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Hamilton, Cruz Hoping to Provide Needed Punch

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 22: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers rounds third base to score in the fifth inning of Game Six of the ALCS against the New York Yankees during the 2010 MLB Playoffs at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 22, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Josh Hamilton

    From Texas Rangers czar Jamey Newberg: In the last 11 games, Rangers starters have averaged a tick over seven innings per start (77.2 frames), racked up a 1.97 ERA, and held opponents to a .215 batting average. Texas won six of those 11 games. Welcome back, Josh & Nellie.

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    It was heartbreaking to see Derek Holland lose a decision on Thursday in Kansas City, when he had a shutout going into the ninth, but only got one run of support in the first inning before the Royals won in the 10th inning.

    The Rangers then lost two straight to Philadelphia despite the Rangers' pitchers only allowing five total runs in those two games, and they scored two runs as Matt Harrison pitched a gem on Sunday in Texas' 2-0 win.

    There's no reason numbers such as the ones Newberg pointed out shouldn't be rewarded more than six times. It's not like it's a small sample size. It's 11 starts. That's twice through the rotation.

    Next up for the Rangers is a nice stretch of six home games against the White Sox and Royals, both teams that the Rangers split two-game series with last week.

    Alexi Ogando goes tonight for the Rangers, and in all honesty, he might be the best thing going in the Rangers' rotation right now, which is saying quite a bit. The White Sox like to swing at pitches, good and bad, so there's a better than zero chance Ogando will go deep into tonight's game.

    It'll take Cruz and Hamilton some time to get back into the swing of things, but once they do, things should be just fine in Arlington.