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ALDS G1: Rangers lay an egg, lose to Rays 9-0

A note for Rays fans written after the game:

Dear Tampa Bay Rays,
Please note that we allowed you to win game 1 so that you can return home for 2 games and experience the same crowd in those 2 combined as we have on a Tuesday afternoon batting practice. Revel in this win, there won’t be any others!
Sincerely,
50k fans per game

Back to the regular game update:
This is an interesting way to “watch” a game. Given I can’t get TBS to watch the game properly, I’m having go a different route. I bought the postseason.tv package, as I thought it was a way to watch the TBS feed online. That’s not what it is. It’s basically video clips and whatnot. I’m not too mad about that, as it was only $6, and if I went to a restaurant to watch the game, I’d spend WAY more than that. So I’m sitting at my computer with two monitors, ready to go. At least I’ll get to see the Rangers on FOX for the second round. :)
I have MLB Gameday up on Monitor #2, and the audio stream from the Rangers radio guys. I’ve got the postseason.tv video up on the other monitor. So I’ll have that covered well. I’m also going to be scoring the game on my iPad. The kid I was in the 70’s might not recognize this way to “watch” a baseball game. Would probably seem too complicated to old school baseball people, eh? I even grabbed a beer for the start of the game. Not quite the same sitting at the park with a beer, but since I can’t be there (thanks again Rangers ticket lottery), having a beer and a great radio man like Eric Nadel in my ear is a good substitute.
UPDATE: I forgot about slingbox, a service that lets you watch video from a TV remotely. So I am getting to see the TBS feed, although the video’s not the same cuz it’s over the net. But hey, at least I can watch. I have Eric Nadel doing the talking over TBS video feed. If you’re curious, here’s a screen dump showing what all of this looks like. Click on it for a much larger version in another window.

OK, but what about the game?….
The game started off smoothly, with both teams not making much noise in the first. Josh Hamilton however, got the first single, a slicing hit to left center, dispelling the fact that he can’t hit a lefthander in a day game. :)
There was a 2010 playoff flashback in the second. Johnny Damon had a borderline check swing, and then in the same at bat after that, he hit a home run. Reminded me a lot of the same thing that happened last year with Michael Young in Tampa.
The third was ugly. CJ threw over 30 pitches, gave up three runs, and then Moore came back in the bottom of the third and got a 1-2-3 shutdown inning, including a strikeout of Nelson Cruz that looked pretty darned ugly. The fourth wasn’t much better. After one out, the Rays had two guys on, and we had to get Scott Feldman up in the pen. Not good.
Didn’t get better, as Kelly Shoppach hit a three run home run to put the Rays up 6-0. Ugh. Big time ugh. Didn’t think CJ was coming back out for the fourth, but he did, didn’t give up anyhting.
The Rangers first extra base hit of the game was a double in the bottom of the fourth by Josh Hamilton. But he had a stupid baserunning blunder, and was tagged out on the basepaths when Beltre was on base when he ran when he shouldn’t have. Hope that kind of move isn’t an omen.
Random Comment: Screw Kelly Shoppach, even if it was a Rangers fan as a kid. Blah.
Random Comment 2: Time to put the horse out there and pitch.
The third home run (and the second by Shoppach) happened after an error gave the Rays an additional out in the inning. Bah bah bah!
After Kinsler grounded into a force play, I actually exhaled a loud sigh at the end of the inning. Good thing I didn’t pay big bucks for the playoff tickets. Sorry Mike G. :)
In the bottom of the sixth, Josh Hamilton turned in what can only be called a true “WTF Moment”. He bunted (poorly, too) while down eight runs. What the heck was he thinking? As I saw from a friend on Twitter, “Bunting while down 8 is a sure sign you’ve given up”. Gotta agree with that.
Random Announcer Note: In the 7th, while down 8-0, Steve Busby read an ad copy for 2012 Season Tickets for the Rangers. I know they’re obligated to read that, but when the team is playing a crappy game, I can’t imagine that advert working on anyone. :)
I lost my connection to the slingbox I was watching the game on in the bottom of the seventh. I think the Slingbox was trying to prevent me from seeing any more!
Matt Harrison on in the ninth? WTF moment two!
The Rays scored their third unearned run on a ball that I scored an error, but officially was called a single – it wasn’t officially unearned. I thought it was an error by Elvis Andrus. Whatver it was, it was the Rays’ ninth run. Gah.
This game was a sloppy mess that I kind of saw coming very early even before the Rays scored anything. CJ looked not all there, and our offense couldn’t get anything going. Three runners reached second base, and one reached third. That was the extent of our offense. Wasn’t there. Only the third time we’ve been shut out at home all season. Figures it would come in a playoff game.
Hopefully we pick it up against tomorrow. One cool thing though. The son of the guy who died falling from the stands earlier this season threw out the first pitch. Below is some embedded video of that. Speaking of embedded video, I noticed today that MLB.com will now let you embed video clips. That’s quite cool and long LONG overdue. I wonder when they started doing that.

<a href='http://www.foxsportssouthwest.com/pages/video?UUID=7bfce02b-ec17-4cf5-a198-bd7dc49d1104&#038;src=SLPl:embed::uuids' target='_new' title='Stone throws out first pitch'>Video: Stone throws out first pitch</a>

Thanks to Jeff W for that quote at the top. :)