I said last night I wasn’t going to write today. Didn’t feel like it. Still don’t, really.
But I took a quick look at the standings, just to take my mind off Chicago 3, Texas 1, which never felt close.
Texas is 17-11, and leads Oakland by 1.5 games.
Four division leaders have the same win-loss record, and only one of those has a greater division lead.
Of the six division leaders, only Boston (20-8) has a better record than Texas, and that’s going to remain the case unless the Rangers beat the Red Sox tonight, and again tomorrow, and again Sunday, in which case they’ll have identical records.
Imagining this offense putting enough good stuff together against Boston three times in a row isn’t easy, even though the Rangers will miss Clay Buchholz and will get John Lackey, but then again maybe Felix Doubront, Lackey, or Jon Lester will come down with a stomach bug and some emergency starter will breeze through the Texas lineup.
Boston-Texas tilts tend to involve big offense, and while I’m normally a pitching/defense guy, I’m in the mood right now for a 9-3 win, an 11-9 ice cream headache, a five-run eighth that ends up extending a game past nine.
That would feel good.
With Matt Harrison now needing a second back surgery and Colby Lewis and Martin Perez still a few weeks away, at least, it would stand to reason, one month in, that the pitching would be the tension point for this club.
And yet the Rangers’ number eight and number seven starters, Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch, just finished number one and number two in the American League Rookie of the Month voting for April.
Grimm deserved better last night. He made one bad pitch, after two weak two-out singles, and suddenly a shutout flipped to a 3-1 deficit.
Three Chicago runs shouldn’t have been enough. They were.
I had a story idea yesterday that I’ll eventually run with, but not today. And my writing this weekend will be sparse (and maybe even confined to Twitter). I apologize for that in advance.
This is still a first-place team, and not in a hold-your-breath Royals/Rockies kinda way. The pitching is solid, the defense is, too, the baserunning is usually a strength, and the offense will be fine.
Really. The offense will be fine.
I’d just sorta like to see that happen now, with the great Mike Napoli and baseball’s best team in town. There will be at least one (well-deserved) standing ovation this weekend for the former Rangers dirtbag, but I’m ready for a few more than that for the Texas offense that he left behind.