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Brief, Optimistic Reflection

I said in the Lone Star Ball comments and I say again here: as I did not properly appreciate the late 90s teams, this past week+ may have been the most fun I've ever had as a Rangers fan.

There's a reason a run like this hasn't happened often in the history of the franchise: it's special. Yes, winning eight in the row is made easier by facing weaker opponents, but it's one thing to have a winning road trip; that was to be expected. 8/9 and eight in a row is not something even the best teams can expect in that situation.

Yes, the Brewers are bad, but winning a series on the road is always a plus, especially when the opponents have solid pitching match-ups.

The Marlins are not bad and no team save maybe the beasts of the East should go in to Florida in a series where Josh Johnson pitches the first game and expect a win two out of three; let alone get a sweep.

The Astros are putrid, and they were about as close to a likely road sweep as the Rangers could expect to find, but even then two out of three should be considered a success. The Rangers met or exceeded expectations in three straight series at a point in the season where that's crucial.

Baseball Prospectus currently puts the Rangers playoff odds at a little better than 80%. Only one in five times should the rest of this season play out without the Rangers surviving past 162 games. That's the best in baseball right now and, yes, that includes the rest of the schedule.

Yes, it was an easy part of the schedule. Yes, we would do well to be a little cautious. But don't even think about sweeping the eight straight wins under the rug as simply a sign of a weak schedule. Major League Baseball is too even for that to be the normal case. Yes, things will get tougher, but there's reason to believe they will make it through those tough times, and beating up on the weak opponents makes it easier to sustain the blows of those tough times. The Rangers just did something awesome and may well be putting together a season to remember.

Now keep it up.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.