So there are three games to go in the regular 2013 regular season (I say "regular" regular season, because of the greater than usual likelihood there will be a Game 163 this year).
Texas is one back of Cleveland and two back of Tampa in the Wild Card Race. Texas has won its last four games. Cleveland and Tampa have each won their last seven games. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if all three teams ended up winning out, which would leave Texas on the outside looking in with 91 wins.
This has been a fun, weird, strange, maddening roller coaster of a season. The offseason was disappointing, to put it mildly. Matt Harrison, expected to be the team's #2 starter, has missed basically the entire year. Colby Lewis, who we were thinking could be in the rotation by May, missed basically the entire year. Alexi Ogando missed roughly half the year. Those are three members of what the Rangers were hoping would be their five man rotation for much of the season.
Lance Berkman ended up being a bust, David Murphy hasn't hit, several young hitters have struggled. Its been a year filled with adversity. And yet, we're heading into the last weekend of the season with a fair chance of playing more than 162 games this year.
The success of the last five years or so has, I think, made us forget how hard it is to have sustained success in MLB. No team in baseball has made the playoffs each of the last four years. The Rangers are the only team still alive in the playoff hunt with a chance to do that. Tampa is the only team to have won 90 games in each of the last four years. If the Rangers can take two of three from the Angels this weekend, they'll also hit that mark.
The Giants won the World Series last year. This year, they have 74 wins. The Yankees, with their $200M plus payroll, won't make the playoffs, and are currently sitting at 82 wins.
Texas has won 90 games or more six times in the team's history, and has a pretty good shot at reaching that plateau again this year. That will mean that four of the Rangers' seven best seasons, ever, have come in the last four years.
And the Rangers are well-positioned to have success going forward. Yes, this team has some holes, but they also have a strong farm system and a great young rotation with Yu Darvish, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland and Martin Perez all under team control for years to come.
So yeah, I don't really have much to say right now about this weekend's final three games, other than, let's enjoy this ride. While I'll be disappointed if the Rangers don't make the playoffs, that doesn't make this season a failure.
Let's appreciate how good we have it right now. Because it wasn't that long ago that our best recent memory was David Dellucci's double in 2004 keeping us in the race an extra day or two before finishing in third place in the division.