History does repeat itself. The difference between last year and this year for Texas is the 2016 Rangers finished with the best record in the American League and had home field advantage throughout the whole postseason if they had made it that far.
The storylines were all in play for this series; from Rougned Odor punching Jose Bautista earlier in the season to Bautista’s bat flip in the 2015 ALDS to everything in between.
The Rangers came into the 2016 playoffs with high hopes and their fans had even higher hopes. Although there were many things going wrong for Texas in the series, pitching was the lone thing that ultimately cost the Rangers.
Texas had the layout it wanted, the team leader in ERA, Strikeouts and wins was starting game one in Cole Hamels and the great pitcher Yu Darvish starting game two. However, Hamels left game one with a 16.80 ERA in the game after giving up seven runs, six being earned, on three and a third innings piched.
Yes, the hitting didn’t help but when it is already 7-0 when the lineup has only gone through about one time, it is hard to blame the bats.
The second game was better, but not what the Rangers wanted either with Darvish giving up five runs in five innings. The offense had a better chance in game 2 but it is deflating to see the other team hit four homeruns against you. The subconscious mindset of a hitter after that is trying to hit a homerun to match the other team. They couldn’t do it and dropped the second game 5-3.
They third game was actually a good game but the pitching was still an issue. Colby Lewis started the game didn’t reach the third inning after giving up two homeruns and five total runs in two innings pitched. The bullpen held up as the bats came alive for two homeruns and some much needed RBI’s. In the 10th inning, The Blue Jays strung a double and error together to win the game and sweep the best team in the regular season of the AL.
The Blue Jays move on in the postseason as the Rangers go back home thinking, what if.