First three game winning streak of 2008 for the Rangers. At 12-18, they have the same record after 30 games as they did last season. And they are only one game back of the Mariners in the A.L. West.
Evan Grant's game story talks about Josh Hamilton's incredible catch of Jack Cust's 7th inning blast as the key play of the game, and I have to say, it is one of the more remarkable defensive plays I've seen, probably the best defensive play of the season.
Still...yesterday's game isn't one that leaves you with a real warm and fuzzy feeling. Vicente Padilla was erratic, Joaquin Benoit and C.J. Wilson both had trouble throwing strikes and made things a little scarier than they should have, and the offense didn't do a whole lot. The optimistic would say that those are the types of games good teams win, games when everything doesn't click but they still grind it out. The pessimistic would say that yesterday's game is indicative of a team that isn't real good.
Josh Hamilton is the only Ranger to play in each of the first 30 games. Not the guy you'd have expected we'd be saying that about.
Brandon Boggs is 6 for 12 since being called up, and with Marlon Byrd likely going on a rehab assignment this weekend, and being close to getting activated, he could force the Rangers into a tough decision.
Boggs is essentially replacing Byrd as a righty-hitting backup outfielder...although Boggs is a switch hitter, he hits LHPs better than RHPs. The Rangers have struggled against lefties all season, which is why Chris Shelton got called up earlier this week, and if the team thinks Boggs can continue to contribute against lefties, he may well stick.
And if Boggs sticks, that could spell the end for Ben Broussard in Texas. Broussard, a guy hand-picked by Ron Washington to be the team's first baseman this season, is hitting .159/.225/.268 on the season, and has been underwhelming defensively. In terms of VORP, only 9 major leaguers have been worse than Broussard this season. Brad Wilkerson, being paid about the same as Broussard by Broussard's former team, has already been cut loose despite putting up better numbers.
Letting Broussard go means committing to a Chris Shelton/Frank Catalanotto platoon at first base, something that the Rangers seemed reluctant to do this offseason (which is why, of course, they went out and got Broussard in the first place). The other option would be to have Jarrod Saltalamacchia play some first base again, but the team seems committed to keeping Salty behind the plate.