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Rangers win World Series for first time in franchise history

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Two years ago, Texas Rangers fans were wondering when they would become even a postseason team after losing 102 games. Even last year, they went 68-94, extending their postseason drought to six straight seasons – now, they are World Series champions.

The Rangers took Game 5 of the Fall Classic over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night, 5-0 to win their first title in franchise history.

The Rangers slugged their way to victories all season long, but on Wednesday, it was anything but their typical slugfest for most of the night. Zac Gallen did not allow a hit through six innings, but Nathan Eovaldi kept the Diamondbacks scoreless the entire time while getting out of a couple huge jams. 

The Rangers put two people in scoring position to lead off the seventh, and Mitch Garver finally opened the scoring with a single. Gallen left the game to a standing ovation, but in line for the tough luck loss (which he would eventually take).

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Rangers win World Series

The Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game Five to win the World Series at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

With their season now on the brink, the Diamondbacks brought in their best options from the bullpen, calling on setup man Kevin Ginkel to stop the bleeding in the seventh. Texas loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but Ginkel got out of that jam, as well. 

Eovaldi’s night was complete after six grueling, scoreless innings, and Bruce Bochy brought in Aroldis Chapman. Seemingly always shaky in a big spot, he put the tying run on first. But after getting Gabriel Moreno to strike out, Bochy summoned Josh Sborz from the ‘pen to get Christian Walker to fly out. Sborz also faced the lead run in the eighth, but avoided damage. 

Closer Paul Sewald came in the game in the ninth, but allowed three-straight hits. The third was a single up the middle that went underneath center fielder Alek Thomas’ glove and rolled all the way to the wall, scoring two. Marcus Semien added a two-run homer, all but icing the World Series, and his reaction was that as such. Sborz then retired the side in order in the ninth.

Texas went all-in over the last couple of offseasons. It all started when they solidified their middle infield before the 2022 offseason, giving Corey Seager a 10-year, $325 million deal and Marcus Semien a seven-year, $175 million pact. Seager had a down year last season, slashing just .245/.317/.455, but if it weren’t for Shohei Ohtani, he’d probably win the MVP this season.

Marcus Semien #2 of the Texas Rangers rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the ninth inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks during Game Five of the World Series at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Harry How/Getty Images)

One issue for Texas had been their rotation – they signed Jacob deGrom, but he underwent Tommy John surgery earlier this year. They even got Max Scherzer at the trade deadline, but he was mired with injuries throughout September and October. However, Nathan Eovaldi stepped up to the task, and the acquisition of Jordan Montgomery at the trade deadline proved to be one of the best moves throughout baseball. 

It was an up-and-down season for Texas. On Aug. 15, the Rangers were a season-high 24 games over .500 and up 3.5 games in the AL West. Then, they lost eight straight. Again, they got hot, leading the division by 2.5 with four games remaining. But they lost three of four, the Houston Astros won four straight — against Arizona — and the Astros won the division again. So, they settled for the fifth seed at 90-72.

Jonah Heim and Josh Sborz

Jonah Heim #28 and Josh Sborz #66 of the Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game Five to win the World Series at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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However, the money spent, combined with the homegrown talent of Evan Carter and Josh Jung, and acquiring pieces that seemed like nothing at the time in Adolis Garcia, Nathaniel Lowe, and Jonah Heim, it’s simply a masterpiece from general manager Chris Young.

Texas made back-to-back Fall Classics in 2010 and 2011, even coming down to one strike in the latter year before the memorable St. Louis Cardinals’ comeback.

The Rangers went 11-0 on the road this postseason against the D-Backs, Houston Astros, Baltimore Orioles, and Tampa Bay Rays. It’s also manager Bruce Bochy’s fourth World Series.

As for Arizona, they are certainly on the come-up. They have young talent, especially in likely NL Rookie of the Year Corbin Carroll, and won the pennant just two years after losing 110 games. Their win total has increased in each of the last two seasons as they went 84-78 this season, and with their scrappiness, it should surprise no one if it goes up again next year.

Rangers after winning title

The Texas Rangers celebrate after beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-0 in Game Five to win the World Series at Chase Field on November 01, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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Pitchers and catchers report in roughly 15 weeks, and 29 teams will be trying to take the Commissioner’s Trophy from the Texas Rangers.


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