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Angels Deregulate Texas Rangers, 7-3

Team seems to have to given up on losing games. With Oakland now ten games back, the magic number is 7.

Mike Trout fives so high it actually counts as six.
Mike Trout fives so high it actually counts as six.
Ronald Martinez

Texas governor Rick Perry has been trolling the entire State of California for years now—you've probably even heard his smarmy swagger on LA radio. Although it's just coincidental, there's been a special grudge between the Angels and the Rangers during the same time. The balance of power shifted; maybe we got grumpy, maybe they got cocky, and then the A's laughed at both of us before anyone ever noticed. Well, in a rather surprising turn of events, the Angels are currently on pace to become MLB's only 100-game winner, while the Rangers may the season's only 100-game loser. With a 12-3 record head-to-head, and one more series to go, I'd like to invite Texas back to visit my state's business-friendly environment, and they can bring their annoying ad-man-in-chief with them. Rick Perry might be the only man in the entire Lone Star State who didn't hit Mike Trout with an inside pitch this week.

No thanks to the injuries in the rotation, tonight was another starter-by-committee game, which is actually working out better than some real starters, especially the nibblers who burn 75 pitches before the third inning anyways (yes, I'm looking at you, CJ). Cory Rasmus, on a 50-pitch timer, took the game into the fourth inning, allowing just a single and a solo homer. Seven relievers then combined to hold the Rangers to three runs in total. Only Mike Morin stayed in the game for more than three outs, while the offense had a similarly egalitarian night as well. No batter had more than a single hit, all of which were singles, except for Erick Aybar's two-run homer and a double by Hank Conger. I've never wrapped up a game like this before, where everyone chipped in a little, but no one broke the bank.

And that just might be the best description for this time. Although they've certainly got some star power, they're winning with a deep bench of players who are just good enough to be "good." With the sweep tonight, they've pulled ten games out in front of Oakland, who are playing so poorly right now that I wouldn't be surprised if Seattle was the last team eliminated. This last road trip started with a bit of a buzzkill, but the Angels have won eight straight after dropping those two games in Houston and made a division title nearly certain at this point.