Rangers Take Another Step Toward Peaking ... and October
Seven games up with 38 games remaining. Magic number down to 32 (smallest in baseball along with the Brewers and Phillies). Three of the first four in the bag already in Anaheim, with a chance to sweep tonight.
For those of us who make a living bitchin' and moanin' about this or that with the Rangers, these are
bad great times.
After Wednesday night's 4-3 win over the Angels -- thanks to a gutty blooper by Ian Kinsler -- it's clear that whatever was ailing Neftali Feliz a month ago is corrected. He had fire in his eyes and velocity on his fastball, hitting 100 mph on the TV's radar gun.
Still six weeks to go in the regular season and, yeah, stranger things than blowing a 7-game lead this late has happened in baseball. But at this point -- 20 games over .500 for the first time since 1999 -- the Rangers are all but chilling the champagne, attempting to catch the Yankees and Red Sox for the best record in the AL and fine-tuning a club that is pretty well humming along.
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Feliz at closer? Check.
Starting pitching (evidenced again by C.J. Wilson last night)? Check.
Middle relief (don't look now but, yeah, Mark Lowe)? Check.
Set-up men (despite the homer allowed Wednesday by Koji Uehara)? Check.
Mike Napoli's catching? Check.
Navigate Nelson Cruz's quad and Josh Hamilton's back. Get Adrian Beltre healthy. Improve Elvis Andrus' defensive focus on the casual plays. Somehow limit Kinsler's pop-ups.
Other than that, the Rangers seem ready for October.
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