ESPN Ranks the Texas Rangers as the Best in Baseball
ESPN has the Texas Rangers ranked atop the Major League Baseball world. Many fans and pundits around the league thought when the Rangers had what appeared to be a lackluster offseason that the Rangers would fall back in the pack. Few if any outside of Arlington had the Rangers finishing better than third in the American League West.
Thirty-one games into the season nothing could be further from the truth. Ranger pitching has been exceptional for the most part. Yu Darvish won five games in April and flirted with a perfect game against the Houston Astros. Rookies Justin Grimm and Nick Tepesch have stepped in and pitched like seasoned veterans, with Grimm being named Rookie of the Month for April. The bullpen has an ERA of 2.80 through 83.2 innings giving the Rangers staff as a whole a league leading 3.02 ERA. The Rangers are the only American league team that has allowed less than 100 runs so far this season with 98.
The Rangers love home cooking, at the Ballpark in Arlington, the Rangers are a major league leading 11-4 and just finished a three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox. Adrian Beltre made the Red Sox pay for playing the percentages walking Lance Berkman to pitch to him in the bottom of the ninth. Beltre lined a single to right-center driving in Elvis Andrus from second base for the 13th walk-off hit of his career.
Good old fashioned baseball is the kind the Rangers play. Good pitching, timely hitting, and speed on the base-paths combined with fundamentally sound defense are new to the Rangers and Rangers fans. Teams gone by could hit, but not pitch, they could pitch, but not hit, for the first time in my memory at least, the Rangers are playing complete baseball every time out.
One thing the Rangers could improve on in my opinion, the uniforms. Ian Kinsler started the trend, wearing traditional pants with the leggings showing. Craig Gentry, Robby Ross, and David Murphy have all got on board going with the traditional look, more players need to follow suit. Granted a few of the players look natural in the longer pants, Adrian Beltre or Nelson Cruz for example, but the traditional style better suits the way the Rangers are playing.