It's no secret that Texas Rangers ace C.J. Wilson has struggled in the postseason. He is 0-3 this year with a 7.17 ERA and hasn't picked up a postseason victory since defeating the Tampa Bay Rays is Game 2 of last fall's division series.
A victory by Wilson in Game 5 this evening would go a long way in helping the Rangers get one step closer to obtaining their first World Series title in club history. As if he needed any added pressure, tonight likely could be his last start ever in front of the home fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, as Wilson will be one of the prized jewels of this winter's free agent class.
Derek Holland was brilliant for the Rangers in Sunday's 4-0 victory over Cardinals as Texas evened the series at two games each. Wilson will look to do much the same as he rebounds from his game one loss in which he allowed three runs on four hits over 5.2 innings as St. Louis picked up a 3-2 victory on Allen Craig's pinch-hit RBI single in the sixth inning.
Game 5 will be a true rematch of the opening game of the World Series as Chris Carpenter will toe the rubber for the Cardinals. He earned the victory in the first matchup, allowing two runs on five hits over 6.0 innings. In four postseason starts this fall, Carpenter is 3-0 with a 1.13 WHIP in 23.0 innings pitched.
Wilson, who will be 31 years old next season is a career 43-35 pitcher with a 3.60 ERA in seven seasons with Texas. He moved to the rotation in 2010 and has gone 15-8 and 16-7 over the past two years.
Joel Sherman with the New York Post expects the Royals to make a run at Wilson in free agency. As you may recall on Friday, SB Nation Kansas City's Matt Conner passed along a link that Sherman had recently also stated Kansas City was one of five teams that would be most involved in the Yu Darvish sweepstakes.
While it likely is a longshot the Royals land either Wilson or Darvish, the price to acquire Wilson this winter will likely be much less than it will cost to get Darvish.
In other pitching related news, the Phillies have declined an option on starting pitcher Roy Oswalt. Oswalt, who turned 34 in August, would have made $16 million next year with Philadelphia.
Coming off a 9-10 season with a 3.69 ERA, the three-time All-Star has won 159 games in 11 big league seasons. His career 3.21 ERA and 1.19 WHIP certainly has him on pace to be mentioned as a Hall-of-Fame pitcher once he retires.
If the Royals are unable to sign either Wilson or Darvish, Oswalt certainly would be a welcome addition to a staff that needs improvement to help a young up and coming roster than includes many hitters such as young superstar Eric Hosmer. While they likely could afford Oswalt, the question would be if Oswalt would think about coming to Kansas City.