Our club has probably surprised a lot of people this season, but as players we knew we had a talented team, even going back to Spring Training. It's been a fun year with a great group of guys.

While we knew from the beginning we had talent, we also knew we were in a division that has been led by the Angels for a number of years. You also had Seattle, which had improved and added a lot of talent, and the A's, who feature a lot of young talent, so it was easy for us to get overlooked. So part of the enjoyment has been sneaking up on people.

For people who haven't seen us play much this year, our pitching staff has really been our backbone. Our offense hasn't been as good as it was last year, but that just goes to show you that pitching and defense can really carry a team. When we score four or five runs a game, we're going to be successful because our pitching is going to keep us in ballgames.

This is my third season here, and it's great to play in games that mean so much this late in the season. As a Major League Baseball player you're expected to play all out at all times, but it's everybody's dream to play for the postseason. It makes you feel like a kid again and it brings the team together.

This is my first pennant race. I started my career with Boston in September of 2006 but we were out of the race by then. In 2007, before I got traded, the Red Sox called me up in June but I just played a few games. That was the year they won the World Series but I wasn't really part of that push for October.

Here I have more of a role and I'm ready to do whatever I can to help make this push. Personally I've been up and down this season but lately there have been more ups. I have played throughout the lineup and I've played a lot in right and leftfield. I'm open to be used in whatever manner the club chooses.

It would also be great to see some of the guys who have been here for a long time get to the playoffs. Guys like Michael Young and Hank Blalock have endured some lean years.

They've paid their dues and put in their time. I've seen them put in their work and they're great teammates. They work hard every single day and they're deserving of it. The Rangers on the whole want to get it done, but you have to think those guys have extra motivation.

It would be real sweet for everyone involved.

David Murphy is batting .268 with 14 homers and 43 RBIs for the Rangers, who have won five of their last six games and trail the Red Sox by just two games for the AL wildcard berth. The left-handed hitting Murphy is part of a deep and talented Rangers outfield that also features Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Andruw Jones and Marlon Byrd.