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G51: Rangers beat Kansas City 3-1

The Rangers set the highest current winning streak in the majors, and have the best team winning streak since 1991. The Diamondbuck$ lost yesterday, so that leavs the Rangers alone with an 8 game winning streak.
The Royals starting pitching shut us down again for the second night in a row, and the Royals pulled their starting pitcher after six innings, which I thought was weird, since we were being shut down again. The replacement picked up where the starter (Witasick) left off. However, in the eighth, the wheels came off. Matt Whitesant walked a batter, and then proceeded to hit two batters (althouh the call on Shave didn’t look like a hit batter to me). Then Mark McLemore, who is having a kick ass season, came through with the game winning hit, a double into center, scoring two runs and giving us the win. Rusty Greer singled again after Mac had moved to second, scoring Mac. A great night for Mac – that’s for sure.
A great night for our pitching again. Rick Helling gave up only one run, and got another no decision, but he is pitching really awesome lately. He’s gone into the 7th inning or later in his last four starts. Unfortunately, we’re not getting the job done with the bats for him. Case in point – Jeff Zimmerman has as many wins in relief as Rick Helling does as a starter (Rick’s 5-5, Jeff’s 5-0). Wetteland was a god in the 9th. Only a couple pitches and perfect relief from him (and Zim, too). Wetteland got his major league leading 17th save of the season, too.
Pudge also extended his hitting streak to 20 games, setting a personal record and setting the AL season record. The NL is around 30, I think – some guy from the Diamondbuck$.
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
Feasting on never-beens and pretenders like the Devil Rays, Twins and Royals, the Texas Rangers have now won 8 straight games.
The Rangers’ bullpen has been the key. They’ve won each of the past four games. The relievers have allowed one run in 25.2 innings, an 0.35 ERA during the streak. That’s nothing short of incredible.
Tuesday’s bullpen combo of Superman Jeff Zimmerman (the league leader in ERA, if he were eligible) and John Wetteland (the league leader in saves) stopped whatever thoughts the Royals had of adding any insurance to what was a slim 1-0 lead.
Let’s compare the Rangers’ pen to that of the Royals. KC relievers lead all of baseball with 11 blown saves in 19 opportunities (58% blown). The Ranger relievers have won their past 11 decisions and are 13-1 with four blown saves in 21 chances.
Tuesday evening, Rick Helling pitched his best game so far. The Rangers’ offense, which has been sputtering as of late – until they HAVE to score, let Helling down. In 7 innings, they couldn’t score. Helling allowed just 3 hits and 1 run.
Yes, the Rangers’ win came gift-wrapped again (gee, how many games in a row now has that happened?) by a lousy bullpen giving away a lead.
Yet a win is a win.