Ryan Dempster gets bombed, Rangers win anyway

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Making his Rangers debut, Ryan Dempster surrendered eight runs Thursday against the Angels, yet opposing starter C.J. Wilson was just as bad and Texas won a shootout 15-9.

Dempster gave up his eight runs in 4 2/3 innings, while Wilson, an ex-Ranger who left for Anaheim in free agency last winter,yielded eight runs in 5 1/3 innings, making it a battle of the bullpens. The Rangers held the big advantage there thanks to Roy Oswalt in his first appearance since being bumped from the rotation. Working in relief for the 14th time in his career, he pitched two scoreless innings and picked up his 163rd career victory.

Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz homered for the Rangers. They also had six doubles among their 18 hits, Josh Hamilton drove in four runs, and Geovany Soto went 2-for-5 with a two-run double in his first start behind the plate for Texas.

In his major league debut, Mike Olt went 1-for-3 with a run scored before being replaced by Mitch Moreland at first base.

The Angels got homers from Mark Trumbo, Kendrys Morales and Alberto Callaspo in the loss. They scored 40 runs in the four-game series in Texas, yet won only two out of four games. The Rangers ended up with 36 runs in the series.

Texas currently has a five-game lead over the Angels in the AL West.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.