Saturday, May 10, 2008

Seriously, how much longer can this go on?

On April 10, the Rangers swept a double header from the Baltimore Orioles to go to 5-4 and put them over .500 for the very first time in Ron Washington's tenure as manager. Over the next 18 games, they lost 14 in absolutely awful ways: blown saves, blowouts, errors, and a lack of clutch hitting. Their record went as far down as 9-18 and it looked like another editions of the sorry, last place Texas Rangers. More of the same.

Then something happened. I'm not sure what. I'm reading all the blogs I usually read and no one seems to know what happened, but it's like a light has gone on. They've won 9 of 11 and are two games from .500 and only 4 games out of first place.

If you had said that early in May your rotation would be Millwood, Padilla, Sidney Ponson, Scott Feldman, and AJ Murray, you would have been very worried about your chances. They are basically working with their 7th, 8th, and 9th starters and each one of them have thrown at least one quality start in this little streak. The offense has been good, but not great. This streak is a product of excellent pitching. And like I said, I have no idea why. I also have no idea how long it can keep going.

It looks like smoke and mirrors to me. You can't really count on Ponson pitching like he did in 2003, the last time his ERA was below 5. Feldman is a converted sidearm throwing bullpen guy, and Murray's topside is #5 or a long man out of the bullpen. They can just as easily go on a streak of losing 8 of 10, and will Millwood going out of tonight's game with a sore hamstring, who know who will actually pitch this week.

So, enjoy it while you can, Ranger's fans. We have an interesting little team here.

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