I've seen this game before. I lived this game before. The Rangers lost Game 1 of the 2011 ALDS by a score of 9-0 as they collected only two hits against Matt Moore and the Tampa Bay Rays to lose home field advantage. I was in the stands and it was a strange evening in Arlington.
There was hype about the Rangers playing in their first ALDS where they began as the home team, fresh off winning a team record 96 games, and just one October since their first trip to the World Series in franchise history. Shannon Stone's young son tossed the first pitch to Josh Hamilton and there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
It just felt like the Rangers were about to steamroll the Rays. But then the Rangers laid an egg that took three hours to deliver and the game alternated between terrible, depressing, and worst of all, boring.
Of course, as we know now, the Rangers went on to win the next three and take the series. What I'm getting at is, though this is obviously a potentially season-ending setback, the Rangers have shown that they can bounce back from circumstances such as this. That said, I really would like the Rangers to stop performing poorly in home ALDS games.
Whatever, let's all go to Whataburger.
Player of the Game: Props to Alex Claudio for saving the bullpen from Cole Hamels' disaster as the lefty longman gave the Rangers 3 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball which was a third of an innings longer than Hamels lasted. Claudio was basically the lone bright spot of the game for Texas, and though that's a big deal for him that is worthy of praise, when the mop up guy is your hero for the day, you know things went south quick.
Up Next: The Rangers will turn to Yu Darvish for a critical Game 2 start where the Rangers will look to avoid going down 0-2 before heading to Toronto. The Blue Jays will counter with LHP J.A. Happ. First pitch is basically in a few hours from now at noon CT so Texas won't have much time to dwell on today's game, at least.
Here's the worst song I could think of: