ARLINGTON TX - JULY 23: C.J. Wilson #36 of the Texas Rangers throws against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 23 2010 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Texas is 7 games up in the A.L. West. That's the biggest lead of any division leader in baseball.
BP has the Rangers' percentage chances of winning the division at a shade about 91%. No other team in baseball has even an 80% chance of winning the division, per BP.
The Rangers just won a 1-0 game against Anaheim behind 8 outstanding innings from C.J. Wilson, who has come back from the All Star Break with a couple of very strong outings in a row.
The Rangers, facing a difficult second-half schedule, have gone 7-2 since the All Star Break, with 5 of those wins on the road, and all of them against playoff contenders.
The Ranger bullpen, which has been ridden heavily in the first half of the year, has gotten most of the last four games off. In the past four games, Doug Mathis has pitched 2 innings, Darren Oliver has pitched 1 inning, and Neftali Feliz has pitched 1 2/3 innings. And that's all the work the bullpen has had to do.
The Rangers have their biggest lead in the A.L. West since 1999. They haven't been in first place this late in the season since 2004.
At 57-40, the 2010 Rangers have the best record (along with the 1999 Rangers) in team history after 97 games.
And they are doing this with a terrible bench, a rookie closer, no production from first base, a catching situation that has been a disaster this year, their Opening Day #1 and #2 starters being major disappointments, a manager who we learned this spring tested positive for cocaine last year, and with the ownership fiasco going on and the organization currently in bankruptcy court.
This is truly amazing...not just what this team is doing, but what it is having to overcome to do it.
The one down note from yesterday was Matt Treanor leaving the game with a sprained knee. The Rangers' website notes indicate he'll have an MRI today and be re-evaluated, but I'd be shocked if Max Ramirez isn't recalled, and either Treanor put on the disabled list or Doug Mathis optioned to AAA. Texas has to have a backup catcher available this weekend, and Treanor isn't likely to be able to play anytime real soon.
Tom Grieve will be inducted into the Rangers' Hall of Fame today, and Evan Grant doesn't understand why Grieve has had to wait so long.
The S-T has a story about the Hall of Fame luncheon yesterday.
Barry Horn's sports media column in the DMN says that the Rangers' winning ways are resulting in higher ratings. Horn also takes Josh Lewin to task for, in Horn's opinion, reacting to the Rangers winning by amping up the pop culture references and off-topic talk, rather than focusing on baseball.