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G116: Rangers lose to Chicago again, 7-4. Ugh 2.

Double ugh. If we looked asleep in the first game, this one was worse. I don’t know if it was the actual game itself, or the fact that we lost both ends of a doubleheader to the White Sox, but I was really disgusted with this one. :(
Rusty had another home run in Chicago – his best home run hitting city by far.

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G115: Rangers lose to White Sox, 4-2. Ugh.

Ugh. That’s about all I have to say about this game. :)
In all seriousness, we got in a hole early, and couldn’t get out. Burkett pitched fair, but their guys pitched a lot better. Considering this was the first game of a doubleheader, I was surprised they used 5 pitchers. Their starter went 5 innings, giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits. The remaining pitchers gave up the same – 1 run on 3 hits (one of which was a Rusty home run).
However, we just never got it going, and we looked asleep.

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G114: Rangers drop game to Detroit, 3-1

I was at this game, and it turned out to be not as hot as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, it was hot, but it wasn’t that bad – but I was in the shade the whole time. :)
Aaron Sele pitched extremely well throughout 8th innings (actually, 7 innings and a batter). He struck out a career high 13 batters, but unfortunately, the Tigers pitcher(s) pitched better. We only had 5 hits, and one run. Detroit had 8 hits with 3 runs, one of which was a solo home run, but this struck me as a rather well pitched games on both sides.
I did score the game, but I was busy taking pictures again – just in case you didn’t think I’ve taken enough. :)
Not a whole lot to say about this game, except there was some great pitching on both sides – and we never really got going offensively.

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G113: Rangers beat Tigers, 8-2

Rick Helling threw a 6 hit complete game win. It’s nice that Rick finally got some run support. He’s been pitching very well in the last two months, but the team just has not been getting it done for him. Or, if they have, it’s been after he’s left the game, the win usually going to Jeff Zimmerman. :)
This game started off pretty well, and that more or less set the tone for the entire game to follow. Rick Helling struck out the first batter, then walked the next one. After a popout to Pudge, Helling erased his walk by picking off the runner to end the first.
Our side started well, too. Mac tripled to start the game, and scored a couple of batters later when Rusty grounded out, bringing Mac in. Add to that a Raffy solo shot to centerfield, and we were off to a 2-0 lead. We added a few more in the next inning, and that put us ahead for good. We also followed with a home run by Roberto Kelly in the 5th, and we picked up the rest of our runs in the 6th, the highlight was a two run double by Tom Goodwin.
The only two runs Detroit got were both on solo home runs by Juan Encarnacion & Damion Easley. If you remember, Encarnacion also had another homer against Rick Helling on opening day. The first pitch of the season, to be more precise! Helling seemed to get a bit weaker towards the end of teh game, but he pitched wonderfully, a great win for him and the team.
We seemed to dominate this one, but then again, we should dominate teams like the Tigers. I just wish we could perform like this regularly against someone like, oh… the Yankees!
I’m going tomorrow to the game that starts at 6:05. Ugh, 104º – no fun :(

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G112: Rangers squeak by Tigers, 4-3

Couple of comments.

  • What a turnaround from last night’s fiasco
  • Goodbye Carlos Delgado!

Pudge Rodriguez continued his hot streak at the plate with a three run home run in the bottom of the second inning, but that was about it for the next ten innings. We didn’t mount much of any offense after that until we won the game in the bottom of the 12th on a run scoring single by Royce Clayton, scoring Roberto Kelly.
Esteban Loaiza was himself. Decent stuff, but erratic again. Once you stack all his innings together, he’s not pitching all that bad (got a no decision tonight), but he’s not a pitcher that fills you with a whole lot of confidence. I wish he’d do better, it certainly looks like he can, but he doesn’t seem to be as dominating as he could be.
On the flip side, Brad Ausmus had four hits last night, and had a great offensive game. No home runs, so it wasn’t all THAT bad. :)
Juan “B.B.” Gonzalez left the game after four innings with a pulled hamstring muscle, and is listed as day to day. All of our regular outfielders this season have gone down with some sort of injury. Now that Roberto Kelly is playing regularly out there, I expect him to get hurt now. The Rangers 99 Outfielders curse.

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G111: Rangers bombed out by Blue Jays, 19-4

Oh my god. 19-4. What a complete, utter, and total fiasco. Make it worse, I was there! My wife and I stuck it out, we didn’t miss any of this exciting action. :)
Not a whole lot to say about this one, other than we sucked. Roger Delgado continued his assault here with a three run home run in the first inning that put the Jays up for good immediately.
It was the MLB debut of Doug Davis, who gave up 10 runs in 2 1/3 innings giving him an ERA of 38.57! Davis’ runs were one run short of the Ranger record for most runs allowed by one pitcher in a game. And of course, Davis was sent back down to AAA after this. That’s too bad, I hate to see young kids get lit up like this. We also set a record by allowing 25 hits in a 9 inning game.
About the only Ranger highlights were a Pudge home run, a Raffy home run, and Mike Morgan striking out the side in the 5th. That’s about it. A mess all around. :(
This was the first in the last eight series that the Rangers lost the series.

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G110: Rangers lose back and forth game to Toronto, 8-7

A game of back and forth home runs. I really thought we had this one in hand early, but our pitching faltered and let us down. I was really tired when this game was on, and wasn’t totally paying attention. Check out the game resources for this one, as I’m not going to be writing commentary. :)

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G109: Rangers shut out Blue Jays 6-0

A totally masterful appearance by Aaron Sele. Complete game shutout, allowing only 6 hits, 10 strikeouts, and no walks. I don’t think I’ve seen him ever pitch as good, and this is the best pitching outing by a Ranger pitcher all year (although the complete game by Mike Morgan in Anaheim not that long ago was really close).
There’s not a whole lot else to say about this one. Sele was totally dominating, and Pudge was Pudge again lately, 2-5 with 3 RBI’s on a 3 run home run. Mark McLemore almost hit for the cycle getting a double, triple, and a single in his first three at bats. Didn’t get a homer though. Still, was an awesome game all around.
I got to see it on TV, and it was wonderful to see Sele pitch this well – hope he can keep it up through October :)

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G108: Rangers lose to Blue Jays, 5-4

We were almost singlehandedly beat by Carlos Delgado in this game – he had three home runs, only the second time an opponent has ever done that at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Jeff Zimmerman showed that he was a human being, getting his first ever loss, dropping to (oh damn ) 9-1, and his ERA is now a whopping 1.25.
Rick Helling continues to be the hard luck pitcher this season – he’s pitched as good as he did last year when he won 20 games, but got another no decision in this one, and his ERA is lower this year than it was last, it’s currently at 4.31.
Pudge had some great D again tonight with a pickoff and two caught stealings. He certainly increased his value in my eye as the team MVP. Zim is great, but I think Pudge brings more to the table.
Billy “stupidest beard in the majors” Koch looked good. Threw hard, and did his job. Still, he has the lamest excuse for a beard I’ve ever seen, though.

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G107: Rangers beat Twins 3-1, I can’t see it again

Due to my clueless cable company, and Fox Sports Southwest, I didn’t get to see the game. I wasn’t in the mood to listen to it on the radio, since I was so annoyed about that – I ended up watching “The Fifth Element” on DVD instead.
I did peek in from time to time to get a score update, and from all reports Loaiza was Loaiza. Was inconsistent, but had good stuff. Where have we heard that before? I feel comfortable about our starting pitching. It isn’t the greatest in the world, but it seems to be doing a decent enough of a job, especially with our pen doing so great. We’re now 23 games over 500, a number I never thought I’d see given my opinion of the state of the pitching at the start of the season.
After seeing the Twins for the last few days, I have to admit, I rather like Jacque Jones – he looks like a great kid, and if I was living in Minnesota, I’d be excited about seeing the team, even if they lose a lot. I like watching teams made up of young kids who try.
I’m really hoping we can keep this up the last two months, and end up with a situation where we don’t have to play the Yankees in the first round with the first two games in NY. Off day tomorrow, and then we’re back with more against the Toronto Blue Jays, who have made some recent noise in the AL East.

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G106: Rangers top Twins again 9-5

This game got out to a really fast start. We scored four runs in the first inning, then two in the second, and another in the third, putting us up 7-1 right away. It just “felt” like a blowout was on the way. We won, but we didn’t get a blowout. Mike Morgan allowed the Twins to creep back into the game.
Our four runs in the first came by us getting a whole slow of singles, after a leadoff error allowed Roberto Kelly to get on. Then Pudge, Rusty, Juan, Raffy, & Todd all singled to give us our runs in the first. Pudge had another great night at the plate, he’s just on fire offensively – he’s also got a 12 game hitting streak going, too. He was 4 for 5 with a run scored last night – he’s batting some atmospheric number (around 750 or something, isn’t it?) since the All-Star break.
Actually, we were outhit by the Twins 14-13. Of all these 27 hits, the bulk of them were singles. We had one double (Greer), one triple (Kelly), and one home run (Mateo). The rest were singles. Minnesota had four doubles, the rest were singles.
Mike Morgan got his 12th win of the year, who woulda thunk it? :)
On TV, we got to see the 15,000,000th fan ceremony. They picked someone and said they were the 15 millionth fan to see a game at the Ballpark. They flashed a stat saying in the 21 years the Rangers played in Arlington stadium, they had about 31 million all told, and we’ve gotten half of that in just under 6 seasons at TBIA. Less, actually, since the first year TBIA was around, the season was cut short (due to the MLB players strike).

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G105: Rangers beat Twins 5-4

Well, I got to see this one (see last night’s commentary) because it was on KXTX. :)
Jeff Zimmerman (am I the only one besides Jeff that thinks “The Zimmenator” is a stupid nickname?) tied a 73 year old record for consecutive wins by a reliever to start a career by going to 9-0. Unfortunately, his scoreless streak was broken at 29 2/3 innings. However, the way he’s pitching this year, it’s hardly noticeable (his ERA is now 0.88 after that run).
However, the story of this game was Pudge. He hit two home runs, driving in 4 of our 5 runs (Raffy had the other) with a solo shot and a three run home run. He also picked off a runner at third – his sixth pure pickoff of the season, the first at third. There’s no doubt that Pudge was the star of this game, it was quite cool to watch him play last night. Pudge also now has 20 home runs for three years in a row, tying a record for catchers. If Pudge gets one more steal between now and the end of the season (I think that’s a safe bet), he’ll be the first catcher in all of MLB history to have 20 steals and 20 home runs in a season. In fact, given there’s about 57 games left or something like that, I think there’s a good shot of Pudge getting to 30/30 providing he stays healthy.
Speaking of Pudge, I used to like Juan better than Pudge, but lately that opinion has changed a lot given the way Juan’s been behaving – I read an article about him verbally abusing Johnny and attacking a water cooler. I also saw the cooler last night (before I read about Juan’s battering of it) with the sign “Please don’t hit me, I’m a nice cooler”. It looked funny on the TV. :)
Burkett pitched OK – he’s definitely our fifth starter, but for him, it was a decent outing – I didn’t think he pitched bad at all, caught a few bad breaks, and was hit, but not lit up. I hope he can keep it going at least at this level for the rest of the season.
Attendance was pathetic for The Ballpark. Was only 24,720. I know it’s Monday, and it’s the Twins, but that seems really low for us!

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G104: Rangers win big over Royals, 12-5

Figures. The game I wanted to go to because of the raising of the Nolan Ryan flag, and the giveaway of a Ryan flag and the one that is one off from my season ticket game is the one they blow out the Royals. :(
To make matters worse, my lame ass cable company has Fox Sports Southwest out of whack again for the second day, forcing me to miss another Rangers game because of their screwed up setup – this is about 6 this season because of this. I didn’t get to see the game, but I listened to part of it, and I got disgusted because I couldn’t see it that I stopped listening too, and started watching a movie.
I hate my cable company! I live across the street from a TCI building, yet we have some other company – go figure.
Sele turned in his longest outing of the season, going 8 full innings. He gave up 5 runs though, but did go long in the heat, which was nice to see.

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G103: Rangers drop another to Royals, 12-8

I was at this game (was one of my season ticket games), and quite honestly, I wish I didn’t have to be. I was so tired from the trip home last night (I never got in until 2AM, and I was supposed to be home around 10PM or so). Tack on the heat, and I wasn’t feeling that good during this game, and it had nothing to do with the team. I was feeling queasy, so I left in the top of the 7th inning – I abhor this kind of behaviour, but I will do it for illness. :(
The game itself wasn’t a whole lot better. It looked good early, with a 5-0 lead after two innings, but that was about it for us, except for a couple more runs late in the game. We had a pitching meltdown, which is rare for us this season, unlike past seasons. :)
Jonathan Johnson pitched several innings in the middle, and appeared to be a sacrificial lamb. He was lit up pretty well, but he stayed out there for three full innings, when he should have rightfully been pulled very quickly. He was sent right back down after this appearance, I doubt we’ll see him again this season before the September callups.

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G102: Rangers come home, beat Royals 9-2

I didn’t hear or see anything on this game, because my wife and I were travelling back from Baltimore, and had a horror story travelling (delays in both Baltimore and our layover Chicago). Because of this, I have no commentary of any kind on this game.

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G101: Rangers beat O’s 3-1 in series finale

This game my wife and I did not go to. The main reason why we didn’t was because it was a day game, and quite frankly, this was our one big day to explore the Inner Harbor. Besides, I don’t generally like day games in the summer anyway. We had a wonderful time exploring several things in Baltimore – the highlight was definitely the Aquarium there.
We were in the Aquarium when the Ranger game was happening, so we didn’t get to see or hear any of it. I did catch some highlights on SportsCenter on ESPN later in the evening. WOW – what a home run by Royce Clayton (423 feet; into the Rangers bullpen in Baltimore). In fact, all three of our runs were solo home runs (Clayton, Pudge, & Kelly). I had a bad feeling about this game going in, as Mike Morgan doesn’t seem to pitch well in the heat – and it was hot. Add to that the fact that he still had that bruise from being wailed by a batted ball in his last start, and I wasn’t expecting what he gave us (6 innings, 3 hits, 1 earned run). Our bullpen gave up donut, and it was a really nice 3-1 win by the Rangers. Would have liked to have seen it, but I had such a wonderful time seeing the sights in Baltimore that day that it really didn’t matter.

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G100: Cal just misses #400, Rangers lose 8-6

Our second of two games at Camden Yards. This place is great – my full report on the Orioles’ ballpark is coming soon.
Big difference between this game over the last game was that my wife and I were by ourselves this time – no Ranger fans around, so we had to chill out a bit. Was a bit rainy before the game, but our seats were undercover, so that helped, even though it had more or less stopped raining by the time we had walked over to the hotel. There’s a shot of what my seats looked like in the pictures below.
We lost this game by the same score that we won by last night. I felt Burkett was left in just a tad bit too long, but he didn’t pitch all that bad, either. Cal Ripken missed his 400th home run by about a foot or two – the ball was just foul past the left field foul pole. Damn, I really wanted to see that. :) We did get a couple of Ranger home runs – one by former Oriole Todd Zeile, and another by Ruben Mateo, which was opposite field, not that far away from where I was sitting. That was nice – and the home runs were about the only time my wife and I actively “cheered” the Rangers this game. :)

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G99: My wife and I witness Rangers 8-6 win in Baltimore

My wife and I were at this game in Baltimore. We decided to take a vacation together, and we had never seen the Baltimore Inner Harbor, so we decided to plan a trip around when the Rangers were there. I know it’s kinda geeky, but hey, it’s something cool to do for a Rangers fan. :)
What was cool was that where we were sitting there was at least two other groups of Ranger fans. A family of four from Carrolton, and some people behind us who I think were from The Colony. It was quite cool having around 12 Ranger fans there, and we could shout for the Rangers – that was quite cool. What was not cool was the ballpark. It was friggin hot! I had forgotten what humidity outside the state of Texas was like. Yikes! My wife and I also met the author of a baseball book in one of the resturants before the game started. The book is called “Minor Players, Major Dreams”. I’ve ordered it from Amazon, so I hope to have some commentary up on it before too long.
It was cool that we won the game, but to tell you the truth, I was paying more attention to the Ballpark itself – I tend to do that when I’m in a place I’ve never been before. I’ll have my full report on Baltimore’s stadium up shortly.

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Rangers beat Royals in Hall of Fame Game

Well, this game wasn’t broadcast anywhere, so it’s hard to do commentary on it. :) Nice to see a bunch of home runs, and from the pictures below, it’s wild to see the old uniforms again, especially on people that weren’t here before when the Rangers wore them last.
And Gregg Zaun pulling a Babe Ruth – that was quite amusing. There’s a pretty cute article about this here.

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G98: Rangers beat Devil Rays, 4-3

Not available, but we certainly seem to like to let Tampa Bay get back into things late in the game, don’t we? :)
I felt awful for Helling, as he was going so well, until the home run to McGriff in the bottom of the 9th.

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G97: Rangers win again over Tampa, 5-3

Not available, but we certainly seem to like to let Tampa Bay get back into things late in the game, don’t we? :)
Loaiza looked weak at the start, but got much better after the first two innings.

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G96: Rangers keep winning, this time 11-8 over Devil Rays

Not available, but in the first inning that I did listen to on the radio, there was some really nice D all in the first inning:

  • Mateo guns out runner going to third
  • Pudge throws out an attempted steal
  • Pudge throws out runner going to first on dropped third strike
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G95: Rangers top Angels 9-7 on my big photo day

Remember last week when the Rangers lost a game due to the sun in left field? Well, I got a big look first hand at this. I showed up at the ballpark at 4:30 when the gates opened to take some pictures at the ballpark that will show up on this web site shortly. Anyways, I spent a lot of time out in left field on all three levels of the ballpark, and JEEZ! It was friggin sunny as all hell, and I got a bit sunburnt. I can imagine how bad it was for Rusty, you can hardly see anything up high.
I had bought a cheap seat because my real purpose in going was to take pictures. So, I got in for $5, but I managed to get into the 200 level right before the game started, and I ended up sitting in section 225, one section over from Hornman. :) This was their “Christmas in July” game, there were Christmas trees and Christmas music being played before the game. It was pretty cute.
Anyway, the Angels struck fast, with Mo Vaughn rumbling all the way around from first base – in fact, Mo scored the first three runs! We were down 3-0, and with Burkett pitching, I didn’t have a good feeling when we went down 3-0. However, we busted out in the bottom of the third for a big six spot, which was highlighted by Rafael Palmeiro’s grand slam. This was the second grand slam that I’ve seen with my own eyes this year (also saw Roberto Kelly’s slam awhile back). That put us up 6-3, and in the 4th, we kept the Angels off the board, so I was thinking things were going to go well for Burkett, who didn’t pitch all that well, he needed to be rescued three times with inning ending double plays. The Angels crept back getting another run in each the 5th and 6th, bringing them back within one. We then scored two in the bottom of the sixth, which included a solo shot by Zeile. However, in the 7th and 8th, the Angels scored another run in each, bringing them back to within one run again. We picked up an insurance run in the bottom of the 8th, and Zimmerman came in to close the game in the 9th (Wetteland is still having back spasms). In fact, the 9th was the only inning the Angels didn’t get a hit (they scored one run in every inning except the 4th and 9th).
We used a lot of pitchers tonight – Burkett went 5.1 and was just “eh”. We also used Venafro, Patterson, Munoz, Crabtree, & Jeff Zimmerman. This was a really exciting game for me, both from the grand slam I saw to the general “feel”. It was a great game to be at.
We swept the two game series, and Oakland finally lost, so we’re up 6 on the A’s, 9 on the Mariners, and 12.5 on the Angels, who are down for the count.

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G94: Rangers top Anaheim in series opener, 9-5

Well, the big 6 run third inning is what did it for us last night. We spanked Omar Olivares, who was charged with all 8 earned runs the Rangers got in the second and third innings. 5 singles, a double, and a triple did all the work in the third inning. Was very nice to see.
Again, however, we got our fifth win in a row without a home run. We’re scoring without the longball, and I like that, because I hate relying on the home run for runs. The last couple of nights on the TV, John Rhadigan was talking to the fireworks operator, who sits out in center field right under the big red Coca-Cola sign. They said that he’s been waiting to shoot off fireworks, but it hasn’t happened much – we’ve had only two home runs since the All-Star game, and they both came in in our lone loss of the second half so far.
Aaron Sele pitched OK – he wasn’t dominating at all, but it was enough for the win, his 9th of the season. He did give up two back to back home runs in the 4th, but that was about his worst stretch of pitching. I don’t think he’s going to get to 19 again, but I think 15 is definitely within reach for him by the end of the year. Munoz, Crabtree, & Zimmerman came on to finish up after Sele went 6. Crabtree gave up a couple of singles, but no runs again by the bullpen. Zim earned his second save, as Wetteland is having some back spasms, and is resting.
This win puts the Angels 11.5 games back of the Rangers in last place in the AL West – if we win tomorrow night too, I have a feeling Anaheim might “give up” on this season. Surprisingly the A’s are staying close to us, we’re only 5 games up on them, and have been exactly that for a couple of weeks. The A’s beat the Mariners last night, dropping Seattle to 9 games out. Did get a peek at Safeco Field on ESPN last night – looks REALLY gorgeous. Damn, we won’t get there till next season, and if this rumour about the Rangers going to the NL Central next season I heard two days ago is true, then we won’t see Safeco at all, probably!
I’m headed out to the ballpark tomorrow night, but I won’t be watching the game much. You’ll see what I mean shortly. :)

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G93: Rangers sweep Giants behind 6-3 win

None available – too busy at work to write anything. I will say this about the game, though… (see graphic)