Texas Rangers Flashback: Game 163


Today is the first day of the 2014 playoffs, but one year ago today the Texas Rangers were playing game 163.  It took an amazing finish to the month of September to help the Rangers even earn a chance to make the playoffs last year.

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They started off the month of September with a record of 5-15 and it looked like they would surely miss the playoffs.  The bad things is they played well enough through most of the season to easily win the division and cruise their way into the playoffs.  Instead the month of September became known as the Texas Rangers epic collapse, which was a repeat what they did in 2012.  But, by some magic the Texas Rangers managed to win 7 games in a row to finish the month and to force a game 163.

That set the stage for a 1 game play-in game against the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rangers sent lefty Martin Perez to the mound to face off against David Price.  It seemed like things would tip in the favor of the Rangers since had done well against Price this season in Arlington, but for game 163 things went differently.

Things also went differently for the young Perez.   Many thought he lacked the mental toughness for a playoff atmosphere game.   Maybe that did play a factor, but he was going against a very tough Rays offense.  It seems like Evan Longoria is always a pain for teams when things are on the line.

Longoria had a great night with 3 hits and 2 RBI and David Price was able to shut down the Rangers offense.  By the end of the night Price went the distance only allowing 2 runs, 7 hits while striking out 7 and only walking 2.  Martin Perez wasn’t bad, but the 3 runs he did give up was enough for the Rays to win the game.  The final score was 5-2 which allowed the Rays to advance to the Wild Card Playoffs and sent the Rangers packing.

It seems so long ago now since the Rangers were on the verge of their 4th playoffs appearance.  And after this horrible season it makes it seem even longer.  But, in just a few short months the stats will be reset and the drive for October will start again.  The Rangers are still a good team and if they can manage to keep healthy they’ll give the Angels and Athletics and run for the American West Championship.