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Thursday a.m. Rangers stuff

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Well, this road trip has gone pretty well so far.

7 games up in the A.L. West.  According to Baseball Prospectus, the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs are at 95.2%.

And yesterday felt like it was going to be a loss for much of the first half of the game, with the Rangers seemingly just missing having balls fall in and seeing opportunities slip by.

But they came back from a 2-0 first inning deficit, and pulled it out, even though there was some nervousness (at least on my end) with Neftali Feliz being used for the fourth time in five days, and having warmed up on the one day he didn't pitch.

Presumably, Feliz is unavailable tonight.

Jeff Wilson's game story notes that the Rangers beat a guy who has been one of the best pitchers in the league since the All Star Break.

T.R. Sullivan's game story focuses on the Kinsler v. Santana matchup.

Evan Grant has a blog post up about Ian Kinsler.

Grant also writes, behind the paywall, about the Rangers putting distance between themselves and the Angels.

Richard Durrett writes that the pitching came up big yesterday after allowing two runs in the first.

Joey Matches talks about Ian Kinsler's critical at bat last night, when he looped a 1-2 pitch into left field for a game-winning two run single.

Wilson writes that Michael Young is the "clear frontrunner" for the Rangers' team MVP this season, and should be a contender for the A.L. MVP Award.  As I've mentioned before, I think he's wrong on both counts, particularly on the A.L. MVP part, given how far Young is behind guys like Jose Bautista and Dustin Pedroia in terms of performance.

Wilson's notes talk about Josh Hamilton's back and Andres Blanco's slow progress as he works to return from the disabled list.

Sullivan's notes have Ron Washington lobbying for Young as MVP and talks about Elvis Andrus's adventures in the field and on the basepaths.

Randy Galloway rips those who are criticizing the decision by the Rangers to erect a statue of Shannon Stone at TBIA.