Rangers hope series finale win builds momentum
Texas managed to salvage a win in a dismal offensive series. And although it wasn't an impressive win -- aside from the outstanding pitching performance from Scott Feldman -- it allowed the Rangers to get back on the winning side of things before the Los Angeles Angels get to town for a huge four-game set that begins Monday.
"It feels good after what we've done the past two days," David Murphy said of the win. "It was a solid game all around. ... Bottom line is it's a win. With a big four-game series coming up, you love to build a little momentum with a win heading into that series."
With the Angels coming to town, there will be plenty of excitement around the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington over the next few days. Los Angeles comes in trailing the Rangers by five games in the American League West.
However, the Angels are in third place as they enter Texas. The surging Oakland Athletics, who are 18-4 in July, have moved into second place in the West and are 4 1/2 games back of the Rangers.
"We've just got to worry about what's going inside this clubhouse and not worry about what is going on outside of here," Texas closer Joe Nathan said. "We can't worry about what Oakland is doing, what L.A. is doing. We're still in July. There's a lot of baseball to be played. (Sunday) was game 100. There's a lot of season left. We've just got to get back to playing good baseball, consistent baseball and just keep battling."
Nevertheless, this Angels' series is extremely important.
"At this point in the year, any game is important," Michael Young said. "We're past the All-Star break and into the second half. August is right around the corner. Obviously, no one is going to clinch a playoff berth in this series, so we'll look at it as an opportunity to go out and get better."
The biggest thing is not allowing Los Angeles to win three, or even worse, four games in the series. The Rangers have the benefit of being the team that is being pursued. The Angels are the ones trying to make up ground. A split in this series is in favor of Texas. As long as the Rangers can get out of the next four games without any major hiccup, they've done their job.
Because like Young said, a playoff berth isn't going to be clinched in this series. However, if the Rangers lay an egg and the Angels walk out of Texas with three or four wins, clinching that playoff berth in September could be a bit more challenging.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus joins Galloway & Company to discuss having Scott Boras as his agent, his new contract and having Jurickson Profar in the lineup.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss Yu Darvish's pitch count and how he spends time in the clubhouse during weather delays.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company for his weekly visit to discuss the latest Rangers news.
Play Podcast Reid Ryan joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss his new position with the Houston Astros and whether he could see his dad, Nolan, joining him there in the future.
Play Podcast ESPN MLB Insider Jayson Stark joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss if the Rangers are the best team in baseball, what makes them so good and if he thinks the team will trade Jurickson Profar.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss Ron Washington's decision to send Yu Darvish to the mound for the eighth inning Thursday night and how he would handle a situation like that if he were still a GM.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley and Glenn "Stretch" Smith discuss the latest Rangers news, including the Yu Darvish-Justin Verlander matchup.
Play Podcast Nelson Cruz joins Galloway & Company to discuss the Rangers' series in Oakland, his ups and downs at the plate and if the PED talks before the season were a distraction.