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C.J. Wilson Goes Where No Man Has Gone Before

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    C.J. Wilson's terrible postseason continued last night.

    While it wasn't his worst start of the playoffs, he wasn't able to give the Rangers the elusive quality start that has become their white whale this postseason and he walked six batters. The most painful of those batters was Nick Punto, a player whose skills with the bat are such that he should be unintentionally walked about as often as we experience solar eclipses.

    Allen Craig put the Cardinals up for good one batter later and Wilson departed with a loss for the third time in this playoff run. This would normally be the spot where we bemoan the performance of the Rangers' nominal ace and/or marvel at the fact that the Rangers have made it this far while getting so little from Wilson.

    But we're not going to do that. Instead we're going to celebrate Wilson doing something that has never happened before. As Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk pointed out early Thursday, Wilson's loss means that he has now picked up four losses of significance this season. Wilson lost the All-Star Game (the reason why the Rangers had no DH last night, aka the reason Esteban German's name is on a lot of people's lips) and he has gone on to lose a game in the Division Series, Championship Series and World Series during the same season.

    Others have lost the All-Star Game and games at every level of the postseason available to them -- Tom Glavine in 1992 most recently -- but no one since the addition of the Wild Card in 1995. Two men have won games at each level during that era. Josh Beckett did it in 2007 and John Smoltz did it in 1996, although Smoltz's Braves lost to the Yankees in six games.

    Wilson's still got a lot of work to do to catch Mort Cooper. Cooper lost the All-Star Game in 1942 and 1943 and then lost a game in the World Series during each of those years. If Wilson does this again next year, we'd be quite surprised.

    When you stop to think about it, that's actually pretty impressive. Yes, they're all losses but you don't get a chance to lose all of those games unless you've had yourself a pretty sweet little season. And Wilson has had such a season, even if his October performance is ensuring that it won't be remembered quite so fondly. The Rangers aren't here without Wilson and, perversely or not, that's driven home by the fact that he's picked up these four losses. 

    It is also a pretty strong statement about the quality of the Rangers. It is tough to win postseason series when your best pitcher pitches as poorly as Wilson has in October and the Rangers have already pulled it off twice. It says a lot about the depth of their team and their overall talent that such losses are nothing more than a fly to flick off for these Rangers.

    Maybe that's reading too much into what might just be one of those little historical quirks that makes following baseball so much fun, but it feels like a better use of time than trying to draw grand conclusions from anything that happened in Game 1.