The Rangers were disappointed, but not feeling left for dead after Oakland beat them 12-5 on Wednesday to win the American League West and end the Rangers' two-year run atop the division.
They were buoyed by the fact that they have a playoff game to play Friday, a one-game wild-card tilt to advance to the AL Division Series against the top seed. But they have to turn around quickly and wipe away the disappointment from their late-season fall.
The Rangers became the first team in major-league history to lose a five-game division lead with nine games to play.
"We'll be ready to go," veteran Michael Young said. "We don't have a choice. It's a big game. You're not going to sit there and lick your wounds going into Friday. You move on and get ready to play. This isn't the way we drew it up, but at the same time we can still make our run starting Friday."
Said manager Ron Washington: "It's disappointing because you play all year to win the division. There were some things we didn’t do very well [the final two weeks], and it cost us. We accept that. We don’t make excuses.
"We've put ourselves up against a wall having to play one game, but if you win that one game, once you get in anything can happen."
Said David Murphy: "Over the last few weeks we had our chances to get it done. We didn't get it done, but we still have life. Just keep fighting. This one hurts, but in reality we're going into Game 7. If we can win one more game, none of this mattered."
Said Yu Darvish, who will start the wild-card game: "Anything can happen in a long season. That's why we play 162 games. But we've just got to forget about this and get ready for the next game."
-- Jeff Wilson