A few weeks ago, the Texas Rangers had their eyes on 2016. Yes, the Rangers traded for Cole Hamels, but that was more to provide next year's rotation with a left-handed ace that they could pair with the returning Yu Darvish. No one, including Texas themselves, really believed they were going to compete for a playoff spot, even though they were five games behind the second wild card team at the time of the trade.
Martin Perez has had an outstanding month, with a 2.84 ERA in 25.1 innings pitched, and Yovani Gallardo (who completely handcuffed Toronto last night) has a 2.45 ERA and in his previous four starts in August. Colby Lewis has posted a 3.67 ERA in four starts,
And the bullpen has improved, also. Their 3.25 ERA is seventh-best in the AL. Closer Shawn Tolleson has a 0.79 ERA in 11 1/3 innings this month with seven saves, Sam Dyson's ERA is 2.13 in 12 2/3 IP, and Jake Diekman, who was the little talked-about throw-in in the Hamels deal, has been outstanding since arriving in Texas, with a 2.53 ERA in 10 2/3 innings.
And if Hamels, Fielder and Hamilton are able to heat up over the last five weeks, the Rangers could even catch the Astros and win the American League West.
.......... muses about ballgames and life in Las Vegas - particularly the long hours spent in the casino sports book surrounded by sexy cocktail waitresses, degenerate horse players, the Whale Mans entourage ....and the sheer terror of having Under 7 with 5 runs already on the board by the fourth inning".