Seriously, there is a lot at stake in the Twins/Rangers series… and not just to see if Rich Harden’s arm would fall off before his no hitter bid was over.

Not sure if you noticed this or not, but as of this writing, the Minnesota Twins would have home field advantage in the Division Series while the Rangers would start Cliff Lee on the road for Game 1 against either Tampa Bay or New York.

Home field advantage might be the only way for the Twins to advance past the Division Series for the first time since 2002 (after losing the Division Series in 2003, 2004, 2006 and 2009.)

They are one ahead in the loss column of Texas and including yesterday’s near no hitter, they have won 3 of 4 in the season series. They have 6 more games head to head and they can go a long way to determining who gets to host the first round.

The Rangers got some heartening news from the Harden start last night. Sure a combined no hitter would be sexy, but Harden’s entire career has been described as “He’d be an ace if he stayed healthy.”

They don’t need him healthy for a season. Just a few months.

Either way, it’s a big series… and for those of you who keep complaining that all the attention is put on the Yankees and Red Sox… START PAYING ATTENTION.

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You are safe Gambler

It REALLY looked like the Rangers were going to have a combined no hitter tonight. But Joe Mauer got a 2 strike single in the ninth off of Neftali Perez.

No shame in letting up a hit to Joe Mauer.

But I had already written the piece in my head and was going to update the “Most Recent No Hitter” tally.

I don’t take the blame myself. I think Joe Mauer’s ability was more relevant than my writing a blog post.

So Kenny Rogers’s perfect game is STILL the most recent Rangers no hitter.

Padres and Mets remain on the clock.

Kenny Rogers’ Perfect Game: The Old School Edition from Luis Alicea on Vimeo.

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A heart Hardens

I understand the logic of taking Rich Harden out of the game today.
He threw 111 pitches today and it was his first day off the disabled list… maybe EVER.

In his career he has the durability of a sand castle at high tide.

So yeah, I understand why Ron Washington took him out. He needs his arm in the 1 in 382,112 chance that he can last 2 months without getting hurt again.

But man, I’m not sure I’d have the heart to take him out of his no hitter. If he had let up a little dribbler single in the third, this would be a no brainer.

6 2/3 shutout innings from Harden?
A Godsend.

But now he had to be the mean old man to ruin Rich’s birthday party.

Let’s see if O’Day can make it a combined no hitter.

(2 outs in the 8th… he could do it)

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