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G68: Rangers score early, hang on to win 2-1

This was a game that I didn’t get to listed to the whole game to.  That’s because my three year old got me up at 6:30 in the morning, and I passed out listening to the game on the sofa.    Since it’s radio, I couldn’t back it up and replay like I could on the TiVo.  I think I passed out in the fourth inning, and woke up in the eighth.  I was initially confused, because the score was still 2-1.  Figured that wasn’t possible.  But it was.  I didn’t miss any scoring, I had “seen” it all early on, as 100% of the game’s runs were scored in the first inning – by both clubs!

The Rangers were held pretty much in check through the whole game, but first inning issues were enough against SD’s starter Jason Marquis.  Overall, the Rangers had just five hits in the game, but two of them came in the first inning.  Two singles usually doesn’t lead to any runs on their own, however…  there was also a stolen base and two walks in the first inning, so that was pretty much the whole game, right there.   Outside of the first inning, the Rangers managed just two more singles and a double (L. Martin), but they didn’t amount to anything.  Jason Marquis also struck out 10 Rangers in his seven innings of works, so again the Rangers opposing pitcher was a case of “hard luck loser”.  Marquis had a 6+ ERA coming into the game, and pitched like a guy with around a 3.2 ERA or so.  He definitely deserved to win this game, but as a Rangers fan, I have to say it’s good he didn’t.

On the flip side, Matt Harrison took the mound for the Rangers.  He got the win, but didn’t pitch nearly as well as a Jason Marquis did.  That’s not to imply that Harrison was bad – he wasn’t.  He just wasn’t “as good”.  Matt’s numbers are 6IP, 101P, 6H, 2BB, 1R, 4K.  Bit high on the pitch count, but not enough that count alone would have taken him out.  Given he came out while I was asleep (haha), I missed the commentary on that.  Looking back, it is a National League thing.  He was pinch hit for, which I hate.  Pitcher doing well, comes out just for pinch hitter reasons.  As I’ve ranted about before..  DH in the NL PLEASE! – but that’s for another post.   Matt actually started out very rough early on.  The first three batters of the game were single – single – double.  That accounted for their lone run of the game.  After the third batter, Matt settled down, and didn’t allow any more runs, despite the situation being second and third with nobody out.   That was the theme afterwards.  While Matt didn’t dominate with a ton of strikeouts, he held them scoreless, and that’s just as good.  :)

After that, the pitching on both sides held down the fort, and the game ended the 9th inning with the same score it had ending the first inning, 2-1 in favor of the Rangers.  Good Good Good.  Just wish it wasn’t so late.

The Rangers are on a roll lately.  Granted, we’re getting fat off the Astros & the Padres, but still.  If you don’t take care of teams like that, you aren’t going to win when it counts, so it’s good we’re winning these.  Matt Harrison now leads the American League in wins with 9.  At this rate, he’s WELL on his way to a 20 game season (assuming everything holds up – mainly health), which hasn’t happened in some time for the Rangers.  The last one was I believe Rick Helling in 1998 who went 20-7.   We’re five games up on the Angels now, and it feels like things are on the upswing – and that’s even with a decent amount of guys down right now.  If we get going health wise, we’ll probably rattle off a lot more wins.  Something that’s always good.