ST3: Rangers now 0-3 with another loss to Reds, 5-2

Well, the second straight loss in a row to the Reds leads now to our 0-3 Spring Training record. Not a terribly great start. They don’t count, of course, and most of these players won’t be with the team when we head north, but 0-3 is never good.
It started off good enough, with Darren Oliver on the mound. In the first inning he struck out Ken Griffey, Jr. – a great moment. In fact, Oliver pitched two shutout innings – which seems to be the norm for our starters the first three games of Spring training. Unfortunately, the next three pitchers didn’t fare as well – Zimmerman giving up 1 run (although in fairness to Zim it was a solo home run to Griffey), Cordero giving up one run, and Kolb giving up three. RA Dickey pitched the 8th, and had a shutout inning.
Zimmerman actually sounded good, and with the exception of the long ball to Junior, pitched two good innings. Francisco Cordero was wild, with three walks and a hit in there, but lucked out in only giving up one run during his one inning of work. Danny Kolb fared much worse, giving up three earned runs (even though there was a Scarborough Green error in there). What I took away from this game was that Oliver, Zimmerman, & Dickey pitched well, and Cordero did not (he was really wild), and Kolb was behind a lot of batters (as Cordero was), and wasn’t all that great, either. Cordero sounded like what his reputation was like. Insanely fast stuff, but has control problems. In fact, he lucked out leaving the bases loaded in the inning he pitched.
The first inning brought a hit by Chad Curtis right away, but that was it. In fact, that was the story of the first three innings – a single hit, but nothing more. We never really got anything going offensively all day – our hitters were swinging at first pitches a lot, and we only got the two runs we did because Lee Stevens & Tom Evans connected, and hit solo home runs. Our bats didn’t sound too hot over the radio today at all.
Some other highlights: In the fourth, Pudge had his somewhat disturbing problem of losing the bat out of his hands two straight pitches – the second one went into the stands. In the seventh, Scarborough Green got an infield bunt single – however, that memory was erased by a poor through he made while in the field for an error, allowing a run to score.
One thing that struck me as funny was the SHORTNESS of the game. When it was done, I walked into my kitchen, and saw the time was 2:20! It started at 12:05 – this was a very short game! Some other stuff to take out of this that I liked – For the third straight game, our starters pitched extremely well, and Tom Evans hit another jack – leading the Grapefruit league in these. If he keeps this up, he’ll have to be a serious contender for the club’s opening day roster.
Tomorrow, we play the Boston Red Sox, and Esteban Loaiza pitches for us, and Pedro Martinez for the Red Sox. Rusty Greer could return tomorrow from his right ankle inflammation.
Unfortunately, tomorrow begins the annoying habit of no radio games on during Spring. The next radio game is FRIDAY. I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I found out why there aren’t as many games on the radio during Spring Training at the recent Rangers Winter Carnival. I asked Eric Nadel that question, and he rolled his eyes and said “Dr. Laura”. It seems that when Ranger games are on during the week, the KRLD switchboard lights up with complaints from Dr. Laura fans. What we need to do is call up and complain when she is on – there has GOT to be more baseball fans than Dr. Laura fans (ughhh) – I can’t imagine SHE ALONE is the reason we don’t get to hear more pre-season baseball. KRLD’s number is 817-543-5400 in case anyone’s interested. :)