The Rangers-Astros two series set was not great for the Astros this season. They went 2-4 over the six games, but even that was far better than what we have received in recent years. The Rangers had won 10 of their last 12 encounters with the Astros coming into this season.But for a 9th inning rally capped by a Matt Downs home run, they would have been swept in the Arlington series. Still the Astros were only outscored 27 runs to 24 over the entire season set.
However, it is a bit galling for Astros fans when their Rangers counterparts see trash-talking the team as beneath them.
Getting trash-talked by a franchise who had won just one playoff game coming into last season, and whose greatest achievement after stealing Nolan Ryan was to sign Alex Rodriguez to his original and ludicrous 10-year $250m contract is actually quite funny.
Its all a bit rich if you ask me. I don't remember ripping into the Rangers when they were playing poorly earlier in the decade, and I could go into far more depth on the subject, but then this would turn into a rant. There is one thing, however that boggles me, and it is a quote from Peter Gammons:
I can't find anybody who doesn't think the Rangers are the best team in that division. I talked to some general managers that were frustrated the Rangers got the Houston Astros [in Interleague play], while one team is getting the Giants and another is getting a really good team. But that's because they're in Texas, and they're really good.
Um, what? It was six games and we went 2-4 against them. Compared to some of our series this season, this was actually one of the competitive ones. If you have interleague play, how could you solve such a problem? Would every team in each division have to play the same number of games against exactly the same clubs? Or perhaps the really bad teams should be banned from interleague play altogether.
We are now into the second half of the season and after going 29-53 in the first 81 games, the Astros are 1-0 during the second half, owing last night's victory to another superlative effort from Wandy Rodriguez.
Meanwhile Rodriguez continues his sterling 2011. Over his past nine starts he has held opponents scoreless five times, has a sparkling 1.77 ERA and if you read his post-match comments from his previous start in Arlington, the only reason he faltered was the switch of catchers altered his rhythm on the mound.