This season, by statistical measures, C.J. Wilson has pitched like one of those mythical aces we've heard so much about. However, since the definition of what an ace is differs nearly by the person you ask, C.J.'s qualifications for such a moniker has suffered from the lack of reputation and repetition. With each start, C.J. is doing everything he can to dispel any trepidation in labeling.
We've now watched what should probably be considered C.J.'s best string of starts in his professional career. He had a game where had perfect game stuff against the red hot Tampa Bay Rays but lost his command after having a ball tip off his finger, a complete game shutout against those same Rays five days later, and 8 innings of 5-hit, 11 K shutout baseball yesterday. As for the coming up big in big games part of being an ace, all three of those starts came after Rangers losses. Every one of those starts prevented a losing streak and he did it in dominating fashion. He's a stopper.
C.J. Wilson is an ace by any definition, in my opinion. And even as we have an eye on what will happen this winter, we should still marvel that C.J. and the Rangers formed a union that led to the development of one of the best starting pitchers in baseball.
Lot's of C.J. love in the links this morning. Randy Jennings looks at C.J.'s "Ace-worthy performance." Even this quote is money:
"The temperature read 94 degrees, but it didn't feel that hot. It felt perfect. All those fans wanted to see a win.'"
Anthony Andro delves deeper into C.J.'s current run of coming up large when the team needs him most (which at this point is every time he takes the mound).
Jeff Wilson writes about C.J. Wilson getting the ace treatment from the Rangers.
Over at BBTIA, Joey Matches puts everything into perspective regarding C.J. and the Texas Rangers.
Louie Horvath's game story touches on the work done by C.J. Wilson but also the other big story—besides a huge Rangers win—of the day; Adrian Beltre made history while staying red hot.
Horvath has a companion piece on Beltre's day which included Beltre hitting home runs No. 300 and 301 in his big league career. I've been to eight Rangers games this season and Beltre has hit five home runs in those games. I truly, truly enjoy Adrian Beltre.
Jennings has a whole bunch of post game notes including how the Rangers used their speed to get to Josh Outman before their power took over.
Drew Davison has notes on the Rangers including one on the return of Neftali Feliz's secondary pitches, the Rangers getting Darren O'Day and Michael Kirkman back in the pen as fresh arms, and various other items.
Horvath has notes as well. He writes that Nelson Cruz will likely be activated on Tuesday with the Rangers then easing him back into the lineup.
Wilson writes that with the return of Cruz, Endy Chavez and Craig Gentry will likely see their playing time cut instead of David Murphy as long as Murphy remains hot.
Finally, Wilson writes that Matt Harrison is ready for the stretch run. Aren't we all. There's an off day today so that should give us enough time for everyone to get their Cowboys angst out of the way before we get back to the baseball matter at hand tomorrow.