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G26: Vicente Padilla very strong, Rangers win 10-0

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a game like this. We were out in front early, and kept it – no looking back. We’ve not had many of those. We’re usually down 4 or 5 to nothing in the first inning, and we have to hope. Not this time.
Milton Bradley had a no doubter of a three run home run in the bottom of the first. His home run got me to say something I haven’t said much this season – GOODBYE! the second the ball hit the bat. There was no doubt about this one. One funny thing I was surprised that Josh didn’t talk about with the home run was some guy near where the ball landed had his popcorn fly up in the air – and it looked like a pretty full bucket. Whether it was an accident or he was throwing it at the ball is unknown, but popcorn was a flyin’ when the ball went over the fence. That wasn’t the only home run of the game for the Rangers. Josh Hamilton & Jason Botts also launched balls over the stands (but no more popcorn).
But this game wasn’t about the offense, even though there was a lot of it. It was about Vicente Padilla looking very much like the pitcher that Arizona and Philadelphia hoped he would be. Looked strong, pretty good pitch count (121 for nine innings), and most importantly, a complete game shutout. We haven’t had one of those in several years now, and I could go for seeing more of those. We all could. Question is next time out, which Padilla are we going to get? He needs to string together several of these before I think people will really buy into him. I don’t mean complete game shutouts (although that’d be nice), just good strong outings. On the whole, he’s been better in 2008, but I don’t think Rangers fans are ready to completely buy into him just yet.
Josh Hamilton and Michael Young both had three hits, not a huge surprise there. Gerald Laird was 2-5 and is now batting .269. Respectable, definitely an improvement over last year. If he keeps going up, I suspect he’ll get traded in July.
Ian Kinsler had two hits in the #1 hole, and has an OBP of .359. Not bad at all, but you’d like a little better from the leadoff guy.
This was a good game. Something we needed. Next up are the Kansas City Royals starting on Tuesday. They’re not as light a touch as they used to be, so we better keep our heads about us.