G108: Rangers muscle around Anaheim again; win 11-6

After a day in which the Rangers cut loose one of their bigger “name” starting pitchers for what essentially amounts to him being an ass, we took the field in Anaheim.
We came in four and a half games out of first place. Which isn’t insurmountable, but when we were in first place by about five not all that long ago, you got a bad feeling. We played pretty awful against Oakland, despite winning the last game before coming to Anaheim. So you kind of got that feeling of dread that we were going to lose the series and come out seven games out or something.
So it was quite a nice feeling when we went up 4-0 in the first inning. Josh & Tom were talking about Josh Hamilton saying he was coming off his ADD medicine that he believed it was impacting his play on the field. And of course, while they were talking about that, Josh hit a three run home run to right field. That set the tone for the game. Despite the Angels scoring six runs, and only losing by five, four of their runs didn’t come until the seventh inning. We pretty much dominated the game. Four runs in the first, a single run in the second and third, and three more in the fifth put us up 9-1. We tacked on additional singles in the 8th and 9th.
Most of this came via the longball. In all, we had five home runs. Hank Blalock also had a solo home run in the first too. Then came the fifth. We had three home runs in the fifth – two of them back to back. Taylor Teagarden was first, then Omar Vizquel and Michael Young went back to back. Omar’s was his first as a Ranger, and his first since something like September of 2007. He was probably helped by that tiny wall by the right field foul pole in Anaheim. Funny video of him doing the arm muscle flex in the dugout afterwards. Enjoyed that. A lot.
That wasn’t all for Omar Vizquel. He went 4-6 and had some great D in the field. The more I watch him, the more I start to get a grasp of what he must have been like in his prime in Cleveland. Wow. I’d like to keep him around for next year, but I don’t see that happening.
Scott Feldman was quite good, too. While his line shows four earned runs, three of them came in the seventh. And they were inherited. It’s like Scott should have stopped after the sixth. He was stellar, and then couldn’t get anyone out – left the game with nobody out and the bases loaded. So that blew his quality start, but overall, despite the numbers, he pitched really well. Good to see, especially with the departure of Padilla, we’ll need guys like Feldman to stay consistantly good if we make a run at October.
Good to see a nice start to the series. Man, would it be some sort of major confidence and morale boost to leave Anaheim sweeping the Angels. I don’t think that’s going to REALLY happen, but boy, would it be nice.
Go Rangers!