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ST1: Rangers beat Royals in Cactus Opener, 6-1

And so begins another year. I got to listen to the game, it was on mlb.com’s Gameday Audio. They had one of mlb.com’s “webcasts” (which means it wasn’t broadcast on the radio). This is game that originally was not supposed to count, it was listed as “Charity Game”, but it ended up being an official game anyway. 5,460 showed up.
The Rangers were designated as the home team, and sent out Kevin Millwood er, Brandon McCarthy AJ Murray to start the game. Arlington was “OK”. I don’t see a pitch count for him, but he was not crisp. Didn’t give up any runs, but walked two in his two innings of work. In the bottom of the first, Ian Kinsler got on via an error, which was ironic, since he gave up an error himself in the top of the first. However, KC pitcher John Bale then struck out the side.
The Rangers first run of 2008 was an RBI double by David Murphy, bringing in Marlon Byrd (who had also doubled) in the second inning.
In the third, the Royals sent out their #1 pick Luke Hochevar, who promptly sent down all six Rangers he faced. Two perfect innings. I heard him on the radio the other morning on XM, and he seemed pretty blase about being “the franchise” for the Royals. In fact, he said “you know” an awful lot in his talking, you know? ;)
Gerald Laird continued his defensive prowess behind the plate by throwing out Alex Gordon in the fourth attempting to steal; ending the inning.
In the top of the fifth, Frank Francisco gave up a run on three hits, and didn’t really help himself. That gave him an official blown save, but then…
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brian Lawrence (briefly in camp with Rangers not all that long ago) gave up two hits and two runs, one a rather nice sounding double by Josh Hamilton. At that time Eric Nadel was in the booth with the mlb announcer. Hamilton was referred to as having “effortless power” by the mlb.com guy; Nadel agreed with that. They talked a bunch about being a “nice guy”, as the guy announcing the game was doing Reds games a lot last year. It was really nice to hear Eric Nadel again. Be better hearing him on Friday when the first Rangers broadcast happens.
In the bottom of the seventh, the first home run of the season for the Rangers was by Taylor Teagarden. It came off of former Ranger Ron Mahay, now with the Royals. We also picked up a few runs in the bottom of the 8th to close off the scoring at six.
Had the usual non Rangers announcer gaffes about our players. The most noticeable one to me was the guy calling Wes Littleton “Wes Littlejohn”, and that he was trying to win a roster spot for the first time.
I am busy at work with a project, and almost forgot to listen, but I had the whole game on. Funny moment is that they played the bottom of the ninth, even though the game was officially over. Only took a couple of minutes, nothing really happened – was probably an agreed to thing so that pitchers could get their work.
Nice to have baseball back again.

Comments

  1. Nice to have baseball back too. Welcome to another season Joe. Keep up the good work.

  2. Reports say Murray took 43 pitches for his 2 innings (20+ per inning) while the Mendoza Line shows only 23 for his two. He hammered the strike zone with “stuff” and the KCs couldn’t find it.
    What fun that was.
    I also liked the fact that D’Murph (a lefty hitter) doubled off a lefty pitcher. I think his success will have a bigger impact on this team than either or both of Botts and Cruz.
    Teagarden’s keeping his name in the mix with his HR…
    And, JosHamilton is looking sweeter by the day.
    Here come the Angeles… !
    GO sTRangers!

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