Prince Fielder hit his 19th home run of the season on Monday night to lift the Texas Rangers to a big series-opening win over the first-place Astros, pulling the Rangers to within a mere half-game of the AL West lead with a couple of weeks left in the season.
If the Rangers have their way, the bomb to dead center field that broke a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth inning, could be a sign that things are about to come back for Fielder in the power department.
After Monday's game, Rangers manager Jeff Banister said he and his fellow coaches had been commenting for days that they could tell Fielder was about to go on a tear at the plate, as they'd continuously seen him narrowly miss pitches. But on that big swing of the bat on Monday, he connected in a big way.
The home run had an exit velocity of 108 mph, which tied his best number of the year. In other words, he mashed it.
Fielder has shown at times this year that he can be a streaky player in terms of power, notably in May when he hit nine home runs and five in five games. If he can do that again, it'll all but assure the Rangers are playing playoff baseball and would likely mean another AL West crown after a three-year layoff.