Rangers have final shot for AL West
Now, all of a sudden, they have just one game to make sure it doesn't slip away completely. Just one game to be sure the Oakland Athletics don't swoop in and snatch the division title from a club that has owned it for nearly three seasons.
The Rangers haven't played up to their capabilities down the stretch. They aren't hitting the ball with any consistency and are struggling to come up with key hits with runners in scoring position. They've run into a few outs on the bases and have made some costly defensive mistakes. The starting pitching has been up and down and they have dealt with injuries of late, too.
Put it all together and the Rangers have lost eight of their last 12 (and four of five) and must win Wednesday afternoon against the surging and improbable A's to avoid a win-or-go-home, one-game AL wild-card game Friday.
It's amazing to think that a club that has led the division by itself since April 9 is now tied with the A's with just one game left in the 2012 regular season. This same A's team was once 13 games back of Texas in the AL West, but slowly and surely chipped away at that lead. They've now pulled even.
Read the full story here.
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.