Notable deaths in the last week:
Ed McMahon. Farrah Fawcett. Michael Jackson. Billy Mays.
The Texas Rangers?
After getting 1-hit last night by someone named Chad Gaudin and losing two of three to a San Diego Padres outfit that hadn't won a series since Memorial Day, a Rangers' team that led the American League West by 4 1/2 games on June 13 enters this week's three-game series against Anaheim suddenly trailing the Angels by 1 1/2.
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The Rangers spent 57 days atop the division. But if they hit as feebly as Sunday night, they won't see first place again this season.
Texas managed only a Michael Young bloop single in the first inning, wasting a superb fill-in start by Tommy Hunter. While the Rangers are 4-9 since the night the lights went out, the Angels roar into town having won five in a row and 12 of 15. Since being swept in Arlington May 15-17, the Angels are 23-14.
Tonight through Wednesday either the Rangers take (at least) two of three and remain in the conversation and the pennant race, or lose (at least) two of three and we all start studying the Cowboys' depth at cornerback.
So I ask you, Rangers fans: Does your team see first place again this season?