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ST18: Rangers lose to Twins, 7-2

Again, we’re not on KRLD (grrr), so there’s little to talk about (from my standpoint, anyway) that is game specific. I did kind of watch the line score developing off the sports ticker, and it was 1-0 for the longest time, I thought pitching was doing well. Then I turn in and see a big 6 spot for the Twins. Burkett was tagged for the loss, even though four of the Twin runs came off a slam against Wetteland. Burkett did pretty good, pitching five innings and allowing only one run and three hits. Kind of a shame then that he got tagged for the loss, as our runs didn’t come until after Wetteland allowed six friggin runs in one inning! Wetteland isn’t doing that great so far this spring. Of course, he’s coming off a surgery, so he has more of an excuse than some others who are struggling this spring.
We did have a couple of home runs by our guys (Mateo & Clayton), but that was all the offense. We also had another error today. I haven’t actually sat down and counted them, but it really seems like we’re making far more errors than we did last year, and last year wasn’t that great. :( I know, I know, it’s still Spring Training, but I still don’t like to see them, anyway.
Other: Boy, Kerry Wood sure is taking a beating. Out all of 99, and could conceivably miss 2000 as well! Yikes!
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
The Rangers came up losers 7-2 to Minnesota Thursday in the first game of a rare spring doubleheader, ending a 5 game win team streak. I can only think of one other time that the Rangers ever played a spring doubleheader and that was several years back.
This game was only played to a 7 inning conclusion, since travel by bus is the norm in the spring, the Twins obviously didn’t want the hassle of fighting alligators *and* old ladies all night long on some God-forsaken Florida highway to Fort Myers (I can say that since I live only 150 miles from Fort Myers). This game wasn’t on radio anywhere, so you’ll have to forgive me if my accounts from the box score aren’t very accurate. I got stuck listening to the only all-AL Grapefruit game on the web today; Boston and Tampa Bay. It was bad anough listening to those Beantown announcers yesterday and today I got a second-helping. Oh well.
Rangers’ starter John Burkett came up with a good outing, throwing 5 strong innings and giving up just 1 run on 3 hits. This is his first good outing this spring and it’s without-a-doubt the strongest outing by a Rangers starter all spring.
Unfortunately, John Wetteland looks like he was shelled again. In his last 2 outings (2 IP) this spring, he’s given up a hefty 12 runs on 11 hits and 2 homers. Makes me wonder if his ankle and elbow really are ok. If they aren’t, the Rangers will have another large problem on their hands other than the disabilities of Mike Simms and Rafael Palmeiro.
Ruben Mateo continues to have an auspicious spring. In this game, the young Dominican went 1 for 1 with a homer and an RBI. In his last 5 games, Mateo is 5 for 9 with 2 homers, 2 doubles and 3 RBIs.
Rusty Greer had a couple of hits for the Rangers and Pudge Rodriguez had 2 as well, including a double. Royce Clayton hit a HR in the final frame but also commited his third error of the spring.