I know the Rangers history as well as anyone, so I don't want to get ahead of myself. However, when you root for a team that is one game over .500 AND in first place, a position it doesn't occupy nearly enough, you celebrate when you can.
With deep apologies to Bud from First Day Issue, I have to be excited about the Rangers sweep of Seattle over the weekend. The pitching in games 1 and 3 was phenomenal and game two was a little shocking.
Friday's game was a classic pitcher's dual. Check out these lines by Colby Lewis and Cliff Lee
Cliff Lee--7 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 0 walks, 8 Ks. And he wasn't the best pitcher of the day.
Colby Lewis--9 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 1 walk, 10 Ks.
The Rangers won 2-0 in 12 innings and got out of bases loaded jams twice late in the game. At one point, with the bases loaded and Ichiro on third, Eric Byrnes made a complete fool of himself on a suicide squeeze. The only video I could find was this slow motion partial clip on Youtube. Byrnes showed bunt, pulled back and then lunged at the ball almost a second after it passed. The amazing thing was Ranger's catcher Matt Treanor dropped the ball, picked it up and blocked the plate to tag Ichiro out. The umpire called it a ball and threw out Ron Washington for arguing that it should be a strike since it was a suicide squeeze. It was a weird play.
Saturday's game was a shocker because the Rangers knocked King Felix Hernandez out early, tagging him for 5 runs. Rangers win game 2 by a score of 6-3.
Sunday's game was another pitcher's dual. C.J. Wilson pitched another good game for Texas and Doug Fister (who?) was masterful through 8. Unfortunately (for Mariners fans) the Rangers scratched out a run off Aardsma to tie it in the 9th and won it in the 11th by a score of 3-1.
The Rangers outscored the M's 11-4 in the three game series and got the sweep. More importantly, they are in 1st place in the A.L. West....even if it is by a half game. I'll take what I can get, when I can get it. We'll see how the series in Oakland goes and how long the Rangers can occupy first place.