Joe Buck was preparing for a legendary "and for the first time in franchise history..." that was to be played in households all over the world, but it all came to a crashing halt. Incredibly and shockingly quickly.
One strike away. Twice. And the St. Louis Cardinals still won the World Series.
So, what now for the Texas Rangers?
Offensively, they're freakishly talented. Defensively, for the most part, they're great.
As for pitching...well, uh...it depends what part of the 2011 season you look at.
There was a decent regular season, a lights-out bullpen in the ALDS and ALCS, but an all-around completely abysmal World Series. CJ Wilson proved to Nolan Ryan and company that he is not an ace. Although Derek Holland is unpredictable, he is maturing into a solid pitcher. Colby Lewis is the closest to an ace the Texas Rangers have, while Harrison is a young but solid pitcher.
There is simply no denying it: This World Series will go down as one of the most heartbreaking moments in sports history in Texas. So remarkably close. The Rangers could taste it. Their mouths were salivating of ginger ale or champagne—who truly knows?
Fans all over the country rooting for the Rangers could not believe that their team was about to win their first championship.
Cardinals fans already began to wonder what next season held, potentially losing Albert Pujols and seeing an impressive September end in disappointing fashion against the Rangers. Little did everyone know, the exact opposite would take place just a mere 24 hours later.
Cardinals fans are in seventh heaven, while Rangers fans finally know what it feels like to be the Buffalo Bills. So, what do Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels do next?
Most importantly, let CJ Wilson walk away only if CC Sabathia is legitimately available. By no means does pitching guarantee championships (Phillies four horsemen), but it was clear how badly the Rangers missed Cliff Lee this time around. If CC is not available, CJ has to remain a Ranger. Although Colby Lewis is talented, he is a better two than a three.
The Rangers do not want to make a habit of losing their top pitcher and simply promoting the next one in line. The other move that must be made is gaining leadership and postseason experience on the roster. Although this young team has made it to back-to-back World Series, that killer instinct and winning know-how simply does not exist.
All this being said, the single most important thing the Rangers can do is what they've been doing. Their time will come. Back-to-back AL Champs is no joke. Year in and year out, the Rangers will be competitive during the season and during the playoffs. That is uncommon for teams these days.
Although this was a brutal end to an incredible October, great times are ahead Rangers fans.