Goodbye, June. Hello, July.
Hello, Win Column. Goodbye, Yu Darvish winless start streak.
The Rangers finished the month with a record of 14-14. That may sound middling without the benefit of context, but there was a time when the Rangers were 4-11 on the month. Since that point, the team has gone on a 10-3 streak against the likes of Oakland, St. Louis, New York and Cincinnati.
So while the Rangers may have played .500 ball over the last month, they remain in first place in the A.L. West, and survived what very well could be the toughest part of the schedule this season.
To echo those sentiments, Gil LeBreton writes about the Rangers surviving their mid-June swoon and keeping themselves in the race as we head into baseball's fourth month.
Todd Wills has the Rapid Reaction to the Rangers' 3-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds in what ended up being quite a battle between aces Darvish and Mat Latos.
Darvish collected his first win since Mid-May; T.R. Sullivan writes a game recap about this fact.
Jeff Wilson's game story focuses on Darvish matching zeros with Latos and includes this quote from Darvish on his use of the fastball yesterday:
"I just wanted to shut all the people up who were talking about my fastballs," Darvish said.
Translation: "Hey DFW sports media, how about you leave the pitching to me."
Behind the DMN paywall, Evan Grant writes that Darvish featured a heavy dose of fastballs to dominate the Reds and win the game out of spite.
MLB.com's Richard Justice writes that Darvish reasserted his fastball yesterday and quieted the doubters. Because, yes, a Rangers' pitcher with elite stuff having one of the better seasons for the team in the last 20 years apparently has doubters.
Wills has an update on Tanner Scheppers who was so erratic and ineffective in the 8th inning yesterday that Ron Washington took him out after going to a 2-0 count on Jay Bruce with the bases loaded. Scheppers alleviates the fear that his heavy usage this season might have finally caught up with him by saying that he just had a bad outing and that he is physically fine.
Now that it is July, that means it's time to ramp up Trade Deadline talk. ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine writes about the Rangers' interest in White Sox right fielder Alex Rios.
T.R. Sullivan and Master Tesfatsion share Notebook duties and report on Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis' rehab, Scheppers' rusty outing, Lance Berkman's balky knee, and other items.
Drew Davison's notes tackle Berkman's expensive uselessness, Scheppers feeling fine, and Lewis saying that he's optimistic following his latest bullpen session.
Lastly, Grant blogs a few items including that of Adrian Beltre's visible dugout leadership following a mental error by Engel Beltre yesterday and Jeff Baker still in limbo following his overly-enthusiastic high-five thumb injury.