G33: Texas beats the White Sox, 11-5

Last night was one of those “peace with the world” nights. My wife was out getting her hair cut, so I was home alone with the TV and a Rangers game. :) I printed out one of my scorecards, sat in the recliner with some dinner, a glass of wine, and watched the Rangers game. Out loud to no one, I exclaimed “Life is good”. And not because my wife wasn’t there – she loves the game a lot herself (although she’s not as fanatical as I am). :)
Anyway, what can I say about this game? We got shut down by Jamie Navarro, which was a shocker. He pitched damn well, and we didn’t get anything going really until the ninth, but it was too late.
I didn’t think we played all that bad, but we couldn’t get anything going against Navarro. Not a whole lot else to say about this one.
Commentary by Jim Meeks:
Face it, the Rangers’ play this year has been inconsistent and sloppy. Manager Johnny Oates held a team meeting before Tuesday’s game. No one – outside of the team – actually knows exactly what he said, but he probably said something like, “Just win, baby, please”.
The team must have listened but it took 9 innings before the message hit them.
The Rangers trailed 5-3 from the bottom of the 4th until the top of the 9th. Then they erupted for an 8 run, rain plagued (yawn) inning, as they washed out the Sox.
Whatever Oates told his team seems to have worked, except on Esteban Loaiza, thrown into a spot start because of Aaron Sele’s flu bug. Loaiza pitched like he was the one with the flu, giving up 5 earned runs in 5 innings and 9 hits.
The bullpen, a disaster most every night that Jeff Zimmerman isn’t pitching, held the Sox to Loaiza’s 5 runs. Zimmerman (the game’s winning pitcher, now 2-0) pitched another 2 marvelous, perfect innings.
Oates only uses Zimmerman when the Rangers have a chance to win, have you noticed? I haven’t bothered to look, but I am almost 100% sure the Rangers have not lost any games that Zimmerman has pitched in. His ERA can only be seen with a microscope as it sits at 0.55. Let that sink in real slow…0.55.
At any rate, using the impetus and confidence of Zimmerman’s superb outing, the Rangers came from behind after the 7th inning for the first time all year, which is quite remarkable in itself, considering we are about 1/6th through the season. The 9th inning was a constant array of swinging bats and pounding pitches for the Red Shoes, crossing 8 runners over the Comiskey plate. Rusty Greer had the big hit, smashing his 6th career grand slam – and the second slam for the Rangers this year.
Greer now hitting .299 and is on pace to drive in 136 runs, ala Juan Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, who also homered, left the game early with a strained hamstring and is day-to-day.
The Rangers offense was at it’s best Tuesday. And Tuesday’s game was the most exciting game I have had heard (no TV where I live) in quite some time. Oates should conduct more team meetings, don’t you think?