The Rangers Are Pitching a Fit of Late.
By Thom Fain on Wednesday, August 22, 2012 at 3:54 PM
Listen: We know that the "one more strike" moment in last year's World Series is still fresh on the minds of every Rangers fan. But, fear not, ye of flailing blind faith.
The divisional race is all but a foregone conclusion, and the only team between the Rangers and Our Moment are those older models up in the Bronx. And make no mistake about it: There will be blood when the teams meet again in October.
That's because, finally, it looks as if things are stabilizing out on the mound for Your Texas Rangers, what with Yu Darvish returning to form and Ryan Dempster starting to look a lot like what we bargained for, which is to say that's he's looking a lot like Colby Lewis.
Collectively, Texas pitched about as good as it has all season over the past week, with the staff combining for an ERA of 2.87. They've only allowed 12 runs in the five games since jetting out of New York.
Expect Derek Holland to keep that trend alive tonight against the O's.
• The Rangers' hottest hitter in the last seven days is David Murphy (.308), who had 11 hits in 16 at-bats, including a solo shot in Toronto off of pitcher Chad Jenkins. Murph also connected for two doubles in that game.
• The AL West-leading Rangers (71-51) look to be pulling away with the division crown. They lead the hot Oakland Athletics by five games, and have pulled ahead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim by eight and a half games. And they're currently within one game of the New York Yankees for best record in the American League.
• The Rangers' pitching situation looks tons better, with Joe Nathan converting his 22nd, 23rd and 24th saves of the season this week. Meanwhile, Ryan Dempster (7-6) tossed a commanding eight-inning performance on Monday after getting extra rest over the weekend.
• Elvis Andrus has been crazy awesome this August, going 27-for-72 for a .375 batting average. The 23-year-old gave fans an artful fielding performance this week, too, highlighted by this jump throw to first against the Orioles.
• Here's a fun fact: Ex-Rangers manager and current Orioles skipper Buck Showalter decided to don the number 26 in Baltimore, paying homage to the late, great Johnny Oates, who won three division titles as Texas' skipper in the late '90s.
• The Rangers only made two transactions in the last week, placing Ryan Dempster on the restricted list after he missed a game due to personal reasons and recalling Leonys Martin from Round Rock, before reinstating Dempster from the restricted list three days later and optioning Martin back down to the minors.