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G91: Rangers drop game to Giants, 7-6

I, along with lots of others at the Ballpark were here hoping for a Barry Bonds home run. Didn’t get it. What we did get we didn’t like, either.
This 7-6 loss was particularly annoying because it was one of those where we’d get some runs, and then give them right back. That kept on going on and on until late, when we had a chance to finish off the game, but couldn’t come through for a win.
In fact, I wasn’t feeling very good, and in a rare display of “weakness”, I left the game early. I abhor when people leave, but I didn’t get any sleep the night before – just about one hour. Was starting to not feel good. However, I didn’t miss much – we still lost.

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G90: Rangers drop finale of series to Rockies, 11-2

Of course – after having won 11-0, we then go and lose 11-2.
The only thing worth talking about for this one was the fact that we were almost shut out. However, we broke that up late to remain the only major league team that has not been shut out all year.

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G89: Rangers beat Rockies again, 10-2

I was at this game, and had an interesting time of it. My wife wasn’t feeling good, so I brought a friend of mine from work. He likes baseball, but had never been to a Rangers game at the Ballpark. He’d been at Arlington stadium, but in seven years, he’s never been to the Ballpark! :)
Anyway, this game was pretty much in the Rangers’ control all along – we had four home runs, two from my Rangers rookie of the year, Mike Young. Rick Helling had the Rockies pretty much in hand, allowing just one earned run over seven innings. Our team had an ERA of 2.00 for the entire game, which was great. Mike Hampton was shelled – which was a shock, I was expecting a 2-1 game. I didn’t get it, but I’ll certainly take the 10-2 victory. :)

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G88: Rangers beat Colorado Rockies, 6-3

Was nice to start the post all-star part of the season with a win. I don’t have a whole lot of confidence in Kenny Rogers at the moment – he’s pitching like an old man. Sometimes, he’s brilliant, but most of the time he’s just pitching “old”. Tonight, however – he pitched pretty decently, going 7 innings, allowing only two earned runs – definitely a “quality start”. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to be the norm for Kenny lately. I’m open to trading him, but I don’t know who would take him, quite honestly – same with Darren Oliver.
Arod was rather sloppy, comitting two of the three Ranger errors tonight. Looking good on the offensive side is Mike Young, who I think will be my Ranger player of the year – I’m really impressed with him this year. Speaking of that, Randy Velarde was activataed, and did not play, but basically has lost his starting job to Mike Young. I hope we keep Velarde around next year as a backup – he seems to be open to that from what I’ve read in the papers.
A home run from Pudge got things started, and a goofy play in the 8th also was in on the scoring (Kapler struck out, and a run scored on a ball that got away – I had never seen a run score on a strikeout before ).

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AL Beats NL 4-1 in All Star Game

UPDATE May 3, 2008: I did not write anything for this game, as I had surgery this day, and was really loopy and laid out on the sofa. I’m going to stick in an old wire story for this game. (I put the old format 2001 archives into Movable Type’s Blog software in May of 2008, hence this update text).
SEATTLE (TICKER) — Cal Ripken is no stranger to dramatic moments on a national stage. Derek Jeter is getting pretty used to them, too.
Participating in his 19th and final All-Star Game, Ripken homered in his first at-bat and Jeter added a solo shot as the American League posted its fifth straight win over the punchless National League, a 4-1 triumph at Safeco Field.
Honored Monday and following the sixth inning, Ripken provided the most memorable moment of the 72nd mid-summer classic by leading off the third inning against Los Angeles righthander Chan Ho Park with a line drive over the left-field wall.
Ripken, who will turn 41 on August 24, became the oldest player to homer in an All-Star Game. Stan Musial was 39 when he hit one in 1960.
The blast was reminiscent of his home run on September 6, 1995 — the day he etched his name into baseball immortality by breaking Lou Gehrig’s consecutive games played streak.
The 47,364 fans at Safeco Field demanded a curtain call and Ripken obliged. For his efforts, Ripken was honored with the Most Valuable Player award for the second time in his career, having also won in 1991. He is the only American League player to win the award twice.
“I must have had a shot of adrenaline or long case of the goose bumps, I’m not sure what coming to the plate,” Ripken said. “I went up there and said `God, it’s hard to see.’
“The ovation, people standing up, and I came out and tried to acknowledge them quickly because I didn’t want the game to be delayed for that. I got back in and just saw the first pitch, swung at it, and put a nice swing on it. I felt like I was flying around the bases.”
Ripken’s fellow All-Stars also felt the enormity of the moment.
“It was just one of those things for the fans and for Cal,” Mariners second baseman Bret Boone said. “It was pretty fitting, Cal hits a home run. That’s a pretty special moment.”
“It’s like a dream come true,” Chicago Cubs right fielder Sammy Sosa said. “Everybody was clapping and after that he comes up with the home run. It doesn’t get much better than that as a human being. … He is the man.”
Jeter, the shortstop of the New York Yankees, made sure Ripken’s moment would stand up. After the NL crept within 2-1 with a run in the top of the sixth, Jeter opened the bottom of the inning with a long home run over the center-field wall off Chicago Cubs righthander Jon Lieber. It was his only at-bat in the contest.
“I told him I think it took Hank Aaron 10 or 12 years to hit his first home run in an All-Star Game,” AL manager Joe Torre said. “He said he was going to swing 3-0, he didn’t care where it was.”
Last year’s All-Star and World Series MVP, Jeter went 3-for-3 in the 2000 game and hit .409 in the Fall Classic. Ripken often is credited with paving the way for bigger, more offensive-minded shortstops such as Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, the AL’s elected starter at the position.
“It’s fun, anytime you can play in an All-Star Game it is pretty exciting,” Jeter said. “And to do something good makes it even more special.”
Chicago’s Magglio Ordonez followed Jeter’s blast with a home run to right-center field. It marked just the fifth time in All-Star history that there have been back-to-back home runs.
Winless since 1996, the NL managed just three hits, none over the final 3 2/3 innings. The record for fewest hits is two by the NL in 1990.
“We didn’t put any hits together and guys were not seeing the ball very well in the shadows and were complaining about it a bit,” NL manager Bobby Valentine said. “When you have just one at-bat to adjust, it’s a tough thing for the hitters and their pitchers made really good pitches.”
The game featured a six-minute ceremony after the fifth inning in which Commissioner Bud Selig paid tribute to both Ripken and fellow legend Tony Gwynn of the San Diego Padres. The retiring superstars received the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award in the unprecedented stoppage.
“What a wonderful experience,” said Gwynn, who was an honorary NL player and in uniform. “It turned out great. … You want to say thank you because it’s really the outpouring that has been unbelievable. I’m sure as we go along it is going to get tougher.”
“I always thought the All-Star Game was a special time to celebrate baseball,” Ripken added. “To have things go so great in the game, hit a home run, it’s been special. It’s a great feeling.”
The delay nearly cost the AL its lead as Toronto setup man Paul Quantrill, making his first All-Star appearance, ran into immediate trouble following the break.
San Francisco’s Jeff Kent doubled into the right-field corner and one out later, Houston’s Lance Berkman singled off the glove of Jeter to put runners on the corners.
Torre, the New York Yankees’ manager, called on his own Mike Stanton, who surrendered a sacrifice fly to San Diego’s Ryan Klesko to halve the deficit.
After a broken bat by pinch hitter Vladimir Guerrero hit and knocked over NL honorary third base coach Tommy Lasorda in a lighthearted moment, Stanton got the Montreal Expos slugger on a flyout to left field.
Seattle ace Freddy Garcia tossed a perfect third inning to get the win and Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki notched the save. It was fitting as nearly all the All-Star festivities served as a celebration of baseball in Seattle. The Mariners had four starters and eight players in uniform, much to the delight of the 47,364 fans.
“I’m just relieved that everything went OK and that it came out OK,” said Sasaki through an interpreter. “The way the game went, we were able to come out with a win and that was a great experience.”
“I was really nervous,” Garcia said. “My first All-Star game and I win it with only seven pitches. It was pretty emotional.”
AL starter Roger Clemens was dominant over two innings. Making his second career All-Star start, Clemens retired all six batters he faced, including New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza.
Clemens and Piazza had not faced each other since Game Two of the 2000 World Series, a game that saw Clemens throw a broken bat in the direction of the All-Star backstop.
NL starter Randy Johnson of the Arizona Diamondbacks, a late replacement for teammate Curt Schilling, was nearly as dominant. The former Mariner surrendered a leadoff single to Seattle rookie sensation Ichiro Suzuki in the first but little else.
The three-time Cy Young Award winner struck out Alex Rodriguez of Texas and Manny Ramirez of Boston in the first and Seattle’s Edgar Martinez to cap a perfect second.
It was the fourth career All-Star start for Johnson, who has allowed just a run and four hits with 11 strikeouts in 11 innings.
Andy Pettitte of the Yankees allowed a leadoff single in the fourth but retired sluggers Todd Helton, Barry Bonds and Sosa in order to escape further trouble. Atlanta’s John Burkett tossed a perfect bottom of the fourth to keep the game at 1-0.
Minnesota’s Joe Mays took over in the fifth for the AL, which took advantage of two-base error by Kent to tack on a run in the bottom of the frame.
With Colorado’s Mike Hampton pitching, Seattle first baseman John Olerud grounded a ball up the middle that Kent threw away. Hampton retired the next two batters on grounders to shortstop but Ivan Rodriguez of Texas came through with a single up the middle that scored pinch runner Jason Giambi for a 2-0 lead.
After Stanton worked through the jam in the sixth, Seattle’s Jeff Nelson, a late addition to the AL squad, held the NL in check in the seventh. Anaheim Angels closer Troy Percival fired a hitless eighth before giving way to Sasaki.

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G87: Rangers lose big to Padres, 11-2

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G86: Rangers win Sunday afternoon against Pads, 4-3

A nice Saturday afternoon win, although I watched most of the game in the evening, thanks to my TiVo. :)
It was nice to see Andres Galarraga & Gabe Kapler come through with pinch hit RBI’s – both are in a major slump – the 40 year old now bench warmer is probably in his final days with the Rangers. I’d like for him to gracefully retire. I like the guy, I really like the guy, but it doesn’t seem like he has any gas left in the tank. I’d like to see him retire, so we can have some great going away stuff for him.
Anyway, this game was one I thought was going to slip away until the aforementioned pinch hits. Nice to see that, but we also got a decent pitching performance by Doug Davis, who continues to pitch well. Our bullpen gave up nothing in the final three frames. Actually, I thought we were going to get destroyed by Bobby Jones, but he fell apart in the seventh, giving us our lead and the win.
Nice game to come back from – and apart from the 3 spot given up in the second inning, our pitching was pretty damn good!

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G85: Rangers now 28 games out with 8-3 loss to Padres

I started watching this game, and saw the first few innings. I stopped watching after the top of the fourth, as I promised my wife we’d watch a movie. In the middle of the movie, I peeked in to the score, and it was 8-2! When I left, it was 2-0.
Oh well, guess I saw the best parts. :) Mike Young, who is rapidly heading for my fav Ranger player of the year got another home run on the West Coast in front of family. Someone start bringing them to every game we play, please! :)

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G84: Nine run fourth leads Rangers to 14-2 bombing of M’s

14-2? Is this score backwards? Seems like it should be 14-2 the other way.
I’ll take it. There isn’t much to say except that the nine run inning was beautiful! :) I’ll just let the log of that inning speak for itself…
TEXAS 4TH: Kapler reached on infield single. Lamb doubled to right, Kapler scored. Haselman doubled to right center, Lamb scored. M Young reached on infield single, Haselman to third. Brian Fuentes relieved Dennis Stark. Catalanotto hit by pitch, M Young to second. Ledee walked, Haselman scored, M Young to third, Catalanotto to second. A Rodriguez homered to left, M Young, Catalanotto and Ledee scored. R Palmeiro hit by pitch. Sierra homered to left center, R Palmeiro scored. Kapler flied out to right. Lamb singled to center. Haselman grounded into double play, shortstop to second to first, Lamb out at second. (9 Runs, 7 Hits, 0 Errors) SEATTLE 1, TEXAS 14.

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G83: Rangers beat Mariners on July 4, 6-3

My annual trip out to the Ballpark for the July 4th fireworks show was not disappointing. The fireworks show was one of the better ones I’ve seen at the Ballpark – and the show on the field was great, too!
We beat the Mariners who are what, about 200-3 this year? It was a great feeling, the crowd was really into it, especially when Raffy jacked a home run, as well as Mike Lamb’s home run (first of the year). Game felt great, and Rob Bell looked pretty good this game. He’s looked pretty uneven in his Ranger appearances so far this year, but this one looked good – probably the reason we traded for him was for pitching like this.
However, it wasn’t a complete sail – in the 9th inning, we had Zim in to close, and when they started the inning, I said out loud “7 batters till Ichiro hits a home run”. Had to explain it to my wife, and said something like “Well, it’s a save situation, and Zim will be in. Ichiro has two BIG home runs off Zim this year”. Sure enough, the inning got to Ichiro. Narron did something interesting, and pulled Zim to get to Venafro who got the job done.
Talk radio went nuts the next day over that move, but I agreed with it – Zim had already been burnt by Ichiro twice, might as well play for the win, instead of the heart attack. :)

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G82: Second half of season starts with a loss, 8-4

The second half of the season started pretty much like the first half went. Darren Oliver pitched pretty mediocre in this game. He seemed more like last year than he did this year, although he wasn’t TOTALLY awful. Ryan Glynn pitched in relief to do nothing to endear himself to the Rangers; turns out he was put on waivers and then assigned to AAA when no one else claimed him. I suspect he won’t be here next year, or will be given a shot in spring training, but that’s about it.
On the positive side, Arod & Pudge (I refuse to call him IRod) hit back to back jacks in the fourth – but that was the extent of the scoring for us. Yeah, we scored two more, but they weren’t “exciting” runs. :)

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G81: Another high scoring loss, 9-7 to M’s

This was a particularly annoying win. Going into the game I held a deep desire to see the Rangers sweep the Mariners. Didn’t think it would really happen, but I thought I’d take a stab and hope anyway.
Into the ninth inning, I thought I was going to get it – at least the start of it. Then Zim put the first two runners on base, making it feel like Wetteland again. However, right after that, Pudge gunned down McLemore who was trying to steal, and then right after that, Zim got a K for two outs. We were down to almost the last strike when Ichiro came up and jacked a two run homer to tie the game.
We then blew it in the 10th by bringing out Petkovsek, who doesn’t seem to handle pressure well (at least to my eyes). Oh well, a potential win for us turns into the 60th win of the season for the Mariners.
At least Mike Young continues to dazzle in the field – what a great pickup. Especially now that Loaiza has turned into Loaiza for the Blue Jays.

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G80: Rangers take down Oakland, 3-1

Another well pitched game. Excluding last night, we’ve gotten some really decent pitching (overall) lately. However, as the game progressed, I felt that we were going to go down to a 1-0 loss. Mark Mulder was spectacular, allowing only a couple of hits – at least until the 7th. Rick Helling too was awesome. He didn’t get the win (as per usual), but he pitched brilliantly, allowing only one run over his 6.2 innings (and 125 pitches).
Bo Porter of all people managed to connect for a 3 run jimmy jack in the bottom of the 8th to put us up for the win. That certainly felt good – especially being there. Zimmerman got the save, but not before he pulled a Wetteland, and put two men on (second and third, no one out). He then popped out one guy, and struck out two more for the save and the win!
Got to sit through my first rain delay of the season. I was at this game, and it didn’t start until 8:40 (1:35 after the posted start time). Had a friend with me who doesn’t usually come to baseball games, so it was nice to shoot the shit with him.

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G79: A’s annihilate Texas, 15-4

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G78: Rangers defeat Athletics, 9-6

This one started off early – two home runs in the first inning (Arod & Sierra), and we added another HR later in the game, one by Frank Catalanotto. However, the game was anything but an easy win. We got three in the bottom of the first, they got 3 in the top of the second. We scored in the 3rd, they scored in the fourth. It went on that way for a short while, leaving the game in a 6-5 lead for the A’s going into the bottom of the 7th.
In the seventh, we busted out for a four spot. We tied the game up on a Raffy single, scoring Pudge. After that, the A’s proceeded to allow the bases to get loaded, and then the most bizarre play I’ve seen in quite some time happened. Wild pitch by the Mike Magnante, allowing Raffy to score. However, the throw from the A’s catcher to Magnante at the plate bounced off Raffy’s foot into the Rangers’ dugout, allowing the other two runners to score. I have never seen three runs score on a wild pitch before – and I bet most of the people at the ballpark (including the players) had never seen that before, either. :)
A nice gift win. I’ll take it, of course.

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G77: Rangers beat Angels, 6-3

The Rangers are starting to look like a major league baseball team! Another great pitching performance – this time by Darren Oliver. He went seven innings, giving up just 4 hits and 1 run. He walked a lot of guys (5), but had the defense and the pitching when he needed it – which I suppose is the name of the game, eh?
J.D. Smart – called up again because Cordero had to go back on the DL didn’t fare so well, giving up a couple of runs on a home run in his lone inning. Zim came on and got the save in the 9th looking really sharp.
Offensively, the best star was Mike Lamb, going 3 for 4 with an RBI. Ricky Ledee also came through – with a double scoring a couple of runs. A great game – I’m going tonight to see them against the A’s – I hope it continues! :)

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G76: Rangers lose to Anaheim, 4-2

I thought today was setting out to be a duplicate of the previous game. An extremely well pitched game by our starter. Doug Davis went 7.1 innings. He looked awesome – up until the seventh inning. He appeared to run out of gas, and gave up some runs, and the game was lost, unforutnately.
However, before that, he looked great! Since coming back up from the minors Doug Davis has pitched like he’s capable of, and beyond, I think. I hope it keeps up – even though we lost, I have to qualify this as a success for Doug and the Rangers pitching staff. Can’t go wrong with pitching performances (and defense again!) like this.

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G75: Rick Helling masterful on the way to 8-1, 10 inning win

Oh my – what a spectacular game! The 7 run margin of winning does not do justice to the type of game it was. It was 1-1 through 10 full innings – that was the kind of game it was!
Rick Helling was the first Ranger pitcher to go nine innings this season. He looked good, he looked sharp. However, we couldn’t get any offense for him – the game was tied 1-1 after the first inning, and it stayed that way until the 9th inning. It stayed that way until the 11th inning, when we finally broke it out.
There was some totally sparkling defense by the Rangers this game – including a great pitchout call by Pudge to get a runner at third – which probably prevented a run from scoring.
Then we go to extra innings. We bust out in a major way against the Angels bullpen, scoring 7 runs in the 11th inning. Usually when we go extra, I figure we’ll blow it, but this time we came through.
This was a great game to be a Rangers fan. :)

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G74: Rangers lose to Angels, 11-7

Sorry – no commentary from me on this one. Too much to do at work to spend the time writing.

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G73: Rangers beat A’s, 9-5

Sorry – no commentary from me on this one. Too much to do at work to spend the time writing.

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G72: Rangers lose to A’s, 5-4

Sorry – no commentary from me on this one. Too much to do at work to spend the time writing.

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G71: Two wins in a row again with 2-1 one over Oakland

wo in a row for the second time this week! I’m getting spoiled! You’d think we were the Mariners or something. :)
When the game started – with a triple and a run scored early – I figured it would be another Rangers game. Boy, was I wrong. That was *ALL* the A’s got. The one run. From that point on, Doug Davis was masterful, going 7 innings and giving up just 7 hits and one run. It was as if we were an experienced team, playing well like we had done for a long time. If this game is any judge, things are looking good!
Tim Hudson was also brilliant, going the complete game for the loss. He allowed only 5 hits over nine innings, and two runs – however… In the third inning, he gave up three straight hits, allowing for our two runs. Other than those three batters, Hudson was brilliant – it’s just that our pitching staff didn’t make as many mistakes. We even overcame a Mike Lamb throwing error.
Overall, a totally spectacular game – and played in only 2:44, too! I could get used to this.

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G70: Rangers homer their way to 4-3 win over Anaheim

What can you say about this one? Four runs – four solo home runs. That was all the offense. Arod, Gabe, & two from El Caballo, who looks to displace Andres Galarraga pretty quickly, I would think.
I didn’t see this game either, but I was watching baseball tonight, and they showed all I really needed to see on this one – all the home runs, and the great game saving stop by Raffy to end the game in the 9th.
The team really is starting to look good, even if they’re not winning all the time. Something nice to see. :)

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G69: My cable company keeps me from seeing 4-3 loss to Angels

I did not see this game – my cable company showed the Astros game instead of the Rangers game – long time readers of my site will know that pet peeve of mine.
Due to this, I watched some TV and a movie – so no commentary from me except to say that I didn’t think we’d pull off three in a row – but it was close.

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G68: Rob Bell wins game against Angels, 7-5

Rob Bell made his Rangers debut tonight wearing uniform number 6. The lowest ever for a Rangers pitcher during the regular season. And Rob pitched like… well… a Ranger pitcher. Was mostly mediocre in the first inning, but I attribute that to nerves. Was great for a couple innings, and then pitched mediocre again in the fifth. Overall, not bad. Overall, not great.
I was surprised that we managed to come through and get some runs – we usually choke when we need to. I was also surprised that Narron left Ledee in there and didn’t pinch hit for him with Sierra. However Ledee came through, and it was great to see. It was all capped off by two solo home runs by Pudge late which made the difference.
Dare I hope for three in a row?