ARLINGTON, TX -- Well, who would’ve ever predicted it? The Texas Rangers are hanging on to a wild card spot as the season slides into the playoffs.
Yes, we’re talking about the same Rangers who, just last year, finished with the worst record in the league. Wow - what a difference a year makes. Well, that and healthy players. Okay… somewhat healthy.
Yeah, Josh Hamilton had knee surgery on Friday. The club says the procedure was on his left knee, and that could keep him out the rest of the season. But, the Rangers are hopeful he’ll be back; possibly as a pinch-hitter.
So, that’s the bad news. The good news? Delino DeShields is on the mend and was on the diamond Friday night.
"My knee is stable, everything looked great when the doctors checked it out; it’s just a matter of how far I can take it," DeShields told NewsFix. "It’s a pain that won’t go away over night. I want to be here and play and help make the push towards playoffs.”
DeShields and company are right on the cusp of the wild card cut-off. The boys just wrapped-up their west coast road trip and finished 5-5 of 10-games.
The Rangers know this is where the season is won.
"You want to finish off strong, especially with the situation we’re in," pitcher Yovani Gallardo said. "But this is what you prepare for, this is what you work for in the off season, in spring training – exciting games in September and hopefully get that opportunity to keep playing on.”
There’ll be no rest for the weary as the Rangers host the Oakland A’s this weekend, then the Astros ride into town on Monday. Texas is just two-and-a-half games back from Houston and they’re within reach of claiming the AL West.
“A lot of people counted them out early, you know, and kinda wondered what was going to happen, it was a rough start to the season," Rangers fan Clay Cox said.
"But you get out there and you grind, and this group is coming together and I feel like they’re playing well and loving, enjoying the game like a bunch of kids. They’re having fun right now.”
“I will have to admit I was one of those people that thought that we sucked, and now I’m super excited I’m here to buy tickets for the next five home games,” fan Symphony Lowe added.
Here’s hoping the Ranger’s bats have some bite as they head into the season homestretch.