Regardless of what happens in each of Wednesday's ALDS Game 5's, the losing teams are going to have to deal with the fact they had big opportunities to advance.
Kansas City and Toronto each have Game 5 in their building while Texas and Houston squandered opportunities to win their series at home.
The Rangers had two chances to close out the Blue Jays after Texas took the first two games in Canada. But the Jays returned the favor and earned the return trip to Toronto where they will send 24 year old Marcus Stroman to the mound to face playoff tested Cole Hamels for the Rangers.
The Rangers don't have to look to far back to know they've traveled this similar route before, back in 2010 when they reached the World Series. They opened with wins in Tampa and lost both their games at home before winning ame 5 in Tampa.
SS Elvis Andrus remembers it well.
"We did it in 2010, so why not 2015? We want to win. We really want to win really hard," Andrus said. "We're going to do what we're supposed to do. And that's the key for us, score early and let Cole do the rest."
Blue Jays Game 4 starter, R.A. Dickey, watched David Price come in for him in the 5th inning Monday despite a 6-run Blue Jay lead, but he cared less about who got the win than actually getting the win.
"It's amazing what you can accomplish when you don't care who gets the credit," ickey said. "We're going back to Toronto with a chance."
If you believe in momentum, the Kansas City Royals are your bet in their Game 5 against Houston. The Royals were trailing the Astros 6-2 as they started the 8th inning on Monday in Houston. But using an error by Astros rookie SS Carlos Correia as a springboard, the Royals scored five runs in the 8th and two more in the 9th to stun the Astros and a crowd that was poised to celebrate a Houston ALCS appearance.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch said the loss was a tough one, but that if the Astros have what it takes to win a championship, they'll rebound and play well Wednesday afternoon.
"Everyone that watched that game, everybody that was a part of that game knows how difficult it is to feel like that game was closing in our favor and then have it not go our way,'' Hinch said. "But it's big-boy sport. We'll adjust, and we will be ready to play."
Royals 1B Eric Hosmer wasn't surprised by the resolve his team showed facing elimination.
"We always feel that we're still in games, and we still have a chance,'' Hosmer said. "That's the mentality for this whole entire team. It's never quit, and the character we showed today, that's what a championship ballclub does."
The Royals traded multiple prospects earlier in the season for Johnny Cueto. Cueto has struggled since the Royals acquired him and he gave up four runs on seven hits in his first ALDS outing last week.
The Astros will rely on Collin McHugh, the Game 1 winner, who gave up two runs in six innings.