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G21: Rangers get out early, hang on late, win 6-5

Early on, you thought this was going to be the game we signed up for in 2010. Rangers mash early (they did – scoring 5 in the first inning), and then pitch well (which they did for awhile), but it certainly didn’t end up that way.
Josh Hamilton got it started early with a two run home in the bottom of the first. This scored Elvis Andrus, who seems to be doing well leading off now. This was sandwiched around a Michael Young popup. After the homer, Vlad flew out, and then the fun started. Both David Murphy & Justin Smoak walked. What do they do after that? Walk Matt Treanor. Walk the bases loaded after two outs. You’re really begging to lose doing that. A couple more hits gave us our early five spot. Arias singled in Murphy & Smoak. Then Borbon singled in Treanor. Elvis Andrus batted twice in the bottom of the first. Love when that happens, as it means something good has happened. :)
After that, the pitching took over, and the score remained 5-0 until the top of the sixth. Rich Harden was still in the game at this point, and despite his string of zeroes, it wasn’t a performance that made me go “OK, he’ll be fine now”. He did strike out seven in his six innings, but he also walked five, gave up six hits, and the first three runs the Sox got. His performance was parked somewhere between “meh” and “suck”. Probably closer to “meh”, but until he dials it more, I’m going to think it’s “suck” more often than not.
Darren Oliver & Chris Ray held on well enough, but Neftali Feliz did not. Gave us a good John Wetteland impression by allowing three hits and two earned runs in his frame of work. He did get the save, but just as Seattle’s bullpen coach used to do here, it wasn’t easy. The late umpire Durwood Merrill called Wetteland “A heart attack waiting to happen”. Feliz harnessed that tonight for sure.
The play that saved us was mostly the David Murphy double in the bottom of the seventh, which scored Michael Young. Had we not had that, we would have gone extra innings most likely – and you know how those usually end.