Rangers Forced to Look to Next Season
- Created on Saturday, 29 October 2011 00:28
- Last Updated on Thursday, 16 May 2013 07:51
- Written by Travis Pulver
This was supposed to be the year for the Texas Rangers. They led the AL West throughout the regular season. They slugged their way past the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS and did the same to the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS.
Ask most analysts prior to the start of Game 1 of the World Series a couple of weeks ago and they would have said the Rangers would win their first title, but in a close, hard-fought series.
Most of the games were just that. Games 1 and 2 were both decided by a single point (with each team getting a win). Game 5 wasn’t won till some late game heroics by Adrian Beltre and Mike Napoli. No game can ever be as close and hard-fought as the epic battle in Game 6 was. Twice the Rangers needed just one more strike to win their first World Series title.
That of course didn’t happen.
Even after the loss in Game 6 the Rangers were confident that they would be able to pull out the win in Game 7. Chris Carpenter is a tough picture, but it’s a risky move for even the best pitcher to go on just three days of rest. When you hadn’t lost two in a row since last August, the belief they could win was there.
When the Rangers needed the heroics most, they fell short as the St. Louis Cardinals took Game 7 of the 2011 World Series 6-2 and earned the right to be called World Series Champions.
As a small consolation, Texas baseball fans can be glad that one of the Lone Star State’s former favorite sons, longtime Houston Astros first baseman and outfielder Lance Berkman earned a much deserved World Series ring. The MVP of the ’11 Series, David Freese, may have grown up in the greater St. Louis area, but he was born in Texas (Corpus Christi).
A look at the statistics tells the tale for the Rangers real well. They had six more at-bats than the Cardinals (236 to 230), four more hits (60 to 50), one more home run (nine to eight), and the only stolen base of the series. Texas even had the higher batting average of the two (.254 to .243).
However, the Cardinals led in the categories that mattered most scoring more runs(38 to 30), more RBIs (36 to 30), had a higher on-base percentage (.366 to .326; largely thanks to the Rangers issuing 15 more walks during the Series). In the end, the Cardinals made more with what they had.
"I just told them they're champions, which I believe," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "Someone has to win, someone has to lose and the Cardinals did it. ... They were the better team. They are the world champions. All we can do is come back next year and commit ourselves to it, like they did this year."
Next year; two words that no player likes to hear or utter, but that is all the Texas Rangers have until just that. Next year.