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G120: Rangers dominated in Baltimore by Matusz; lose 4-0

I wasn’t sure if I was right about the shutout statement in Game 119, but it didn’t matter. The Rangers were shut out in Game 120, 4-0 in Baltimore. If you count that horrible series right before the All-Star break, we’ve now lost five straight games to Baltimore. I really hope Baltimore doesn’t become our new Kansas City – a place where we should dominate totally, but can’t win worth a damn.
While he wasn’t there for the four game sweep back in July, Buck Showalter has certainly put a charge into Baltimore. I’ve always kind of liked Baltimore (except back in 83 when they beat my Phillies). Baltimore has had such a rough time over the last 13 years, only being beat out in futility by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Buck Showalter is probably the kind of manager they need there (the Pirates could use Bobby V, too I’d take it). But when Buck got the job, I thought it would be a good long term match, provided management doesn’t get tired of waiting for a honest to god turnaround.
But one thing I loved seeing from the Showalter press conference in Baltimore was the talk about Johnny Oates. My long time readers know I have a soft spot for Johnny Oates, and that Showalter continues to pay reverence to him is great. Buck apparently asked for and got Johnny Oates’ old uniform number of 26 to wear in Baltimore. From what I read, he consulted with several people, not the least of which was Johnny’s family to make sure they’d be OK with it. That showed some class. I still remember the winter that Buck took over in Texas him coming straight over to me and asking me about the red Rangers hat I was wearing. I’ll never forget that. The man has a reputation of being a heavy duty, almost too far level of detail to him, and the fact he’d talk to a fan (me) about cap colors with the Rangers, or talk to Johnny Oates’ widow about wearing his old uniform number just makes me like him more. Don’t get me wrong, I like Ron Washington, and enjoy him now, but I wish Buck Showalter had won it big here in Texas, I thought he deserved it. I hope he can have better success in Baltimore – but not until the Rangers win the World Series.
Anyway, I didn’t mean to write a ton about Buck Showalter here, but truth be told, there’s little else to say about this game. The story of the game is the Orioles’ starter Brian Matusz (the Z is silent – Mah-toos). He went eight innings, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk. Struck out six. Koji Uehara followed with a little rocky (two hits) inning, but he too put up the all important donut in the runs column.
That was about it. Vlad Guerrero seems to be coming around again – went 2-3 with a walk for a team that got just seven hits overall. We need his power back – especially now with Cruz down, and Kinsler still out.
Tip of the hat to Brian Matusz. He looked awesome. Hard to beat that kind of pitching, no matter what your offense is doing.

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