The crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington for Game 1 of the final series against the Los Angeles Angels was thin. The attendance was 26,198, putting the stadium capacity at 54.5 percent full.
Thursday night, Jurickson Profar hit a pinch hit walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Rangers a 6-5 win over the Angels. Moments later, the Cleveland Indians, fending off four runs in the ninth inning, held on to beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5.
Do you like drama?
Rangers fans could be a part of history as this season comes to an end. Remember 2011? That historic final day of the 2011 MLB regular season? If not, just watch the embedded video.
The 2013 season could be heading that way. The Indians have three games left against the Twins. The Tampa Bay Rays have a three-game series left with the Toronto Blue Jays. The Rangers are one game back of a wild-card berth and have three games left against the Angels.
Correction: three games left against Josh Hamilton's Angels. Mike Peasley of ESPN Dallas reported Hamilton's thoughts on a chance to knock out the Rangers before this last series via Twitter.
Is Dallas-Fort Worth a baseball town? This comment by Hamilton surely suggests a redaction of his statement from earlier in the year; DFW is not a baseball town.
Thursday night Hamilton was right, and the lack of fan support proved this. It wasn't a baseball town. Before Game 1 against the Angels, Todd Willis of ESPN Dallas reported manager Ron Washington's feelings toward Arlington in his late September blog post.
You look at every other city that has a chance of being in the playoffs now, and there’s joy. I don’t see a whole lot of joy in Arlington. I’m not knocking anybody. I just don’t see it. All they can talk about is how we collapsed. That’s not right.”
26,198 fans showed joy after Profar hit a walk-off home run in Game 1. A fourth walk-off against the Angels, and a fourth straight win.
If ever there was a time to sell out and show up, it's now. This isn't a pitch to sell more tickets; this is a pitch for the fans to show the support that they're capable of. To show support for the team that made it past the first round of the playoffs for the first time in 2010. To show support for the team that went to the World Series twice in the last three years and still has a chance to go this year.
Forget about beating Hamilton, even though it would be sweeter to beat Hamilton on the way to the Wild Card game. But think about those 2011 St. Louis Cardinals that snuck themselves into the playoffs as the Wild Card and eventually went on to a World Series victory.
Every pitch matters now. Every play, every inning, every one of these last three games. It all matters. The Rangers are alive, and if you like baseball, you'll be there to support this breathtaking team this weekend.