This was an extremely well pitched game – on both sides of the field. The Rangers were going up against Eric Bedard, who for some reason seems to have had his reputation as a “Godlike” pitcher increased just because he was traded away from Baltimore. Now don’t get me wrong, he was a great pitcher in Baltimore, but does anyone else feel that the press is making him out to be better than he really is, merely because he wears a different uniform? Anyway, Bedard did pitch well, he went seven innings, gave up just six hits and two runs. Struck out five. A pretty decent outing.
Thing is, Vicente Padilla is pitching by far the best he’s ever done in a Rangers uniform – perhaps ever? He was fantastic – he went seven innings as well, but no runs and just two hits with eight strikeouts and two walks. On top of that, he was stupidly efficient with his pitches. Going into the seventh, he had thrown something like 60 pitches total. He had to work a bit in the seventh, but the first six were total cruise control. Even the seventh was something cool. Vicente’s two walks were both in the seventh. He started the inning with them. Then proceeded to strike out the side. He looked strong, he could have come back out for the eighth, I’m sure, but I understand the decision.
Also on Padilla, the way he just went after Seattle after the two walks in the seventh was really impressive. I’m going to shamelessley steal this bit from Joey M over at Baseball Time in Arlington, because he already wrote this better than I could. :)
And yet, it was Padilla’s seventh inning that really stole the show, if only because of the way he buckled down in the face of adversity. After walking Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre on back-to-back 3-2 pitches to lead off the frame (which prompted a predictable visit from pitching coach Mark Connor), Vicente went into overdrive:
92. 95. 94. Strikeout looking.
95. 96. 95. 95. 95. Strikeout looking.
96. 96. 97. 95. 96. 96. Strikeout swinging.
Dynamic. Singular. Electric. I’m not sure any one adjective can properly describe that 14-pitch sequence.
The two runs we got were both scored by Milton Bradley. One was in the fourth when Bradley scored on Brandon Boggs’ first career triple. The other was the sixth when Bradley jacked a home run ball into the Mariners’ bullpen. We had a chance to get some more in the latter innings, but didn’t come through.
The win now puts us in sole possession of third place. I really hope we win Thursday night, as I don’t want to leave Seattle tied for last place again. We’re now 15-20, and inching back to .500.
I also hope we win against the Red Wings, but I don’t see it happening.