To Start a Winning Streak

I'm not sure I can find a video that's more applicable right now than that. Nonetheless, for those inquiring minds, here is last night's leverage index, courtesy of Fangraphs.

Source: FanGraphs

As you can see above, after Josh Hamilton's RBI single in the 5th inning that gave the Angels a 3-0 lead, the odds were in favor of the Angels up until A.J. Pierzynski's game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th.

During the top of the 8th inning, Josh Hamilton singled, moving Mike Trout to 3rd base, putting runners on the corners with no outs. That placed the Rangers win expectancy at 7.8%. Just prior to Pierzynski's bomb, the win expectancy for the Rangers was only up to 22.4%, yet jumped up to 65.2% after the home run. By the time David Murphy came to bat, grounded into a double play, and left Geovany Soto to fend for himself with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, the Rangers win expectancy, which had reached as high as 72.4% before the double play, plummeted to 54%.

While I'm left to wonder how much longer David Murphy can continue to struggle in the lineup -- his RE24 on the season is now an American League worst -24.22 and his performance last night was poor enough to subtract 28% win probability -- it's almost more surprising that two catchers that have been struggling were the heroes of the night.

Pierzynski had been lost at the plate since the All-Star break, hitting .205 up until his home run last night, and Soto had been ineffective in limited duty. Yet, as baseball goes, they were the guys that came through.

The hope is that the Rangers can build on the win. Mitch Moreland needs to become a contributor. If David Murphy is to be in the lineup, he needs to start hitting the ball. The team has been league-average with an on-base percentage of .318, yet have struggled converting that to runs. It could partially be due to a BABIP of .287, but maybe today is the day it really does turn around.

I'm not expecting much to happen between now and tomorrow's trade deadline. If anything, we'll hear more rumors and see less activity. Were there an impact bat the Rangers were comfortable making a move for, it would have happend by now, and the fact that it hasn't is likely a good sign that this ball club, as is currently comprised, will sink or swim.

Tonight, Derek Holland takes on C.J. Wilson, and it promises to be another pitching duel much like last night. With that said, I'd love nothing more than to see the Texas Rangers go out and put some runs on the board early and often. It's time to break out.