Scored this game as a test game; think I got all the pitches right this time, in spite of the Oakland announcers being late with the substitutions and some weirdness over Gio Gonzalez' fielding errors in the fourth inning. One of those errors was originally called a balk but then changed by home plate umpire Tim Tschida. They'll probably change it back to a balk tomorrow, I dunno. If it hadn't been a test game, I probably would have given up on it when the A's pulled Gonzalez in the 5th and sent for Chad Gaudin and his gas can.
Anyway, this was an odd game. The Rangers historically have been all offense and no defense or pitching, while the A's lately have the opposite rep. Well, the Rangers' pitching and defense were very much in evidence tonight; they wiped the floor with the hapless A's, who couldn't hardly get anyone on base and couldn't drive them in when they did. The A's also played pretty poorly in the outfield, though there wasn't much they could do about Gaudin feeding his gopher; he coughed up three homers in an inning and two-thirds. Horrible.
More generally, I see what people mean when they talk about the AL games taking longer - with a real hitter in the DH slot instead of a pitcher, there's more offense, more pitching changes, and it adds some time to the games. I don't think I've seen an NL game yet this year that went over 3 hours, but so far both the AL games I've seen (both Rangers games, as it happens) have easily gone over 3 hours even without the home team hitting in the bottom of the ninth.
Elsewhere, the Nats are in second, a game and a half behind the Phillies, and the Twins are leading the Tiggers by three games. The Orioles are in last place in the American League, a game and a half behind the Royals, and there's still time for the Rangers to collapse. It's early yet.