The takeaway was not that Ryan Dempster, who cost Texas far less from a far deeper system than Zack Greinke cost the flagging Angels, is now 2-1, 6.04 as a Ranger (with the club 3-1 in his starts) while Greinke is 1-2, 6.19 in his five (with Los Angeles 1-4 when he pitches). It was more about Dempster’s marked Colby Lewis-ness, supremely efficient and very effective on his good nights, a guy who fits third or fourth in a solid playoff rotation if he’s in a groove. And that’s really all that Texas needs to expect, given the cost.
Texas 4, Baltimore 1 was an unremarkable, workmanlike effort, one that lifted the Rangers to 21 games over .500 for the third time this season, the previous two of which were followed by losses. Scott Feldman gets the chance tonight to set a new high-water mark for the 2012 club, facing righthander Chris Tillman, who’s usually pretty good against Texas.
Moving to 22 over would just be a number, without as much pop as the 9.5 that sits on the Angels’ line in the standings, nestled neatly and symmetrically between Oakland’s 6.0 and Seattle’s 13.0.
More important than games over .500 is games over Baltimore in this series, and if Texas can take either tonight’s game or tomorrow’s, it’s another series win, and that’s a bigger deal than any Magic Number calculation. Keep winning series and everything will be just fine.
The Rangers have lost only one series since the trade deadline.
The Angels have won just one.
Looking ahead to the Angels’ off-season, I don’t really know how impulsive Arte Moreno is, and at the moment I don’t really care, but I’m pretty sure that whatever he has in mind my reaction will be to go ahead and bring it.
I took in last night’s game in a new way, invited by Fox Sports Southwest’s Ramon Alvarez, along with a handful of other Rangers-centric bloggers (including Lone Star Ball’s Adam Morris, Baseball Time in Arlington’s Joey Matschulat, SB Nation Dallas’s Jonathan Tjarks and John Stathas, Shutdown Inning’s Peter Ellwood, and Claw and Antler Nation’s James Holland), to come to the Ballpark and test-drive Fox’s interactive Game Connect platform, developed by FOX RSN Digital Media’s Director of Product and Technology Mike Conley. It’s an impressive, smart, ambitious, jam-packed baseball sensory overload for people who embrace baseball sensory overload.
Visit the Rangers’ Game Connect site and you might find that the information you’d typically pull up three or four sites during a ballgame to grab is all in one place, visualized in better ways and allowing you to dig two or three levels beneath the surface on any given at-bat, in real time. If Twitter or other social media outlets are your in-game thing, that’s there, too. Sending questions to Tom and Buzz in the booth as the game unfolds: Yep. There are probably a dozen features of the site that I never dug into.
Right now, it’s taking all of my resolve not to do emergency surgery on Ken Rosenthal’s column this morning that proposes Elvis Andrus, Martin Perez, and Cody Buckel to Tampa Bay this winter for at least three years of David Price, an ambitious idea of baseball sensory overload for people who embrace baseball sensory overload.
For now, I’m just gonna spend the day working, satisfied with last night’s comfortably satisfying win and the pitcher who earned it, and coming away from it with one other tangential conclusion besides the sense that Conley is onto something with Game Connect (and seems very motivated to make it even better): That I’d put the group of bloggers who write about the Texas Rangers in this little “football town” of ours up against anyone’s in baseball.
Now go win the dang series.