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G156: Rangers lose finale of home season, 9-2

The final home game of the 2000 season played out pretty much like the rest of the year. Rather irritating weather, and rather irritating performance by the team on the field. After yesterday being 97 degrees with like 80 percent humidity, it was about 60 degrees at the game. Since I’m from up north these temperatures don’t bother me, but the day after 97, it’s very noticeable.
Kenny Rogers started off by walking the first three batters of the game, and surprisingly only gave up one run that inning. Kenny went five innings, and only gave up a single hit, but he also allowed a career high eight walks. Given that many walks, it’s surprising he only gave up two runs in these five innings. When he left, I was feeling pretty good about our chances to win the final home game. However, our usual problem reared it’s head. Jonathan Johnson came on and pitched a couple of innings, but gave up two consecutive solo home runs for two more runs allowed – those were his only two hits though, he didn’t pitch all that bad. Then the fun began. Tim Crabgrass came in and only pitched 1/3 of an inning, but he walked two, and with an error, ending up allowing four runs, because of Mike Venafro’s gopher ball to Mo Vaughn – a towering grand slam into the second level of the upper deck. That was the epitaph for the Ranger’s home season. Brian Sikorski came on for the ninth, and was the only pitcher not to allow any runs, but he too walked a batter – bringing the total walks allowed by Ranger pitching to FOURTEEN!!
Offensively, we didn’t have much – we had the solo home run by Randy Knorr, and an RBI bloop single by Ruben Sierra in the fourth, scoring Scarborough Green. That was it. Speaking of Ruben, he’ll be a trivia question – he made the final out of the home 2000 season, a come backer to the pitcher.
When the Rangers were coming off the field, they got (what I felt to be) a fairly decent standing ovation. Hardly anyone came back out onto the field after the game was over, but I can’t be surprised at that – they probably just wanted to get out. Raffy came out, and Scott Sheldon did, and I thought I saw Ruben Sierra, but I wasn’t sure. I was very pleased to see the fans give the team applause after the season was over. Given the usual Cowboy mentality that this town has, I figured they’d get booed – but they didn’t. I liked that.
Speaking of Raffy, he was given a special framed Rangers jersey before the game in honor of his 400th HR. It looked normal, except the number on the back of the uniform was #400. Was a nice gesture, for sure.

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G155: Rangers lose big 15-4; Raffy gets #400

Well, it figures. The one game that I don’t have tickets for this series is the one where Raffy gets #400. My wife and I were in Baltimore last year when Cal Ripken missed getting his 400th by about two feet – and we missed this one, too. :)
However, Raffy was the only thing going last night. In this 15-4 loss, all four runs were driven in by Raffy. We had a total of four hits, three of them by Raffy (the other one a single by Ricky Ledee). Rick Helling was bad. Matt Perisho was fair. Darwin Cubillan was awful. Francisco Corder was fair to poor.
Was just an awful night all around – with the lone expection of Rafael Palmeiro who hit his 400th home run. I was watching, and when I saw him hit the ball, I hit pause on my TiVo (man these things are awesome). I went to get my wife, who was in the other room on the phone. When I came back, and backed the game up a few seconds so she could see it all (God, I really love TiVo). I had hit pause without even seeing it go over the fence. It was just one of those shots you could tell was going out off the bat. They shot off the home run fireworks 3 times for this one – which was cool. There was a rather large standing ovation, a curtain call from Raffy, and some nice family moments with his wife and kids who were in the first row behind the on deck circle. One funny note about the home run – a fan in the first row in the lower home run porch had the ball in his hands, and dropped it back onto the field. :)
Was a nice moment in a completely forgettable game. Oh wait, there was one cute thing. The Angels tied an AL record for using four pinch runners in an inning, and the two teams combined to set an AL record by using 5 pinch runners combined in a single inning. :)

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G154: Rangers lose really tight game, 2-1

My wife and I were at this game – and we had tickets to Sunday’s final game, too. We’re thinking before we show up, you know, as we don’t have tickets to the middle of these three games, that’s when Raffy will hit his home run. And of course, I was right. He hit his 400th on Saturday.
Anyway, about this one – Darren Oliver was on the mound tonight, so I just assumed a big loss. Well, Darren didn’t pitch all that badly. He went 6.2 innings, allowing six hits, and two earned runs. Was actually a great performance, and really, he deserved a win. However, Anaheim pitchers were better than us. All five of them combined to allow only 8 hits, and 1 earned run. Hard to win when you’re outpitched like that.
The frustration of this season played out late, when Frank Catalanotto was ejected for tossing his helmet back out onto the field after arguing a close call. Every replay, and all the announcers said that he was ejected after arguing, but no one seemed to notice that it didn’t happen until he was in the dugout already, and his hat had been tossed back out onto the field.
On the injury front, Ricky Ledee was scratched from this game due to stepping on glass at home, and cutting his foot. Rusty Greer was officially shut down for the rest of the season due to the current foot problem he has. I doubt he’ll go on the DL now, but that makes yet another player (I think it’s 9 without looking it up) that have been finished for the season due to injury.