I wasn't quite sure which way to go with this Friday morning song/video, so I thought I'd roll with something a bit unconventional and punch up Pogo's classic trip-hop/electronica/mash-up homage to "Hook":
● Randy Galloway, Louie Horvath, and Drew Davison all talk about C.J. Wilson's brilliant performance last night, which included six innings of one-run baseball and eight strikeouts against just one walk on a night when he seemed to be flirting with perfection until ...
Wilson overpowered the first 15 batters, striking out seven of them, getting six to hit harmless fly balls and retiring the other two on weak grounders. He was feeling as good as he'd ever felt when Casey Kotchman hit a chopper to his left, and he reached with his bare hand and deflected it for an infield single.
"I will second-guess that Casey Kotchman at-bat for the rest of my career," Wilson said.
Not only had Wilson lost his perfect game and no-hitter, he also lost his control. He reported after the game that his finger was numb after the deflection.
"It's kind of hard to throw with a numb finger," he said. "It's kind of like trying to drive with only one eye. You don't have that depth perception; you can't get that feel for the ball."
Wilson will reportedly make his next start without issue. Before he was driven from the game by the residual effects of his injury, C.J. looked about as good as he has ever looked in a starting capacity at the major league level. As a nice added bonus, Ian Kinsler clubbed two home runs and stole a base, but since body language trumps all those were actually classified fake home runs.
● Ron Washington says that Matt Harrison is slated to start on Sunday and Alexi Ogando on Monday at this time, but also qualifies that statement by remarking that the team "hasn't made any decisions on it" yet, and wants to give Ogando a chance to catch his breath before deciding upon the best course of action.
● My latest over at Baseball Prospectus tackles the topic of the end-of-August deals that were made by AL West clubs, and the accompanying front-office narratives that follow Thad Levine, Tony Reagins, Jack Zduriencik, and Billy Beane right now. Over on the ESPN.com Sweet Spot blog, MJH has some quick thoughts on what is important to the Rangers in September. For whatever it's worth, BBTiA was the single most-trafficked team blog on the Sweet Spot network last month in terms of page views, so thank you for your support and courage.
● Dating back to the 1998 season, there have been 112 major league games played where the first-pitch temperature graded out at 100 degrees or hotter. Rangers Ballpark in Arlington accounts for 26 of those games ... in 2011 alone. I'll throw down a more detailed "Fun With Weather Data" post over in the Clubhouse tomorrow.
● Jamey's latest piece over at MLB.com focuses on the career trajectory of Jorge Alfaro to date. Louie Horvath notes that Kinsler's present .237 BABIP is on pace to be the lowest of his career, and ranks as the fifth-lowest BABIP in baseball. Adrian Beltre enjoyed a successful return to the lineup last night, collecting a hit, scoring a run, and avoiding reaggravation of his hamstring injury. Matthew Reagan discusses the makeover of the Rangers' bullpen. Over at The Hardball Times, Matthew Markusen has an interesting read on what the first all-ethnic entirely non-white lineup in baseball history is up to these days.