Early in yesterday's game, I was as cranky and crotchety about things as I have been since...well, since sometime in April, I guess.
But the combination of Rich Harden regressing from what had appeared to be progress his previous couple of starts, and a lineup that emphasized the extremely flawed bench the Rangers are current rocking in the midst of an offensive slump, had me penciling in a loss, and a two game deficit in the A.L. West, given that Oakland jumped out to an early lead on Boston.
And then the Rangers won, scoring 9 runs in the process. And Oakland lost. And the Rangers are back in a tie for first place. And my criticisms of the current roster construction are at least a little more muted, although it is still pretty obvious that the Rangers need a righty bat that can play the outfield (and preferably some first base), and don't need two utility infielders.
Jeff Wilson writes that the bottom of the order came through for the Rangers last night.
Evan Grant, in his post game notes and observations, has some love for Frank Francisco and Justin Smoak.
T.R. Sullivan writes that the Rangers cut loose a little in the clubhouse after the game, releasing some tension after breaking a 4 game losing streak.
Sullivan also has an update on where some Rangers stand in the all star balloting, with Vladimir Guerrero looking likely to be voted in as a starter.
Wilson has an update on a variety of injured minor leaguers, including Jarrod Saltalamacchia (who was back in the lineup last night), Brandon McCarthy, and Toby Hall.
Robbie Ross is garnering some notice for allowing just 1 hit while facing the minimum through 8 innings last night.
Barry Shlachter has a story updating the bankruptcy situation, with the lenders claiming that Jim Crane is still interested in buying the team, among other things.