Rangers? More Like Crusaders.
By Thom Fain on Wednesday September 5 2012 at 1:30 PM
While various North Texas counties have taken to the skies of late to kill of those pesky mosquitoes, Your Texas Rangers have been rolling into cities all over America, killing off teams with the kind of offensive bombardments that break records and make legends. One by one, opponents are losing all hope.
''Texas is probably the best team in baseball, period,'' Indians manager Manny Acta was quoted as saying after an 8-3 loss to Texas this week. ''The guy hitting ninth today [Rangers super-prospect Jurickson Profar] could be in the middle of the order for most teams. And how do you get the ball through the infield with the guys they have playing there? They should go very deep, if not back to the World Series, again this year.''
You're right about that one, Mr. Acta. And the Rangers' 2012 Crusade will not be finished until they find that Glory.
Yu Darvish looks determined to pitch a no hitter. Josh Hamilton is gunning like Samuel H. Walker. Adrian Beltre looks like The Terminator out there. And Jurickson Profar looks like he's about to be the first player born in 1993 to date a supermodel.
Forward they march.
• The Rangers' hottest hitter in the last seven days is David Murphy (.321), who had 11 hits in 21 at-bats, including two home runs and 20 total bases. He was the lone hot Rangers bat in those downtrodden weeks of June and July, and, all year long, he has hammered lefties with an incredible split: .400 BA / .439 OBP / .483 SLG.
• The AL West-leading Rangers (80-55) remain first in the American League, and eight games ahead of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. But the pesky Oakland Athletics just will not go away, creeping to within 3.5 games of the Rangers with their win last night.
• The Rangers' pitching situation looks about the same, with Scott Feldman (6-11) continuing his slide and Derek Holland (10-6) continuing his rise, and with Ryan Dempster (4-1) pitching two-hit ball in his only appearance over the week. And there's appears an elongated gait to Yu Darvish's swagger with each passing week.
• Jurickson Profar proved just why he's the No. 1-ranked prospect in all of baseball this week, becoming the first Texas player to hit a home run in his first at-bat for the team, and just the third teenager in big league history to do it. He followed that with a double in his next at bat, and the 19-year-old effectively set up a prime offseason debate: Who goes first, Elvis Andrus or Ian Kinsler?
• Here's a fun fact: Rangers big bats Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz hit back-to-back home runs on Monday, making it the first time the band did so in consecutive games in five years. But can you name the individual with home runs in the most consecutive games? That would be Don Mattingly, who had 10 of them in a stretch of 8 games during 1987 for the New York Yankees.
• The Rangers made a few notable transactions in the past week. They selected the contract of pitcher Tyler Tufts from Frisco and placed him on the 15-day DL. The team also placed Robbie Ross on 15-day DL, retroactive to August 30. They also recalled OF Leonys Martin, LHP Martin Perez, RHP Tanner Scheppers, INF-OF Brandon Snyder and RHP Yoshinori Tateyama from Round Rock. Texas also selected the contract of Jurickson Profar from Frisco, and designated pitcher Miguel De Los Santos for assignment.