Rangers Win, Shave Division Lead Down To 2.5 Games

What is momentum, really?

In physics it’s described as “the quantity of motion of a moving body, measured as a product of its mass and velocity.”

Cool.

In the baseball world, it’s much less complicated. So much less, that any Sabermetrician would tell you the concept of momentum doesn’t exist, because — what else? — it can’t be quantified.

Others say “momentum is only as good as the next day’s starting pitcher,” and the more optimistic believe momentum is an actual, tangible thing.

Since I typically lean towards nihilism in matters of what cannot be proven, all I do is look at the standings, and right now the Rangers are riding a 5-game winning streak, shaving 3.5 games off Oakland’s division lead in the process.

On Friday night, Alexi Ogando was excessively shaky, walking 5 Athletic hitters in 4.0 innings, and finishing his night at 95 pitches.

Thankfully, the Rangers have an excellent bullpen, which, in 5.0 innings allowed no runs on 3 hits, thus allowing the offense to ultimately seize control of the game.

The lineup has been hot of late, having scored 27 runs in their 4 prior match-ups; on Friday they strung together 8 more runs, on 12 more hits, which included 2-run blasts from Jurickson Profar, and the soon-to-be-suspended Nelson Cruz, his 26th, raising his triple slash line on the season to .272/.333/.511.

As an aside, I’m a big Nelson Cruz guy. His reputation may forever be scorned by PEDs, The Catch That Never Was — or some combination of the two — however, in the grand scheme he’s been a pretty damn good hitter in the middle of multiple World Series-caliber lineups in Arlington. If this weekend’s slate of games in Oakland is to be the last we see of him in a Texas Rangers uniform, then I’d be remiss not to acknowledge the memories we were fortunate enough to extract from him during his evolution as a baseball player.

Elvis Andrus went 2-5, and is now up to .255/.317/.297 (66 wRC+) on the season, which might not sound like much, but it’s a dramatic improvement from where he was even as recently as a couple weeks ago. Currently riding a 15-game hitting streak, Andrus hasn’t done it cheaply, hitting .339/.464/.411 (127 wRC+). While unsustainable, it’s sorely been missing from the lineup in 2013.

Tomorrow the Rangers play an afternoon game, as the semi-newly acquired Matt Garza makes his 3rd start against Oakland RHP Jarrod Parker.

This is gonna be fun.

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