The Texas Rangers clubbed the Tampa Bay Rays 6-0 Thursday to take a commanding 2-0 lead in their ALDS matchup.
The Rangers have never won a postseason series in the franchise's history, but that looks like it will change in 2010. Are they just a fluke, destined to burn out in the ALCS, or something bigger and more promising?
Here are 10 reasons why the Rangers a trustworthy this October.
Heading into the 2010 season, Washington's seat was pretty toasty. The Rangers had underperformed in 2009, and a revelation that the manager tested positive for cocaine in a random drug test last season made pundits wonder if the longtime baseball man could be hold sway over his players' actions.
Instead, the team saw a man contrite and humbled, and rallied to pick him up. They've rallied behind their embattled manager in 2010, and want to prove that he can do the job of managing the team.
Michael Young seems like he's been around forever, doesn't he? He's the Rangers' heart and soul, a baseball lifer who's willing to shift from second base to shortstop to third base to stay on the team that gave him his shot.
He's never been to the postseason, and with his combination of power and contact, he plans on staying a while.
Andrus is the Rangers' speedy young shortstop. He plays a mean defense, using his speed and good arm to make plays on tough balls. On the basepaths, Andrus is a holy terror. He keeps pitchers honest with his blazing speed, and unlike fellow rocket man Julio Borbon, he's competent with a bat in his hands, giving the Rangers a legitimate threat on the basepaths.
Kinsler is the sweet swinging second baseman who has struggled mightily in 2010. He hits for power, average, steals bases, and is a fairly reliable fielder. But nagging injuries kept him from flashing that potential in 2010.
Kinsler got ample opportunity to rest his ailments in September, and has looked fantastic in the first two games of this postseason. If he's back to full strength, he's the X-factor.
Coming into the 2010 season, Vlad was no longer The Impaler. His stats had fallen off the face of the earth, and he couldn't play the field.
Fast forward to October, where Guerrero has rediscovered his stroke at the plate in 2010. He's suddenly feared at the dish once more, and he's been positively sublime in October in his career, with a .285 average and 15 RBI in his postseason career. Look out, because Vlad the Impaler has returned.
Over the last two years, Nelson Cruz has supernova-ed onto the baseball scene. He'd always been a power prospect, but his strikeouts and inability to stay healthy doomed him to obscurity.
But over the last two years, Cruz has blossomed into one of baseball's best sluggers, clubbing 55 home runs in that span.
Like so many other Rangers, Cruz has never been to the postseason, but he's looking forward to sticking around a while.
Michael Young Rangers
Hamilton is the 32-year old lifeblood of the Rangers. A former no. 1 pick of Tampa Bay, he crashed out of baseball due to drug abuse, only to fight his way back in 2007.
Now that he's back, Hamilton's fulfilling his potential and loving every second of the ride. He's a 2010 MVP candidate, and he's hitting homers and stealing bases left and right. He's definitely not the kind of hitter you want to face come October.
How do we know the Rangers are no one-hit wonder? Take a look at their bullpen. Young flamethrower Neftali Feliz has turned into one of the game's most dominant closers, and behind him is a staff as deep and talented as any in baseball.
This team knows how to slam the door, and they have several different guys who can do the job.
Just last season, the 29-year old Wilson couldn't even win the closer's job.
This year, he's been a rock for the Rangers' rotation, amassing a 15-8 record with a 3.38 ERA in 2010. He just threw a 2-hit shutout in Game 2 against the Rays, and has looked like one of baseball's better pitchers all year long.
You need two elite starters in the postseason, and in Wilson, the Rangers may have found one.
Lee is undeniably the Rangers' ace, and is easily one of the five best pitchers in baseball. He fills so many needs for Texas, it's hard to count them all.
He's the unquestioned staff ace, who is capable of delivering a gem of a pitching performance to slam the door on an opponent. He's exactly the kind of pitcher the Rangers needed to put them over the top, and he should see them play deep into October in 2010.