ST16: Rangers beat Pittsburgh, 7-5

This game was a contrast in pitching. We had some great pitching, and some not so great pitching. On the good department was Kenny Rogers, who continues to shine during the pre-season. It almost seems like he didn’t even need it, and was ready for opening day from the first day of camp. Was it wanting to prove himself after the walk against the Braves in the playoffs? Whatever the reason, he certainly seems ready to go. Someone who is NOT ready to go is Jeff Zimmerman. Jeff allowed four earned runs yesterday in 1 2/3 innings pitched. Yes, I’m aware baseball rules say that two of the runs got charged to Kenny Rogers, but to be honest, the way Kenny pitched, he didn’t deserve that. Joaquin Benoit came in, pitched only 1/3 of an inning, and then the game was called due to rain. Kenny Rogers got an obscene amount of his outs on ground balls, and continued to back up his reputation as one of the best fielding pitchers out there. Can’t wait for opening day!
On the flip side, the Pirates starter gave up everything – 7 earned runs in 2 2/3 innings. It really seemed that after being called for a balk in the third, Jimmy Anderson just fell apart. After the balk, he allowed a sac fly (Greer), a double (Pudge), a home run (Raffy), a ground out (Curtis), another home run (Mateo – his second of the day; the moonshot), a double (Kapler), and a single (Lamb).
Michael Lamb continues to not gain ground on Tom Evans in the 3B race with another error today, as well as going 1-4 at the plate. Bill Haselman had a passed ball (why aren’t these counted as errors?), but that’s about the end of the defensive miscues toda
The big stick of the day was Ruben Mateo who hit two home runs, one of which from the sounds of Eric Nadel just about cleared the pond out in left. I saw this home run on a TV replay late in the evening, and you couldn’t even see the ball go – the Pirates’ left fielder just stood there, didn’t even move. :) What’s interesting is that no Pirate pitcher had given up a home run at all in Spring training before this point – and we hit three in less than two innings.
A big disappointment was the lack of Kettle Korn – Eric & Vince were bemoaning the fact that the Kettle Korn guy was not at the game yesterday.
Tomorrow we play my home town Philadelphia Phillies. Don’t know who to root for when this happens.