How about those Rangers? Maybe they’ve got something left in the tank after all.

The Angels punched, the Rangers counted-punched. Once, twice. Finally, it ended with the Rangers rallying for four runs in the bottom of the 11th. When it was over, you sat there  wondering if you’d ever seen a better Major League Baseball game. The Rangers needed it, too.

Their lead in the American League West had melted from six games to three in a period of 10 days. It was right on the verge of being down to two when Ian Kinsler’s home run tied it in the bottom of the ninth. Then the Rangers rallied from being three down an inning later, and if that’s how this division race is going to be, hang onto your hats.

It was a game that showed how much fight the Rangers have in them. They have all sorts of worry. Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz are gone for the year. Yu Darvish has allowed 42 baserunners in his last 24 2/3 innings and seems almost afraid to throw a strike at times. Josh Hamilton is hitting .197 the last two months. Others guys aren’t hitting, but the Rangers’ offense revolves around Hamilton.

With the Angels and A’s both on great runs, the Rangers seem likely to be challenged down the stretch in the American League West. The Angels appear to be a complete team after adding Zack Greinke, and there’s some magic with what what the A’s are doing.

The Rangers have a bunch of guys who’ve fought their way to two straight American League championships, and it would be a mistake to underestimate them. Not that long ago, they seemed to be the best team in baseball by a wide margin. Now, they appear to have holes here, there and everywhere.

Special seasons can turn on the strangest things. One player addition. One dramatic victory. Maybe Wednesday night’s game is what the Rangers need to get them going again. With a victory tonight over the Angels, the Rangers would have the same 4 1/2-game lead in the AL West they had at the beginning of the week.

And…

    • The Rangers have already set a franchise record with 30 sellouts and crowds of at least 40,000 (42). They’ve sold out at least five straight games on three different occasions. Before this season, they’d never sold our more than four in a row. Rangers are averaging 43,475 per game, second in the Majors to Philly’s 44,716.
    • Rangers rotation has a 5.49 ERA last 12 games to raise its overall number from 3.98 to 4.17, seventh-best in the AL. Rangers have used 10 starters, second-most in AL.
    • Rangers bullpen has a 5.74 ERA last 13 games.
    • Rangers still lead AL in runs, but only the Rays and Indians have scored fewer since the All-Star Break.

 

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