THE BOOT IS OURS! Silver Boot! Silver Boot! And by ours, I mean the Texas Rangers'. Yes, yet another Interleague season has passed us by with the Texas Rangers securing the Silver Boot. I've never been more relieved. The thought of those Drayton McLane troglodytes getting their sweaty Southern Texan hands on our Silver Boot just sent shivers up my spine. If nothing else, at least Tom Hicks will have something to hock if the sale doesn't go through.
And yet, this lady, with the Rangers nearing the best record in baseball and their best record at this point in the season, is clearly not impressed nor satisfied.
The price of heightened expectations...
- The streak is gone. It was fun, but it is over. In the game that ended the 11 game win streak, the Rangers probably shouldn't have lost. They were facing perhaps the best starting pitching matchup of the entire series (Moehler/Lewis) and they failed in pretty much every aspect of the game. However, we knew it was coming. We knew it couldn't last forever. To last 11 games were remarkable. But in baseball, in a 162 game season, you just can't expect to win all of the games that you should.
- I was especially interested on how the team would respond to a rare loss, and so, the Rangers bounced back to win the next two games against the Astros, securing their team record 8th straight series win. It was nice to see the Rangers could play terrible baseball for the first time in weeks and yet continue on the next two games like the still remembered how to win. There are Rangers teams of past years that would have crumbled after that first loss.
- Regardless of the loss to Moehler, the Rangers are actually doing a great job of winning the games they should. Of course, that's been the criticism of the winnings streak, if such a thing is legitimate; all of the games have been should-wins. Think what you want about the opponents defeated, but the Rangers are 15-2 since the Draft night "give-up" lineup against Cliff Lee and the Mariners. It's nice to see that the Rangers aren't playing down to the level of their opponent regardless of complaint from jealous fans of foes.
- Now I wouldn't seriously suggest this as it calls into question the integrity of a person I don't know, but it would be absolutely hilarious if Roy Oswalt didn't bring his A-Game to a muggy Texas night in the finale of the series. Someone should look for video of a wink at Nolan Ryan.
- The happiest I've been with Ron Washington as manager was finding out he too was pissed off about the bunts on Friday night. It's frustrating, isn't it Ron?
- Elvis Andrus is an absolute weapon as a cut-off man. In the growing, mountainous list of amazing things that Elvis excels at, his ability to relay a throw from the outfield to nail a guy trying to score or sneak an extra base is a talent we've been privy to several times in the last couple of days. It's good to have a cannon for an arm.
- Something really important happened on Saturday afternoon. While Ian Kinsler has been struggling to put up positive numbers in the slugging department, and coming off what might have been his low point of the season since he got back from injury by getting himself ejected the night before, Ian finally, FINALLY, turned on a pitch thrown inside that caught just a little bit too much of the plate and drilled it to the seats. Ian doesn't have to be an elite home run hitter to be successful on this team, but getting some power from his bat would be huge. And frankly, Ian Kinsler seems like the type of player that needs success to be successful. Perhaps the low point on Friday gave way to a renewed effort to strive.
So what did we learn against the Astros?
485 ft. has never looked so near.