G154: Rangers beat Indians into submission, 12-4

There were only three home games left in the season. I’ve been sick the last two days, and while I wasn’t feeling great, I felt OK enough to go, especially since there were really no more games left to “make up” if I missed this one. It was also a giveaway night, this was the annual Rangers calendar, the second year in a row they gave away a “pet” calendar. I actually take umbrage at that, because it’s not much of a “pet” calendar. It should be a “dog” calendar. As I’m a cat person, that always bugs me. Other than Kameron Loe’s snake, this was wall to wall dogs. And a couple of them are butt ugly, too. Anyway, I wish John Wetteland was still around, as he was one of the cat people from last year’s calendar giveaway. They also gave away a nice card with this picture from the 2006 All Star game on it, and on the back side, they had the preliminary 2007 schedule that was released the day before. I’ll have more to say on the schedule shortly, but it was a nice little card. They also had the traditional advance pocket schedule, which I’ll be scanning and getting on my pocket schedule page on Monday when I get back to work and have access to a flatbed scanner.
Anyway, we got out to an early lead, 1-0 in the first on a Mark Teixeira single, scoring Matthews, who will set a club record for RBI and runs scored by a leadoff hitter before the end of the season, I’m sure (I’m saying that w/o looking it up, but I’m pretty sure on that). The Indians tied it back up in the top of the second on a double by Hector Luna. Luna was thrown out at third on great throws by Nelson Cruz & Michael Young to end the inning. It stayed that way until the bottom of the third when the Rangers took the lead again on two absolute no doubt home runs by Mark Texeira (into the bleachers in Sec 50 right over the end of the Rangers bullpen), and one titanic shot by Carlos Lee who hit the wall behind the seats in left. I was sitting in Section 13, and Lee’s ball went right by me, so I got a good view of it. Was very impressive. That put us up 4-1. It didn’t stop there, we scored four in the fourth. They were all unearned, based on an error that really looked like an error to me, but could have been ruled a double for Gary Matthews.
We were up 8-1 at that point, and pretty much cruised to the win. Carlos Lee had another home run later in the game (the earlier one was a back to back with Tex). One interesting thing about Lee’s home runs. He has eight of them as a Ranger, and they’ve all been solo home runs. Mark Teixeira had 4 RBI total tonight, driving his season total to 104.
Adam Eaton looked great until he hit this “wall” in the sixth. Once he starts to sniff 100 pitches, he seems to run out of gas. I think he’s had enough starts sine coming back where that should not be an issue. I’m still advocating resigning him for 2007, but this “100 pitch wall” of his is a troubling sign. Hopefully a healthy offseason will help in that regard.
Was a fun game to attend, even if I didn’t feel very good. I’ll be there again on Sunday for the home finale, too. Supposed to be nice weather as well. I did take some pictures while I was at the game tonight. They’re mostly of the pre-game activities, but if you want to check them out, you can do so here.
About that error in the fourth on Matthews. Matthews has an outside shot to get to 200 hits in the season. After tonight’s game, he has 187. There’s eight games left in the season, which means he needs 1.6 per game to get there. Figure he gets four at bats a game, that’s 32 at bats left in the season, and he needs 13. That’s an average of .406 for the rest of the season. It’s not impossible, but not a piece of cake, either. Every one helps. As long as I’m on that, Michael Young has 208 at the moment, only two behind Ichiro for the Major League lead in that department.
Also, as much as I want both the Dodgers & Padres to lose right now so my hometown Phillies can get in as the Wild Card leader, my heart broke listening to the ninth inning of the Padres game driving home, and how close Chris Young game to a no hitter tonight. I had tuned in to that game on my XM radio driving home, and went “AW CRAP” when he gave up the home run. I did wish Bruce Bochy did not take out Chris to get the final out. Reminds me of a game from 1999 when Mike Morgan was pitching for the Rangers. Mike had a shutout going into the ninth, and lost it on a home run to Todd Greene (then of the Angels). Really disappointing there, too, but Young’s has to hurt more, as it was a no hitter.