*Catching and throwing the ball has rarely been a problem this season, but yesterday's 5-3 loss was hideously reminiscent of years gone by. First off, I blame C.J. Wilson. The worst thing you can do when protecting a 1-run lead is walk the leadoff man. Nelson Cruz made an error and Hank Blalock made a high throw and - considering they got only eight hits and scored only eight runs in three games at the Metrodome - the tiny margin for error bit them in the ass again.
*Tell me again why Taylor Teagarden is playing over Pudge? Rodriguez is hitting .321 since arriving from Houston; Teagarden was 3 for 19 on the recent road trip and is hitting .192. Nothing against Taylor, he's a great prospect. But with the scent of the playoffs getting stronger by the day, the best players should be on the field.
*The Rangers, by the way, had been 46-3 overall and 25-1 when leading after seven innings on the road. Amazing as that is, Sunday's loss hurt.
*A 4-5 road trip isn't horrible. But when you consider two of the wins came at Yankee Stadium, it's disappointing.
*Down 3 1/2 in the Wild Card and 5 in the West with 33 games remaining, the Rangers play their next 10 games against teams - Toronto, Baltimore and Cleveland - that are a combined 49 under .500. Anything less than 8-2 is unacceptible.
*Tom Hicks' empty pockets are a factor. The Rangers couldn't even have a legitimate thought of going after Scott Kazmir and his salaries of $6, $8 and $12 million. Kazmir, now an Angel, is 5-1 with a career ERA against the Rangers of 2.28. Expect to see him at least a couple times down the stretch.
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*Manager Ron Washington continues to confound. Bases loaded and no outs in the 9th and instead of summoning David Murphy he sticks with Elvis Andrus? Murphy's been good lately, he's a lefty (against righty Joe Nathan) and, what do you know, Elvis struck out on three pitches. And with Chris Davis back in form, why does Blalock ever get to play first base again?
*The called third strike on Davis in Friday's 3-2 loss just wasn't. At least six inches outside.
*Despite his injuries, Ian Kinsler (28 homers, 28 stolen bases) is headed for only the second 30-30 season in franchise history. Alfonso Soriano turned the trick in 2005.
*Pedro Strop (rhymes with soap) = Wow!