We’ve heard it over and over again all season: “The front office didn’t do anything in the offseason to replace Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli and Michael Young.” Fans accused the Rangers of being cheap. It was made even worse when a big bat wasn’t acquired at the trade deadline despite the fact that there really weren’t any big bats available. Success has created some very spoiled fans. Okay, I’m one of them. But I also think more clearly. I realize that the Rangers now have the waiver-trade deadline to try and find a “big” bat though one isn’t really necessary. Why do I think that? Our pitching and the 2012 San Francisco Giants are what give me hope.
I know what you’re thinking: “Did he just refer to the Giants and why?”

The key to the Giants Worlds Series run last season was their pitching combined with great team chemistry. The Giants pitching staff ranked fifth in the NL in team ERA, seventh in strikeouts and second in saves. The Rangers currently rank fifth in the AL in team ERA, sixth in strikeouts and third in saves.

Offensively the Giants ranked last in the NL in home runs. Actually they ranked last in all of baseball hitting a total of 103 as a team. But it was about getting on base and they could do that. They had the second fewest strikeouts in the NL and seventh most walks. Texas currently has the second fewest strikeouts and tenth most walks in the AL. That also goes with being fourth in home runs.

Am I declaring the Rangers the 2013 World Series victors? No. Not one bit. What I am saying is that, even with the possible loss of Nelson Cruz, this team can rely on a pitching staff that will only get better when Colby Lewis, Neftali Feliz and Matt Harrison return and a strong team unity to carry them to October baseball.

I feel better already.

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shutdown Inning. He can be reached at or @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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