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G87: Padres beat us again by the score of 6-2

What’s surprising the last several outings by John Burkett is how GOOD he’s pitched. I wonder where all this stuff has been hiding the last several years? He’s definitely looked to me the best he’s ever looked in Texas these last four games he’s pitched. He didn’t get a win today, but six innings, giving up one run and six hits is pretty good to me. Not godlike, but certainly way better than our pitching has been overall. He would have gone further if we weren’t in a National League game, too.
Speaking of that, this was our final game in a National League Park this season – our pitchers were terrible batting this year, after a great year in 97 and an OK year in 98. Mike Morgan had a single yesterday, but that’s the lone hit by Ranger pitchers this year – Burkett looked weird up there, even more so than some of the others.
Anyway, this game was a great pitchers duel until the bottom of the 8th when Loaiza & Venafro just blew it, giving up 5 runs in the 8th. San Diego pitcher Matt Clement pitched excellent, going 7 innings, giving up one run and only 3 hits – the other Ranger run was a solo home run by Raffy in the 9th.
Juan Gonzalez wasn’t in the game, as he and his wife were at the hospital as their youngest daughter had an asthma attack in the morning, and had to be rushed there. During the radio post game show, they said that the group were still at the hospital, and tests were still going on. As I write this at 1:20AM on Monday morning, I still had not heard anything new here.
We end the “half” in first place, with a five game lead over Oakland, a six game lead over Seattle, and a 6.5 game lead over Anaheim. We should have been around 8 on the second place team, but I’ll take the lead – this is the largest lead we’ve had at an All-Star Break ever. Speaking of that, Manny Ramirez ended up with 96 (or 98, I’m not sure right now) RBI’s going into the break, a couple short of Juan last year. However, Juan had a really slow second half last year, and my gut feeling says that Manny won’t this year – I think he might take a stab at Hack Wilson, and he’ll probably get the MVP.
Hey, I like Manny Ramirez – I’m 33, and in all my years of going to baseball games, he’s the only person I’ve ever caught a foul ball from (May of 98 at the Ballpark). OK, it’s a geeky reason to like someone, but what the hell, it’s my reason. :)
Hopefully when the second half starts, we can put some distance between us and the rest of the division – our focus needs to be on the best record we can get, because if things end up the way they are now, we’re playing the Yankees again in the first round of the playoffs – UGH!!!