I'm running out of things to say about what we're seeing in the most wonderful way ever. 11 straight Rangers wins. Three straight Rangers series sweeps. Seven straight series wins. One game back of the best record in baseball. Tied for the best record in team history at the point in the season.
I don't care about the competition anymore. Yes, the Rangers are going to lose a game again, and yes they're going to play better teams that are going to take some series from them, but the Rangers are finally winning the games they should. And even though this streak is against teams that are bad, nothing is a given. Even really bad teams beat really good teams about 30-35% of the time. I'm just impressed. I'm impressed with the Texas Rangers as a winning entity. That has happened so few times in my life. Winning 11 straight games in Major League Baseball is damn impressive.
- I hope the streak goes on forever. The simple fact is, it isn't going to. We can enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. But man, that next loss is going to be painful. I've gotten so used to winning. I expect it now. I've gotten a taste of what a successful baseball run looks like and now there's no going back. The Rangers have to win the division now. There is no other option.
- What will Jeff Karstens be remembered for most in 20 years? Being the opposing pitcher against the Nationals in Stephen Strasburg's debut, or looking so ghastly for an otherwise fit 20-something young man? I just can't get over what a ghoul that man is.
- It's also ghoulish when the fifth spot in the rotation comes up. The Rangers are going to have to look to do something with Holland and Harden out. Nippert isn't the answer. Nippert just isn't good enough to start without getting overexposed. Matt Harrison will probably get the call next time the fifth spot is needed, but I have my doubts that he'll be much better. I'm honestly beginning to hope the pain in Rich Harden's ass was a legitimate reason for his struggles and that he'll come back soon and give the Rangers some good innings. That's right, bullpen by committee starts are more of a pain in the ass than Rich Harden at the moment.
- Congratulations to Tom Grieve for his impending introduction into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame. The easiest question to ask is: What took so long? Tom Grieve is the Texas Rangers. Now get Zonk in there and we're in business.
- One of the happiest little in-game victories for me was watching Elvis pull out of his mini-slump on Wednesday and then come back the next day and provide a huge one out walk in the ninth, that would see him come around to score the winning run, to go along with two hits. I don't know how I would be able to handle Elvis and doubt intermingled. I never want to know.
- The Rangers scored 13 runs in innings 4-6, over the course of the series, in the traditional innings the pitcher faces the order for the second time. The Rangers scored 12 runs in all other innings in the series. This shows the team did a great job in this series of striking against the Pirates starters after getting an AB or two under their belts. One thing that has seemed to plague the Rangers for the last few years is getting dominated early, even by a starter with poor numbers on the season, and seemingly resigning to the fact that the pitcher might have their number. The Rangers are doing a better job of being patient and continuing to battle.
- Which leads me to two quotes: "It’s a family that wins together. We’re playing really well." - Vladimir Guerrero and "They don’t quit. They don’t give up. They play all nine innings. They never really feel they’re out of games." - Ron Washington. That's a heck of a lot of cliches, but I actually see some truth in this. It seems like the Rangers just want this to keep going and they've decided to believe in each other that each of them agrees that losing even one more time wouldn't be as fun as adding another number onto the win streak total. It's like how no one wants to make two outs in the same inning where a team bats around. The Rangers don't want to lose again and they're playing like it.
So what did we learn against the Pirates?
Winning is rapture.