The Texas Rangers, once the Washington Senators, have no Major League Baseball championships. But after this season, that could change? The Rangers are currently in a tie with the Oakland Athletics for this year’s American League West Division title only days from the start of the 2012 MLB post season after last night’s game. That means they’re officially in the playoffs again this year. The Rangers have come so close many times. Fans can only hope that this year will be the year for the Rangers. While they root for the home team (yes, that pun was intended), fans can now enjoy some of the Rangers’ greatest games courtesy of MLB Productions in the form of the new box set, The Essential Games of the Texas Rangers.
One of the finest moments that Rangers fans can re-live in this four-disc box set is Game Six of the team’s ALCS matchup against the Yankees from October 22, 2010. The Rangers struck first in the bottom of the first inning. The Rangers first inning drive started when Elvis Andrus hit a double to Center Field. Josh Hamilton would hit a single to Left Field after Michael Young struck out at the hands of Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes. Hamilton’s single allowed Andrus to move to third. Vladimir Guerrero followed with a ground out, allowing Andrus to score the inning’s only run on either side. Both sides went scoreless in a hard fought battle for the next three innings. But the Rangers’ bats got heated again in the bottom of the fifth. First baseman Mitch Moreland went up to bat first and hit a ground ball single to second. Both Andrus and Michael Young grounded out. But while they did, Moreland was able to make his way to third. Hughes walked Hamilton, but then allowed a line drive double from Guerrero. That double brought in both Hamilton and Moreland.
That apparently didn’t sit too well with Yankees Manager Joe Girardi. Girardi came in and replaced Hughes with David Robertson. That change-up didn’t make much difference for the Yanks as Nelson Cruz would score a home run off of Robertson, bringing in both himself and Guerrero. The Rangers’ bats would keep moving after that with hits from Ian Kinsler and David Murphy. The Rangers played some tough defense throughout both the sixth and seventh after that four-run round in the bottom of the fifth. They would keep the Yankees scoreless in both innings to follow, while bringing in what would be the game and series winning run by Michael Young after Kinsler hit a sacrifice fly off of Kerry Wood. Young made his score after first hitting a ground ball double. Woods walked Hamilton. That play was followed by Guerrero, allowing Young to move to third and Hamilton to second. Wood went on to walk Cruz. A sacrifice fly by Kinsler to Left Field allowed Young to score that last run, sealing the fate of both teams. Both teams would go scoreless in the game’s last two innings and the Rangers would move to the World Series to face the San Francisco Giants. Sadly though, the Rangers would come up short in that last step towards what would have been the team’s first ever title.
The Rangers came close in 2010 to earning the club’s first ever title. It wouldn’t be the first or last time the team came ever so close. The Rangers followed up the team’s 2010 success the very next year with another of its definitive essential games with its Game Six showdown against the Tigers. Things really got moving for the Rangers when the team slammed in a total of nine (yes, nine) runs in the bottom of the third inning. The Tigers would go through four pitchers in the third inning alone in the team’s efforts to stop the Rangers. But it obviously wasn’t to be. While the Rangers and Tigers both went scoreless in the fourth, the Rangers would be relentless throughout the rest of the matchup. The Rangers would bring in six more runs between the fifth and seventh innings on two more Tigers pitchers, bringing the total to fifteen runs. That decimating run would finish off the Tigers and see the Rangers move back to the World Series for the second year in a row. Yet sadly again, the Rangers would come up just short, losing the World Series four games to three against St. Louis. So maybe this will finally be the year for the Rangers. Regardless, Rangers fans now have another wonderful set of memories to re-live anywhere and anytime as they follow their team through the post season and while they wait for the first crack of the bat in 2013.
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