In this game, everything starts and ends with pitching. We know we will hit and play defense and back these guys with runs, but our pitching has just been incredible, and that is a wave you want to ride. That is how you win in the big leagues, and that is how you get to and win in the postseason. It all starts with pitching.

The three youngest guys in our rotation have lights-out stuff. They all throw 95 mph-plus, and they are now all getting to the point where they are commanding their stuff, going after hitters and attacking the strike zone. They force guys to put balls in play.

As a team right now, we are exactly where we want to be, but we still have to get better. We are happy with the way we are playing, but we are not satisfied. I think we are capable of more.

I have been with Texas for a long time, and I think a big difference between our club this year and last year, compared to some of those earlier Rangers teams, is simply that we have better players. It starts there.

There is also a different attitude now; it is a different atmosphere around our team. All we think about is winning, and we believe we are going to win games. It is fun to be a part of that. We don't have one single guy in here who is cocky, but everyone is confident, and they have confidence in the guy next to them. It is a great group.

I think things started to change for us during the 2009 season. We just missed the postseason that year, but we had the right group of guys. We had the talent in place, and things started to point upward. We established the type of baseball that we wanted to play, and we have been getting better at it ever since.

During some of those earlier years it was still fun, of course, coming to the ballpark every day, but not as fun as it is now. Looking back, we were in the big leagues and we all appreciate what we got to do. But having said that, it does not compare to right now. This is a team that went to the World Series last year, and this is a team that comes to the ballpark every day with some pretty lofty expectations and goals.

I think another strength of this team is that we don't really focus on who we are playing against. We focus on ourselves, and we focus on what we can do to make our team better. That works for us.

In the big leagues you respect everybody. We just look to bring our 'A' game every night.

All-Star Michael Young has played for Texas since 2000 and is the franchise leader in hits. The Rangers currently lead the American League West by three games and had a 12-game win streak snapped recently.