2012 Rangers timeline: Final two months
Aug. 1: The Rangers get a season-defining win over the Angels, coming back from an early six-run deficit to pull out an 11-10 victory in 10 innings. Elvis Andrus’ one-out, two run double is the difference and touches off a huge celebration on the field. Instead of being just two games ahead, the win puts Texas four games up on the Angels. … After the game, Texas announces it has purchased the contract of prospect Mike Olt.
Aug. 3: Josh Hamilton reveals that what has been bothering him was “discipline” in regards to quitting chewing tobacco. Part of his statement: “The issue is 'discipline'. Professionally, it's been plate discipline. Personally, it's been being obedient to the Lord in quitting chewing tobacco. I was hesitant to address the tobacco once again because it's an area that I've struggled with trying to quit in the past.”
Aug. 8: After winning a series in Kansas City, the Rangers drop the first game of a three-games series in Boston but come back to win the next two to win the series. … The club also puts catcher Yorvit Torrealba on waivers.
Aug. 11: The Rangers win a game started by Justin Verlander, with Olt providing the heroics in walk-off fashion in a 2-1 win over the Detroit Tigers. Olt’s two-strike single scored Nelson Cruz in the ninth. … Eric Nadel is inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame.
Aug. 12: Not long after a talk with manager Ron Washington while the club was in Boston, Yu Darvish has a solid performance to help the Rangers win the series against Detroit.
Aug. 15: Josh Hamilton hits two solo home runs in New York, but the Rangers fall 3-2 to the Yankees.
Aug. 16: A 10-6 victory ends a three-game losing streak and allows the Rangers to avoid a sweep in New York. Texas then went on to win the next six straight series.
Aug. 18: The Rangers win 2-1 in Toronto, but the game is remembered more for how upset Roy Oswalt looked in the dugout after he was taken out of the game one out away from qualifying for a win. With a runner at second in a one-run game, manager Ron Washington made the change to get what he felt was the better matchup. Texas got out of the inning and eventually got the win.
Aug. 22: Adrian Beltre hit three home runs against the Orioles in Texas’ 12-3 win. … Darvish is scratched from his next scheduled start with a tight quadriceps muscle. The injury only costs him one start.
Aug. 24: Matt Harrison takes a no-hitter into the seventh and ends up with eight shutout innings in an 8-0 Rangers win over Minnesota. … Beltre hit for the cycle just a few days after his three-homer game. He was named AL player of the week for his efforts.
Aug. 27: The Rangers jump on Rays ace David Price and win 6-5 to start a three-game set with Tampa Bay.
Aug. 28: Darvish struck out 10 Rays in seven innings as the Rangers won, 1-0. It was Darvish’s first start in 10 days after skipping a start because of a tight quad.
Sept. 2: Jurickson Profar, 19, homers in his first big league at-bat, becoming the second-youngest player to homer in his first at-bat in MLB history. He also doubled in his second at-bat. It was a memorable debut in the Rangers’ 8-3 win over the Indians.
Sept. 3: Darvish was perfect through 5 2/3 innings and ended up allowing three runs in seven innings in a win over the Royals.
Sept. 9: The Rangers fall 6-0 to the Rays and lose two out of three in Tampa. It’s the first series loss since Aug. 13-16 when Texas lost three of four in Yankee Stadium.
Sept. 13: Rangers reach 3 million in attendance for the first time in club history, hitting that mark in the 71st home date of the season. … Nathan blows his first save in five months as the Rangers fall 5-4 to the Indians.
Sept. 14: Darvish turns in a masterful performance at home against the Mariners, giving up one run on two hits with nine strikeouts in a 9-3 win.
Sept. 17: Colby Lewis signs a one-year deal that will allow him to rehab with the Rangers and attempt to come back from his season-ending surgery around the middle of 2013. Lewis has been an anchor for the rotation and could provide a boost next year.
Sept. 18: Hamilton exits the Rangers’ game in Anaheim with what is first termed sinus issues. He’s later diagnosed with ocular kerotitis and misses the remaining five games of the road trip. The Angels win the game, 11-3.
Sept. 20: Beltre, who talked himself into the lineup despite abdominal pain, hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Rangers a series win in Anaheim. The victory keeps the Rangers four games up.
Sept. 22: Despite a great outing by Harrison, the Rangers lost 1-0, as the offense couldn’t do much. It was the club’s second consecutive loss to the Mariners in the series.
Sept. 24: The Rangers beat the A’s, 5-4, as Beltre hits the game-tying home run and gets the walk-off single to put Texas up five games in the AL West with nine to play.
Sept. 27: Texas salvages a split in its four-game series with the A’s by winning 9-7, which means they lead by four games with six to play in the AL West. The magic number dropped to three, as well.
Sept. 28: The Angels beat the Rangers and the A’s win the first of three games in Seattle, meaning the lead drops to three games in the AL West. Jered Weaver got the best of Dempster in Arlington.
Sept. 29: Rain postpones Saturday’s game with the Angels while the A’s make a big comeback against Seattle to close the AL West gap to 2 ½ games.
Sept. 30: The Rangers split a doubleheader with the Angels, losing the first game by a run after Nathan blows his third save of the season, but winning the nightcap. Oakland sweeps the Mariners, but the Rangers’ win means the lead is two games and Texas needs just one win in Oakland to win the AL West for a third consecutive season. … Texas has a brief toast to celebrate clinching a playoff spot.
Oct. 1: Starter Martin Perez gave up four runs, and that was enough for the A’s, who mobbed the field after a 4-3 win that clinched at least a wild card spot. … Oakland had a wild celebration in the clubhouse after staying on the field for a while to take in the moment with fans.
Oct. 2: Oakland won its fifth straight while the Rangers lost their sixth in the last eight. The loss allowed the A’s to pull even. It’s was the first Texas didn’t have sole possession of the division lead since April 9.
Oct. 3: With the division on the line in Game No. 162, Dempster struggled and the Rangers blew a 5-1 lead. The lasting image of the game was Josh Hamilton’s error in shallow center field. Hamilton missed a routine fly ball that would have ended the fourth inning with a 5-5 score. Instead, the ball went off his glove and the A’s took a 7-5 advantage on their way to the AL West title. It was their second wild celebration in three days and sent the Rangers to the AL wild-card game.
Oct. 5: The Rangers’ offense, absent for much of the club’s collapse the last few weeks, couldn’t get anything done against the Baltimore Orioles in a 5-1 loss in the AL wild-card game. Despite a great performance by Darvish, the Rangers were not able to extend their season. So after having a five-game lead with nine to play, Texas did not even make the ALDS.
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.