The Texas Rangers take the field in Arlington on Friday, undoubtedly in a somber mood, looking to extend their winning streak to five. Derek Holland pitched the Rangers to victory on Thursday night, but the win and Holland's brilliant performance were rightfully overshadowed by the tragic death of a fan, who was reaching over past the railing in left field to catch a ball thrown to him by Josh Hamilton. The fan fell over the railing and landed headfirst from a 14-to-20 foot fall, eventually causing his tragic death.
It's something that certainly puts sports into perspective.
As tragic as it is, the Rangers still have a game to play on Friday. C.J. Wilson will take the mound as the Rangers look for their fifth straight win, while the All-Star Wilson looks for his ninth win of the season. Wilson is enjoying another fine season, with an 8-3 record, 3.10 ERA, 1.21 WHIP and 109 SO in 125 innings of work.
The Rangers will be opposed by a lefthander for the A's - Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez is 8-5 on the year with a 2.31 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Gonzalez is holding opposing batters to a .214 average against.
First pitch in Texas is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CDT - but I'd expect a moment of silence for the fan and his family, so it might be a bit after 7:05.