Well, Kason Gabbard was supposed to start this game, but did not due to a blister. So the Rangers tossed out there Luis Mendoza, who made his major league debut in this game. Mendoza came over from the Red Sox last year in one of those trades that at the time made the majority of Ranger fans go “Huh?” I’m sure Jamey Newberg probably liked it, because I don’t think the lowest guy in rookie ball can change his choice of breakfast cereal without Jamey knowing it. However, most of the rest of us probably didn’t think much of this deadline deal when it was made last summer, if they even remember it at all. BTW, here is a press release announcing it last summer.
The kid did pretty well. Just two hits, and no runs with no walks. No strikeouts, either. Unfortunately, he only pitched two innings. This was because he got wailed on in the leg by a batted ball, and was down on the ground for a bit. He did finish the inning, but was unable to come back for the third. You kind of felt bad for him, as he was doing pretty decently, and from the short sample, seemed in line to get his first major league win in his first major league start. You have to feel bad for someone when something like that happens.
Anyway, he was followed on the hill by AJ Murray who did pretty well until the back end of his three innings in relief. In all, Murray gave up two runs in three innings on 3 hits and a walk. He was followed by Mike Wood, John Rheinecker, & Wes Littleton. Rheneicker gave up one run, but it was unearned on an error by Michael Young. I’d say we had a really good combined line for all our pitchers tonight.
Offensively, we got to Chad Gaudin for 6 runs on 10 hits. Gaudin was great in the early part of the season, but not now. I dropped him a month ago or so from several fantasy teams I had him on. The Rangers had two solo home runs in this game (Kinsler & Blalock). Blalock’s was a no doubter into right. Kinsler’s was not so sure – it barely cleared the wall, but it did prompt a funny clip with the woman who ended up with the ball; Victor & Tom certainly enjoyed that clip. Byrd & Blalock both had three hits, and Kinsler had two. The remaining five hits the Rangers got were all spread out over five other players. One of them was Michael Young, who is now at 173 hits, needing 27 in 21 games to get to 200 again. Reachable, but any kind of injury or slump will kill that.
If we sweep the A’s tomorrow, we’ll finish the series tied with them for third place. Four more games remain on the schedule with them after this series. So it could be interesting. Be a minor victory to not remain in the basement – we’ve been there since some time in early May, I believe.