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G121: Rangers return favor, shut out Orioles, 2-0

On my 45th birthday, the Rangers gave me a quite nice baseball present. They broke their four game losing streak with a dominating performance by CJ Wilson.
I tend to use the phrase “dominating” on this website perhaps a little more than I realistically should, but man – it certainly applied tonight. CJ was masterful (uh-oh, another overused adjective) in this one, and was EXACTLY what we needed this night. Nolan Ryan himself in his prime couldn’t have done any better in stopping the skid. CJ went 8.2 innings, allowing just THREE hits and a walk, and struck out a dozen Orioles. At one point, he got 16 Orioles in a row out. I mean, WOW! 118 pitches when he came out of the game, he still had a realistic number of pitches left. I confess at the time wishing Washington would leave him in there, but you can’t argue with the result. Rangers win, Feliz got his first save of the month, and his 30th overall.
Thing is, the Orioles pitcher (Jake Arrieta) probably pitched well enough to win the game himself. He didn’t have quite the line as CJ, but you can’t argue with what he did as a good performance. 6.2 IP, 8 hits, three walks, two runs (one earned). Quality start for sure, and on any normal night, he probably would have won. But not against Wilson on this night – that’s for sure. The Orioles pen was good though – four guys combined for 2.1 innings of shutout ball. We couldn’t pad the lead at all against those guys, but we didn’t really need it.
Interesting bit late. Buck Showatler got tossed out of the game not long after Nick Markakis did (first time EVER for Nick). Showalter had a lot to say when he was out there. He did turn all kinds of red, which my wife even noticed. Now I point that out, because my wife needs glasses, and if she’s not wearing them, what she sees on the TV is a huge blur to her. She was laying on the sofa at the time (as the kids were both down now, and she was resting). She said “Wow – even without my glasses, Buck Showalter looks rather beet red”. He did seem to blow a few blood vessels. Not quite Earl Weaver levels of Orioles manager ejections, but it was a good show for sure.
Nice that we broke the streak, and as I write this on Friday night, the Angels have already lost, and the A’s are currently losing. Assuming that holds up, we’ll end the night eight games up on both of them. That’s quite amazing, considering how lackadaisical we’ve played over the last week or so. Not to have lost any significant ground during this time. Wow.