I didn’t get a chance to see the early part of the game, as I was watching a liveblog of the Apple iPhone 4S press conference as well as watching my kid, as my wife and my other kid were out of the house. :) After I did that daddy duty, I came onboard the game, although I did get to hear the couple of home runs early on by Kinlser & Beltre to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
The Rays got back into it in an inning with a walk and a double, although that inning did have Matt Harrison striking out the side, but it wasn’t terribly dominant. It carried over into the third, as Harrison struck out the side two innings in a row. That’s six strikeouts in six outs in a row, and seven strikeouts over the first nine innings!
Beltre apparently got irritated at not having much power so far, as he jacked a second home run to Adrian Beltre in the fourth, an opposite field home run.
This game is moving fairly quickly, or at least comparitively to yesterday’s game. It would be moving even faster if Matt Harrison had a good pitch count. Or got help from the umpires, as a ball that was said on replay to be a stirke was called a ball, and Kotchman singled in a run right after that. Harrison bounced back with his ninth strikeout through four innings. That’s 9 out of 12 outs as a strikeout. But way too many pictures (81) through that four for him to get into truly lofty places, he won’t be around long enough for that.
He did come back for the fifth, led off with a walk, then went 1-2-3 (or 2-3-4 depending on your point of view). Still, that’s 100 pitches (or close to it) through five. Given this is an elimination game, I doubt he’ll be back for the sixth.
Matt Moore, the pitcher who shut out the Rangers in Game 1, came out for game 4 in the 5th, and retired everyone in the fifth and the sixth. He needed only 7 pitches in the 6th to get all three guys. Bet the Rays were hoping they could have thrown him out there a bit earlier.
Matt Harrison did indeed exit the game after five, and was replaced by Derek Holland, who doesn’t usually relieve. Still, in an elimination game, it’s usually all hands on deck, although usually not the team that DOES the eliminating. Derek did OK allowing no runs, although he did give up a single. 14 pitches, yeah, it was good.
If yesterday was the “Year of the Napoli” game, this was the “Year of the Beltre” game, as he went deep a THIRD time on the top of the 7th. Babe Ruth, Reggie Jackson, Bob Robertson, George Brett, & Adam Kennedy are the only other players to do that in the same game.
I AM NOW TIRED OF THAT “WHOAAAAAAAAAAAAAA. TIRED!” commercial for five hour energy. I think it was on this game about 20 times.
Holland did come out and get the first out in the bottom of the seventh, then Wash came out and made the move to Mike Adams. Adams got his two guys quite quickly, much better than his previous appearances.
The Rays’ changed their pitcher for the 8th, this time Joel Peralta.
In the middle of the top of the 8th, Evan Grant tweeted this. Love it.
28,299 at Juice Box. Those here are doing the Wave. In an elimination game. It’s an epidemic of stupidity.
Peralta walked a couple, and gave up the mound to Wade Davis. It brought up Adrian Beltre, who did loft a ball to right, but didn’t get all of it, and didn’t get a fourth home run.
Bottom of the 8th brought on Alexi Ogando who had some good looking sliders and struck out Longoria quite easily on three pitches. The whole inning was pretty quick, as Ogando got the Rays 1-2-3 on 11 pitches. Looked pretty good doing it.
Wade Davis stayed on for the ninth, and got “Year of the Napoli” striking out. He took care of Cruz quickly, but Murphy singled, and then Moreland walked. We didn’t get any extra insurance there as we left two guys on.
Bottom of the 9th, Feliz time. Feliz let a run score, which really ramped up the clench factor. Due to that, I didn’t want to write a lot, I was a bit nervious after the run scored. BUT… The Rangers got the job done, and elimintated the Rays for a second year in a row. In St. Petersburg.
Napoli better get MVP of the ALDS here. :)
The Tigers are up 2-1 over the Yankees and play later tonight. This could be quite interesting. Given the troubles we have with Detroit, I’m not sure who I want to win that series.
Last thought.. It’s actually Evan Grant’s thought via a tweet. For the amount of money we would have likely paid Cliff Lee for 2011, we paid the same amount give or take for both Adrian Beltre & Mike Napoli. Gotta love THAT.