As the Astros come to town on Tuesday, the Silver Boot is well within the Rangers’ sights.
Texas is 3-0 in the season series after sweeping Houston last month in a series at Minute Maid Park.
So unless they are swept, which seems fairly unlikely, Texas will bring home the Silver Boot for the third consecutive year.
But a silver-encrusted cowboy boot is not all that’s on the line this week.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, a fan-favorite as a member of the Rangers from 1991 to 2002, comes into the series only a game shy of Carlton Fisk’s record for games caught, with 2,225.
Rodriguez, who was known as a workhorse in his time with Texas, tied Bob Boone for second on the all-time list on Sunday.
If Pudge does break the record, it will be a fitting moment, meaningful in its timing to fans and Rodriguez alike.
Despite leaving Texas seven years ago, the 37 year-old remains a beloved figure in Arlington, probably bound for a standing ovation or two this week regardless of the milestone.
Rangers shortstop Omar Vizquel will have his own opportunity to make history this week, as he is one hit away from tying Luis Aparicio’s record of 2,676 hits, the most ever by a Venezuelan-born player.
Kevin Millwood will take the hill for Texas in the series opener on Tuesday, taking on Houston’s Wandy Rodriguez.
Matt Harrison will return to the rotation to face Mike Hampton on Wednesday, with Vicente Padilla and Roy Oswalt squaring off in the finale.
While Texas has dominated the season series early, they will go into the series without Brandon McCarthy, Josh Hamilton or Frank Francisco.
After the finale on Thursday, Texas will head to San Francisco, to face the second-place Giants in a three-game set.
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