The Texas Rangers’ 2016 season ended with a dud, of course, but it remains one of the more exciting summers in the club’s history. They won their second consecutive American League West title before being swept in the playoffs by the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s a look back at the top five memories from the season:
Top 5 moments of 2016
1. Odor vs. Bautista, May 15
No other moment from 2016 will resonate longer than Rougned Odor’s right hook to the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista. The bench-clearing fracas that ensued between the clubs overshadowed what was already a back and forth thriller. Ian Desmond’s two-out, three-run homer in the seventh sealed the Rangers’ 7-6 win on the Sunday afternoon.
2. A Yankee classic, June 27-28
The Rangers rallied after a three hour, 35 minute rain delay to score four runs in the ninth to beat the Yankees in Yankee Stadium 9-6. Fox Sports Southwest cameras caught the young sons of Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre celebrating with a hug after Beltre’s go-ahead single in the ninth at around 2:30 a.m. Eastern Time. The Rangers became the first in the majors to 50 wins and had a 10-game lead in the West. They didn’t match or pass that lead until September 3.
3. Another division title, Sept. 23
It didn’t have the tension of clinching on the final day of the regular season as was the case in 2015, but the West-winning moment still came with all the deserved relief and celebration as the Rangers beat the A’s in Oakland behind a stellar start by Cole Hamels who pitched seven shutout innings.
Matt Bush and Sam Dyson each added scoreless innings of relief as the Rangers won 5-0 to clinch their seventh division title and fourth in the past seven years.
4. Colby’s near no-hitter
Veteran right-hander Colby Lewis continues to amaze despite turning 37 in August. About six weeks before his birthday, Lewis took a no-hitter into the ninth inning in Oakland before a lead-off double by Keller resident Max Muncy despite a valiant effort from right-fielder Nomar Mazara.
Muncy scored on Coco Crisp’s one-out double to ruin the shutout but Lewis finished the game to improve to 6-0. It was his 12th quality start in his first 14 games. Lewis candidly expressed his disappointment during the postgame show on Fox Sports Southwest: “Aw, it sucks,” he said. (Side note: Lewis made one more start before going on the disabled list until Sept. 11.)
5. Odor’s walk-off, Aug. 30
It came in the middle of a division-defining homestand and seven-game win streak and in many ways defined the Rangers’ season. Odor’s two-run homer in the 9th beat the Mariners to give the club a modern-day record 30th one-run win.
(The Rangers finished a record 36-11 in one-run games.) It was the Rangers’ 39th comeback win and sixth walkoff. Odor’s game-winner came after he had been thrown out easily at second base trying to stretch a routine single into a double in the seventh inning.