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8-20

That is the record of baseball teams in the Division Series after losing their opening game at home.

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The Rangers didn’t just start the series with a win, they started it by looking like the much better team. The offense smacked around a good (but overrated) pitcher, the best they’re likely to face this series, and did it on the road. And they did it with the weak back of the order coming through.

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Tampa now needs to win three games in a row — two on the road, and two featuring extremely good pitchers — to avoid having to face Cliff Lee again. And Cliff Lee looked really, really dominant.

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It’s only one game, but it is a HUGE game. If there was a Win Probability chart for the series like this one for the game, it would heavily favor the Rangers right now.

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Oh, by the way, THE TEXAS RANGERS JUST WON A GAME IN THE PLAYOFFS! I honestly did not remember at all how that feels. It feels really, really good.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.