There's been lots of talk about how the offense was impacted by Josh Hamilton's extended absence because of a hairline fracture in a bone in his upper arm. But there were 17 games in there that the offense had to deal without Nelson Cruz (who was in a slump when he went on the DL) and Hamilton. So what are the numbers now with both in the lineup?
Without Cruz and Hamilton for 17 games in May: .237 team average, 11 homers, 49 RBIs, 3.29 runs per game, 8-9 record.
With Cruz and Hamilton for the last 9 games: .281 team average, 17 homers, 51 RBIs, 6 runs per game, 6-3 record.
Hamilton's numbers aren't nearly as impressive as Cruz's since both came back, but to have two guys with the ability to change the game with one swing can have a ripple effect on the entire lineup. Hamilton is hitting .250 with one homer (his only one of the season) and six RBIs in 40 at-bats. Meanwhile, Cruz is hitting .275 since his return. But in his last five games, Cruz is 9-for-21 (.429) with two homers and four RBIs.
The bottom line: The offense has improved and is finding some ways to score. And while they managed just three runs on Wednesday, it was the timing of the runs that has to give them some overall confidence. With two outs and the score still just 1-0 Texas, the Rangers got a big two-out hit from Elvis Andrus in the eighth inning to give closer Neftali Feliz, who has struggled, a 3-run cushion heading to the ninth.