Rangers Partying Like it's, well, June 2010
When the Rangers begin their series in Anaheim against the second-place Angels Tuesday night, it will be their first opponent with a winning record in a month. Amazing.
Since playing the Braves in Atlanta on June 19, the Rangers' last 23 games have come against teams with losing records: the Astors, Mets, Astros, Marlins, Orioles, A's and Mariners. The Rangers have gone 17-6 in those games, including winning their last 11 to match their 2010 streak and take control of the AL West.
It was last June that Texas ran off a similar streak -- winning 11 in a row against crappy foes Milwaukee, Florida, Houston and Pittsburgh -- to command the West. Now, after taking care of Baltimore, Oakland and Seattle -- teams a combined 37 games under .500 -- they've run their record to 55-41 and lead the Angels by a season-high four games entering this week's important series.
A year ago after 96 games Texas was 56-40.
The Rangers are pitching, with a staff ERA of 2.09, only 23 walks and 86 strikeouts during the winning streak. Against a horrible Mariners' offense, they allowed only two runs in four games.
The Rangers are fielding, with only three errors (two by pitchers and one on catcher's interference) in the streak after an AL-high 69 in their first 85 games.
And the Rangers are again earning freebie bases and runs with aggressive running. Elvis Andrus, for example, scored Saturday when Mariners' ace Felix Hernandez lazily lobbed a throw to first base on Josh Hamilton's comebacker.
It's starting to feel like 2010 again. And if the Rangers can sweep the Angels and push their streak to 14, it will match a win streak set way back in 1991.