherrington likes the Rangers' chances should they make it past Baltimore.
ESPN's Outside The Lines website has a huge feature on Josh Hamilton--and his importance--going into these playoffs.
Drew Davison offers a bunch of notes on this play-in game including some info on Buck Showalter's decision to start Joe Saunders in tonight's game.
On that note, behind the paywall, Gerry Fraley writes about Saunders' horrible career stats against the Rangers and especially against the Rangers at The Ballpark.
Richard Durrett runs down the potential roster options for the Rangers. The Rangers can shape their 25-man roster for this game, and then, should they win, create a new roster for the ALDS. So you could see the Rangers leave off Ryan Dempster or Matt Harrison, since they have recently pitched, for a bench bat or an extra bullpen arm or two. Both clubs must have their rosters submitted by 10 a.m.
Keith Whitmire has some notes about tonight's game covering Ron Washington saying he has no issue with Josh Hamilton after Hamilton dropped the ball in center on Wednesday, potential roster moves, and an update on Adrian Beltre's chances of playing third base tonight (oh please oh please oh please oh please).
Lastly, Gil LeBreton writes the "Isn't it ironic a dontcha think?" article about the Rangers postseason ticket being held by Buck Showalter's upstarts.