With last night's triumph, the Rangers have ascended to a new season high-water mark of 22 games over .500, have fully rebuilt their six-game edge over the second-running Athletics, and have now momentarily reclaimed the No. 1 seed in the American League from the Yankees, who have dropped their last three games. That'll do just fine ... for now:
● I suppose Roy Oswalt gave the Rangers about as much as they could reasonably expect out of him (5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 0 HR, 77 pitches) last night, and yet again he was fine from a DIPS standpoint and everything, but it was still a strange sort of outing, as he was burned by mistakes of his own making (a wild pitch, a hit-by-pitch, and a botched rundown) and of his teammates (Adrian Beltre's throwing error, and Michael Kirkman's inability to prevent both baserunners that he inherited from Oswalt from scoring).
He's not pitching terribly at this point, but he is still a frustrating quantity, and while I suppose we can never say never on the possibility of Oswalt finding some way to break back through and secure a post-season rotation spot (as some of us envisioned back when), yeah, that probably isn't happening.
Also, we received a delightful new addition to the growing oswaltface.jpg archive:
● This may be difficult to believe in light of the oft-frustrating nature of this ballclub in 2012, but the Rangers logged their 32nd comeback win last night (five more than last year), as they rallied from the virtually insurmountable deficit of 1-0 with some good middle-order production from Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre during the early-to-middle innings, and then completely blew the doors off the game in the eighth inning with a long procession of hits and walks and errors that all culminated in a six-run inning.
The "intentional walks are usually a really bad idea" theory also received another jolt of validation last night, as the Twins called for an intentional walk of David Murphy to load the bases with one out after Texas had gone ahead 5-4, and then watched helplessly as a fielding error pushed the score to 6-4, followed by Jared Burton walking in a run to push it to 7-4, and then three more runs to put the game all but out of reach. Fun inning for Texas, but just brutal for Minnesota.
● Since this isn't the longest of posts, I guess I'll mail this bullet point in with a handful of notes: Michael Young last night's game in the sixth inning to attend the birth of his third son, and he'll probably land on paternity leave ... Scott Diamond, who wasn't exactly pitching well to begin with, got ejected without warning last night after he sent a pitch sailing near Josh Hamilton's head (Roy Oswalt had plunked Joe Mauer in the prior half-inning) ... Mike Napoli is eligible to come off the disabled list on Sunday, but his strained left quad isn't back at 100 percent as of yet, and he won't be back until at least September 1st, if not later. See how informative that all was? Didn't you like it?