G50: Rangers survive a “no pitching” game, win 13-9

This was a night when there was precious little good pitching to go around. The fact that we won was no small feat, given how frequently we tried to give the game back to Cleveland.
We got out to a 4-0 lead after the top of the first, then immediately gave back two runs. Cleveland made it 4-3 after two, and then we exploded, going up 11-3. Safe? Not really. We gave three of those runs back in the bottom of the third. While we were never behind, I never felt this game was out of reach for Cleveland.
Kason Gabbard (2.2IP, 4H, 6BB!!, 6ER) was bad. Frank Francisco wasn’t that great, either (1IP, OH, 2BB, 2ER) – both the walks Frankie gave up scored. Granted, Eddie Guardado let them score, but still, Frankie shouldn’t have walked the guys in the first place. Jamey Wright was the only guy without a real blemish, going two scoreless innings to finish the game. Gabbard just stunk.
Coming into this game, I thought we’d have a hard time scoring runs. Fausto Carmona can be quite good, and his ERA coming in shows that. Turns out he had to leave in the third right after a bang bang play at first, where it appeared on the surface he hurt himself covering first. However, if he was hurt from the start, it might have explained his performance (2IP, 5H, 3BB, 6ER). Still, we’ll take it. And we needed it.
Jorge Julio followed Carmona, and was worse than either starting pitcher. 1.2IP, 6H, 3BB, and 5ER – including a grand slam to Jarrod Saltamacchia, which was the highlight of the seven run third.
What was cool about that home run was that my daughter had been watching most of the game with me up to this point. Without prompting, a few minutes before this, she asked to see a home run. I told her that it wasn’t up to me, the players had to do that. But as soon as anyone started running, she thought it was a “home RUN” due to the word run, obviously. But when Salty’s slam came up, I got to show her a real home run, so this home run will be the first “baseball moment home run” between Daddy and his daughter. I’m starting to EXPLAIN BASEBALL TO MY KID. This was the first time I got to do this when she was old enough to actually “get it”. Was a major daddy moment for me.
David Murphy had yet another double – his 19th (which leads the majors). Speaking of doubles, the Rangers set a franchise record for most doubles in a game. They had nine, which broke the old record by one. The breakdown was Murphy (1), Hamilton (1), Bradley (2), Vazquez (3), Kinsler (1), & Saltamacchia (1). The only other extra base hit besides these pile of doubles was Salty’s grand slam. Every other hit (seven others) were singles. Every Ranger starter had at least one. The only Ranger player not to get a hit was Marlon Byrd, but he never got a plate appearance, so that didn’t count.
The reason Byrd was in was because Milton Bradley got ejected again, for the second time in three games. He’ll probably hear about that from Selig’s office. Not that he probably cares. :)
We’re back to .500 ball with this win at 25-25. Josh Hamilton went 2-6, which lowered his average to .335, and dropped him out of the AL lead in batting average (to Joe Mauer, who is now at .338). If Josh had held the lead, it would have set up something for Saturday night’s game which would have been great to see. That being the leader in batting average vs. the league leader in ERA (Cliff Lee; 1,37). Still, the Rangers have two of the top three in batting average (Bradley’s third). That will be a battle against Lee.
I will have something to say about Tom Grieve shortly. I feel it deserves its own post, not to be buried as a “oh yeah” remark at the bottom of the game story, like a lot of other people have done.