This is another game that tested my ability to avoid the game score. This was a Sunday night ESPN game, which meant I couldn’t see it. I was gonna watch it on mlb.tv after the recap became available. Something I didn’t know is that the ESPN Sunday night exclusive also controls when the recap will be available – even when the game is actually OVER. Apparently, the Sunday night game can’t be replayed until 90 minutes after the game actually ends. Which for this game meant I wasn’t able to start watching the game until about 11:57PM. That is an incredibly late time to start a game – even though I was able to skip the commercials quite quickly. mlb.tv game archives have the start of each top/bottom of an inning marked as a “chapter” (of sorts). So when the last out is made, I just hit the right trigger on my Xbox 360 controller, and it goes straight to the next pitch. That’s nice. Anyway, I started watching, and got through about an hour or so, and had to stop around 1:10AM, as I was falling asleep. Came back to the game in the morning, and finished watching around 8:15AM. heh. Had some contracters coming to do touchup work on a carpet install, so I had to hang around, but not get into anything, as I had to deal with the contractors.
Anyway, about the game…
Matt Harrison took the hill, and had one of those “effectively wild” outings. If you look on the scoreboard, you see just zeroes. That’s good. However, he threw a ton of pitches, had a bunch of full counts, two walks. But in the end, he got the job done. His official line was 6IP, 4H, 0R, 2BB, 3K. 103 pitches for six is a little high. Not outrageously high, but a bit high just the same. If his pitch counts early on weren’t so high, he probably would have gone out for the seventh. But, you can’t argue with zero runs allowed and a win, I guess. :)
Matt was helped out by the defense. In particular, a couple of diving plays by Josh Hamilton in center. The first one was to his left where he did the dive and roll move. The other was a much longer run to his right and dove for the ball and caught it.
After Ogando, Adams, & Nathan both pitched the first two games of the season, we were unlikely to see these guys again unless we got into trouble. We didn’t. This game featured appearances by Mark Lowe, Robbie Ross, & Koji Uehara. Lowe & Koji both allowed a single. Ross allowed a walk – his first batter. Which, given it was Ross’ major league debut was understandable. But all three guys put up zeroes where it counted (the Runs column), so it’s all good.
Speaking of Ross – EPSN showed the “pink backpack” hazing for the rookie. I saw them do that to Neftali Feliz a couple of seasons ago, and the hazing has expanded. It wasn’t just the pink backpack, it also had a horse toy, chaps, a hat, a toy rifle. I can’t wait to see what they do to him on the road trip with dressing in drag and all that.
Offensively, the Sox kept us mostly in check. Of the nine starters, six of them took ofers. Only three of our guys got any hits at all, but they were more than enough.
- Josh Hamilton: Went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. The RBI was when he drove himself in with a titanic blast into the upper deck that was quoted as 445ft or so, but looked longer to me.
- Adrian Beltre: Went 2-4 with 2 RBI and two runs scored. He too had a home run – a two run shot.
- David Murphy: Went 2-3 with 1 RBI and one run scored. That run scored was a solo home run – this one to the lower right hand corner of the upper deck.
So this was good old fashioned Rangers baseball. Four of the five runs came as a direct result of a home run ball. The zero they put up in the runs column for pitching is a more recent vintage Rangers move. But the multiple home runs accounting for 80% of the runs is classic old school Rangers baseball. Fitting in this year where they’re celebrating 40 years of playing in Arlington as the Rangers.