The Rangers lost to Oakland 3-1 on Tuesday night and are now tied for the American League West lead. They have to win Wednesday afternoon to win the division. A loss would leave them as one of the two wild-card teams and force them into a one-game playoff Friday, site to be determined, to extend their season to the AL Division Series.
The Rangers know their season won't end with a loss Wednesday, but they also don't want to mess with the wild-card game. They're planning to lean on their big-game experiences from the past two postseasons to get them past the A's and to a third straight division title.
"We've played in these pressure situations the last couple years," said Matt Harrison, the losing pitcher Tuesday. "We have that on our side. We know what it takes to that win one game, so I think we'll be alright."
Said veteran Michael Young: "We played in games before where it's all about the win or you go home. That's not the case tomorrow, but we've played in those games before and they're a lot of fun. We're looking forward to it. We all know what's at stake."