Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Angels 3
ANAHIEM, Calif. -- The Texas Rangers beat the Los Angeles Angels, 4-3, ending Los Angeles' hopes at a longshot wild-card berth and allowing Texas to keep in front of the Detroit Tigers in the race for home-field advantage in the ALDS. The Rangers are one game up with two to play but must finish ahead of Detroit as the Tigers have the tiebreaker. Some quick thoughts on tonight's game (more to come from the clubhouse soon):
* Michael Young was 1-for-3 and his now hitting .338 on the season. He delivered as he seems to do with runners in scoring position (hitting .376 with RISP), getting an RBI single in the eighth to give the Rangers an insurance run. He's now five points behind Miguel Cabrera, who was 3-for-5 to push his average to .343. Adrian Gonzalez stayed at .338.
* C.J. Wilson pitched just two innings Monday and threw 38 pitches. He didn't give up any runs and left four runners stranded in scoring position. Wilson finishes the season with a 2.94 ERA. He had two walks and no strikeouts Monday, but ends up with 206 Ks in 223 1/3 innings, a career-high and by far the most on the team this season. He didn't have best stuff Monday, but was a horse all season.
* Wilson's ERA (2.94) is the 7th-lowest in team history and the best since Nolan Ryan's 2.91 ERA in 1991.
* Mistakes by Angels catcher Jeff Mathis led to a Ranger run in the first. Ian Kinsler singled and then a passed ball got him to second. When Elvis Andrus bunted, Mathis threw wildly to first, allowing Kinsler to score and Andrus to get to second. Starter Dan Haren did a nice job of getting out of the inning after that.
* Andrus, after getting two straight days off, looked refreshed and ready Monday. He was 4-for-5 with a double and three singles. The four hits tie a career-high for Andrus (he's done it seven times).
* Adrian Beltre continued his power surge. His 2-run homer in the fourth made it 3-0 Rangers. It was his 11th homer in his last 14 games and his 6th in the last 8 games. He has 31 homers on the year, tying Kinsler for the team lead.
* Darren Oliver struggled. The lefty couldn't get an out when he came in with one on and two outs in the sixth. He gave up an infield single to Alberto Callaspo, a single to left by Mike Trout and then walked Erick Aybar and Bobby Abreu. The Angels scored on the Abreu walk. LAA made the decision to pinch-hit with a left-handed hitter despite a lefty in Oliver on the mound and it worked as Abreu drew the walk.
* Koji Uehara continued his solid September. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the sixth by getting Maicer Izturis to pop up to first. And he came back out for the seventh and got a 1-2-3 inning with two strikeouts. He has allowed just one run in his last 9 outings (1 ER in 6.1 IP) with 11 Ks. He's got lots of confidence.
* Mark Hamburger pitched well Monday in relief. He came in for the third inning and allowed one run on two hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 3 2/3 innings.
* Mike Adams needed just 12 pitches to get a strikeout and all three outs in the eighth.
* Washington wanted to get Neftali Feliz some work and got a chance in a tight game. He came in and gave up a single to Aybar, who went to second on a passed ball. After getting the next two batters, Peter Bourjos singled to score Aybar and make it 4-3. But Feliz struck out Howie Kendrick to end the inning.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.