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Sunday a.m. Rangers things

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Nothing this Rangers team does any more really surprises me.  In ways both good and bad, this team continues to defy expectations, with last night's 7-6 walkoff victory to defeat Mariano Rivera, with the winning run scoring on a bases-loaded HBP of Jeff Francoeur, just the latest data point.

Jeff Wilson writes in his game story that the offense came to the rescue of a taxed bullpen that was missing its top three relievers and was pressed into duty earlier than had been hoped after Tommy Hunter struggled to get through five innings.

T.R. Sullivan's game story has Jeff Francoeur looking for the mark on his arm where he says he was hit, although Sullivan doesn't sound so sure that there was really any contact.  In any case, Francoeur at least did a great acting job on the play, recoiling as if he was shot on a ball that appear to have simply grazed his sleeve.

Evan Grant has his post-game thoughts and some quotes from the clubhouse on yesterday's game. 

Richard Durrett has his post-game comments and quotes at the ESPN Dallas blog.

William Wilkerson has notes on Chris Davis's return to Arlington, which he hopes is permanent, and Cliff Lee's back.

Sullivan's notes talk about how Darren Oliver made his major league debut in the game that previously was the team record for number of pitchers used, against Boston in 1993, and Nelson Cruz tying a record with his fifth extra-inning home run of the season.

Kevin Sherrington notes that, with even the post-September 1 callup-enhanced bullpen being stretched to its limits of late, the Rangers are in dire need of Cliff Lee to pitch like Cliff Lee today.

Gil Lebreton has a column talking about the hate mail he got from Yankees fans after he said the Rangers have a better bullpen than the Yankees.

Richard Durrett takes a look at the Rangers' potential free agents, and what sort of draft pick compensation they are likely to bring should they leave.  Cliff Lee, Frank Francisco, and Vladimir Guerrero all appear likely to be Type A free agents, and Bengie Molina's recent struggles have dropped him to Type B range, which makes it more likely he'd be offered arbitration.

Anthony Andro has some quotes from Rangers players and Ron Washington about how long Friday's extra inning game lasted.