The Rangers Are 51-37
By Eric Reining
In dramatic, albeit uninspiring fashion, the Rangers defeated the Astros 5-4 on Sunday, improving their record to 51-37 on the season.
Justin Grimm threw 4-plus innings and got hammered to the tune of 4 runs (3 ER), 6 hits and 2 walks. Cory Burns — working in relief on the same day he was recalled from AAA — pitched out of Grimm’s 5th-inning jam and recorded the win.
Offensively, the Rangers made hay with the home run ball, the first a 3-run blast from A.J. Pierzynski to give Texas an early 3-0 advantage, the other on a solo blast from Adrian Beltre.
Joakim Soria pitched a perfect 6th inning in his first action of the 2013 season.
Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts combined to give up no runs on 2 hits in 2.0 frames (the 7th & 8th), retiring 5 of 6 batters via the strikeout.
– Joe Nathan is now 29-for-30 in save chances in 2013. Remember when everyone was worried about his arm falling off? As it stands, he has a 96.7% success rate closing games, and his ERA remarkably sits at 1.40. His K-to-BB ratio is 4:1 (40 K’s, 10 BB’s).
– It’s a tiny sample, but heading into Sunday’s game (in which he went 1-4 with another HR), Adrian Beltre’s July triple slash line read .526/.571/1.105, good for a 349 wRC+. According to FanGraphs, he’s been worth about a win (+0.7) in these last 6 games. Crazy.
– Lastly, I would be remiss not to mention Nelson Cruz‘s star-crossed 2013 season. After all it was only a little over a month ago that I wrote Why Nelson Cruz Should Be On The Trade Block, which looking back on it now looks awfully reactionary and extremist of me to suggest.
In 112 June plate appearances, Cruz hit a robust .290/.357/.570 (144 wRC+) with 7 home runs and 22 RBI (thanks, Kins). In the small July sample, Nellie has shown no signs of letting up in the slugging department, hitting at a .318/.318/.636 (153 wRC+) clip.
Anyway, it appears the 2010 version of Nelson Cruz isn’t completely dead, and I am certainly happy to be wrong on this one.