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ST24: Rangers topple Blue Jays, 4-3

I’m getting really annoyed about not being able to hear the Rangers on the radio. I know it’s less than two weeks, and they’ll all be there, but dammit, I want Eric & Vince! :) If anyone’s actually reading these things, don’t forget, the Rangers are on TV in the Metroplex this Friday and Saturday for the first time.
After yesterday’s tough loss, it was nice to bounce back and get a tight win. Again our pitching looked pretty decent (even though we gave up 4), and Burkett had a decent outing. I hope there’s more good ones than bad ones for Burkey this year.
David Wells pitched really good against us again, which was shades of the 98 playoffs. I like David Wells because of his musical tastes, but dammit, he doesn’t have to pitch against us quite so good, does he? But, we got a balk out of him, though. :) We had some back to back longball today from Pudge & Todd Zeile, and
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
The pitching of the Texas Rangers continues to improve day-by-day, as proven in the game Tuesday. The Rangers won the game, 4 to 3 over the Blue Jays. But just like the three days prior, the big news is that four of the men in the five man rotation are pitching well.
Rangers’ starter John Burkett, who was terrible most of last year and in his first two outings this spring, pitched his second consecutive effective outing. Here’s a look at his last two spring outings:

         IP H R ER BB SO HR
03-18-99 5  3 1 1  1  2  0
Tuesday  5  3 2 2  0  6  0
-----------------------------
totals   10 6 3 3  1  8  0

Have a look at the last 4 games by the Rangers’ starters:

              IP  H R ER BB SO HR
Rick Helling   5  7 2 2  2  2  0
Aaron Sele     5  1 1 1  0  6  1
Mark Clark     5  6 3 3  1  2  0
Burkett        5  3 2 2  0  6  0
--------------------------------
totals        20 17 7 8  3 18  1

Those last 4 starts have an earned run average of 3.60. While that’s not earth-shattering, it’s impressive news for fans of the feeble-armed Rangers.
There continues to be trouble with one spot in the rotation however; the one belonging to Esteban Loaiza. He’s been just plain bad in his last two outings: (5.2 IP, 9 hits, 6 earned runs). Johnny Oates, who had declared Loaiza the starter before spring play ever began, declared yesterday that on Wednesday Loaiza will be pitching for his rotation life. On the horizon is veteran Mike Morgan, who’s been nothing short of spectacular this spring. Tomorrow, they will duel in a “pitch-off”, with the winner getting the #5 spot in the rotation, according to an article in Tuesday’s Dallas Morning News. There’s even talk of the Rangers possibly trading Loaiza, so it’s apparent the Rangers are unhappy with the way he’s performed.
Meanwhile. lefty Mike Munoz has really stepped it up the last couple of weeks. At first, he didn’t look all that impressive according to the stats. However, his last 6 outings have been a completely different story:

              IP H R ER BB SO HR
outing 1      2  2 0 0  0  2  0
outing 2    1.1  1 0 0  1  1  0
outing 3     .1  0 0 0  0  0  0
outing 4      1  2 1 1  0  3  1
outing 5      2  2 0 0  0  1  0
outing 6      2  2 0 0  0  0  0
----------------------------------
ERA 1.04)   8.2  9 1 1  1  7  1

On the offensive side, which rarely is a worry, Ivan Rodriguez and Todd Zeile hit back-to-back homers today, the first for Pudge, and the second for Todd. Rodriguez added 2 RBI’s as well.

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