Sweet Relief: Texas Leaving Detroit In First Place

Despite being swept in Detroit, Texas remains in the division lead.

Losing sucks. Anyone and everyone that plays or takes the slightest interest in professional sports would invariably feel the same way.

But there’s something to be said for how you lose, particularly in baseball, where losing is an ineluctable part of life. I consider myself somewhat of an expert on the subject of losing in Major League Baseball, as I grew up watching the Texas Rangers.

And for a three-game sweep, Texas played about as well as they could have (with the obvious exception of Chris Davis). They continued to pitch well, but Detroit pitched better. Edwin Jackson, who started the final game of the series, now has the second best ERA in the league, behind the otherworldly Zack Greinke.

Despite three losses, Texas’ team ERA actually went down during the series.

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Texas continued to play good defense, but Detroit was just a little bit better. In the past 30 days, Texas is sixth in team defense; Detroit is second.

And, even in the lugubrious Comerica Park, Texas made a serious run late in both of the last two games of the series. The fact that they ultimately fell short will make this fact a forgettable one, but it’s certainly good to know that this club has some fight in them when the chips are down.

The Rangers will head back to Texas for a weekend series with the Astros in Houston on Friday; and even before the first pitch is thrown, Texas has ample reason for optimism.

Namely, Josh Hamilton will likely return on Friday. Frank Francisco, who has been sidelined with biceps tedinitis will return as well. The Astros are a significantly worse club than the Detroit Tigers.

Texas is done playing in Detroit in 2009; that is, unless the two teams meet in the postseason.

Maybe the supposed dark cloud hanging over Comerica will dissipate under what will certainly be a fired up Rangers team, if they do make the playoffs; maybe not.

But for now, Texas remains in first place, 2 ½ games ahead of Los Angeles; and I think I speak for Rangers nation as a whole when I say, I’d sure like to find out.

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