G10: Rangers get Seattle again, 4-3

A short commentary today, as I’m kinda busy today at work again. I will say this. Wow – where was this pitching hiding? After the score got tied 3-3, the Rangers retired everyone – 20 in a row! Crabtree looked awesome, as did the other guys, but Crabby got Jay Buhner to strike out swinging on all three pitches, and Wetteland was awesome too! Now, if Helling can keep this up, his ERA might come down out of the stratosphere some more. It was a real shame he didn’t get the win – he really deserved it!
Also, Alicea & Kelly looked awesome again. These guys both signed two year contracts before the 98 season – both of their contracts are up after this season. I really hope we can sign both of them again – I like both these guys!
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
Put away the hound dogs, cancel the call to the FBI and dim the scanning search lights; Rick Helling has been found and he’s alive and well in Seattle, Washington.
Rick Helling went 8 very strong innings Thursday, in what was by far his best outing of the year. He gave up just 3 runs on 5 hits and no walks, although one of the hits was a home run.
Exactly how good was Rick Helling? Well, for starters, his ERA dropped almost 5 full runs. His curveball, which has seemed to be missing longer than Jimmy Hoffa, was very visable Thursday afternoon in Seattle. He threw nine groundballs and had 4 strikeouts and you can’t even compare those numbers to his first 2 starts, when everything he threw seemed to be belted deep in the air by the opposition.
The Rangers’ bullpen combo of Tim Crabtree and John Wetteland – both throwing in the mid 90’s, simply came in and shut the door on the beleaguered Mariners in the 9th and 10th innings. Seattle has no bullpen at all and I’m beginning to wonder if Lou Piniella will last another 25 games as manager there.
The Rangers won the game in in the 10th inning, 4-3. The star offensively was their diminuative 2nd baseman Luis Alicea, subbing for the weak-knees of Mark McLemore. Alicea went 3 for 5 with 2 ribbies, including the go-ahead RBI in the 10th.
I really like seeing both Alicea and Roberto Kelly in the lineup together. Kelly has hit so well this year that he saw his batting average drop almost .100 points even though he went 2 for 5.
Juan Gonzalez continues to leave runners in scoring position with less than 2 outs. As Joe pointed out yesterday, he just isn’t doing the job offensively at the moment.
The Rangers got some very good news out of Florida, as Mike Simms began his Minor League rehab, going 2-2 with 2 walks for Charlotte of the Florida State League. The Rangers expect Simms back with the ballclub as early as the next homestand.
The best news of the evening though came from that old, familiar face, “Bulldog” Helling…who’s certain demise has been greatly exaggerated.