#1 The three-game sweep at home against the Astros
The trade deadline featured dueling trades of former Mets aces with the Rangers trading for Max Scherzer and the Astros trading for Justin Verlander. Immediately on trade deadline day of August 1st people started talking about the September series in Arlington between Houston and Texas. The hype continued to build throughout the month of August.
Finally, on Labor Day the duel between the two AL West powers commenced. Texas took an early lead midway through the first game, but the bullpen blew the lead and the Astros took command. Once they got a lead in game one of the series they did not look back. They won the first game 13-6, the second game 14-1, and the final game 12-3. Houston clearly wanted to make a statement. They left Texas reeling after the series. Houston took the tiebreaker in the overall season series and had a three-game lead in the division.
Texas was reeling at the time and Houston took advantage. They put themselves in position to win the division by putting Texas in the rear view mirror. Unlike in past seasons Houston could not put Texas or Seattle away. Their lack of success against Oakland and Kansas City will likely be what costs them the division title if Texas can win on Sunday.
The Texas Rangers did not fold on the season after what was the worst series of the season. They bounced back and took two of three from the Oakland A's and then took advantage of Houston's failures against Kansas City and Oakland by sweeping Seattle and putting a firm grip on the AL West. So many teams would have been sent on a tailspin after that series. I think that is all Bruce Bochy. This team has taken on the attitude of Bochy. That is one of being calm and consistent.
This team has survived each of these adverse situations because of Bruce Bochy. This team trusts his leadership and gives it their all every game for Bochy. This team has a chance to play deep into October because of Bruce Bochy. His experience in October with three previous World Series titles will help this team go through the high and lows that every October presents. Just a reminder it was not a lie on Saturday night the Texas Rangers will be playing in the playoffs for the first time since 2016.