When Joe Nathan took over in the ninth inning, it seemed to be as good as won. Then, something weird happened. Nathan failed to record an out and a win turned into a loss as the Rangers failed to sweep their series against the Cleveland Indians.
It was bound to happen. Nathan had saved 31 straight games (a Rangers team record) and all good closers get beat from time to time. His struggles early in the season had been long forgotten and at least this came in a game against the Indians instead of a game in the playoffs. Every professional baseball player has these types of games and Nathan has had them before and the important thing is how he will recover from it. (Not that I am worried)
Josh Hamilton sat out of this game with a knee injury while Adrian Beltre talked himself into the lineup as designated hitter and went 2/3 with two runs scored. Michael Young went 3/4 with 2 RBI as he continues his unexpected September surge. Hamilton’s injury does not appear serious. He had an injection and is expected to return to the lineup tonight against the Seattle Mariners.
Some more positive news was that Derek Holland had another very good start. He went 7 innings, striking out 7, walking one and allowing two runs on another pesky homerun. It is more positive news for Holland and the Rangers that he has left his troubles behind him and has been very effective since, well, the Justin Verlander game.
All things considered, despite the injuries and the set back in the finale, it was two-out-of-three for the Rangers and if they continue to do that, they will lock up the American League West soon enough. It is now on to the Mariners who have been struggling lately. The Rangers don’t face Felix Hernandez who pitched yesterday but he has been struggling so maybe this would have been the time to do it. A series preview will be up before tonight’s game.