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G24: Rangers go up early, win game 5-1

The Rangers started off this game in a way that would make Ricky Henderson proud. Ian Kinsler homered to start the game. We went up 1-0 quickly, and never relinquished that lead.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure it would hold up, as the 2009 edition of Matt Harrison hasn’t been near as impressive as the 2008 edition was. However, Matt held it together pretty darned well on Sunday night. In front of a national audience (this was on ESPN), Matt showed why he was considered a big piece of the Mark Teixeira haul. Matt threw just five innings, but had an elevated pitch count (100), hence his early exit. However, he didn’t allow any runs on six hits and no walks. Wasn’t dominating (too many pitches), but did what he had to during his time out there. Get the pitch count under control, and this would have been a rather spectacular outing. Matt was followed up by Jason Jennings, who gave up the lone run that the Sox plated. Darren O’Day came on after that, and continued to show that he was a good, solid pickup. Usually waiver claim pickups are “meh” at best – otherwise why would the original team let them go? However, O’Day has been quite good for us. Something nice to see. CJ Wilson finished up with a scoreless inning. Overall, some really good pitching from the team from Arlington.
Back to the offense. We had five single run innings. There was the first, with the solo home run by Kinsler (his ninth). We also had three doubles in the game and a bunch (nine) singles. Not a real power game, but enough to score a single run in the third, fourth, fifth, & sixth innings.
This was all against former Ranger farmhand John Danks. Danks went just 5.1 innings, gave up 10 hits and 5 earned runs. Walked one, struck out three. This is not the line that fits with the commonly held position that the White Sox got the better of the trade that brought Texas Brandon McCarthy. Even with the five earned runs in about five innigs, Danks’ ERA is just 3.81, so he’s not like this all the time, but we have a habit of roughing up “good” pitchers in Arlington. Still, Brandon McCarthy has pitched pretty well in 2009, so the pendulum might be swinging back our way in the “Who got the better of the Danks / McCarthy trade” question.
This puts us back at .500. Let’s see if we can get on a roll. I got really tired of playing the “dance with the .500 line” last year. I don’t really want to do that again in 2009.