C.J. Wilson #36 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on June 5, 2011 in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rangers defeated the Indians 2-0 and swept the four game series.
C.J. Wilson is going really well right now. In fact, he might be in the best stretch of his career thus far.
The 30-year-old lefty has gone at least six innings in his last 9 starts with four wins, one loss and four no-decisions and he'll start tonight against the Oakland A's trying to keep the Rangers' four-game win streak going against a pretty pathetic lineup that got shut out in a complete game effort by Derek Holland on Thursday.
Since making the transition from the bullpen to the starting rotation last season, Wilson has easily been the Rangers' best starter. This season, he's sporting an 8-3 record with a 3.02 ERA, but what he's really improved on this year is his strikeout to walk ratio.
Last season, Wilson led the league in walks with 93 and he had 170 strikeouts. Not a bad number of Ks, but not a staggering one either.
This year, Wilson has 109 strikeouts and just 39 walks in 125 innings with one start remaining before the break.
Wilson said he's thrilled to be going to his first All-Star Game on Tuesday after overcoming numerous injuries en route to the big leagues.
"If you're a hitter and set a record for [fan] votes like [Toronto Blue Jays outfielder] Jose Bautista that'd be the most special, but it's special for me," Wilson said. "It's my first one. It's the first time i've made the all-star team since the minor leagues. I think the last time I did that was in 2002. I'm proud."
Wilson will go to the game with his manager, Ron Washington, who's managing the American League squad, which is customary for the defending pennant winning manager. The league manager chooses his pitching staff.
Wilson said he's excited to be going with Washington, who's stuck by Wilson's side for many years when he was having up-and-down moments in his time in the Rangers' bullpen.
"It's hopefully indication of the respect I can garner around baseball from not only my teammates, but also Wash," Wilson said. "He obviously likes the way I've done things and that's the chief reason he's put so much trust in me the last two years."