win column! third place.
The Rangers started 9-1. But since Josh Hamilton broke his arm on that daring/dumb dash for home plate in Detroit on April 12, they're 9-17.
That equals 18-18. That equals -- for the first time since April 30, 2010 -- third place in the AL West behind the Angels and the A's, who whipped Texas 7-2 last night in Arlington.
The Rangers, who have lost seven of nine, aren't hitting. Their bullpen cratered again, with Ryan Tucker failing to retire any of the four batters he faced. And now, the frustration is starting to show.
Ace C.J. Wilson was good last night, but an illogically tiny strike zone cost him. In the 3rd he walked both Daric Barton and Conor Jackson on two-out, 3-2 counts, then surrendered a three-run homer to Josh Willingham.
Wilson allowed only one more hit despite pitching into the 8th. The A's are a patient bunch. But Wilson sees them a tad differently, almost -- almost, I said -- calling them out as so many 'fraidy cats.
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"They take everything close. If it's not called a strike, then they walk. It's lawyer ball. That's how they roll. That's how they're going to beat me. That's how they have to beat me. I have to make a bunch of mistakes and walk a bunch of guys because they're not that good of a hitting team. The whole game was frustrating.''
Don't even think that's a back-handed compliment, is it?
While Tommy Hunter's rehab from a groin injury suffered another setback on Monday, pitcher Scott Feldman and MVP Hamilton are closer to playing again. Hamilton could take batting practice with the team on Friday.
When you lose your best pitcher (Neftali Feliz) and best hitter (Hamilton) to the DL it's going to have a negative effect. But is the 9-17 slump merely a product of injuries, or do the Rangers have bigger, more enduring problems that even Hamilton can't fix?