10. Eerie. On July 19 the red-hot Rangers went into Anaheim with a 4-game lead and -- with Alexi Ogando on the mound -- got back-to-back homers (from Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre) in a series-opening rout. And on August 15 the red-hot Rangers went into Anaheim with a 4-game lead and -- with Ogando on the mound -- got back-to-back homers (from Nelson Cruz and Mike Napoli) in a series-opening rout. Eerie, and great.
9. Thought ...I ... was ... losing ... my ... hearing ... early ... in ... the ... game ... but ... turns ... out ... it ... was ... just ... Tom ... Grieve's ... microphone ... going ... in ... and ... out.
8. Ogando and his interesting face was only so-so, but another 2.2 innings of scoreless relief from the bullpen courtesy of Koji Uehara and Mark Lowe shut down any thoughts of an Angels' rally. Most of the season a liability, bullpen is now a major asset.
7. Michael Young let another hot smash whizz past as he merely waved at it in the 2nd inning. Also made an error in the 8th inning on a grounder. Dude has become a butcher at third. But regardless, he just keeps on hitting.
6. Some games Ian Kinsler slow-jogs fly balls to right field and gets only to first base when the ball is dropped. Some games Ian Kinsler lets routine grounders bound between his wickets for two-run errors. And some games -- like last night -- Ian Kinsler starts two double-plays and makes a spinning assist in the field and clubs four hits at the plate. His good outweighs his bad.
5. Do we really think Nolan Ryan grilled 35,000 hot dogs in those commercials? Sounds doubtful, but gosh he seems genuine and sincere.
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4. Keep telling me it's too soon, and I'll keep counting 'em down. Rangers' magic number: 36. Remember waaay back when it was 45?
3. Last month the Rangers blew out the Angels, then proceeded to lose two excruciating one-run games (9-8 and 1-0) to keep Anaheim in the race. Still five weeks to go in this season, but they can deliver a pretty significant body blow by beating Tyler Chatwood tonight. A win would create a six-game lead with 40 games remaining.
2. Did I hear Dave Barnett right? Alexi Ogando took -- gritting my teeth -- paternity leave to attend the birth of a daughter he named ... "Alexi"?
1. Love Grieve's basebally insight, but after last night I'd like a couple of innings of Beltre in the booth. Out with a sore hamstring, Beltre watched from the dugout and apparently inches from Fox Sport Southwest's dugout microphone. During Texas' 6-run 5th Beltre serenaded each hard-hit ball with an audible, hilarious "Ooh, shiiiiiiiiiiit!" Barnett later apologized for the language, but no offense taken. More, please.