G17: Rangers win close game, 7-0

Yeah, I know. 7-0 isn’t a “close game” score. But for the longest time, this game was 1-0, and then 2-0 through 7 and a half innings. It wasn’t till we put up a five spot in the bottom of the 8th that it became the score it was. This really had the feeling of a 1-0 or 2-0 score, which it was for the longest time.
Well, after I read the good news earlier in the day that Bruce Chen had been DFA’ed, I was excited about Kam Loe’s start, as were most Ranger fans, I would imagine. I bet the guys up in the first row around Section 320 were excited to hang their Kam’s Snake pit sign again. :) Kameron went 5.1 innings, giving up 3 hits and no runs while walking one, and striking out 5. He left in a bit of a jam, CJ Wilson walked Nick Swisher to load the bases, and it had the makings of an ugly inning. However, Wilson showed some really great pitches to Oakland, and struck out both Eric Chavez & Milton Bradley. After Bradley was struck out, there were several guys, including Kam in the dugout who had some really good reactions to the end of that inning. That was probably the best moment of the game from a defensive side for the night.
In fact, our pitching looked absolutely like the staff it was the night before. The three hits that Loe gave up were it. Wilson and the remainder of the bullpen (Benoit, Otsuka, Gagne) gave up no hits at all. In fact, between the four relievers, they gave up just 3 walks in all. That’s it.
Offensively, it was nice to see Mark Teixeira get a double, but it didn’t amount to anything. He did, however get an RBI single in the fourth. But he needs A LOT more than that. No home runs and just 3 RBI’s for the season is starting to get a little troubling. I think we’re past the cheery optimism that Josh Lewin is still showing. I’m a tad concerned. I’m nowhere near panic mind you, but I think sticking one’s head in the sand and saying “it will get better” isn’t enough anymore. It’s been something like 75 at bats. That should be enough by now. It’s making his 9 home runs by the All Star break look like an offensive explosion.
Beyond Tex, we had a few hits scattered here and there, but the next offense was in the bottom of the seventh on a sac fly by Nelson Cruz. But through 7.5, it really felt like a really good old school NL close game. Then we blew it open in the bottom of the eighth, taking away Eric Gagne’s save opportunity. That was done when Matt Kata hit a three run home run to left, pretty much putting the game out of reach.
Gagne came in anyway, threw a scoreless inning, and sealed the win. Was nice to see that kind of game anyway, but especially after the fiasco that was Friday night’s game. Great win.
A few other random thoughts from the game:

  • Nelson Cruz looked like he avoided the tag to me
  • I’m not sure whether to laugh or be mad by that shot of Eric Gagne faking being asleep in the pen waiting to come into the game.
  • Why didn’t Kinsler get an error in the 9th on his relay throw that got away? I know the runner didn’t advance, but he would have been out otherwise.
  • That shot of Eric Chavez giving Ron Washington a replacement gold glove for the one that got washed away in Hurricane Katrina was a seriously classy move. I loved hearing that story, and even stopped the pre-game stuff to show my wife who was doing something else at the time. The Rangers site has a story about that here.