clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Elephant Rumblings: Rangers force ALCS Game 7

MLB news roundup

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Six Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

Few, if any, teams are more closely situated—and matched—than the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros. Both teams finished the regular season atop the AL West at 90-72, but the Astros took the division title by merit of winning the season series between them. Either team could easily have missed the postseason altogether if the Seattle Mariners had fared better as the season wound down.

Instead, they will both compete for the American League pennant this evening. Slated to pitch are Max Scherzer for Texas, and Christian Javier for Houston.

Last night’s 9-2 Ranger victory reminded us once again how quickly one game can dramatically change the complexion of an MLB Postseason series. After squandering the 2-0 series lead that Texas opened up with two wins in Houston by losing all three subsequent games in Arlington, the Rangers looked like Texas Toast. They needed to take two elimination games at Minute Maid park against the defending World Series Champs to recapture victory from the jaws of defeat.

That daunting task is now halfway complete. The Rangers took advantage of an apparently favorable pitching matchup: their starter, Nathan Eovaldi, hasn’t lost this October, while Houston’s Framber Valdez has yet to notch a win this postseason. The Rangers’ offense provided plenty of insurance late in the game to seal the deal, highlighted by an Adolis Garcia grand slam in the ninth.

Tonight, we’ll know who at least one of this year’s World Series participants will be.

In the National League, the Philadelphia Phillies will make a bid today for a second straight NL pennant on their home field. After the Phils won their first two home games last week to jump ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks, the D-backs stymied the reigning NL champs’ momentum by taking the next two games in Arizona to even the series.

But the Phillies jumped right back into the catbird seat with a win in Phoenix on Saturday. That puts the D-backs in the unenviable position of needing to take two straight in Philly in order to win their second National League Championship.

The stage is set for an especially suspenseful day of baseball.

A’s Coverage:

MLB News & Interest:

Best of X:

A’s hitting anemic in AFL.

Their pitching? Lots of Ks, too many walks.

A tip for Houston.

Or, if Creed is already booked,

A legend of the game celebrates a milestone.