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Twitter replies tell story of @str8edgeracer's big ALDS win

Big League Stew

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More than 25,000 people followed Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson(notes) on Twitter heading into his start in Game 2 of the ALDS on Thursday.

And here's guessing that a few more will sign up to follow @str8edgeracer after he earned a dominating win in the Rangers' 6-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Wilson was excellent in his first playoff start, giving up zero runs over 6 1/3 innings while striking out seven Rays and giving up only two walks and two hits. At one point he faced 15 straight Tampa Bay batters without giving up a walk or hit.

It was a memorable start and one that put the Rangers on the verge of their first playoff series win in franchise history. I watched the whole thing while monitoring his replies from people on Twitter and the result was a weirdly cool way to crowd source an account of Wilson's playoff debut.

The tweetin' Texas timeline — comprised of selected tweets — begins below:

Pregame-1st Inning: With his presence needed on the mound, Wilson couldn't read all the warm wishes that were piling into his @box. But they were there — including one from a notable Houston Astro — and perhaps their good vibes lifted him to a good start. After giving up a leadoff single to Jason Bartlett(notes), Wilson got out of the first inning without incident.

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2nd Inning: A big catch by Josh Hamilton(notes) in center field keyed the inning ... and it quickly became apparent that C.J. has more than a few female admirers on Twitter.

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3rd Inning: Staked to an early 1-0 lead thanks to James Shields'(notes) wild pitch, Wilson took the mound for his second straight 1-2-3 frame.

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4th inning: An Ian Kinsler(notes) homer in the top of the inning doubled Wilson's breathing room and the lefty got through the heart of the order unscathed for a second time.

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5th inning: Michael Young(notes) smacked his controversial 3-run homer in the top of the inning, giving the Rangers a comfy 5-0 lead. Wilson responded by converting more of his doubters into fans, including a prominent liberal commentator.

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6th inning: Hitting Jason Bartlett with a pitch proved to be a rocky start, but Wilson again proved resilient, setting down B.J. Upton(notes), Carl Crawford(notes) and Evan Longoria(notes) in order.

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7th inning: Ben Zobrist(notes) led off with a walk and Willy Aybar(notes) sent him to third with a double. It looked as if the Twitter trolls might have an opening to talk 140 characters of smack. But Wilson responded by striking out Kelly Shoppach(notes) in his final act for the night. The Rangers bullpen would take over for 2 2/3 innings of no-hit ball.

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Postgame response With a 2-0 series lead secure, Rangers fans celebrated ... while one sad Rays fan looked at the bright side of things.

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Follow Big League Stew all through the postseason on Twitter and on Facebook.

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