The Rangers’ magic number is “4” after going back-to-back-to-back in the 6th inning in Anaheim last night and beating the Halos 5-1. Jon Gray gave Texas a solid start, the Rangers had baserunners in every inning but one, and Garcia, Garver, and Lowe went deep to hang on to the 2-1/2 game lead over the Astros. Three home runs in a row and four in a span of six at-bats. They’ve hit at least four homers in a game eleven times this year, three times in the past week. The Rangers lead the AL in home runs at 227. And with six games to play, Texas’ magic number is four to winning their first division title in seven years.
I love the drama of this last week of the season with so much on the line — every pitch, every at-bat, every shift and catch and throw, every scoreboard crawl at the bottom of the screen updating us on the Astros. I don’t like that this is all happening on the West Coast. These late starts and long nights are going to catch up with me before the week’s over.
My magic number for the Cowboys now is “6.” I’ve predicted a 10-7 season for Dallas this year and I’ve got a couple of dinners with a couple of good friends riding on it. I think I’m in good shape. I’ve done the math.
The Cowboys have ten tough games left on their schedule: home games against the Rams, Seattle, Philly, and the Lions; and road games at San Francisco, the Chargers, Philly, Buffalo, Miami, and Washington. Let’s say they split those ten games. Can you find six wins in those ten games? No way. That’s five losses, giving me a total of six.
That means Dallas only has to lose one of these remaining “easier” games: at home against the Patriots, Washington, or New York; or on the road at Carolina. That gets me to seven.
Jerry Wayne is blaming Sunday’s loss in Arizona on missing three starting offensive linemen due to injury. Well, the offense didn’t give up 222 yards rushing. Dak is blaming the media. Funny, I didn’t see David Moore or Tim Cowlishaw or any ESPN or FOX commentators suiting up for the Cards. That’s absurd. To his credit, McCarthy is shouldering some of the blame for his own play-calling inside the red zone. I would add that’s it not just inside the opponents’ 20-yard line; it’s all over the field from the start of the game until the finish. It’s the whole offensive philosophy. The Cowboys went to this dink and dunk “Texas Coast” offense because they don’t trust Dak. And it’s hard to come from behind by dinking and dunking down the field. Dak can’t throw deep, the defense knows it, and they’re already loading up. Let the Cowboys get the short stuff, keep everything in front of us; they can’t go ten or eleven plays down the field without shooting themselves in the foot with penalties and mistakes.
This gets worse for Dallas, not better. And it’s so delicious.