Another quality win for the Rangers yesterday, but the A's won again, in 17 innings, so the Rangers are still a half-game back...
But you have to be encouraged that, despite how hot the A's have been, the Rangers are hanging close behind. Or at least, I'm encouraged...I guess you don't have to be...
Jan Hubbard says John Koronka's start last night was an improvement, but the walks are still a problem. Buck weighs in:
"Probably a little bit better," was the way Rangers manager Buck Showalter assessed Koronka's performance. "But not as good as he's capable of being and not where he needs to be for us to get where we want to go. But it was a step in the right direction."
Kat O'Brien praises Michael Young for improving his defense this year, by going 39 straight games without an error. Although O'Brien focuses just on his fielding percentage, a look at some other numbers suggests Young's defensive improvement has been real...he is in the top third of the league in Zone Rating this year, after being at the bottom since moving to shortstop, and BP grades him as 11 runs above average defensively so far this season, after being negative 12 runs and negative 8 runs the previous two seasons.
Jeff Cogen laments that the Ranger attendance is 11% behind last year's pace...although he concedes that there's generally a lag effect in attendance when the previous season is disappointing, which probably has impacted this year's attendance.
And Evan Grant also points out the financial impact is lessened:
Ironically, the Rangers don't need to match last year's attendance figure to match last year's ticket revenues. Because tickets went up almost 10 percent in cost, the Rangers could probably draw about 10 percent fewer fans - a total of 2.25 million - and still bring in the same ticket revenue.