Rangers fans have waited a long time for this day.
Four years, in fact. Four long, dark, cold, frustrating, often ugly years.
The last time the Texas Rangers won the West Division and moved onto the playoffs was 2011. Of course, they would eventually go on to the World Series for the second straight years.
Their opponent the first round was the Tampa Bay Rays.
In Game 1, Texas ran into a buzzsaw named Matt Moore, who shut them out 9-0 at the Ballpark, doling out just two hits. C.J. Wilson took the loss.
Derek Holland started Game 2. The Rays jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the fourth, but the Rangers exploded for five runs in the bottom of the fourth, with Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli leading the way. The Rangers went on to win 8-6, evening the series at 1-1.
Colby Lewis beat David Price in Game 3 in Tampa Bay. The Rangers scored four in the top of the seventh on the strength of Napoli’s two-run homer. The Rangers won 4-3.
Matt Harrison outdueled Jeremy Hellickson in Game 4, which the Rangers also won 4-3, thanks to three home runs by Adrian Beltre.
And with that, Texas won the series three games to one, and went on to play a thrilling Championship Series against the Detroit Tigers.
So many of the heroes of that 2011 Division Series are still in the hero-ing business for these 2015 Texas Rangers. Adrian Beltre, Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus, Colby Lewis, Derek Holland, and Mitch Moreland,
So, let the playoffs begin. Let’s hope the Rangers enjoy the same success against David Price this year that they did in 2011.
Better yet, let’s hope Adrian Beltre decides to hit three home runs in one game. If he chooses to do it in more than one game, that would be acceptable too.
HERE IS THE RANGERS ROSTER: