Saturday a.m. Rangers things

HOUSTON - JUNE 18: Justin Smoak #12 of the Texas Rangers receives a high five from Josh Hamilton #32 after hitting a two run home run in the seventh inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on June 18, 2010 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Going for seven in a row tonight, with Colbyashi on the mound against Brian Moehler.  This is the soft spot of the schedule, and the Rangers need to take advantage...they have a stretch late in the year with two 10 game road trips sandwiched around a 5 game homestand, and have a stretch of 36 out of 54 games on the road. 

The next month or so, the schedule is in the Rangers' favor, so this team needs to keep winning games and doing what it has been doing the past week, and get some space between them and the rest of the West.

Jeff Wilson's game story talks about Justin Smoak showing some life from the right side yesterday, with a double and a home run.

T.R. Sullivan's game story talks about how the Rangers' pitchers continued to contribute to the cause while hitting under the N.L. rules.

Evan Grant, in his post-game notes, praises Scott Feldman for giving the Rangers seven innings (helping a taxed bullpen get some rest), and talks about the production the Rangers are getting from Josh Hamilton, Julio Borbon, and Ian Kinsler.

Elvis Andrus has been slumping lately, but says that he and Clint Hurdle have identified some mechanical flaws that they think are causing the problems.

Sullivan's notes talks about Derek Holland and Rich Harden, neither of whom apparently will be back before the All Star Break.  Tommy Hunter apparently should be ready to go on Tuesday, but the Rangers will need another starter on Wednesday (unless they opt to move everyone up a day after the off-day on Monday, something they generally are reluctant to do).  Guillermo Moscoso is apparently the leading candidate to come up from Oklahoma and pitch, should they decide to go that route.

Anthony Andro's notes in the S-T also talk about the rotation situation, along with the news that supplemental first rounder Mike Olt has signed with the Rangers.

Brian McTaggart, from the Astros website, has a story where Nolan Ryan acknowledges the Rangers' interest in trading for Roy Oswalt.

I'm coming around to the view that, because of Oswalt's salary and no-trade clause, the cost in terms of prospects won't be as high as I initially thought.  I think you could avoid parting with one of the big five prospects (Neftali Feliz, Justin Smoak, Derek Holland, Martin Perez, and Tanner Scheppers), although you'd need to give up some guys close to the majors.  Mitch Moreland showing he can mash AAA pitching would be a big help, since he's the type of player who would be expendable and who would be a quality trade chip if he can mash like folks think he can.

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