Editor's note: We've reached our final memorable moment of the 2012 season. These were 10 moments -- they could be good or bad from a Ranger perspective, but they had to be memorable -- that helped define the season.
Memorable Moment No. 1: Rangers fall, 5-1, to the Baltimore Orioles in the AL wild-card game.
The fact that the Rangers were even in the AL wild-card game had most people stunned, including the club itself. But despite losing a five-game lead with nine games to play (and a four-game lead with six left), the Rangers were still favored against the Orioles. After all, they had dominated the Orioles during the regular season, were playing the AL wild-card game at home and had No. 1 pitcher Yu Darvish on the mound. The offense had performed well against Baltimore, including the memorable four-homer game by Josh Hamilton (which made our list of top-10 moments).
It was tough, though, to gauge what momentum might do. The Rangers didn't have any going into that Friday night game, losing three consecutive games in Oakland to watch the AL West-lead they held for nearly the entire season disappear. Davish did his best to change that momentum.
The 26-year-old pitcher gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits in 6 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. And it wasn't enough. The Rangers' bats, basically silent the final 10 games, scored just one run. That one came on a double play ball hit by Josh Hamilton in the first inning. Texas was just 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Baltimore starter Joe Saunders got through 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one run. The Orioles' bullpen finished the game off as the offense got some insurance runs, scoring off Derek Holland after he entered the game with a runner on in the sixth. Even closer Joe Nathan struggled, allowing two runs in the top of the ninth. The Rangers threatened in the bottom half of the inning, loading the bases with two outs. David Murphy flied out to left to end the game.
The scene after the game was part shock and part disappointment. The players talked about how they didn't meet expectations. Murphy mentioned the club ran out of gas. But a season that looked to have so much promise as the club tried to defend its AL championship ended a lot sooner than anyone expected.
Was the AL wild-card game the most memorable moment for you? If not, what was?