Two consecutive World Series berths have raised fan expectations this year, but some Texas Rangers fans say they worry a return trip is not in store this year.
Axel Coin, who was among fans at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on Thursday to buy tickets to Friday's wild card playoff game, said he fears the team will self-destruct.
"I'm not worried about the [Baltimore] Orioles; I'm worried about the Rangers," he said.
He wasn't alone in his worry.
When Rangers fan Thomas Hush was asked if he was excited after buying his tickets, he said: "Not really; we just lost three in a row. I don't think we're going to win."
It's not exactly what one would expect to hear from the fans of a playoff team. But after two consecutive World Series appearances, the Rangers have set the bar high.
"This is probably going to be the last game of the Rangers this season," Coin said. "That's what I'm here for -- to see that last game of the season of the Rangers."
After looking like one of the best teams in baseball most of the year, Kenneth Conrad said he was worried about the Rangers' recent momentum as they head into the playoffs.
"I'm a little tired of all the losses," he said. "I feel like we had a lot more momentum coming into the playoffs the last two years."
But not everyone's faith is shaken. Pamela Hoffman remained a believer.
"I am not nervous," she said. "If anything, our guys can go in there and pull it out. It's do or die, and they've got it in them, and I believe."
Steven Terni tried to put it all in perspective by looking back to last year's World Series loss against the St. Louis Cardinals.
"We got beat by a wild card team last year," he said. "This year, why can't that be us?"
First, the Rangers have to get through the surprisingly relentless Baltimore Orioles. The winner of the single-elimination game will play the New York Yankees in a five-game series.