G156: Rangers lose finale of home season, 9-2

The final home game of the 2000 season played out pretty much like the rest of the year. Rather irritating weather, and rather irritating performance by the team on the field. After yesterday being 97 degrees with like 80 percent humidity, it was about 60 degrees at the game. Since I’m from up north these temperatures don’t bother me, but the day after 97, it’s very noticeable.
Kenny Rogers started off by walking the first three batters of the game, and surprisingly only gave up one run that inning. Kenny went five innings, and only gave up a single hit, but he also allowed a career high eight walks. Given that many walks, it’s surprising he only gave up two runs in these five innings. When he left, I was feeling pretty good about our chances to win the final home game. However, our usual problem reared it’s head. Jonathan Johnson came on and pitched a couple of innings, but gave up two consecutive solo home runs for two more runs allowed – those were his only two hits though, he didn’t pitch all that bad. Then the fun began. Tim Crabgrass came in and only pitched 1/3 of an inning, but he walked two, and with an error, ending up allowing four runs, because of Mike Venafro’s gopher ball to Mo Vaughn – a towering grand slam into the second level of the upper deck. That was the epitaph for the Ranger’s home season. Brian Sikorski came on for the ninth, and was the only pitcher not to allow any runs, but he too walked a batter – bringing the total walks allowed by Ranger pitching to FOURTEEN!!
Offensively, we didn’t have much – we had the solo home run by Randy Knorr, and an RBI bloop single by Ruben Sierra in the fourth, scoring Scarborough Green. That was it. Speaking of Ruben, he’ll be a trivia question – he made the final out of the home 2000 season, a come backer to the pitcher.
When the Rangers were coming off the field, they got (what I felt to be) a fairly decent standing ovation. Hardly anyone came back out onto the field after the game was over, but I can’t be surprised at that – they probably just wanted to get out. Raffy came out, and Scott Sheldon did, and I thought I saw Ruben Sierra, but I wasn’t sure. I was very pleased to see the fans give the team applause after the season was over. Given the usual Cowboy mentality that this town has, I figured they’d get booed – but they didn’t. I liked that.
Speaking of Raffy, he was given a special framed Rangers jersey before the game in honor of his 400th HR. It looked normal, except the number on the back of the uniform was #400. Was a nice gesture, for sure.