Texas has always symbolized bitter memories from November 22, 1963. But from a baseball perspective, Texas means heat, brutal summers that destroy pitching staffs, and usual departures with Bostonians with their tails between their legs.
But with Hank Blalock out and Sammy Sosa a shell of his former self, the Texas Rangers indeed ioccupy the Lone Star state, that lone star being Mark Teixeira. And Teixeira did plenty of damage with four RBI including a titanic home run. But, in a place that has traditionally meant nightmares, the Sox stretched their division lead over the Bombers to an unthinkable 12 1/2 games.
Kevin Youkilis continued his terrific baseball with his seventh consecutive multihit game. Fourth in the AL in average, Youkilis remains 6th in runs scored, 5th in on base percentage, 6th in OPS, 5th in runs created, and 4th in runs created per 27 outs.
Dustin Pedroia affords me yet another session of crow-eating, as his swing-from-the-heels approach delivered a key ninth inning, Bucky %&$*ing Dent-like homer.
And although Julian Tavarez 'blew up' in the 6th, he kept the team in the game, and the Sox and the Rangers' bullpen did the rest.
Postseason odds (using a million computer runs) post the Sox at 95 percent.