Dramatic win puts Rangers in great spot
And it turned what could have been a three-game lead in the AL West into five games. The magic number for the Rangers is five. They can clinch at least a share of the AL West by winning two of the next three games. They can win the division outright by sweeping the series.
But what they've done is put themselves in a great position. They have a five-game lead with nine games to play. That's going to be tough for the A's to overcome, especially after they were in position to win the first game of the series and didn't.
A few other things to keep in mind this week:
* The race for the No. 1 seed is a big one, too. Both the Rangers and Yankees won Tuesday, meaning Texas stays two games up on New York for that top overall seed. That's more important this year because that team plays the winner of the wild card game and gets an extra day to line everything up.
* The Angels have become big Texas fans. They need the Rangers to beat up on Oakland if they have any hopes of stealing a playoff spot from the A's. The Angels are now two games back in the wild-card race and Tampa Bay is three behind. Los Angeles has Seattle starting Tuesday before they come to Texas. So watch that one. It could get interesting.
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.