Three Days In July
Monday night, the Angels took the lead in the 5th inning, and Rangers fans grumbled. “This again?” Any time the Rangers are losing, Rangers fans check out early. The offense isn’t inspiring, and they have felt out as soon as they start losing. In the bottom of the 9th inning, AJ Pierzynski wanted you to know they still had a shot. His solo homer tied the game. Fans grumbled again because Geovany Soto was likely the last at-bat and probably the last out. Rangers fans thought they were getting free baseball, and the Rangers haven’t done well in free baseball this year. Soto wanted you to know that the Rangers are better than the Angels, so he hit one out of the park and crossed the plate to greet his teammates who were pumped about a win.
Tuesday night, CJ Wilson faced his former team, and Rangers fans were feeling better about their offense. The Angels struck first, but the Rangers took the lead early as Wilson couldn’t handle the offense. Rangers pitching had a rare off night as a collective group as well. The lead flipped in the Angels’ favor in the 8th inning. However, in the bottom of the 9th, the Rangers showed again that they still had a chance. In the bottom of the 10th, Leonys Martin showed opposite field power for a three-run homerun. Daniel Stange hung his head as he walked to his dugout, while Martin sported the biggest smile anyone has seen on him this season. He sealed a 14-run game and another sweet victory.
Wednesday night’s game proved to be an offensive struggle once again. Martin Perez had a one run lead to work with after the second inning from a boomstick. He held that lead until he gave up just one run in the top of the 7th on a homerun to none other than Josh Hamilton. The Rangers looked miserable on the basepaths, and the offense looked limp. However, no matter how bad the Rangers offense is slumping, the Angels bullpen is worse. This time in the bottom of the 9th, Adrian Beltre wanted you to know that the Rangers were still better than the Angels as he hit one over Josh Hamilton’s head in left field. This time it was Michael Kohn who didn’t even look back at the ball, while Chris Iannetta immediately started his trek back to the dugout. Adrian Beltre greeted his overjoyed teammates at homeplate. Another walk-off win. Another win. A sweep of the Angels.
I’m not saying these games were perfect, because they weren’t. Monday’s game was a good representation of a Rangers team. It wasn’t a high-scoring game, but they got the job done, and pitching kept up their end. Tuesday saw an explosion of offense, which won’t happen a lot with this club, but they took advantage when they could, which is something Rangers fans haven’t seen in a while. That was inspiring. Wednesday night’s game was far from great. Martin Perez was the true takeaway from it. He pitched a stellar game, and the Rangers offense couldn’t produce once again. Runners were being thrown out on the bases, and they looked a mess often. However, the Rangers did what they are supposed to do. They beat a team they are supposed to beat. They capitalized on a bullpen that just can’t get the job done, and they pulled out a win. It still counts even if the game wasn’t great.
After two months of struggling baseball, a team that’s full of injuries, and three shutouts in 4 nights, the Rangers were able to celebrate three straight wins in the most exciting way. Elvis Andrus danced his way onto the field. Ian Kinsler skipped and jumped with his arms out. AJ Pierzynski fist-bumped his heart out. They looked like they were having fun, and that is something that will never get old. Soto, Martin, and Beltre all had huge smiles on their faces as they met the cheers and screams at home. Yu Darvish loves it here. Matt Garza has been here barely a week, and you can spot him in the crowd of baseball uniforms, jumping on his teammates. This is baseball. It’s some sort of fairy tale. There are struggles, heartbreaks, and miserable times, but then something special happens, and it just seems perfect.