The first of baseball’s final four is officially set. The Texas Rangers polished off an impressive sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night, with seven strong innings from Nathan Eovaldi and yet another offensive outburst from Corey Seager and Co. Next up for Texas: a trip to the ALCS, although their exact opponent is yet to be determined with the Astros and Twins still battling it out in the other ALDS.
While the Rangers wait to see who their opponent will be, let’s take a look at how long it’s been since Texas reached this stage as well as their history in the Championship Series.
Rangers history in the ALCS
When was the last appearance? Win?
It’s been more than a decade since the Rangers have appeared in the ALCS, 2011 to be exact. Texas entered the season as the reigning American League champs, then won 96 games behind Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Nelson Cruz and baseball’s most fearsome offense. The Rangers won the AL West by a whopping 10 games, then blew through the Rays in the ALDS to set up a matchup against the Detroit Tigers with a trip to the World Series on the line.
The series was a barnburner pretty much from jump, with Texas outlasting Justin Verlander in Game 1. Game 2, however, was even better, and delivered one of the franchise’s most iconic postseason moments to date: Cruz’s walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning, the first game-ending salami in postseason history.
Detroit battled back to force a Game 6 back in Texas, but the Rangers’ offense was just too much, dropping 15 runs in a blowout win to make it back-to-back trips to the World Series.
How many appearances does the Rangers have?
We mentioned Texas had back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2010 and 2011, and those are the only two appearances the franchise has made in the ALCS — winning each time. Established as the Washington Senators in 1961 and moving to Texas in 1972, the Rangers were largely lifeless for their first couple of decades of existence. It wasn’t until the 1990s that they finally made the postseason: Juan Gonzalez and Pudge Rodriguez carried the team to three Division Series berths in four years from 1996 to 1999, but Texas went just 1-9 in those matchups, failing to advance each time.