ST15: Rangers finally win, 12-7 over Cubs

Hey, a game I finally got to see!

I was looking around on early this afternoon, and noticed that the Rangers game was actually viewable there.  I know they don’t black out anything during Spring Training, but I still didn’t know the game was on anyway, so it was quite the nice surprise to see it there.  I started late, but I did watch the game.  Broke out the iPad, and scored my first game of 2012.  As is my usual policy on Spring Training Games, I’ll keep up with all the changes the best I can.  For the Rangers I try a bit harder.  For the opponent, I’ll do it if it’s an easy/obvious change.  More often than not, double switches aren’t even mentioned in coverage.  Especially if they’re made during the time some executive is plopped in the booth to yammer on about stuff we don’t care about (like how many hotel rooms there are in Las Vegas, or why a certain kind of treat was taken off the Dairy Queen menu).  Both of those happened this game.  But I don’t want to get into a full fledged rant.  Just to say that for the other team, I’ll keep track of the pitcher, but mostly I leave their starting lineup intact through the end of the game.  Works much easier.

Anyway, about the game..

..but first, a few general observations from watching the game.

  1. It was really quite strange to see Greg Maddux sitting on a bench on the Ranger sideline in spring training.  I mean, I knew we had hired him, but to see him sitting there.  It was quite QUITE strange.
  2. Interesting note of the uniform numbers. When I’m scoring a game and I don’t know what somebody’s number is I’ll put some rogue number in like 99, 98, 97 something like that. When I find out, I’ll correct the number. I was quite surprised to see that my placeholder number for Matt Kata (98) was actually the right number!  Made me chuckle when I saw it.
  3. There are some strange camera angles during preseason games. First, the centerfield camera was broken, and then the booth camera was up Dave Barnett’s ear when there was a guest in the booth!

This game had a bit of everything.  It had some stellar pitching, and some awful pitching.   It started out as a pitcher’s duel between Derek Holland & Jeff Samardzija.  The latter of which had a look of Randy Johnson to him, what with the mullet and all.

Derek was just a bit better, and I have to say I was rather annoyed he came out.  Yeah, I know – it’s spring, the other guys need work too.  But he was dealing like he did in that two hitter in the World Series.  Derek went four innings total, allowed just one hit.  Walked nobody, and struck out two.  Was a dominating performance.   That bodes well for 2012 if he is still dealing like he did in the World Series.  Gotta love that.   On the flip side, Mulletboy was matching Holland through the first three. It was’t until the fourth inning that the Rangers got to him, and even then it was’t that bad.  His line was four innings, three hits, one run.  No walks, three k’s.

Mike Adams followed that up with a perfect inning, striking out the side.   Through five innings, Holland & Adams struck out five.  That’s a great ratio.  I’ll take one k an inning all season.

Then Ogando came in.  He gave up the first Cubs run in the sixth, and then had a shutout seventh.  Not too bad.  Then the eighth.  He stunk up the joint.  Haven been given a wide scoring lead, he gave it right back, as the two teams traded five spots in the 8th.   That inning was pretty awful for pitching on both sides.   The first two runs of the innings were solo home runs; the first on the first pitch of the inning, no less.   Actually, it wasn’t all bad, as two of the runs were unearned, but still.  He had a very bad inning there.  Probably out for one too many.

Roman Mendez pitched the final inning, giving up the last run.  I didn’t see the final inning, as I had to stop and eat dinner, and then had to get into something else after dinner.

Offensively, it was a dozen singles with a double (Strausborger – who?) and a home run (Renny Osuna).  Our power came from guys you wouldn’t expect to see getting it done.  Osuna’s home run made up for the two runs he allowed to score on a throwing error.   Elvis Andrus & Julio Borbon both had two hits.  Borbon actually drove in the first three runs of the game himself with well placed hits.   Some of the other hits came from minor leaguers.  Ryan Strausborger went 2-2, scoring twice.  Michael Bianucci also went 2-2 with 2 RBI’s and a run scored.   Some of the other minor leaugers got into the action, too.   Leury Garcia had a hit.  Leonys Martin walked and scored.  Jared Prince had no official at bats, but scored twice, which is an amusing stat.  Joey Butler had a hit and scored.  Dusty Brown also had a hit, an RBI, and scored.    This was the first of two games played in Las Vegas, so it was nice to see some of the minor leaguers get into it, beyond the “get one at bat and strike out” you tend to see from a lot of them.

It was great to see Rangers baseball on the TV again with Rangers announcers (even if I still prefer John Rhadigan to Dave Barnett).   Sunday & Monday’s games are also on TV I believe, which means I’ll get to see ’em most likely.