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The American League
West got off to a decent start this season. 
As the schedule approached mid-June, three of four teams were over .500.


But imagine if the standings
looked like this in the middle of that month:


Tm       W        L          W-L%             GB     

OAK   34        29

TEX    31        34
       .477                 4.0      

LAA    25        38
       .397                 9.0      

SEA    24        42
       .364                 11.5    


Pretty ugly.


That’s what has happened in this division since June 24 (when
the Rangers’ 11-game win streak came to an end).


Among the things I tweeted as yesterday’s third inning was
falling apart:


now it’s hard to put a finger on how this team was able to do what it did in
June.  But thank goodness it did it.


Texas went 21-6 in June, a historically dominant month for
this franchise.  The rest of the season:
two games under .500.


There’s rain in the forecast here tomorrow, but not under
the roof in Toronto, when the Rangers, after sending Scott Feldman out tonight
against Shawn Marcum in a recurrence of the two clubs’ Opening Day matchup, will
give the ball tomorrow to Derek Holland, who will face “To Be Determined” for
the second straight time out. 


The last one didn’t work out so well, when Holland was
decent enough but Minnesota emergency starter Matt Fox shut the Rangers down
before getting designated for assignment afterwards.  Early word is that Jays lefthander Marc
Rzepcynski could go on short rest, after lasting just four innings Saturday against
the Yankees (five runs on six hits and three walks and a hit batsman, 74
pitches overall).


On paper tomorrow’s game looks like a better bet than
tonight’s, as Feldman returns from the disabled list and Marcum comes in on a
streak of four straight quality starts (1-1, 1.93) against Oakland, Boston,
Detroit, and Tampa Bay.  The same Shawn
Marcum who took a no-hitter into the seventh inning against Texas on Opening
Day, only to see the Rangers bust open for five runs late to walk off with the
first improbable win of the season. 


When we gather tomorrow at Sherlock’s/Dallas for our second game-watching
party in a week and half, we’ll raffle off three separate pairs of Lexus Club
Level tickets to the September 27 game against Seattle.  The significance of that one is that it’s the
Rangers’ first home game after a 10-day trip to Seattle, Los Angeles, and
Oakland – which means either that Texas will have clinched a playoff berth by
then (making it the home crowd’s first chance to celebrate that in 11 years),
or that the game will be huge, with seven regular season games to go.


We’ll have three winners (two tickets each).  Raffle tickets will be $10 apiece at the door,
with 100 percent going to the Rangers Foundation.  We’ll conduct the raffle at the end of the
Thad Levine Q&A, which gets going at 5:00 p.m. and will be emceed by ESPN
Radio’s Ben Rogers and his close, personal homeboy Jeff “Skin” Wade.


Details for the party:


WHO: Thad Levine, Rangers Assistant GM;
Q&A emceed by Ben & Skin

WHAT: Q&A session followed by Rangers-Blue
Jays on every TV

WHERE: Sherlock’s Baker St. Pub (9100
N. Central Expressway, northeast corner of 75 and Park Lane)

WHEN: Wednesday, September 8, 2010;
Q&A begins at 5:00 p.m., game time is 6:00 p.m.

COST: Admission is free ($10 raffle
tickets available to win tickets to TEX-SEA on Sept. 27)


If you’re coming tomorrow night and want to lend a hand with
a couple things, let me know. 





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(c) Jamey Newberg




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