Last night while I sat at the game, I could feel the frustration and anger building up in regards to this team. I wanted to vent...I wanted to rant. And the loyal followers here, you were to be my sounding boards.
No rant...no complaints...no problems...
This is the beauty of the game of baseball. In all sports, one can argue that winning fixes everything. Baseball is the ideal example. Players have good days, they have bad days, but many more times than not they will talk about how the team did, not how they did.
Last night Albert Pujols hit two more home runs at the Ballpark (seriously, I've seen the guy play three times in my life, he has 7 HRs...people, please stop me from going to games that Pujols plays in!!!). But if you ask Albert about them last night, he'd deflect and talk about giving away a winnable game.
Same goes the opposite way...you can go 0-5 with three strikeouts and two double plays while making a run-scoring error in the field...but if the team wins, that's all that matters.
And the further into the season we get, especially October, no one really, truly cares how "you" perform, just as long as the team is winning. Collect wins, not fireworks.
And last night was no different, the fact, and what everyone will remember was the win. How we won...who did what...how far we were down...and hopefully the aftermath of a comeback win like that.
Had they not...
...I'd be going off on "Mr. Pop-Up in the Infield" and his .339 on-base percentage from the leadoff spot. I'd be screaming for more taken pitches and stop swing at the first pitch with runners at 2nd and 3rd and no one out! BUT...I'm not, because of a three-hit night and game-tying solo shot in the ninth and a W at the end of the day.
...I'd be going off on the "Face of the Franchise" about his .268 AVG (lowest since 2002) and .296 OBP (lowest of his career) and his stubbornness to always wanting to be in the lineup. BUT...I'm not, because of two runs scored last night and when teams turn-around like they did last night, team captains (regardless of how you feel about them) get a good amount of credit.
...I'd be going off on 100 strikeouts in 101 games played, an obvious overall power reduction, and a frustration of not taking steps forward in runs driven in and walks taken. BUT...I'm not, because of a frozen rope to the plate to prevent any further damage and a home run that out-distanced a "Roided Up" Jose Canseco (seriously, OVER the visitor's bullpen...WOW!).
...I'd be going off an import who walked six on 108 pitches, but only finished five innings and has allowed five or more earned runs in three of his last four starts. BUT...I'm not, because I'll remind you (and myself) that before the season started I said give this young man one full season to adjust and aside from the third inning (worst of the season), he battled and saved the bullpen 2+ innings of work.
...I'd be going off on a closer that not only hit Torii Hunter to face Albert Pujols (two-run HR), but also allowed a solo shot from Trou-...Trumb-...Morale-...not wait, CHRIS IANNETTA! BUT...I'm not, because the fact is that he has only allowed three or more base runners five times this season and hasn't blown a save opportunity since April 11th.
...I'd be going off on Josh Hamilton...(no comment)...
There are plenty of gaps in the Rangers' rotation, bullpen, and lineup...BUT, the team still is 60-43 and holds a four-game lead on the Angels and is only a half-game off the best record in the American League.
Will last nights walk-off, four-run 10th inning win over the Halos spark this team into a huge month of August, I don't know, but I wouldn't bet against it. Baseball is a funny sport, teams get hot, they get cold, they get Russia cold, and then also get Texas hot! The face of the 25 players that make-up the Rangers has changed over the past 48 hours and significantly over the past two months, but that's baseball...that's the marathon. And the teams that stand and play in October survive those six months, they find ways to win, and they comeback from down six to their archrival when the team is coming off a 9-14 month and 1-4 in the last five games...that's what winning teams do.
In the past 48 hours the Rangers made three significant moves to improve the ballclub. On Monday, they traded for Chicago Cubs catcher Geovany Soto and designated Yorvit Torrealba for assignment. Soto is a stud, defensive catcher, is struggling with his hitting, but came here for another reason...On Tuesday, at the July 31st Trade Deadline Buzzer, the Rangers acquired Cubs RHP Ryan Dempster (NL ERA leader) for two A-ball prospects (High-A Myrtle Beach 3B Christian Villanueva and Low-A Hickory RHP Kyle Hendricks).
Beyond excited to get Mr. Dempster started off here in Texas and essentially have him replace the injured Colby Lewis. Dempster is a free agent at the end of the season. No need to talk about potentially resigning him, a whole lot is going to happen between now and then.
Finally, minutes after the amazing comeback win, the Texas Rangers announced they had purchased AA-Frisco 3B Mike Olt's contract and promoted him to "the Show." Olt will be starting at 1B and batting 8th tonight for the Rangers.
My excitement for this young man and the potential he brings will be saved for another day. All I can say is that I have NEVER been more excited about a prospects promotion to the Major Leagues...not Cohiba's...not Felix's...not Kinsler's...and not even Elvis Andrus's (and that was a special day).