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Napoli's 30th HR propels Rangers to key win

The Rangers' postseason berth was cemented last Friday night, but tonight's game -- the last of the regular 2011 season -- held plenty of meaning.  With 3-1 win, the Rangers set a team record for most Ws in a season (96) and secured home field advantage in first round of the playoffs.

The win didn't come easily though.  Rangers fans had to sweat it out a little.  Maybe the boys wanted to get us warmed up for the tense days ahead.  Well, thanks a lot, boys.  I really didn't need a heart attack tonight.

Matt Harrison only gave up one run in five innings of work, but he certainly wasn't very sharp.  He needed 90 pitches to notch those 18 outs, and he only struck out four.  Hopefully good Matty returns for October. 

The offense didn't really offer up much help for the starting pitcher.  Mike Napoli hit his first home run of the night (yeah, that's right ... stay tuned) in the 2nd inning.  But then the Angels tied it up in the 5th, and that's where the score remained until the 9th.   With one out, Michael Young singled.  After Adrian Beltre popped out, the hopes rested on Napoli.  I should have made the call right then.  He has enjoyed trolling his former team.  And he finished the parade with a monster home run to ut the Rangers up 3-1.

Neftali Feliz shut the door with minimal drama, and there was much celebration in the Rangers dugout.  (There were also fireworks to celebrate the final home game for the Angels, and it sounded like gunshots.  I worried they were shooting at Naps.)


KISS:  Napoli.  He drove in all three of the team's runs tonight.  He WAS the Rangers offense tonight.

MISS:  Meh.  I'm not in the mood to give one tonight.



Rangers :: 3 R, 6 H, 4 TLOB

Angels :: 1 R, 8 H, 8 TLOB


The Rangers know they will open postseason play at home, but they do  not know who their opponent is.  They are awaiting the outcome of two games to see who they play on Friday.  The Rays rallied to make an interesting game against the Yankees.  And the Red Sox and Orioles sat through a rain delay. 

In the meantime, I need to get my playoff bracelet materials together again.  I will be modifying the format a bit this year (smaller beads) because I have a different job with a more stringent dress code. 


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