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Playing catchup again

Well, time to do another of those “catch up” updates. A little bit of end of season, no playoffs again burnout has caught up to me, and I let a few games slide, then I’ve spent the last three days or so sick, so I haven’t felt like updating. But I didn’t want to trail off at the end like that, so I’m doing another of my multi game updates here. Here’s what I missed since my last game update:
G148: Rangers lose to Angels again, 2-1. It’s not only annoying to lose a game 2-1, because it means you could have done so much more to win. But to have it twice in a row is annoying. Twice in a row to the same team is annoying. The icing on that bad piece of cake was that it happened in extra innings on a home run by Vlad Guerrero – who else? It’s a shame that happened, as it blew a really fine outing by Robinson Tejeda, who went seven, giving up just five hits and no runs. In fact, all the offense came in the ninth inning. Both teams’ closers gave up runs. Aki didn’t get credited with a blown save, but Francisco Rodriguez (bah on the nickname “K-Rod”) did. That made it more annoying, as it’s not that easy to come back on that guy, and we did. Sigh. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]
G149: Rangers beat Angels 12-6. Saturday evening brought out the Rangers offense behind Rangers starter Adam Eaton. We jumped out early with a four spot in the first inning, which is unusual, as we have not been a very good first inning team this year. That four spot wasn’t the only one we got this game, we had another in the 7th, as well as two two run innings (4th & 5th). The offense definitely worked tonight, pounding out 18 hits to get the 12 runs we scored. We had three doubles, one triple, and a pile of singles. Adam Eaton was OK, going 6.2 innings, giving up four earned runs on 11 hits. Could have been worse I suppose. Eaton didn’t dominate, but did well enough. The usual Ranger killer from Anaheim was defintely not good at all. John Lackey gave up six runs on ten hits and was out of the game after just four innings. Chris Bootcheck was worse, giving up four earned runs on NO outs in the seventh. Anyway you look at it, Ranger offense was the big deal here. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]
G150: Rangers split series from Angels in the rain, 8-1. Vicente Padilla was the story of this one. Pidente went 7.1 innings, throwing shutout ball, scattering seven hits. Vicente also walked three, but struck out four. He wasn’t lights out, but shutout ball over 7+ innings is nothing to sneeze at. I’m sure the three double plays the Ranger infielders turned had something to do with that. In all, the Angels got nine hits off of Ranger pitching (two doubles, one home run, and 6 singles) Nine hits is the same number of hits the Rangers had, but ours were obviously more productive. The Rangers got another double from September callup Miguel Ojeda, home runs by Matthews & Kinsler, and 6 singles. Taking a series from Anaheim might help if we try to make a push to finish ahead of them for second in the division at the end of the season, but we just split, which is treading water, really. As of right now, we’re just four games behind ‘em. Not easy, but not impossible, either. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]
G151: Rangers beat Mariners, 8-1. The Rangers now have a modest three game winning streak, after beating Seattle on Monday night by the score of 8-1. This is the second night in a row that we beat someone by that score (and the second time in a week we had two games in a row decided by the same score). Kevin Millwood continues to enjoy the mild weather in Arlington, as his numbers are much better when it’s not blistering hot out there. Kevin got his 16th win of the season behind an 11 hit attack by our offense. Bolstered by a home run and three doubles, it was more than enough to handle what Seattle did offensively. Nelson Cruz had the big bop, a three run home run in the seventh, which was very nice icing, as those runs weren’t really needed. :) King Felix (anyone else sick to death of hearing that nickname) was more like Prince Felix, going 5 innings, giving up four runs. Millwood however, was more like King Kevin, going 7 innings, giving up just one run. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]
G152: Rangers lose the game late to the Mariners, 9-7. These are the kinds of scores that you expect at the Ballpark in Arlington. 15 run affairs. Not those 2-1 games we saw recently. :) This was one where a boatload of pitchers were run out there. The Mariners threw six pitchers to the hill. The Rangers bested that with a total of 8 hurlers in all. Of the eight Ranger pitchers, five of them (Rheinecker, Rupe, Francisco, Littleton, & Benoit) didn’t give up any runs. However, the other three did (Volquez, Otsuka, & Wilson), and that’s wherein lies the rub. Aki got credited with a blown save in this one, although the two runs he allowed were unearned. We actually were doing OK in this one, being up 7-5 through 8 innings, and that’s where the trouble lied. We gave up two runs in the ninth to send it to extra innings, and then two more in the tenth for the loss. It wasted a four home run performance by Texas (Matthews, Tex, Blalock, & Kinsler). Matthews’ jack came in the first inning; always nice to see a leadoff home run. Attendance was pretty low, only 18,000 at the game. I know attendance is down overall, but the attendance numbers are (I believe) tickets sold, not people who come through the door, meaning that we only sold 18k. That’s not particularly good. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]
G153: Rangers lose to Mariners again, 6-3. This game was not seen or heard by me, as it happened mostly during my bowling league. I did TiVo it, but when I got home, I was’t particularly interested, and when I saw us losing, I didn’t bother, I watched some Doctor Who instead. :) Anyway, the two errors by Ian Kinsler certainly didn’t help things, as they lead to three unearned runs on Robinson Tejeda’s ledger. The game probably would have been a lot different without the errors. We did have a few more doubles to set a club record, I think. We had a home run by Nelson Cruz, who is showing a little power late in the season. Wasn’t enough. We blew this one. [ Game recap on mlb.com ]