The Texas Rangers have trailed for exactly one-half inning in the 2o23 post season. They have played 6 games, they have won 6 games.
Sunday began the American League Championship Series, the first for the Texas club since 2011. In team history, the Texas Rangers are 2-0 in the ALCS.
Sweeping the entire post season would be unlikely, as they are going to have to lose a game eventually. However, this is the best Texas has played all season long.
Going into Sunday’s game against division rival and the defending World Series Champions Astros with Justin Verlander on the mound (6-0 in post season game 1’s) was a tough task.
The Astros have owned the Texas Rangers in 2023.
Letting Go of the Past
“Whatever we did in the past doesn’t matter now,” second baseman Marcus Semien said to reporters. “I mean, this is the biggest stage and we’re not thinking about how we’ve done in the past year; we just focus on what we’re doing. We played just well enough to win today. We want to score some more runs tomorrow and give our pitchers a little chance to relax.”
Both starters worked into the seventh inning, but Jordan Montgomery outdueled Justin Verlander to the tune of a 2-0 lead. Monty has never lost a post-season start.
“I’m always trying to go as deep into the game as I can,” Montgomery said to reporters. “So playoffs or not, it doesn’t really matter. … But if it doesn’t raise your game in the playoffs, I don’t think you’re doing it right. Obviously, I’m super excited to take the ball tonight. And any time I can give my team a chance to win, I’ll do my best.”
Josh Sporz, Aroldis Chapman and Jose LeClerc (and Jose Altuve) finished off the Astros and held Houston scoreless in their own ballpark to take game 1.
The Rangers made some dazzling defensive plays, none better or more important than Evan Carter in the eighth inning. Jose Altuve got crossed up at second base and did not re-touch the bag headed back the first and the Rangers turned the double play, ending any Houston threat.
The Rangers have been the best defensive team in the post season, and we all know defense wins championships. Corey Seager, Marcus Semien and Josh Jung have been rocks in the infield while Carter, Leody Taveras and Adolis Garcia have been amazing in the outfield.
Good Play is Contagious
Evan Carter is playing like a man on a mission, and he looks relaxed doing it. After legging out a double in the second inning, Carter scored on a single from Jonah Heim.
Leody Taveras added to the scoring with his first post-season homerun of the season, and the 9-hole-hitter did it off Justin Verlander.
While a 1-0 lead in the ALCS is great, the Rangers need to keep their foot on the pedal. Game to is Monday afternoon and the Rangers have no time to celebrate win 1 as they prepare for Framber Valdez and the Astros.
Win game 2, and it there may be a new sheriff in the state of Texas. Either way, this has been an amazing post-season run from the Bruce Bochy run club.