The Rangers' late season collapse in 2012 was one for the ages
Coming off back-to-back World Series appearances, expectations were understandably high for the Rangers in 2012. They put a lot of money into their roster and had many of the same players that had helped propel them to two straight AL pennants, so thinking that they could make another run at the title.
For most of the season, it looked like that is exactly what was going to happen. They were dominating the AL West for most of the season and led by 13 games at the end of June. As the weeks and months went by, their lead would shrink, though, especially as Oakland got hot. Things were still looking good at the end of the season as they had a five game lead in the division with just nine games to go.
After a couple of mediocre series, the Rangers' lead over the Athletics was just three games and the final series of the season was against, yep, Oakland. Oakland had to sweep the Rangers to win the division which was a tall order. However, that is exactly what they did including the Rangers blowing a four run lead in the third game and losing the division in spectacular fashion. Oakland would go on to lose a close ALDS series against the Tigers, but the Rangers didn't even make it that far as they lost the one game wild card playoff against the Orioles 1-0.
This collapse was pretty close to what we have seen from the Rangers this year as it was a slow, painful one that was built over weeks and months. However, it did have a brutal and sudden end which sort of gives this one the worst of both ends of the spectrum of sadness. If the Rangers find themselves with a real chance at the end of the 2023 season and then blow that, too, then the 2012 season is the one to compare it to.