And...back in first place. A tie for first place, anyway. And I'll take that for now.
Jeff Wilson points out that the big six run inning last night was started by Michael Young legging out a two out infield single. If the Rangers end up edging the Angels this year, that infield single could end up going down in the Ranger annals of critical infield singles, right up there with Will Clark's 9th inning infield hit that set up Pudge Rodriguez's game-winning homer in 1998.
Ian Kinsler is worn out and needs a day off, but with the Rangers in the midst of a key road trip right before the All Star Break, he probably isn't getting one.
Derek Holland is heading back to the bullpen, at least for the time being. Cue all the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Holland being jerked around and all that. And personally, I'd have preferred to see the Rangers leave him in the pen and leave him alone...but you know, the idea that you were either a starter or a reliever, and that's that, is a recently new phenomenon in baseball. Up until fairly recently, pitchers -- particularly young pitchers -- going back and forth between the bullpen and starting in a given season wasn't uncommon. So I don't think it is a huge issue here.
I do think that running Holland out there yesterday, when he had thrown a bunch of pitches just a few days earlier and wasn't supposed to be available, was a questionable move from a long-term perspective. But I think it is also indicative of the fact that Ron Washington doesn't have a ton of guys he trusts out there, and wanted to keep the game in reach at 3-0 -- a decision that turned out well. Ron Washington is managing like this team is in a pennant race.
The other thing to remember is that, with the All Star Break coming up, the Rangers aren't going to have a whole ton of starts from their 5th starter before Matt Harrison should be ready to return. And with the way Tommy Hunter is pitching, you probably want to keep him in the rotation...which means that putting Holland back in the bullpen and letting Nippert cover a couple of starts before Harrison is ready to come back makes some sense.
Julio Borbon has been sent back down, but has some good quotes about the positive experience that being in the majors was, and knowing what he needs to work on.
Tim Cowlishaw says that if the fans want Josh Hamilton to start in the All Star Game, he should start in the All Star Game.