For the 15th time this season, the Rangers are sitting at .500. Given that they were down 4, on the road, with two outs in the top of the 8th, pulling out that win last night seems borderline miraculous. It is also a tad ironic that we saw errors, a passed ball, walks, and bad bullpen management lead to a huge meltdown that cost the game, and not only was it not the Rangers who did all those things, but it was the team managed by Trey Hillman -- the guy who has been most commonly invoked as the "good" potential hire to Ron Washington's "bad" hire from about 20 months ago.
(And please note -- I'm not trying to defend Washington here. I'm trying to point out that the idea that this team's fate would be significantly different with Hillman at the helm, instead, doesn't seem to be supported by what is going on in Kansas City right now. And you know the Galloways and Reeves would be doing whole columns and segments on the radio about this, were the situations reversed).
Richard Durrett says that aggressive baserunning, which hurt the Rangers early in the game, helped them late in the game, with Kinsler breaking from third with two out in the 9th as soon as the ball got by John Buck, and just barely beating the throw home.
I'm not a huge fan of aggressive baserunning, but it does remind me of what Phil Gordon says about betting in Texas Hold 'em...he says that a lot of good things can happen when you decide to be aggressive and bet in Hold 'em, because for you to lose, first, your opponent has to call you, and second, he has to have a better hand, and third, you have to not suck out. Similarly, when you aggressive on the bases, for it to backfire, first, the defense has to be able to make a play that could get you out, second, the defense has to actually properly execute that play -- make a good throw, not drop the ball when it comes in, etc. -- and third, the ump has to call you out.
Josh Hamilton says he's at about 90% right now, after dealing with a viral infection, although he looked at the plate last night like he's more like 50%. There are also some notes on some adjustments Eric Hurley has made:
RHP Eric Hurley, who is scheduled to make his major league debut Thursday, said he made several adjustments the last month that led to better performances at Triple-A Oklahoma. He goes over his head on the windup now and is keeping his feet more grounded from the stretch. "I'm getting more ground balls with it and more double plays to get out of the inning," said Hurley, who expects to have 20 family members on hand Thursday. He will wear No. 37.
Jeff Wilson says Hank Blalock threw to second base yesterday, and may be ready to go on a rehab assignment next week, with a possible return date of June 20. Presumably, that would mean the end of Chris Shelton's stint as a Ranger, but I guess we'll see...
UPDATE -- In response to some of the comments, I've deleted a line in my post that I think was probably unnecessarily inflammatory. My apologies if anyone was offended by it, as it was not my intent to offend, but rather to be a smart-ass.