The A's are the best team in baseball in 2014, and the Rangers might be the worst.
So of course Texas defeated Oakland 4-1 on Friday night.
Jerome Williams -- who probably peaked in MVP Baseball 2005 as a member of Baseball America's top-100 prospects in the video game -- tossed six innings of one-run, four-hit baseball, with no walks and four punch outs. It was his best first start of 2014.
In his first save chance in nearly three years, Neftali Feliz was shaky, allowing a walk and a hit on 26 pitches. If I had to wager a guess, I'd opine that a large faction of the Ranger fan base believes Neftali has some irreparable psychological damage from Game 6 of the 2011 World Series, but the truth is he just isn't the same pitcher now as he was then. We can debate whether or not it was a wise decision on Texas's behalf to try turning him into a starter, but as it stands he's still less than two years removed from Tommy John surgery. It's reasonable to expect a slower recovery process for a guy whose one (and only) real weapon was his ability to throw gas. For the naysayers, I don't totally disagree with your sentiment, but I'm withholding judgement until we see what he's got in 2015.
As for the club as a whole, I'm still firm on the idea that Texas stand to gain literally nothing by winning baseball games between now and the end of the regular season, however, it's still sweet to beat the A's. And it will be sweet to beat the Angels and Mariners, too, to perhaps affect the way the postseason picture looks.
I don't mind playing spoiler against our division rivals, so long as it doesn't spoil our chances at the #1 overall pick in next year's draft.