By Steve Ginsburg
ARLINGTON, Texas, Oct 23 (Reuters ) - With free agency on the horizon and the Texas Rangers fighting to claim their first World Series title, C.J. Wilson is hoping for a quick return to his regular-season form.
The 30-year-old left-hander won 16 games during the year but has imploded during the post-season, posting an 0-3 record with an ugly 7.17 earned run average.
Wilson admits he never saw it coming.
"I'm somewhat of an optimist, but at the same time being a realist obviously it hasn't gone as well as I would have liked," he said.
"I would have liked to have won every game and thrown a shutout every time because it would have made it easier on everyone else."
Wilson gets a chance for redemption Monday when Texas hosts the St. Louis Cardinals in Game Five of the World Series at Rangers Ballpark outside Dallas.
The seven-year big-leaguer was saddled with the loss in the series opener after giving up four hits and three runs in five-and-two-thirds innings.
Wilson said he does not dwell on statistics because they can sometimes be misleading. After a fine postseason a year ago, Wilson ended up with just one win.
"Sometimes in a tight game, unless you throw the whole game, you can't control (win and losses)," he said.
"You can't control what happens after you come out."
Wilson emerged as a starter the last two seasons and has a combined 31-15 record, a mark that undoubtedly will command attention when the free agency season opens in two weeks.
He insists he has not thought about it.
"I'm just thinking about the team and where we're at and being in the World Series. Obviously, there's no extra series after this," he said.
"There's no Galaxy Series or Universe Series or whatever."
Wilson admitted Monday's game will be the most important start of his career. He said looking beyond that and what could happen as a free agent was a waste of time.
"There's nothing I can do to control what happens, what any team offers me or what any team wants from me. All I can do is say, 'Hey, I'm going to be a starting pitcher next year.'
"I'm obviously not going to be a second baseman or a closer or a rightfielder. The only thing I'm certain about is that I'm going to be a left-handed pitcher next year.
"Who it's for, I don't know yet."
Wilson will face Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter at Rangers Ballpark on Monday, the last game of the series in Texas.
"I'm going to try to throw as many pitches as I can and stay in the game as long as I can, no matter what the score is," he said.
"I feel like if I pitch my best, if I pitch as well as I've pitched at certain points during the season, it gives us a good chance to win the game."
(Editing by Larry Fine)
Fox News' Roger Ailes: Administration's Excuses Won't Work, Americans Died For Press Freedom | Katie Pavlich