The Los Angeles Angels still have a pulse and it's thanks to the Texas Rangers, who managed to do something amazing today: leading 10-6 in the top of the ninth, the Rangers gave up five runs and found themselves trailing 11-10. In the home half, down to their final strike of the game, Elvis Andrus kept hope alive with a flare single to center. He was thrown out at second on the very next pitch, a strike to Rougned Odor.
Andrus easily beat the throw, but he was not able to hang on to the bag, and slid over it as Erick Aybar applied the tag. There is something so sad, and so hilarious about Andrus trying to put the toothpaste back in the tube and push himself back to second. It was the only way this game could have ended.
The ninth inning started off horribly for the Rangers, but a four run lead is still a pretty good cushion. So it shouldn't have mattered that Shawn Tolleson gave up back-to-back home runs to Aybar and Kole Calhoun, but then Ross Ohlendorf came in and the wheels fell off the wagon, the wagon caught fire, and the stadium burned to the ground. Ohlendorf retired Mike Trout, but gave up a bloop double to Albert Pujols and C.J. Cron drove him in to make it 10-9. Still not bad, but then Texas nemesis David Freese came to the plate, setting off a string of back-breaking singles. Freese, Carlos Perez, and Johnny Giovatella all singled and all of sudden Los Angeles had a one-run lead.
Then the Rangers replaced Ohlendorf.
Andrew Faulkner walked Aybar, but then got Calhoun to ground out to first to end the inning, but the damage was done. The Angels batted around and scored five runs in the inning, three of which came with two outs. Texas has secured a playoff spot, but the division is still up for grabs and they could have clinched it today with a win. Obviously winning the division and advancing to the ALDS is preferable to a one-game playoff, but now they
have to win tomorrow if they need a Houston loss or a win tomorrow if they want to avoid the Wild Card crapshoot.