Sep 25, 2012

The Rangers Magic Number is five.

Their Magic Number for the playoffs is three, and their Magic Number for Home Field Advantage is eight.

(Have I told you folks the Renee Magic Number story? It is a hoot.  Maybe another time.)

Wow! Look at Napoli jump!
In the meantime, let us talk about last night's odd little A's/Rangers tilt.  Derek "Dutch" Holland had looked marvelous lately, so, last night, of course, he could not find the strike zone, and gave up two massive bombs to Cespedes and Donaldson.  He lasted all of three total innings, and left, trailing three to one.

When I saw that Roy Oswalt was coming in for the fourth, I had resigned myself to the fact that the Rangers were most certainly going to lose, and that Oswalt would act like a little cry baby again, and that Ranger fans everywhere would scream, "DFA the bum, already!"

Lo, and behold, Oswalt pitched very well for two frames, and kept the Rangers in the game. Hamilton (we discovered what his mystery illness was, but it still sounds like a fishy story) hit a second-deck bomb job of his own, and the Rangers were trailing four to two, bottom of the seventh.

The A's yanked Straily (after a v fine effort) with two out, bottom seven, and brought in Neshak. (Neshak had blown the A's four run 13th inning lead in the Bronx a few days ago.)  Neshak walked Hamilton, got to two strikes on Beltre, and then got rocked by an opposite field home run, tying the game at four.

A's fans are surely wondering why Ross pitched the ninth.  (I feel bad for Ross, he has had a v rough year.) But, for whatever reason, Managers are reluctant to bring in their closers in tied ballgames on the road.  There were some other options for Melvin, too (Doolittle, the Rangers had lefty Moreland lead off) but Melvin went for Ross.

Ross faced five batters, giving up one run, three singles, an intentional walk, and recorded his only out on Elvis Andrus' sacrifice.  And, that is your ballgame.

(Melvin's oddest move to me last night was sending the runner in the top of the ninth with Cespedes -- who murders the Rangers -- in the on deck circle.)

Beltre's legend continues to grow in Arlington.  He had a spectacular game last night, despite still being v sick.

Alright, we do it all again tonight! Darvish v Milone.  You gotta love nerve-wracking Pennant Race baseball.


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