Thursday newsletter time: Rangers, Astros set for all-Texas ALCS
(AP photo/Kevin M. Cox)
Fans in right field Tuesday night at Globe Life Field started chanting “We want Houston” in the eighth inning as the Rangers were rolling to a sweep in the American League Division Series.
Who says you always get what you want (besides the Rolling Stones)?
The American League Championship Series will be a Lone Star State affair. The Astros won their ALDS on Wednesday night and will face the Rangers in the best-of-7 ALCS, with the winner going to the World Series.
Game 1 is scheduled for Sunday at Minute Maid Park, with first pitch TBD.
The Rangers wouldn’t bite Tuesday night when asked if they had a preference on who they played. The Astros dominated the season series, which included the benches clearing in July in Houston as Marcus Semien jawed at left-hander Framber Valdez and catcher Martin Maldonado a Rangers rally after he was hit by a pitch earlier in the game.
The Astros went 9-4 against the Rangers, including a brutal three-game sweep in early September at Globe Life Field. Houston out-hit the Rangers all season, batting .282 with 30 home runs as compared the Rangers at .268 with 23 homers.
The Rangers’ rotation struggled to a 6.71 ERA.
The good news is that the Rangers won a series this season at Houston, way back in April. Hey, it still counts. The Rangers are also riding high after a 5-0 start to the postseason, and their offense has scored 32 runs in five games.
More good news: Max Scherzer and Jon Gray might be able to pitch in the ALCS, though how many innings and what roles haven’t been determined. Scherzer (shoulder) threw a simulated game Wednesday afternoon, and Gray (forearm) has stayed active since hitting the injured list late last month.
The Rangers will need all of their best arms against a team that knows them so well. The Rangers know the Astros well, too.
The Creed thing
The best Creed ever is Apollo Creed, may he rest in peace, and that’s a hill Anthony Andro and I will die on.
The Creed that comes first to most minds these days is of the band, which was wildly successful in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They might want to book a concert at Globe Life Field.
Their hits, particularly Take Me Higher, have become hits with the Rangers. Players apparently heard a Creed song in the clubhouse and started belting out the lyrics. Creed has stuck since, and shortstop Corey Seager said it has served as another way for the team to bond.
Fans have caught onto it as well, and so has In the Clutch Apparel. Check out their Creed-themed shirt below and check out all Rangers shirts on sale. Use RANGERSTODAY as a promo code at checkout for a discount.
— In The Clutch (@InTheClutchCom) October 11, 2023
A friendly suggestion
OK, Rangers fans, here’s your moment to deliver for your team: Keep gobbling up tickets to Games 3, 4 and 5 (if necessary) for the ALCS, and don’t give tickets away to any Astros-loving family members or good buddies.
Astros fans have proven to be aggressive in purchasing tickets at Globe Life Field, and they are loud and borderline obnoxious at games. The fewer of them in the ballpark, the better.
Conversely, any Rangers fans thinking about a trip to Houston should go ahead and take the plunge. The Astros have home-field advantage in the series, and the more Rangers fans who can find seats at Minute Maid Park, the better.
Unlike the Astros, who are playing in their seventh straight ALCS, the Rangers haven’t been in one since 2011. While it looks as if the Rangers are built to be contenders for the next several seasons, Rangers fans should know to not take the postseason for granted.
Don’t miss your chance to see playoff baseball in person.
Rangers fans are signing up for Rangers Today the deeper they go in the postseason, and here’s why: Rangers Today is really good. We will be in Houston on Sunday and Monday while still doing our weekly features. There’s a rumor that T.R. Sullivan is gearing up for an ALCS T.R.’s Memoirs. Don’t miss anything, and catch up on our latest content in case you missed it.
Rangers notes: Max Scherzer latest
Game 3 recap: Moving on
Game 2 recap: Bochy hits right button
Game 1 recap: Defense never rests
My wife after setting YouTube limits on our kids’ devices. Enjoy.
— out of context dogs (@contextdogs) October 10, 2023
Jeff Wilson, firstname.lastname@example.org