Chaotic Game Ends Rangers Season


Oct 14, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Texas Rangers left fielder

Josh Hamilton

reacts from the dugout against the Toronto Blue Jays in game five of the ALDS at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports

6. 39. 3. 126. Final

The Texas Rangers (2-3) 2015 campaign comes to a stunning close, as the Toronto Blue Jays (3-2) win one of the craziest baseball games you will ever see. This game had just about everything you could imagine, with the game being played under protest by the Blue Jays, trash being thrown on the field, benches clearing, and that’s just the start. Aaron Sanchez (1-0 3.46 ERA) got the win for the Blue Jays, and Cole Hamels (0-1 2.70 ERA) was the hard luck and undeserving loser for the Rangers.

This game was the craziest game of the season, one that will be an instant classic for a long time. Rangers fans will want to forget this one, while some Blue Jays fans surely won’t forget it for the rest of their lives. The seventh inning was the difference maker tonight, an inning that will haunt Elvis Andrus, the Rangers and their fans for what is set to be a very long off-season.

It all started with Rougned Odor on third with two outs, something that seemed so harmless. Shin Soo Choo was at the plate, with the Rangers looking to take a 3-2. Choo worked the count to 2-2, when Blue Jays Catcher Russell Martin threw the ball back to the pitcher, but accidentally hit Choo. Odor alertly raced home, scoring what looked to be the run that would send the Rangers to the ALCS. But, the umpire then called it a dead ball, before convening with the six man crew. They came together and ruled that Choo was in the batter’s box, so Odor scored and made it 3-2.

The Blue Jays and their fans were obviously upset, and rightfully so as it was a controversial call. Blue Jays fans threw beer bottles and other objects on the field, hitting innocent fans in the decks below. The Blue Jays signaled that they wanted to play the game under protest, and the rest of the game was accordingly done so. Since then, the MLB has sent out the tweet below stating that the call on the field was the correct call.

The game then progressed to the bottom of the seventh inning, with most still trying to comprehend and come to terms with what happened in the top of the seventh inning. That is now a long forgone afterthought, as the Rangers gave away the game.

The inning started with Martin hitting a routine ground ball up the middle, but Elvis Andrus took his eyes off the ball, allowing Martin to reach on an error. Kevin Pillar then followed with a double play ball to first, but Mitch Moreland spiked it straight into the ground, eating up Andrus and both runners were safe. The worst of the three errors came just one play later, when Adrian Beltre made a stellar play to flip a Ryan Goins bunt to Andrus. But again, Andrus took his eye off the ball and dropped the ball, allowing all Blue Jays base-runners to reach safely.

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After affording the Blue Jays six outs, the Blue Jays did what all good teams do, and that is make the Texas Rangers pay. Josh Donaldson grounded (more like blooped) a fielder’s choice to second base, one that Odor misplaced, allowing Pillar to score the game tying run.

Sam Dyson was summoned out of the bullpen after a magnificent outing from Hamels, and Dyson surrendered the knockout blow. Jose Bautista launched a home run into the left field seats, scoring three and making it 6-3. It was a devastating blow for the Rangers and their fans, rivaling only the heartbreak that they experienced during game six in 2011.

It’s easy to blame this game on Elvis Andrus, and rightfully so. He had two crucial errors that cost the Texas Rangers, but not all blame should be shouldered on Andrus. If Mitch Moreland makes a strong throw, that could’ve been a double play ball that bailed out Andrus. Instead, they compounded the mistakes and it cost this group.

Cole Hamels was brilliant tonight for the Rangers, allowing just four hits and two earned runs. Hamels certainly deserved to get the W, as he brilliantly maneuvered around the toughest lineup in baseball. I was skeptical of starting Hamels, but Banister proved that it was the right move, as Hamels was nothing short of fantastic.

I know we don’t want to hear it right now, but I would be remiss to not talk about the successful campaign this club had. With a rookie manager and a first half that was ravaged by injuries, they did everything the Rangers faithful could’ve hoped for. It’s a bitter pill to swallow as the Rangers left the fans desiring more, but this group should be special next year. Yu Darvish will be back, as will a lot of the key components to this club. Young guys like Delino DeShields and Rougned Odor stepped up, and solidified themselves as up and coming stars. This team was a lot of fun to watch, and Rangers fans will look back on this group with a smile for a long, long time.

It’s been a fun 2015 campaign, a campaign that ended in incredibly tough fashion. This group will have some decisions to make this off-season, but you better believe that this is just the start to a promising next couple of years. As the page closes on the last chapter of what has truly been a magical run in 2015, this Texas Rangers fan base has nothing but positives to look forward to come next April.

Next: On the Radio: Texas Rangers Game 5 Preview

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