Rangers 5, A's 0
- So there was much discussion about the Rangers two aces struggling of late, of them not being in the form the Rangers need them to be with the playoffs around the corner. Cole Hamels threw 7 shutout innings in yesterday's division clincher, calming down concerns on that front, and then Yu Darvish was dominant today. The final line for Yu: 7 IP, hits, 1 walk, and 9 K's. It doesn't get much better than that.
- Jeff Banister used Alex Claudio, Tanner Scheppers and Jake Diekman for two outs apiece, and while each allowed at least a runner apiece, they kept Oakland off the board, recording the Rangers' second straight shutout.
- Meanwhile, the Rangers had the "regulars are hung over" lineup, with the one exception being Elvis Andrus. And Elvis simply went deep twice, accounting for four of the Rangers five runs. Elvis now has a 797 OPS on the season, continuing the best offensive season he's had in his career.
- Jared Hoying and Ryan Rua, both fighting for a potential playoff spot, also had two hit games, as did Robinson Chirinos. I've been dismissive of Hoying as a playoff roster option, but Banister clearly likes his defense, and he gives you some speed off the bench. I'm starting to think Banister may prefer Hoying's ability to contribute with both his glove and his legs to Delino DeShields, who is a better base runner but a much lesser defender.
- In any case, the Rangers continue to maintain the best record in the A.L., and keep themselves in position to have home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
- But seriously though...two home runs for Elvis? What a season...