Count me among the masses who assumed for months the Texas Rangers would be in the postseason, and anything leading up to the Game 1 of the ALDS was not necessary. As Bugs Bunney said, "For shame, Doc'."
Things are interesting into the final three games of the regular season with the Rangers having clinched a third consecutive postseason berth but not quite another AL West title. The Rangers could be awarded the World Series trophy tomorrow afternoon, or watch as the Bud Selig accepts all postseason revenues and just hands the Yankees the title, as he wants to do.
The point is we must trust no one for nothing is certain in this, the 2012 Major League Baseball playoffs. Chaos is order! And why? Because the Baltimore Orioles, and the AL West turned out to be a rather large Mitch.
The Rangers vs. the AL West this season:
v. Angels 9-10
v. A's 8-8
v. Mariners 10-9
As much as I did not like the big-cash addition of Japanese free agent pitcher Yu Darvish because the money was crazy high, if the Rangers are going to win the World Series he has to be the difference.
There are two Texas Rangers' starting pitchers with sub 4 ERAs - Yu and Matt Harrison. Derek Holland has great stuff, but it's still not there. Ryan Dempster should be able to get you six innings in the playoffs, but he has serious blowup potential. Maybe in the playoffs Holland will find his dominant self. It is there.
No one on this staff has celebrity ace stuff like Yu. If he is on the Rangers can win every time he pitches. What he did against the Angels (6 2/3, 9 hits, 3 runs, 7 Ks) on Saturday proved he is through the second-go-around blues that so many MLB rookies face.
Yu has to be good for seven or eight innings of dominant ball for the Rangers to get through this all the way to the end. He can't expect to throw 117 pitches in 6 2/3 innings, such as he did against LAA, and make it eight innings.
As the Rangers saw first-hand against the Giants (Matt Cain) and the Cardinals (Chris Carpenter) in the World Series in each of the last two years at some point they need a consistent shutdown from their starter.
If the Rangers can finally win the World Series, it's going to be Yu that does it.
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