Oct 9, 2010, 5:00 PM EDT
Photo courtesy Texas Rangers
The Rangers look to sweep the series today at The Ballpark in Arlington.
I'm not sure even the most ardent of Texas Rangers supporters could have seen this one coming: Their team has a chance to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays with a win today in Game 3 of their American League Division Series. While plenty of people thought the Rangers would win this series — full disclosure: I wasn't one of them — no one could have seen them dominating the first two games at Tropicana Field the way they did. Now, they've got the opportunity to wrap this up right here and now.
The man starting for Texas today is right-hander Colby Lewis, whose name may ring a bell. Yes, the same Colby Lewis who was one of about 247 non-roster invitees to Nationals camp in the spring of 2007 and had an opportunity to win a rotation spot. Lewis was horrible in only a couple of spring appearances, got released, never pitched anywhere in the Nationals organization and wound up reviving his career in Japan. The Rangers scouted him, signed him over the winter and look at him now: He's a 12-game winner starting a potential playoff clincher. Pretty amazing.
Matt Garza, who tossed a no-hitter during the regular season, starts for Tampa Bay, hoping to keep his team's season alive. Garza has the ability to dominate on any given day, but he's also prone to implosions: He allowed six or more runs six times this season, including three straight starts in September. He'll have to be on today for the Rays to stave off elimination.
I'm posting this early because I'm heading out for the afternoon, and the Rays haven't posted their lineup yet. If anyone out there is so inclined and wants to add Tampa Bay's starting nine in the comments section once it comes out later, it would be much appreciated. Enjoy the game…
C John Jaso
2B Ben Zobrist
LF Carl Crawford
3B Evan Longoria
NL EAST STANDINGS
Through Sunday's games
NL PLAYOFFS STANDINGS
y-Clinched playoff berth
Through Sunday's early games
TUE: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
WED: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
THU: Mets at Nats, 7:05 p.m.
FRI: Marlins at Nats (DH), 1:05 p.m., 7:05 p.m.
SAT: Marlins at Nats, 4:05 p.m.
SUN: Marlins at Nats, 1:35 p.m.
Full season schedule
ON THE RADIO
As ESPN-980 AM's Nats Insider, Mark makes daily appearances on the station's various shows. Here's the 2014 schedule (subject to change)...
MON: 12:45 p.m.
TUE: 2:30 p.m.
WED: 4:30 p.m.
THU: 2:30 p.m.
FRI: 1:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
SAT: 10:30 a.m.
*All times Eastern. You can also listen to the station on 94.3 FM, 92.7 FM and online at ESPN980.com. Click here for past audio clips.
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