Bad break (and tonight's NBC 5 Sports Extra).
Fifty wins at the Break, despite losing 16 of the first 23 games of the season. Despite its players spending over 700 games on the major league disabled list so far, which is responsible in part for suiting up a phenomenal 46 players, and counting.
The Rangers have played 23 series since those first 23 games. Of those 23 series, they’ve lost only three.
This club features the player who, after two months, most considered the frontrunner for American League MVP, but who, according to ESPN, is only the runner-up at this point: Jayson Stark believes Josh Hamilton has ceded the honor at this point.
To Ian Kinsler.
The transformation that Kinsler has made this year, on the field and as a leader on this team, has been as adrenalizing as any Rangers development this season.
His 25-game hit streak, best in the league this season, is second in franchise history to Gabe Kapler’s 28-game run in 2000.
Kapler’s line during his streak was .375/.408/.652.
Kinsler’s during his is .425/.508/.717.
Milton Bradley is hitting .316/.440/.610 in 269 at-bats, with 19 home runs, 41 extra-base hits, 57 RBI, 164 total bases, 56 walks, and 55 runs.
Alex Rodriguez is hitting .312/.392/.581 in 279 at-bats, with 19 home runs, 37 extra-base hits, 53 RBI, 162 total bases, 33 walks, and 53 runs.
Michael Young hit .339 during his 23-game hit streak from May 14 through June 10. During his current 15-game run, he’s hitting .429, averaging a multi-hit game (30 hits in 15 games). All of a sudden, he’s on pace for 199 hits.
Hamilton had driven in runs in eight straight games before failing to do so in today’s win, and he sits at 95 RBI in 93 games as he boards a flight, with Kinsler and Bradley and Young, to New York to be where they belong the next few days.
Not sliding on the Shea Stadium tarp, as they did four weeks ago in another unusually defining moment for this club, but suiting up as the choice of their peers, if not the fans, to represent the league as the best it has to offer right now.
There’s something really good happening here, especially when you consider the massive influx of rookies who are contributing to this team and the multiple waves of prospects marching behind them, and as much as I know the pitching staff desperately needs this break – and yet still managed to help this club win two games in each of the last five series – I’m already bothered that it will be five days before Texas takes the field again.
There’s nothing about 2008 that looks remotely like 2007 for the Rangers, but that’s not stopping Newy Scruggs from re-airing the story he did on the Newberg Report a year ago. If you’re interested, the five-minute feature will run on tonight’s NBC 5 Sports Extra program, which starts at 10:30.
As optimistic as I appeared to be in that story, it was nothing compared to how fired up I am now.