Before the season started there were lots of questions concerning the Texas Rangers and their pitching staff. Not only the pitching staff, but the offense was a point of concern as well. Josh Hamilton had bolted for the Los Angeles Angels while Mike Napoli and Michael Young were also playing for different teams this year.
So far, these questions have all been answered. Friday night against the Minnesota Twins, rookie starter Justin Grimm stepped up to the mound and pitched a brilliant game for the Rangers. Grimm went seven innings and didn’t allow a run. This was the second time in two nights that a rookie starting pitcher has gotten the best of the Twins hitters. On Thursday night it was Nick Tepesch who got the victory.
Lance Berkman, once again, proved how valuable he is to the Rangers. Berkman had two hits, one RBI and a run scored in the 4-3 win. For the season, he is hitting .333 and has 15 RBI. Perhaps the story of the night, though, belongs to Adrian Beltre. The Rangers’ third baseman belted a solo home run to deep center field in the sixth inning. It was his fourth on the season, but more importantly, it was home run number 350 for Beltre in his career.
The Rangers have won 16 of their first 23 games in this young season and are now 3.5 games ahead of the Oakland Athletics in the division. There is a long way to go, but if the bats keep hitting and the pitchers keep performing above and beyond, this team could be playing late in October.