Monday, July 26, 2010

Knockin' Em Down

Last week I heard Rangers manager Ron Washington on the radio talking about what it would take to win the A.L. West. "Win 2 out 3 or 3 out of 4, every time". Well, the Rangers helped themselves by taking 3 of the 4 games with the Angels over the weekend.

Chris Davis was tagged out on this play at the plate by Angels catcher Jeff Mathis. Despite the out, the play highlights what the Rangers did to the Angels over the weekend.

The Rangers entered the series last Thursday with a nice 5 game lead. They come out the other side with an even nicer 7 game lead. Cliff Lee, C.J. Wilson and Tommy Hunter all won games and Neftali Feliz closed out the 3 victories. Vladimir Guerrero and Ian Kinsler struggled a little at the plate, but Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis were a combined 23-55 (.418). Young homered in each of the first three games, providing 1st inning homers in games 1 and 2. His game 2 homer was the only run in the 1-0 shutout.

Looking forward, the Angels acquired Dan Haren from the Diamondbacks with the hopes he can counter the Rangers' Cliff Lee. The Angels next few series include Boston and Texas at home, then a road trip to Baltimore and Detroit. I hope Baltimore treats the Angels the way they treated Texas just before the All-Star break. Texas' next four series are against A.L. West rivals. They get three at home with Oakland before going on a three city road trip to the West Coast that sees them go against the Angels again, followed by Seattle and Oakland. The Rangers need to do more damage against the west with the Yankees and Red Sox coming to town later in August.

Night Owl commented that he wanted to know if the Rangers can beat the Yankees in a playoff situation. No one can answer that question until the playoffs start.

I just hope the Rangers put themselves in a position to answer that question when the time comes.

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