Rangers finish homestand in good position
Texas is 4 1/2 games ahead of the Oakland A's in the AL West and up two games on the New York Yankees for the best record in the American League after going 7-3 against Baltimore, Minnesota and Tampa Bay. Two of those teams are squarely in the wild card hunt. But that's not why they are happy. Manager Ron Washington said the club just worries about itself and the last 10 days have shown they are playing better overall baseball.
The Rangers' offense, dormant for much of June and July, has roared back in August. This homestand was no exception. The club hit .294 in the six games. They had 17 home runs and scored 63 runs, an impressive 6.3 per game. The pitching staff had a 3.00 ERA during that span. That included a ridiculous 0.68 ERA from the bullpen, which had 31 strikeouts and five walks and held the opponents to a .188 batting average.
"We still have room for improvement, but I think we're happy where we're at right now," veteran Michael Young said. "Happy is not the same thing as satisfied. I think this homestand you saw a team that started to recognized that the stretch drive is right around the corner. We've said all along we wanted to improve as the season progressed, and I think we've done that."
Washington said he was glad that his team played more to its capabilities and did what it needed to do to win games. It puts the Rangers in a good position as they begin the final month of the season.
"The key is to just keep winning series," Washington said. "Right now we’re grinding to do what we’re doing. I'm not at all surprised. The bigger the challenge, the better we play. We've got a challenge the rest of the way, so I think we'll play well."
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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.
Play Podcast Rangers manager Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Oakland for his weekly visit.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway & Company to discuss his role with the Rangers. Ryan says that he has not been in contact with the Astros about a possible opening and he doesn't think that he would be interested anyway.
Play Podcast Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett for his weekly visit and wastes no time sounding off on MLB umpire Angel Hernandez.
Play Podcast Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland joins GAC from Milwaukee to discuss what it was like facing former teammate Scott Feldman, Texas' upcoming series and more.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett live from Milwaukee for his weekly visit and discusses Nick Tepesch, the Rangers' rotation, interleague play and more.