Two years ago, Texas Rangers fans were wondering when they would become even a postseason team after losing 102 games. Even last year, they went 68-94, extending their postseason drought to six straight seasons - now, they are World Series champions.
The Rangers took Game 5 of the Fall Classic over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, 5-0 to win their first title in franchise history.
The Rangers slugged their way to victories all season long, but on Wednesday, it was anything but their typical slugfest for most of the night. Zac Gallen did not allow a hit through six innings, but Nathan Eovaldi kept the Diamondbacks scoreless the entire time while getting out of a couple huge jams.
The Rangers put two people in scoring position to lead off the seventh, and Mitch Garver finally opened the scoring with a single. Gallen left the game to a standing ovation, but in line for the tough luck loss (which he would eventually take).
With their season now on the brink, the Diamondbacks brought in their best options from the bullpen, calling on setup man Kevin Ginkel to stop the bleeding in the seventh. Texas loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Ginkel got out of that jam, as well.
Eovaldi’s night was complete after six grueling, scoreless innings, and Bruce Bochy brought in Aroldis Chapman. Seemingly always shaky in a big spot, he put the tying run on first. But after getting Gabriel Moreno to strike out, Bochy summoned Josh Sborz from the 'pen to get Christian Walker to fly out. Sborz also faced the lead run in the eighth, but avoided damage.
Closer Paul Sewald came in the game in the ninth, but allowed three-straight hits. The third was a single up the middle that went underneath center fielder Alek Thomas' glove and rolled all the way to the wall, scoring two. Marcus Semien added a two-run homer, all but icing the World Series, and his reaction was that as such. Sborz then retired the side in order in the ninth.