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G25: SWEEP! SWEEP! SWEEP! Rangers beat Sox, 4-1

I started this site in December of 1998. I was running it when we were in the playoffs before. This season, I’ve done things I haven’t done since we were in the playoffs. I drove home, and immediately came to my computer to do the page update. Normally I let the updates go till the morning, and do it as part of my morning “rounds” at work. But this time I didn’t want to wait. I wanted to come home and update while it was fresh in my mind – with all the losing the last few years, I have to say I wasn’t as eager to get home to write about more losses. ;)

Anyway, this game was absolutely awesome in just about every way. It was a crisp, fast moving, game. It bogged down a bit in the last inning and a half, but it was fast, with a time of 2:31. As it started, I wasn’t sure what kind of pitching we’d get thrown against us. Tim Wakefield, with his knuckleball is either totally unhittable, or you get 8 runs off him in 2.2 innings. There doesn’t seem to be a middle ground with him. Add to that the fact that he never really seems to pitch terribly well here, and I expected that we were going to win this game going in. However, we got unhittable Wakefield tonight. One other thing that was very cool was a ball hit by Boston’s 3B Bill Mueller, robbing Kevin Mench. The ball hit him, then popped up in the air, and he caught it.

Fortunately, RA Dickey was more than up to the task of matching him – and bettering him. RA’s line shows 8.2 innings, with one earned run. Actually he should have had a complete game shutout. He was a strike away from it, but appeared to have run out of gas at the end, with an over 130 pitch pitch count. Showalter came out after Dickey put two men on, as it became a save situation, according to some of the sillier rules on that thing (if the tying run is on the on deck circle, it becomes a save, even though the score is actually 4-0). But Dickey got a standing O after he left in the 8th, I assume because most figured he wouldn’t be back out, as at the time, we were up 2-0. He got a second when Showalter took him out – deservedly so. In fact, I saw a few folks with Red Sox caps on applauding him – that was nice to see. Also nice to see were two fabulous catches by Brian Jordan in right – one an all out dive to his left, and the other a long running catch in front of the middle of the bullpen area in right center. Two really nice defensive plays by Jordan. He’s not hitting at the moment, but he is playing D.

Cordero came on, and did get the save, but was a bit wild doing it. He walked two guys, although I felt that he got squeezed by home plate umpire Larry Poncino, and he should have gotten out of it with no walks. But he walked two, the second accounting for the only run the Red Sox got, a gift run. But Coco did get his third save in the span of about 28.5 hours. Not a bad weekend’s work at all. He now has the most saves in the AL. Actually he did last night too, but I don’t think anyone had two saves today to pass him. I’m not sure if he has the lead in the majors, too. Speaking of leads in the majors, the Rangers right now have the best record in all of the majors with a 16-9 record. That’s stunning. Simply stunning.

One other thing that was really stunning during the game was the crowd chanting SWEEP. I generally go to about 20-25 games a season at the Ballpark. I’ve been doing that since 1997, my first year with season tickets. I have to say I’ve NEVER heard that happen before. Ever. Steve Busby, who is paid to attend games for the Rangers, said he’d never heard it. Neither had Showalter, although I’ve been going to Ranger games for more years than he had. Normally when you hear crowds chanting things, you hear a buildup of the sound. It would start on the other side of the stadium (unless it started near you), and work it’s way over. For me, sitting in Sec 329 Row 14, it seemed like it was at full crescendo RIGHT away. It was absolutely amazing, and was something that seemed to stun Showalter & Steve Busby. And myself. I wish I could find a sound file of that. I’d love to have that clip that they played on Ranger Replay a few times with Nadel & Rojas talking about it. The best part of all of this? The absolute best part? We did this on national television. We swept the previously best record in the AL team Red Sox with an almost shutout on national TV. And the SWEEP thing made it out nationally, too. It was almost like a big ol’ middle finger to the rest of baseball who gave us no chance at all this year.

UPDATE: I have an mp3 file of the Nadel/Cotroneo coverage during the broadcast of this. Turns out it was Hank’s Homies who started it, and it took over the stadium. VERY cool.

Driving home from the Rangers game, my wife and I were listening to the Rangers Replay show like we always do. Steve Busby made a comment after a caller who said “I’m now on the bandwagon”. Lynn said to me “You never got off the bandwagon”. Yup. As I said above, I was running the site when we were in the playoffs in the late 90′s. I’m still here – I’ve been doing this site through all the crappy years of the early 2000′s. About time we start winning again – I thought I’d have to stop doing the site for them to win some more. ;) I told my wife that if we’re still holding up this pace with not a lot of slippage by the end of June, I might start to allow myself the luxury of thinking of the playoffs. We’re not there yet, and as much as I’d love that to happen, I think it’s a bit too soon to start thinking that.

But damn – it’s nice to see the Texas Rangers playing this way, and this well.

Line Score
AL  FINAL
1  2  3   4  5  6   7  8  9     R  H  E
-  -  -   -  -  -   -  -  -     -  -  -
BOSTON              0  0  0   0  0  0   0  0  1     1  4  0
TEXAS               0  0  0   1  0  0   1  2  x     4  7  0      (FINAL)
BATTERIES: BOS - TIM WAKEFIELD, ALAN EMBREE (8TH) AND DOUG MIRABELLI, JASON
VARITEK (8TH)
TEX - R.A. DICKEY, FRANCISCO CORDERO (9TH) AND GERALD
LAIRD
WP - R.A. DICKEY (4-1)
LP - TIM WAKEFIELD (2-1)
SAVE - FRANCISCO CORDERO (10)
HOME RUNS: BOS - NONE
TEX - DAVE DELLUCCI (4) OFF TIM WAKEFIELD IN THE 7TH, 0 ON
ALFONSO SORIANO (2) OFF ALAN EMBREE IN THE 8TH, 0 ON
TIME: 2:31     ATT: 31,538
PROBABLES: BOS - CURT SCHILLING (3-1, 3.31)
CLE - JASON DAVIS (0-2, 4.91)
PROBABLES: TAM - PAUL ABBOTT (2-2, 3.20)
TEX - KENNY ROGERS (3-1, 4.26)
Box Score
BOSTON (1) VS TEXAS (4) - FINAL
BOSTON                 ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
J Damon cf              4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .258
B Mueller 3b            4  0  0  0   0  1   1  .242
D Ortiz dh              3  0  0  0   1  1   0  .287
M Ramirez lf            3  1  1  0   1  1   2  .365
B Daubach 1b            4  0  0  0   0  1   2  .182
K Millar rf             3  0  1  0   1  0   0  .235
M Bellhorn 2b           2  0  0  0   2  0   0  .214
D Mirabelli c           2  0  0  0   0  0   3  .375
a-J Varitek ph-c       1  0  0  1   1  0   0  .310
P Reese ss              2  0  1  0   0  0   0  .234
b-D McCarty ph         1  0  1  0   0  0   0  .273
C Crespo pr-ss         1  0  0  0   0  0   3  .163
Totals                 30  1  4  1   6  5  12
a-grounded to second for D Mirabelli in the 8th;  b-singled to center for P
Reese in the 8th.
BATTING: RBI - J Varitek (13). 2-out RBI - J Varitek. Runners left in scoring
position, 2 out - C Crespo 2, B Mueller 1, M Ramirez 1. GIDP - D Mirabelli.
Team LOB - 8.
TEXAS                  ab  r  h rbi bb so lob   avg
M Young ss              4  1  1  0   0  0   0  .352
H Blalock 3b            3  0  1  1   0  1   0  .324
A Soriano 2b            4  1  1  1   0  0   1  .330
B Fullmer dh            4  1  1  0   0  0   0  .247
M Teixeira 1b           3  0  0  1   0  2   0  .222
B Jordan rf             3  0  1  0   0  0   0  .143
D Dellucci cf           3  1  1  1   0  1   2  .344
K Mench lf              3  0  1  0   0  0   2  .316
G Laird c               3  0  0  0   0  1   1  .333
Totals                 30  4  7  4   0  5   6
BATTING: 2B - B Jordan (1, T Wakefield). 3B - B Fullmer (1, T Wakefield); M
Young (2, A Embree). HR - D Dellucci (4, 7th inning off T Wakefield 0 on, 2
Out), A Soriano (2, 8th inning off A Embree 0 on, 1 Out). SF - H Blalock. RBI -
M Teixeira (8), D Dellucci (7), H Blalock (21), A Soriano (17). 2-out RBI - D
Dellucci. Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - K Mench 2. Team LOB - 4.
FIELDING: DP: 1 (H Blalock-A Soriano-M Teixeira).
----------------------------------------------------
BOSTON          - 000 000 001   --   1
TEXAS           - 000 100 12x   --   4
----------------------------------------------------
BOSTON                       ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
T Wakefield (L, 2-1)          7       5   2   2   0   4   1   2.25
A Embree                      1       2   2   2   0   1   1   3.18
TEXAS                        ip       h   r  er  bb  so  hr    era
R Dickey (W, 4-1)             8 2/3   4   1   1   4   5   0   3.48
F Cordero (S, 10)               1/3   0   0   0   2   0   0   2.38
WP - R Dickey. HBP - M Teixeira (by T Wakefield). Pitches-strikes: T
Wakefield 101-64; A Embree 18-13; R Dickey 132-77; F Cordero 15-6. Ground
balls-fly balls: T Wakefield 6-11; A Embree 0-2; R Dickey 10-11; F Cordero 0-1.
Batters faced: T Wakefield 27; A Embree 5; R Dickey 33; F Cordero 3.
UMPIRES: HP--Larry Poncino. 1B--Greg Gibson. 2B--Bruce Dreckman. 3B--Gerry
Davis.
T--2:31. Att--31,538.
Weather: 70 degrees, clear. Wind: 10 mph, right to
left.

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