There's no way around it, the Texas Rangers don't control their own playoff destiny. Currently one game back of the Cleveland Indians for the second AL Wild Card spot and the right to play in the AL Wild Card Game on Oct. 2, the Rangers need help from other teams on top of winning their own games to get into October.
As they were in a tight game against the Houston Astros on Tuesday night, it appeared for a short time that the Rangers could pull even with the Indians, who have the easiest remaining schedule of all the contenders, as the Chicago White Sox hit two ninth-inning homers to take a 4-3 lead over the Indians heading into the bottom of the ninth, while the Rangers were winning 3-2 and poised to pull even.
Then, the bat of the elderly Jason Giambi struck.
The 42-year-old veteran, hitting just .176 this season, stepped to the plate with a runner on and two outs and drilled a walk-off homer to right field to lift the Indians to a walk-off win and keep the Rangers at a distance with five games remaining on the season.
"I heard one of my teammates told me, and you kind of hate it," Texas shortstop Elvis Andrus told ESPNDallas.com of the Indians-White Sox result. "You could’ve been easily tied in the race today, but that’s baseball. You’ve got to come tomorrow, win the game and see what happens."
Time's running out, and the Rangers will once again be big White Sox fans on Wednesday, and then Minnesota Twins fans for the final four games of the season.