G2: Rangers waste Padilla outing; win anyway, 5-4

Well, tonight was a game that I was hoping would be against the Angels, actually. Vicente Padilla and the Angels is always something fun to watch. We didn’t get that. We got the Mariners. And we got Felix Hernandez, who always bothers me because “King Felix” is like fingernails on a chalkboard. Not because of his pitching – he’s a great young pitcher. But the ego and arrogance of the nickname. Oh well.
Last night we made Erik Bedard work. This night we made Felix Hernandez field. He fielded his position a few times tonight, and made plays that were seriously close – the point where you’d think both went the wrong way without 15 different angles on the replay. In all, Hernandez had a great game. Seven innings, five hits, three walks, and only one run allowed – even it was unearned.
Vicente Padilla also only allowed one run, although he allowed a bit too many other things. Like eight hits and three walks in six innings. However, it was just one run allowed (this one was earned).
The thing is, one word that could describe this game was sloppy. The Rangers had three errors, and the Mariners had two. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your point of view), both teams managed to escape real damage. The Rangers loaded the bases twice in the middle innings – nothing. In all, the Rangers left 10 men on base, and the Mariners left 15 – Good Lord, that’s a lot of wasted opportunities!
The game certainly had a roller coaster feel to it. From the wasted opportunities, to the feeling of winning in the top of the 8th, to the “Oh crap” feeling in the bottom of the 8th to back on top again in the 9th. To top it off, you had a bit of queasiness in the bottom of the ninth feeling they were going to let it get away. Fortunately, we ended up on top of the roller coaster, and that was because of Josh Hamilton.

Yeah, that’s a not relevant picture, but it is a funny one, so I wanted to use it. Josh made two really great plays in the outfield. The Willie Mays style catch and crash into the wall one, plus one where he ran a really huge distance across the outfield to catch a ball were both really awesome to watch. On top of that, he hit a game winning two run home run in the top of the ninth off of JJ Putz to give us the win. Was a great night for Josh Hamilton, and a nice win for the Rangers. As was said on TV, you don’t want to start the season, or leave your first stop on a trip with an ofer. Ugh.
A few pitching comments: We had another wild pitch leading to a run. That’s not good to see ever, and especially two days in a row. Padilla allowed a lot of baserunners, but was able to get out of it when he needed to. That was nice to see.
Just for the heck of it… Richie Sexson looks bad. USSMariner thinks so, too. ;)