ST Game 18: Rangers lose to Angels, 5-3

I was finding myself in a weird position yesterday. I was rooting against my own starting pitcher. When a Ranger would catch the ball, I’d get mad. When Park would strike someone out, I’d be irritated. In fact, I got four and two thirds innings of that, as Chan Ho Park pitched well again for the second outing in a row. Only one of the 3 runs Park gave up were earned (thanks to Soriano). All told Park’s line was 4 hits, 3R, 1ER, 4K, OBB. No walks again. It’s even been a couple of outings since Park plunked someone with a HBP. The scary thing is if Park does this two more times in a row, people might start to believe he’s figured it out, and I just can’t bring myself to do that. I think it’s a given he’ll make the club out of camp, but how long will it last? Even if he does pitch well into the season, no one will believe it. They’ll wait for the other shoe to drop, for him to walk 5, give up 4 home runs, and hit 3, and then people will say “The real Chan Ho is back”. The three years before were an enigma. He was expected to pitch well, and didn’t. Now he’s NOT expected to pitch well (or even keep his job according to a lot of folks), so he goes and is having a fairly decent spring. I’m scared.
Other folks who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to are Laynce Nix, who still hasn’t gotten it going. He’s never really been a “tear it up and bat 340 hitter”, so I wonder how he’ll recover from his slow spring. Alfonso Soriano, who possibly still could be hurt, either physically, or can’t bring his mind to bear on getting past that mental barrier folks need to get past to get back to where they were playing wise. He’s got two hits out of about 5,000 at bats this spring, and he made two errors yesterday. Neither Nix nor Soriano are doing very well at all this spring, for whatever reason. With Gary Matthews doing really well, if Nix doesn’t get it together soon, he’s likely to find himself on the bench, or in AAA. Soriano will stay simply because of his contract, but if he keeps doing this into May, we might find Ian Kinsler at second, or someone else entirely. Who knows?
Anyway, about this game – we had a few longballs in the third (Young, Barajas) to give us a 3-2 lead in the third. The Angels tied it up in the 5th, and it stayed that way until extra innings, where we did what we usually do. Give up a couple in the top of the 10th, and then don’t score any ourselves. RA Dickey pitched the 10th, and was the losing pitcher, having given up both of those runs.
We play the Brewers on Sunday afternoon, hopefully we can pick up a win, something that has been hard to come by lately. Be nice to have a win going into our lone scheduled off day on Monday.
You can view my full update for this game here.