G81: Rangers win battle of bad starters against Phillies 8-7

Well, my brother flew in from Philadelphia to go to this game (and the other two as well). So we headed out, picked up our tickets from will call, and hit our seats, which were right behind first base. Got to see the tail end of Phillies batting practice, and watched all the pregame stuff. It was a weird feeling for me, both seeing my hometown Phillies at Rangers ballpark, and also having my brother with me at the game.
Anyway, both starting pitchers (Kason Gabbard & Brett Myers) pretty much stunk up the joint. Ian Kinsler got it started early with a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the first. That wasn’t so bad, really. The score was 1-0 going into the third inning. Then it seriously bogged down. The Phillies scored five runs in the top of the third – the big shot there was a grand slam by Pedro Feliz. The Rangers had walked Pat Burrell intentionally to load up the bases and get to Ryan Howard. On the surface that would seem like suicide, but Howard’s only batting about .210 at the moment. He struck out. But then Feliz hit a slam over the wall in left, giving the Phillies a 5-1 lead. Gabbard actually survived that inning into the fourth, but not much longer than that (only one more out).
The bottom of the third inning was started by Brett Myers, but he never got anyone out, and was pulled after several batters reached. It continued with Clay Condry, Philly’s long man, who gave up the first major league home run to Chris Davis, who it it the other way over the left field wall. That was pretty cool to see in person.
In all there were six longballs in the game, three by each team. Milton Bradley had one that hit the right field foul pole. There was the aforementioned ones by Chris Davis and Ian Kinsler. The Phillies had three too, one being the Feliz grand slam. Chris Coste had one in the fourth, and Jason Werth had one off of CJ Wilson to start off the ninth inning – not what you want to see when you closer comes in.
Still, the Rangers managed to hang on and win the game, getting yet again one game over .500. They try tomorrow to get two games over, which has been a major problem all season. It will be a great pitching matchup – Cole Hamels against Vicente Padilla. That’s the pitching matchup I was looking forward to the most this weekend. Hope it lives up to the billing.
One other thing was bats tonight. There were three bats that flew into the stands, including the third one which was a broken bat off the hands of Josh Hamilton. That bat hit a woman about 10-15 rows in front of me or so. She ended up leaving the game with a VERY obvious limp – she was hurting. Was funny, as soon as they started flying, or any bat broke in the field, you heard a ton of people around me shouting “MAPLE!” – not sure what the means, but the world maple is starting to be synonymous for “broken bat”.
Here is a sideshow of pictures I took at the game tonight (including several of Chris Davis). If you want to see larger versions of the pictures, you can reach the photo gallery here.


  1. jgrist says

    Maple bats are noted for shattering with pieces flying off almost like shrapnel. Ash bats tend to crack when they break and are less likely to send pieces flying. MLB is studying the problems associated with the maple bats and mya ban tehm as early as next season.