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G88: Rangers come out of break with 3-2 win over DBacks

Well, there really wasn’t much to talk about in this game until the 9th inning. :)
We had some nice D in the field, with Ruben Mateo gunning down Tony Womack at the plate from way out in the outfield, Jon Shave making a great diving stop at first base (not his normal position). However, Pudge had an off night, he had two bad throws including one that sailed into center field. Bill Jones made a comment on TV that we get spoiled seeing Pudge throw, and expect that every one he throws will be perfect. I agree with that, but it still odd to see him throw two bad in the same game.
Rick Helling gave up a run in the first inning, but then didn’t allow anything more except a hit in the second, the Diamondbacks went hitless for like 4 or 5 innings or something before Helling gave up a solo shot in the 8th inning. All told, Rick Helling pitched very well, going 8 innings, giving up only two runs on 5 hits. I’ve been feeling bad for Helling, as he always seems to pitch this way, but he doesn’t get the win. I know everyone says “I’ts the pitcher’s job to keep the team in the game”, and it is, but damn, he has won like one of his last eight starts, while only losing two, I think. He needs more run support.
And speaking of run support, Randy Johnson got some, after the Dbacks have scored nothing in his previous four starts. Coming into this game, I figured we’d be the team that they crushed in support of Randy. Well, they got two in eight innings. Not exactly a “crush”, but the way Johnson was pitching, it seemed like it was going to be enough.
Randy left in the 9th inning for their new closer, Matt Matei. He got the first two outs, and it looked like game over. However, Mantei, for being such a highly regarded starter, pitched rather wild after getting two outs, walking the bases full to Greer, Palmeiro, & Stevens. After this, Mark McLemore came up. The count ran to 2-2, and Mark smacked a double up the center that was stopped by the Dbacks’ right fielder, but not enough to prevent all three runners from coming around for the win. Man, was this an exciting win in the bottom of the ninth. It was more interesting, since virtually every batter after the first two outs ran the count full. McLemore was 2-2 when he got the hit, so Matei was always “just about there” to getting the job done, but our hitters rode it out, and we won a really thrilling game.
One other thing – 6 of the 7 Ranger hits in this game came with two outs. The one other was Mac’s single in the 8th.
Matt Williams of the Dbacks did get his career 1,500th hit in the first inning, which is always nice to see.