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G14: Rangers shut out by the Yankees, 4-0

Once again, David Cone killed the Rangers. In the last two outings against the Rangers (the other being Game 3 of the playoffs last year), we were shut the hell down by him – totally. I have to say that when I saw Cone’s name as the pitcher here, I groaned, because he’s still a very underrated pitcher – I wouldn’t mind having him our our staff, that’s for sure.
Quite the opposite was John Burkett. I knew we were in trouble when the first pitch of the game hit Chuck Knoblauch. Was a definite eye-roller. And then Paul O’Neill gave the Yankees all they needed with the first of two home runs for him in the first inning. Burkett has had a major slide in quality this season. He hasn’t been a dominating pitcher since he was with the Giants severeal years ago, but at worst, he was just “OK”. This year, IMHO, he’s gone backwards into bad. That’s a shame, because I really like the guy. Today’s DMN is reporting that there might be a problem with Burkett physically, and he could have to go on the DL because of it. If that’s true, it might explain his problems – but if he does go on the DL, we don’t have a whole lot of options. I thought last night that Simms coming back might bump Burkett from the roster, as Loaiza is pitching decent, but if Burkett goes on the DL, I think that Loaiza would go back to the rotation. However, I agree with what Jim says below about Loaiza and the pen – I’d really hate to see Burkett go on the DL, but he’s not doing us all that good where he is. The bizarre thing is that I look at the scores here, and 4-0 isn’t all that bad, really. It’s just that Burkett got helped out by a double play in the first, and some good fielding. He seemed to struggle from the getgo. One bright spot was Esteban Loaiza. He seemed to pitch really good today, and I hope to god he can hold that up, as I want him to succeed, because if he doesn’t, it means we gave up Warren Morris for nothing. :)
We had a couple of threats going late, but they didn’t amount to anything. Our offense was non existant (only 4 hits total). Not much else to say about this game, other than we got shut down big time by David Cone.
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
As Yankee great Yogi Berra once said, “It’s deja vu all over again”.
Tuesday’s game brought back painful memories of the 1998 American League Playoffs to Rangers’ fans as the Yankees, behind a masterful David Cone, defeated the Rangers 4 to 0.
The Rangers managed just 4 hits the entire ball game – all singles. Cone came at the Rangers from every angle known to man and had them off balance the entire night.
Paul O’Neill did most of the damage for the Yanks, as he drove 2 John Burkett pitches out of the ballpark in less than 3 innings. Burkett actually did well to only give up 3 runs in his 2.0 innings as he was in trouble his entire short stay.
Esteban Loaiza may have found his niche for the Rangers. He pitched middle relief again and gave up just one earned run in 3.2 innings pitched. As much as we all seem to dislike Loaiza, he has saved the bullpen from a tough road of misery, eating up innings since Opening Day.
The Rangers try to rebound Wednesday behind Rick Helling, who pitched very well his last time out.