It should have been a night where all was right with the Rangers.
They beat C.J. Wilson and the Angels 6-2, hurting the chances of the Anaheim crowd making it to the playoffs and reaffirming their faith that they made the right choice by casting their lot with Derek Holland's future instead of Wilson's present. And the A's lost, which meant that the Rangers took a healthy step toward the division title before the night was through.
It was a night made for celebrating how far the Rangers have come this season and meant for giddy fantasies about where they will still travel. It was not a night made for bad feelings and deep worries about what terrible fates might befall the Rangers in the days and weeks to come.
Except that it kinda was. Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton both missed the game with ailments that sound a bit less precise than you'd like to hear about the two best players in your lineup. Hamilton is still having the vision problems that knocked him out of Tuesday night's game while Beltre has been knocked out by intestinal pain caused by something that remains maddeningly undiagnosed.
The Hamilton issue is doubly troubling because the original reason given for the issue -- a sinus infection -- wasn't actually the cause of his trouble. Now, though, there's no easy answer for why Hamilton's unable to focus his eyes properly and, as you're surely aware, an inability to do that doesn't tend to work out well for major leaguers.
Both issues could wind up being insignificant. Beltre and Hamilton could be back in the lineup over the weekend and there might never be any other mention of these ailments again for the rest of the season. That's the best case scenario, obviously.
But the worst case isn't that these things are more serious. That would be bad, of course, but the worst case really is anything that takes these two, Ian Kinsler, Elvis Andrus, Joe Nathan or a starting pitcher out of the mix between now and the end of the Rangers' run. We've reached the delicate hour of the season, when there's no way to adequately replace the loss of a star player outside of hope, prayer and a vist to a wishing well.
Life without Beltre and Hamilton worked out on Wednesday, but no one wants to see the Rangers try to pull the trick more than once.