G2: Rangers win against Angels in a thriller, 3-2

The second game felt an awful lot like the first one. We gave up a run in the first inning, and then it stayed that way for a long time. We were “right there” the whole way, but couldn’t bring anyone across. It got a bit more irritating when we left five men on base in the first two innings alone! Just couldn’t get it done. In fact, the game stayed 1-0 until the eighth.
In the middle of that, Kenny Rogers had a ball batted up the middle pretty fast that he tried to catch with his glove, but replays showed it nicked the top of his pitching hand. That’s two games in a row that Jamie Reed had to come out and deal with something (in fact, twice in this game too, as Hidalgo got hit in the kneecap with a pitched ball earlier). Rogers stayed in after that, but eventually came out of his own request after six innings. Unfortunately, Jarrod Washburn was like Colon the night before, and was pretty untouchable in terms of runs anyway. :) So Kenny left with a loss on the hook.
However, in the eighth, our new right fielder paid dividends. Richard Hidalgo jacked a two run home run over the short left field corner wall in Angel Stadium for a 2-1 lead. These kinds of games tend to turn emotionally pretty quickly – at that time, I assumed the game was won. It felt like a win. But Cordero couldn’t hold it. Actually, Cordero came in early in the 8th after Doug Brocail & Ron Mahay left him with bases loaded. Got out of that, but in the bottom of the ninth, but a ground rule double scored Josh Paul to tie the game up and send it to extra innings. We almost really blew it the bottom of the eleventh. Ryan Bukvich had pitched a good 10th, but in the 11th, he was wild, putting two on with nobody out, but some picking and choosing of relief pitchers by Showalter got us out of that.
It set the stage for Alfonso Soriano’s game winning HR in the top of the 12th. Brian Shouse, who pitched the final 1.1 innings, picked up the win. There were a lot of pitchers used total. The Rangers used 7 (Rogers, Brocail, Mahay, Cordero, Bukvich, Dickey, Shouse) and the Angels used 6 (Washburn, Shields, Donnelly, Yan, KRod, & Prinz).
Did anyone think that Tom Grieve was really going to give out his phone number? Was amusing, though. He did narrow it down, if someone wants to dial 1,000 phone numbers, they could get through. :)
You can view my full update for this game here.


  1. oddibe says

    I hope no one, especially Mr. Siegler, minds if I blog my way through the game?
    Innings 1-6:
    * It’s very frustrating to see the Rangers stranding all those runners! Again, Kevin Mench is culprit numero uno. I’m sure Showalter would have to wait in line behind some internet diehards to strangle him. This goes hand-in-hand with the strikeouts; the Rangers are striking out at an alarming rate through two games. Ugh.
    * The phrase I’ve yelled most during this game is, “Nooooooo, don’t walk Chone Figgins, you retard!” Obviously, Figgins is the hitter ahead of El Señor Caliente Batea Guererro (Mr. Hot Bat, Guererro).
    * Anytime Vladamir Guerrero wants to ground out to shortstop, it’s okay with me. To me, Vladamir is the scariest hitter in baseball. The guy is truly phenomenal at the plate. He reminds me of a right-handed Ruben Sierra at age 26 with about 800% more plate discipline. The only other guy that has ever had me on the edge of my seat at every AB was then-A’s slugger Jose Canseco back in his dubious ‘steroid days’. The ball came off his bat like it does off of Guerrero’s.
    * The Double-play-inducing Kenny Rogers might not win win 18 games again, but he’ll sure win 15 this year.
    * Looks like Richard Hidalgo likes to face Washburn – he’s 2 for 2. Chad Allen, on-the-other-hand… I understand the “reasoning” Showalter has for not using A-Gon against Washburn, but I don’t agree with it. Adrian Gonzalez has shown in the minors that he hits lefties equally well as righties. It’s one of the old baseball school rules that permeates baseball and that will someday go away…but not this season!
    7th inning:
    * Finally the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Claifornia Near Disneyland take Washburn out. He wasn’t too bad economically on
    his pitch count (92 pitches, 15 per inning. Rogers, like Drese on Tuesday, has been ultra-conservative on his pitch count (at least, relatively-speaking – this is the Rangers’ pitching staff we are talking about) through six innings.
    * Gary Matthews just lined out. I was thinking, I’d much rather have Matthews in there over Nix. Matthews looks like he knows *exactly* what he’s doing. If he plays all year, I can see him hitting .285/.360/.430. I think he’s an even better hitter this year. How about 18 HR, 80 RBI? (The RBI’s all depend on what kind of year Richard Hidalgo and Mench have).
    * Hmmmm, a finger injury for Rogers. Hoping it’s just a blister or something…looks like Doug Brocail is coming on to pitch the 7th.
    * This game (1-0 right now) is moving along quickly for an A.L. game (2 hours old as I type this). I wish the Rangers could prolong it in the top of the 8th.
    * I spoke too soon. Brocail wants to prolong the bottom of the 7th by walking the weakest hitters in the lineup.
    * Note to Rod Barajas: Sir, I knew Pudge Rodriguez…he was a friend of mine, Rod Barjas, you are no Pudge Rodriguez. Nice throw to third there, amigo.
    * A prediction to start the 8th. Hidalgo is going to hit a 3-run homer this inning (crossing my fingers).
    8th inning:
    * You’ve got to give the Angels’ pitchers credit: they aren’t walking every 4th batter tonight. Although Brendan Donnelly got to 3 balls on Young before he singled (as I write this).
    * By the way, speaking of late inning heroics: current Reds’ OF Joe Randa would have been a nice addition to this ballclub in the off-season…
    * Hidalgo’s up and only Michael Young on, so I guess the 3-run homer is out the window…and as I type this – no sh!t, he hits a two-run homer to left. YES YES YES! Rally Rally Rally!!!
    * Now we will see how the set-up goes in the bottom of the inning. No Frankie, no Almanzar…
    * Kevin Mench gets in on the fun with a single! What’s the deal?
    Bottom of the 8th:
    * I’m kind of surprised Brocail is back in there. I almost expected (I don’t know why, really) Matt Riley to come in. Note to Brocail et al: whatever you do, do not allow Erstad or Figgins to get on base before Guererro!
    * Erstad’s gone on a grounder! One out.
    * As I stated above (3 balls to Figgins) “Nooooooo, don’t walk Chone Figgins, you retard!”.
    * Grrrrrrrrrr! Figgins, having been given a free pass by Doug “I LIKE TO WALK A LOT OF WEAK HITTERS” Brocail, is on 1st and the modern day “Sultan of Swat At Everything And Hit Everything For Extra Bases” is up. Treat him like Barry Bonds. INTENTIONALLY WALK HIM! Garret Anderson does not frighten me!
    * Thank God, a fielder’s choice. {I think I almost peed in my pants ladies and gents.} I’m not unhappy at all that Figgins is safe at second. I’m not scared of Garret Anderson. I’m not scared of anybody in that lineup except You-Know-Who.
    * Mahay is in now. He pitched fine last night. Crossing my fingers…
    * Okay, Garret pops up and infield-fly-ruler. Two outs! Sit down, you – pretend to be somebody – Anderson!
    * Francisco Cordero up in the pen. Man, I hope he’s got it when they bring him in!
    * Now Mahay is trying to really make the game interesting, especially for the incontinent, by walking Juan Rivera and loading the bases for Orlando Cabrera. Hmmm, rhyming teammates.
    * Cordero in the ballgame…bases loaded…Cordero is the key to the season IMO. If he’s the same pitcher we saw last year, then this is a 90+ win team.
    * As Bart’s nemesis Nelson would say, “HA HA!”. Caberera pops out to Barajas! Inning over. Time for some insurance runs.
    Top of the 9th:
    * Yawn! Esteban Yan is on the hill for the Halos.
    * Barajas is smoking the ball tonight. He knocks one into center for a single. That’s 3 hits in 4 trips. :)
    Bottom of the 9th:
    * Cordero has got the bottom of the order to face. As long as he doesn’t walk anyone, I’m not concerned. As any 2nd grader will tell you: “Walks will kill you!”. Walks are a whole lot like cigarettes.
    * One out and Molina singles to center. Better than a walk though. Have I ever mentioned that ‘walks are a whole lot like cigarettes’?
    * Oh no. Erstad doubles and ruins everything. Ex-punter=jerk. Tying run scores. ;(
    Top of 10th:
    * Oh fun. Frankie-Rod is in the game. Woohoo. I’m so glad he’s not a starter!
    * Mike Young flies out. He’s 2 for 9 so far this year. He was SO hot in the last 16-17 games of the spring; he looked like Ichiro out there in the stat sheets.
    * Frankie-Rod puts down the Rangers 1-2-3. :(
    Bottom of the 10th:
    * More fun. Vladamir (hey, doesn’t that sound like a Spanish vampire’s name?) the Impailer is leading off. I’m shutting my eyes. Ryan Bukvich (that kind of sounds like a vampires’ name as well) is on the mound now. He’s never faced Guererro. I ?guess? that’s a good thing. Although, anytime Vlad is up, it’s not a good thing. Bukvich however, struck him out. Vlad only struck out 74 times last year.
    * The Rangers are killing me with these great-pitching games. It’s almost like a playoff enviornment. My back hurts from squirming and holding this laptop. My stomach is making noises that sound incredibly similar to Scooby Doo’s voice when he’s scared. (And I’m not just being funny). Hey, this Bukvich can pitch!
    Top of the 11th:
    * Kevin Mench: en fuego. He poked one to the outfield off Rodriguez.
    * Chad Allen knows how to bunt? Whaaaa…is this 2005? A sacrifice? Hmmm. Hope it works. Now would be a great place for Andres Torres to pinch run at 2nd, eh?
    * I don’t care if Barajas has 3 hits tonight, there’s no way I let him bat against F-Rod. Last night: 3 pitches, 3 strikes, sit down. This time, at least he made contact, but he’s still out. A perfect situation to bring in Adrian
    Gonzalez and Showalter sticks with Barajas. I really, really don’t get it.
    Bottom of the 11th:
    * This is NOT good. Bukvich walks 2 straight hitters. No outs. It will be a miracle if the Rangers get out of this inning. A FRICKIN’ MIRACLE. Note to Showalter: don’t let Bukvich go past one inning…Rangers bring in Dickey.
    * Dickey = the next pope? Maybe miracles do happen. There are 2 outs now thanks to some great fielding and pitching by “Mr. No Ligament” himself…and the runners are still at first and second.
    * The Rangers are going through the bullpen like potato chips. Pitcher number 7, one of my faves, Brian Shouse is in now.
    Incredibly, Shouse seals the deal; my friends, miracles do happen, because the Rangers got out of it unscathed!
    Top of the 12th:
    * This game could go on forever…but it will probably be over soon. Vlad is going to be up again in the bottom of the inning, so a run or five would be nice.
    * Hey…a Soriano homer! Yeah and no outs! A five spot would look REALLY nice.
    Bottom of the 12th: “Do or Die for the Angels”
    * Quietly, Vlad is out number two. Shouse is the real deal. I think he is a huge key to this season as well. I think Matt Riley is going to be key too. You can never have too many lefties in the pen and Riley throws hard. I bet they go the entire year without him ever starting.
    The Rangers’ pitching has been outstanding (as has been the Angels’). Drese and Rogers – along with the bullpen – have set the water mark now for Chris Young, Chan Ho Park and Pedro Astacio. If the Rangers can get an average of 11-13 wins each out of those three, I think the Rangers could probably win 92-94 games. A great game tonight.