Doubleheader today. The hated Mariners continue to thwart the Rangers by tanking against the A's, so the Rangers have to, at the very least, split against the Tigers to get back into 3rd place...and a win tonight by the A's means the Rangers would have to sweep to stay in a tie for 3rd.
The Rangers, meanwhile, with a taxed pen, have Vicente Padilla going in game 1, and Brandon McCarthy starting in game 2 (although he'll be limited to just 2-3 innings).
On the plus side, the Tigers have had to use their pen a fair amount the past couple of days, so their bullpen shouldn't be in that much better shape than the Rangers'.
Detroit will have Chad Durbin and Jair Jurrjens going today.
Evan Grant has an article up on the work Ian Kinsler did this offseason to improve his conditioning, and make him better able to stay strong all year, after last season's second half fade.
And the work Ron Washington has been doing with him on his footwork and defense appears to be paying dividends...not only has Kinsler not made an error since before going on the d.l. in June, he is currently 6th out of 11 A.L. qualifiers in RZR, and has the highest rate of Out of Zone plays of any qualifying A.L. second baseman. (And if you include the N.L., he's 11 out of 23, and second in OOZ plays behind Arizona's Orlando Hudson).
Funny how this works...Buck Showalter joins the Indians front office, and now Peter Gammons jumps on the Indians bandwagon. Although I do think the Indians have a very good team (including my current favorite non-Ranger player, Grady Sizemore), and could well end up winning it all this year.
T.R. Sullivan asks this question at the end of his blog post yesterday:
I'm not, for three reasons. First, I'm tired of hearing about what great shape the Rangers would have been in if only Saint Melvin had been allowed to oversee the rebuilding process in Texas, rather than being fired. Melvin did a terrible job in building the farm system while he was here, and a lot of the problems from the first part of the 21st century owe to the fact that Melvin's drafts produced very little in the way of prospects (and, in particular, pitching). So I'm not sure why having him oversee the rebuilding effort would have been a particularly good thing.
Secondly, I'm tired of hearing about how the Rangers handed the Brewers a playoff spot by giving up elite closer Francisco Cordero for nothing.
Three, they still carry the Bud Selig taint.