HOUSTON – On September 25, The Texas Rangers A two-week odyssey began that almost ruined their season. In the end, it became the defining stretch of a team that came to brand itself as resilient at every turn. The Rangers have won two of three in Anaheim but lost three of four in Seattle. They saw the AL West title slip away Houston Astros. They flew more than five hours in the air across the country for the wild card matchup Rays. Against the odds, the Rangers beat the Rays by two and then swept Orioles in three. They beat the Astros in the first two games of the ALCS and reality finally caught up. They have lost three in a row at home. Their season was on the ropes. And all that got them here: Game 7 at Minute Maid Park. Another matchup they weren’t favored to win. Another game in which this team came together, they crushed baseball and earned the third trip to the World Series in franchise history.
The Rangers beat the Astros 11-4 in Game 7 of the ALCS on Monday. The headlining act wasn’t hard to find. Adolis Garcia Back in the spotlight, he went 4-for-5 with two home runs and five runs batted in, cementing himself in Texas postseason lore once again. Rangers have played only four of their last 18 matches at home. They’re going to the World Series anyway.
Even before Garcia’s latest feats, his team was striking quickly and decisively. A tone-setting first innings began with a mammoth swing Corey SeagerA fly ball was sent 440 feet and the bat accelerated to more than 113 mph. Evan Carter Walked and stole second. Then Garcia — who received far more muted boos than he received before his first at-bat in a tense Game 6 — smashed a ball off the left-field wall to score Carter. Garcia would have had a double if he hadn’t stopped in the box to admire his near home run. He compensated for it by swiping second base and subsequently crossing home plate on a shallow single by Mitch Garver. Rangers cut Houston starter Christian Javier Exiting the game after one-third of an inning, El Reptile’s sterling postseason resume took a hit. Just like that, Texas took a 3-0 lead Max Scherzer on the hill
But it’s October, and these are the Astros. Houston responded accordingly. Jose Altuve A lead-off double belted off the left-field wall and sent a panel out on the out-of-town scoreboard. The Houston crowd roared to life. Altuve scored on a hard-hit single down the left field line Jose Abreu. Scherzer faced danger with runners on the corners and one out, but survived the first inning. Michael Brantley 4-6-3 to hit into a double play.
Garcia did it again in the third inning. This time, after nodding off a high and tight bend, he stepped out of the box and let the boos rain down once more. Then he hit a fastball the opposite direction that curled around the right-field foul pole. It was Garcia’s fourth straight game with a home run and his sixth homer overall this season. The Rangers went ahead 4-1 and their sparkplug walked around the bases like a born showman.
— MLB (@MLB) October 24, 2023
not to be crossed, Alex Bregman Got a middle-to-middle fastball in the bottom of the third. His home run soared over left-center to make it a 4-2 game.
Scherzer had lasted just 2 2/3 innings before Jordan Montgomery Came for a crucial moment of relief. Montgomery also brought in Brantley, a left-handed hitter, with slight shades of how manager Bruce Bochy once used Madison Bumgarner en route to a World Series title. Kyle Tucker. He ended up going 2 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and no runs.
In the fourth inning, the Texas Rangers planted their flag in the city of Houston. Josh Jung was isolated Marcus Semien Walked Seeger was isolated. Freshman Carter then ripped a two-run double down the right-field line that brought home two more runs, with no one up but Garcia. By the time the damage was done, the Rangers led 8-2. A heated, classic Game 7 setup turned into a bludgeoning.
Nathaniel Lowe Added to Bounding with a two-run homer in the sixth. It was another Game 7 masterclass for Bochy, who has already won three World Series. Bochy has achieved an unmatched record of 6-0 in postseason games that are “winner-take-all.. The manager has led teams to victory in 14 of the last 15 playoff series. The series joined the 2019 World Series — a Game 7 Scherzer initially lost to the Astros — as a best-of-seven series in which the road team won all games.
If those awesome facts weren’t enough, Garcia hit another ball in the eighth inning for his seventh postseason home run in Houston’s Crawford box. His 20 RBIs set the record for most by a player before the start of the World Series.
As he circled a third time, Garcia put a hand to his ear and accepted whatever was left.