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Post-Season Gameday Thread, #1: Rays vs. Rangers

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The D-backs season may be over, but there's still baseball going on - we'll be having a gameday thread for each day when there's a playoff game (regardless of how many games take place). We start with the play-in game for the American League wild card.

Ronald Martinez

tam_medium

David Price
LHP, 9-8, 3.39
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Martin Perez
LHP, 10-5, 3.55

I'm not certain whether this "counts" as a play-off game or not, in terms of the teams in question reaching the post-season. I'm leaning to this being considered a regular season game, and so, if the Rangers lose, it will complete one of the biggest collapses in recent history. At the end of August, the Rangers were not just leading the AL West, they were seven games in front of the third-placed wild-card team, and coolstandings.con gave them a 97.1% chance of making the playoffs. But since then, they've gone 12-15 - and getting even to that required them to win their last seven games in a row!

The Rays, meanwhile, had a seven-game winning streak of their own, to put their fate in their own hands. However, Tampa then sputtered into Toronto and dropped two out of three in the final weekend, to drop back into a tie for the second wild-card spot. Whoever loses will become the first team to reach 91 wins and miss out on the post-season in the American League, since the 2005 Indians went 93-69 - and that, obviously, was in the days before there were two wild-card teams. You'd have to go back to 2002, to find an AL team with that many wins which wouldn't have qualified under the current format (the Red Sox and Mariners each winning 93).

Nothing quite like winner-take-all baseball, with the season on the line: winner moves on to play the Indians on Wednesday in Cleveland, and do it all again! The game is on TBS, so who've you got, D-backs fans?