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On the Ropes: Texas Rangers Get Rough(n)ed Up At Home

Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers have gotten roughed up thus far in the ALDS. Photo Credit: Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News

Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers have gotten roughed up thus far in the ALDS. Photo Credit: Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News

Rougned Odor and the Texas Rangers have gotten roughed up by the Toronto Blue Jays thus far in the 2016 ALDS. Photo Credit: Louis DeLuca, Dallas Morning News

The Texas Rangers have been waiting for nearly a year to get another shot at the Toronto Blue Jays in the playoffs. They waited the entire off-season with a bad taste in their mouths after Toronto eliminated them in five games in the 2015 American League Division Series.

Blue Jays right fielder Jose Bautista dealt Texas the crushing blow in the clinching game with a three-run home run to put Toronto ahead 6-3.

The Rangers also felt that Bautista’s bat flip and admiration of the blast were excessive, unnecessary heaping piles of salt to in already awful wound.

With “the code”, baseball’s hard and fast unwritten rules that must be upheld religiously, being what it is the Rangers would have to wait until the following season to exact revenge.

They did so in May.

This video starts with Bautista already on first base. He had been beaned and retaliation had been attained by the Rangers. Justin Smoak grounds into a potential 5-4-3 double play. Jose Bautista is on first and is en route to second base and slides in hard, and maybe a bit late. Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor is covering second on the play.

Let’s just say he has a problem with Bautista’s slide.

That brings us all up to speed on everything although I still think it’s a tad curious that Texas waited until Bautista’s final at bat in the final game of the regular season series of games between these two teams to get their pound of flesh. That said, they got their revenge. Rougned Odor landed his big right hook squarely against Bautista’s jaw. In order to avenge last season’s playoff loss Texas would have to wait until they met Toronto again in the playoffs. That could be a long wait.

Or it could be the following season in the ALDS once again.

The Rangers won their division with a league-best record of 95-67 and clinched home field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Blue Jays, on the other hand, finished up at 89-73, tied for second in the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles. They had to win a play-in game against Baltimore, which ended in dramatic walk off fashion, to earn the right to face the Rangers.

Toronto has entered the series in a nice groove and jumped all over Texas to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series. Bautista has doubled up Odor in the batting average department .286 to .143. Both players have only had seven at bats in the series, but still.

Texas was outstanding on one-run games this season, their 36-11 record in such affairs was the best since 1901. That would make them seasoned and battle tested and ready for the tight playoff games of October, right? On the contrary, it looks as if the breaks may have ceased to go their way.

In game one Texas could only eke out one run as Toronto cruised to a 10-1 victory. In game two they were once again stuck on one run late in the game before staging a rally and falling 5-3. Now they have to go to Toronto and somehow win two games in the same place that their season came to a painful end in 2015. Stranger things have happened but they have made life awfully tough for themselves.

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