If you know me, or if you've followed any of my blogs over the last few years, you know I'm not too big on the #narrative. Still, even though I'm aware that this recent stampede of victories is probably detrimental to the Rangers in the long run -- if it costs them the #1 pick next season -- it's still pretty freaking cool to see them winning again. Is it worth the tradeoff? No, I don't think so. But it's nice that baseball is again a vehicle for happiness rather than an excuse to box all my cynicism in.
After an exhilarating 6-1 win in Oakland, Texas is riding a five-game winning streak, tied for their longest of the 2014 season. Last time they won five in a row was after sweeping the Athletics, again in Oakland, at the end of April. It resulted in a 14-8 record, back when the Rangers were in first place in the American League West.
Tonight, the Angels clinched the division, ending Oakland's two-year reign on the West that followed Texas's two-year ownership of the crown. It's been a long time since 2011, guys.
Tim Bogar is 6-5 since Ron Washington resigned as manager, and over the last five the Rangers have outscored their opponents 27-10. The pitching staff has not surrendered more than three runs in any of those contests. Pitching.
This coming offseason will be truly fascinating. Of the handful of questions that the front office must address, at the top of the list -- at least in my eyes -- revolves around what the club plans to do with their middle infield logjam. We've seen more flashes of stardom from Rougned Odor, albeit in a larger, more consistent sample size, than we did from Jurickson Profar last season.
I'm still of the belief that second base belongs to Pro on Opening Day 2015, but as the season's worn on I admit it's grown more difficult for me to reconcile that idea with myself. Odor is neither the prospect Jurickson was, nor does his .259/.296/.397 triple slash line exactly scream anything special in a box score, but when you watch him play you can see extreme potential there. As it stands, I'm still opposed to the theory that trading Elvis Andrus would be a smart move if the club plans to compete next year, but I acknowledge I'm more comfortable with the thought now than I was last month.
Tomorrow the Rangers wrap up their series in Oakland, where they'll end up either one or two games ahead of the Rockies in the race for the #1 pick.