Oct 1, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; The Texas Rangers and their fans celebrate the Rangers clinching a playoff berth after defeating the Los Angeles Angels at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers defeat the Angels 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
The Texas Rangers (87-72) beat the Los Angeles Angels (83-76) to take game one and more importantly give the Rangers a playoff berth! With the win the Texas Rangers are guaranteed a wildcard spot, and need one more win or an Astros loss to lock up the AL West. Derek Holland (4-3 4.91 ERA) pitched well and got the win for the Rangers, while Andrew Heaney (6-4 3.49 ERA) took the loss for the Angels.
Derek Holland has struggled as of late, but he had a golden opportunity to make all the Rangers fans forget about that with an impressive outing tonight. Holland came out and pitched a great ballgame, leaving to a standing ovation from the Rangers faithful. Holland gave up just three hits and three earned runs in 6 1/3 innings, and struck out six while walking three. Even though he struggled with his command a bit, he pitched exceptionally well and won the biggest game of the year for the Rangers.
Every night we come in and talk about this Rangers bullpen, and they stepped up again tonight. The bullpen pitched the last 2 2/3 innings, giving up no runs and just one hit. Ross Ohlendorf came out of the bullpen first, and pitched 1/3 of an inning, allowing a hit and a free pass. Jake Diekman followed and did his job, getting the only batter he was faced with. Jeff Banister followed that with his eighth and ninth inning punch, as Sam Dyson and Shawn Tolleson worked a perfect eighth and ninth to give the Rangers a playoff spot.
The Rangers offense has been absolutely incredible this year, and tonight was no different. The big boys needed to step up in absolutely crucial games, and the big boys did just that.
The Rangers weren’t able to jump on the Angels right from the start like they did with the Tigers; but when they struck, they struck hard. The Rangers got things going in the fifth inning, when Elvis Andrus and Robinson Chirinos got on base. Delino DeShields then hit a hustle double to centerfield, scoring Andrus and sending Chirinos to third. Adrian Beltre then stepped up in the biggest moment of the game, as he clubbed a double to left and clearing the bases to make it 4-1.
After the Angels struck for two in the sixth to make it 4-3, Josh Hamilton came back with a huge sacrifice fly to make it 5-3, which stood for the rest of the game.
To say that this was improbable would be an absolute understatement, but you have to credit Jon Daniels and this front office. They pieced together a roster that had a ton of holes in it, and they made the moves necessary to get this club across the finish line. Hamilton is the best example, as no other MLB team even wanted to touch him. The Rangers realized that he still has something left in the tank, and he rewarded them tonight. Hamilton made a sensational catch against the wall to keep the Angels from a big inning. He also came through at the dish, with a double and a huge sacrifice fly to add some insurance.
It has truly been a magical year in Arlington, and the Rangers will look to cap off this regular season fairy tale tomorrow. The Texas Rangers (87-72) will battle the Los Angeles Angels (83-76) tomorrow in hopes of clinching the AL West. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The Rangers will turn to Southpaw Martin Perez (3-6 4.77 ERA) while the Angels will turn to RHP Jered Weaver (7-12 4.76 ERA).