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G137: Benoit gets bizarre save, Rangers win 7-1

Sorry for the delay in getting going again. My brother was in town, and I didn’t watch much baseball at all when he was here, and then I got bogged down getting caught up at work, and then there was the sorry Tampa Bay series, which I just didn’t feel like writing about. Thought I’d give it a fresh start at the start of the Baltimore series. And what a good game it was to start up with.

I missed the top of the first inning, as I had neglected to record the game on my TiVo at home. As I was listening on the radio on the ride home from work, I heard they were making a pitching change – that was odd – first batter in the bottom of the first. I didn’t know Arod had gotten plunked, and Myette was retaliating (not officially, of course). So Myette got tossed after the first two pitches went behind Melvin Mora’s back. In came Todd Van Poppel who walked the batter Myette started, then one of his own. Then he got down to business, striking out five in the two innings he pitched (including everyone in the first inning). Then they brought in Benoit.

Man was he spectacular! Going 7 innings, and not allowing anything, except one hit batter, a walk, and a triple in the 9th inning to break up the no hitter bid. That would have been nice, and Benoit was the lead story on the ESPN baseball site on Wednesday (as it should have been). Still, Benoit set a major league record though as he got a 7 inning save, which I found humorous. I didn’t even think about that during the game. :)

Oh yeah, we extended our HR streak to 21 games in a row – the second time this year we’ve done that. Also, I was mad at myself for not recording the pre-game, as I missed an interview with Johnny Oates. I REALLY wanted to see that. Damn.

Additional game commentary here.

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G123: Rangers beat Red Sox on my birthday, 3-2

I have to admit, going into this game, I didn’t think we had a chance. Derek Lowe has been spectacular all season, and we were tossing out an inconsistant rookie who likes to walk lots of batters. Not a good combination. However, we instead got a wonderful pitching duel. Benoit went six innings, allowing 2 earned runs – and that’s all the Red Sox got, because our bullpen (Alvarez, Powell, Kolb, Rodriguez, & Cordero) combined for four innings of shutout relief. It wasn’t a cakewalk, but they got it done. In fact, Rich Rodriguez (why is he still here?) threw just one pitch to get the win.
Derek Lowe was even better, going 7 innings, and allowing just one unearned run. He deserved the win, but Boston’s bullpen let ‘em down, by allowing a solo home run to Todd Hollandsworth in the 9th inning, and another solo home run to Pudge in the 10th to win it. Cordero nailed it down, and we got a nice come from behind win in Boston.
Carl Everett got the predicted reaction in Boston. Interesting that the umpire he head butted is here, too, although he won’t work the plate during the series. Arod didn’t get a home run, so his mega streak of consecutive games is over, but I attribute a lot of that to Derek Lowe – although Arod came close on one ball hit to the deeper parts of Fenway.
Nice game – nice win; on my birthday, too. :) Five in a row now. Would be nice to sweep all the way through Boston & New York without losing, but somehow I don’t see that happening. :)
Additional game commentary here.

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G122: Rangers sweep Jays; win 10-7

It’s Arod again – hitting two more home runs, rocketing past Sammy Sosa for the ML lead with 44 now. That’s 6 home runs over the last 3 games – with 1 on Friday, 3 on Saturday, and 2 on Sunday. In fact, he almost had three Sunday too – putting one just short of the right field fence during the game.
Aaron Myette was really wild this game. He got the win, but walked 7 in 5 innings, and threw 116 pitches through 5 innings as well – quite frankly, he didn’t deserve the win, I felt. The game was pretty much in hand until late when we almost blew it in the 9th, giving away four runs, and requiring Cordero to come in and save the bacon.
We also had a home run by Raffy, and Carl Everett had a good night with three hits. Our offense is clicking very well – it’s too bad it happened this late in the season.
It was also nice to be at the park to see the ML debut of Jason Hart, who walked. Not an eventful debut, but at least it wasn’t an out! And he technically doesn’t have any at bats, either.
Additional game commentary here.

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G121: Arod hits 3 bombs; Rangers win 9-5

What can you say about this one? Arod does it again. And Again. And again. Three more home runs for Arod were the story of this game. He had 3 home runs in three straight at bats going into the previous game. He ended up with three home runs for hte night – and was left on deck in the bottom of the 8th.
We also had hoem runs by Herbert Perry & Raffy, but the story of this game was Arod – no doubt about it.

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G120: Rangers top Blue Jays, 6-5

There was a lot to like about this game. First off, I had just finished working on my fence in my back yard, so being able to sit on the sofa after 3.5 hours of manual labor in the back yard was great. Thank god for TiVo, so I could watch the game from the start. :)
I really got a kick out of seeing Buck O’Neil at the game last night. Was really nice to hear a few stories of his, plus it was a blast hearing him go “Come on Arod – Come on Arod”. Al Oliver was before my time, so I didn’t enjoy his speech as much, but it was still nice to see the guys from the past here. Sometimes think I want to go to Kansas City and check out the Negro League baseball museum. Watching Buck O’Neill in the Ken Burns baseball documentary was a lot of fun. Man certainly loves his baseball – and like a lot of old timers, he doesn’t seem to have a distaste for today’s game too – which is nice to see.
Anyway, about this game – Kenny Rogers was pitching again on the day a strike date was announced. The last time he did that, he pitched a perfect game. Not to happen here, as Kenny was nowhere near as sharp as he was last Friday in Cleveland, but was “OK”. He gave up 5 runs over 7 innings – not great, but not totally horrid, either. Danny Kolb, however was great coming out of the pen, pitching the final two innings and giving up a big fat donut.
Our offense was led by Arod (who else) who was 4 for 4 with 3 RBI’s and two runs scored. It was capped off by a game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th to win the game. I have to say I wish Buck O’Neil was still around then to see the home run – boy does Buck get excited about baseball, that’s for sure. Anyway, the problem here was that we had two players get hit on the hands by pitches. Kevin Mench (who stayed in the game), and Frank Catalanotto, who came out immediately, and has a broken hand, and very well could be done for the year. Not sure who we’re calling up for that, but it’s a bummer that Cat is out again.
However, given the way the season has gone, I can’t say I’m totally surprised, either.
Additional game commentary here.

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G119: Michael Young hurt in 11-6 win over Chisox

Nice to see a win, even though it seemed it might slip away at one point. Mike Young sprained his ankle ending the game. Didn’t look good at the time. Somehow doubt he’ll play this weekend, though.

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G118: Rangers lose big against White Sox, 12-3

Well, I have the time to write about this game, but quite frankly, I don’t want to. What is there to say, really?
Additional game commentary here.

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G117: Rangers win big; beat Cleveland 11-5

No time to write commentary. Too busy. Additional game commentary here.

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G116: Rangers lose to Indians, 4-3

No time to write commentary. Too busy.

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G115: Kenny Rogers nearly perfect, beats Tribe 3-2

No time to write commentary. Too busy.

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G114: Jose Lima.. yeah, Jose Lima beats us, 2-1

Wow – I never expected this kind of pitching performance by Jose Lima against us. The Valdes curse continues, too.
There really isn’t much else to say about this one, except it was REAL nice hearing Ernie Harwell on the TV!

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G113: Rangers beat Tigers, 7-2

Joaquin Benoit went a long way to helping his own cause last night by pitching 7.1 innings, giving up 8 hits, but only two runs (with 2 BB & 6 K’s). He looked really good, but unfortunately, so did Mark Redmond of the Tigers. They both pitched well, and the scoring was deadlocked at 2-2 after the fourth, and it stayed that way for another 7 innings. Benoit had a bit of the Ismael Valdes curse of not getting any real run support, otherwise Benoit would get the win – he deserved it. Our bullpen kept it at 2 for Detroit, with Rodriguez, Cordero, & Kolb pitching a total of 3.2 innings of scoreless relief. Between the three of them, they only gave up one hit (Cordero).
We stayed tied into extra innings, which is usually a nightmare for us, but we put up 5 on the scoreboard in the top of the 11th – it started on a miscue by Robert Fick in right field, allowing two to score. Was nice to see some extra inning runs. Would have been even better to see them earlier, so Benoit could have gotten the win.
Anyway, the story of the night for me was Travis Hafner. Travis (who REALLY looks like Mike Morgan) made his major league first start (he came in late as a PH the previous night), and struck out early – but delivered after that. His first major league hit was an RBI triple – and then he almost got his first home run, too. He looked like a big kid, with almost McGwire-ish (or Kaplerish) muscles, but didn’t seem like the kind that would raise eyebrows over steroids or something like that. I know he comes very highly touted, and it’s nice to see him get going in his first start.
Was also nice to see us beat the Tigers in Detroit, something we haven’t done in quite awhile, unfortunately. Anybody else notice that the two games in Detroit had really quick game times?
Additional game commentary here.

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G112: Rangers disgust me; lose 11-3

I’m tired of the Rangers losing to teams that they have no business losing to. I got disgusted after the first couple of innings, and actually switched the game off. It’s rare that I do that.
Additional game commentary here.

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G111: Myette stinks up the joint; Rangers lose 11-3

Aaron Myette continues to stink up the joint, giving up 8 earned runs in 3.2 innings. It’s puzzling, as he does well in AAA, just not up here. Rob Bell came out of the pen and did well, giving up one run in 3.1 innings. Dennys Reyes went two and gave up two. So far Reyes hasn’t been anything special, although he’s left handed – I guess that’s something.
However, the story here was Pedro. He went 7 innings, giving up one walk, striking out 10, and just three hits – with no runs. Very much the pitcher advertised. In fact, I was annoyed that he was pulled from the game, I wanted to see him go nine and shut us out. :)
We got three late, but the game really wasn’t as close as 11-3 sounds (as if that’s close). It really should have been 11-0. :)
Additional game commentary here.

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G110: Rangers bounce back; beat Red Sox 8-6

A big back and forth game, and a nice finish by Texas to win the game 8-6. We tried to give it away, but a surprising bunt by Carl Everett sparked the final push to win the game.
Some of the highlights were another home run by Arod, his 37th of the year, leading all of MLB. Kevin Mench’s 3 run home run late to give us a lead (and prompting some nice emotion from Kevin on the basepaths). Carl Everett’s aforementioned bunt.
Todd Hollandsworth joined the injury parade as he appeared to pull a hamstring running to first. He’s probably headed towards the DL. Sigh.
Anyway, it was a nice game to watch a comeback. I said I wished we had lost all four games to the Red Sox, as I wanted that to help them against the Yankees, but it’s always nice to see one’s team win. :)

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G109: Rangers look bad after two great nights; lose 13-0

What can you say about this? Derek Lowe shut us down good. We gave up far too many runs again, but it didn’t really matter. One was enough.
Additional game commentary here.

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G108: Rangers bomb Bosox, 19-7

Well, after last night’s game against the Yankees that I missed, I figured I’d miss the best offensive game of the season. Wrong.
I was at this game, and boy, was it fun to watch as a Rangers fan. I was actually looking forward to seeing former Ranger John Burkett pitch, as he’s done pretty well since leaving the Rangers a couple of years ago (that sounds familiar). Anyway, he plunked the first two batters of teh game, and that pretty much set the tone. Carl Everett jacked a three run home run to cap off the scoring – 6 runs in all in the first frame. Actually, I thought it was gonna be bad as Johnny Damon hit a solo home run on the second pitch of the game, but that was pretty much it for Boston for awhile.
However, that wasn’t it for us in the second. We scored another 6 runs, capped off by a grand slam by Carl Everett – 7 RBI’s in the first two innings – a total of 12 runs for us after the second (and we were up 13-1 after the third). We picked up 6 more elsewhere, but the first three innings were the story of the game. Carl Everett also missed two MORE home runs, both by a foot or two – both were caught at the fence. Big night for him. He said in the press the fact it was against Boston meant nothing to him, but I have a hard time believing he didn’t feel ANYTHING special over that. :)
Todd Hollandsworth made a nice first impression – with a double, a home run and 4 RBI’s as well as a nice running catch in center. The popular opinion is that he probably won’t be here next year, but it was nice to see someone be able to play center field and hit as well. I really liked Ruben Rivera, Jason Romano, Ryan Ludwick, & Calvin Murray out there, but Hollandsworth appears to be able to run balls down and hit too, which is something we haven’t had from any of our centerfielders so far this year.
Chan Ho Park was great until he developed a blister, and then headed south in a big hurry. However, he had a big fan section out in right field – a group of folks who had some Korean signs out there where whooping it up like the drum guys in Oakland do. Any time Park did anything good, they made a nice noise out there. I really really loved seeing that, as for the most part this town doesn’t have any regular fans like that, except for Zonk at games. I really wished I was back in my original season tickets that I had from 1997-1999 in Section 39, as they were in Section 40 making all this noise. :) Don’t know if anyone in that group would read this, but if you did, I really enjoyed that – hope y’all come back.
By far the best game I’ve been to this year.
Additional game commentary here.

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G107: Rangers bomb the bombers; beat Yanks 17-2

Man, did I pick the wrong game to go to in the Yankees series. Two of my bosses at work, who are admittedly casual baseball fans, and would much rather watch the Cowboys were at a luxury box for this game. Grrrr….. :(
Anyway, this explosion was really nice to see anytime, but was ESPECIALLY sweet against the Yankees. I really wish I could have been there, but I did watch the entire thing on TV, including the funny bit where the TV guys made fun of Josh Lewin, calling him the “Yammering Announcer”. :)
The game was in hand early with a 6 spot in the second inning with 6 doubles and a home run leading the charge. The 6 doubles in an inning tied a record, and we also tied our own record for extra base hits in the game. Was really sweet to watch, but was also bittersweet considering the way the rest of the season has gone. :( Arod’s HR in the second really did NOT look like a home run off the bat, looked like a pop out to right, but ended up going out of the deepest part of the park (right center). Nice to see. I really REALLY hope we don’t have a strike, because I want to see Arod play this out and get a full season – I would love to see him make a run at the MVP award. What can you say about a season high 17 runs and 21 hits other than you’re glad it was against the Yankees. We were on national TV on Monday night, I wish THIS was on national TV.
Gabe the babe is gone, with his trade to Colorado. I’ll miss him, I liked him as a player and a person (from what I could gauge), but he never put it together here, and perhaps it was time for a change. Too bad, he was a great guy to have on a team.
Additional game commentary is available here.

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G106: Rangers lose to NY, 9-6

Well, that sucked, too. The Yankees win too much, I don’t like writing about them winning, so I won’t.

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G105: Rangers lose to NY, 9-2

Well, that sucked. Additional game commentary is available here.

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G104: Rangers lose to Oakland, 12-2

This game was going brilliantly. We were winning 2-1 through the end of the 7th inning. I was at this game, and wondered at the time why Valdes came out of the game after 6 innings, having thrown only (by my count) 87 pitches. Turns out it was a blister. It’s too bad as he was pitching brilliantly.
My wife wasn’t feeling good this evening, so we left early. Right before she went to use the bathroom before we left, Dave Burba was called on to pitch. As she was leaving, I screamed out loud “That’s it – game’s over. Three run home run from Burba”. And of course, that’s exactly what happened. We left after that, but not FOR that reason, we left because my wife wasn’t feeling good, and needed to go home. So we started driving home. We hit I30 when the top of the ninth started. When we got home back into Garland, the top of the 9th had JUST finished. That’s pretty bad when you can drive from Arlington to Garland in the span of half an inning!
Anyway, I got out of there just in time, what a meltdown of epic proportions. We gave up 11 runs in the 8th & 9th. A side note is that when it all started, we were four outs away from the win. But hey, I at least got a free hat for going, eh? :)
Additional game commentary is available here.

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G103: Rangers score 10+ again, beat A’s 10-6

Chan Ho Park gave up four runs in the first inning, but shouldn’t have given up any, I think. We were “this close” to getting out of the first with no runs scored, and then bam, the A’s had four up. Given the way the season has gone, I figured the game was lost already. We did put up one in the bottom of the first (on an Arod solo HR), but I still didn’t feel good. Not until the third inning, when we put up a 5 spot, and were up 6-4. Carl Everett, who suddenly has discovered his power stroke this weekend chimed in with a massive three run HR that went over the seats in right field’s Section 44 and into the walkway.
We then pissed away the lead, and let the A’s tie it in the 6th at 6-6, and it remained that way (despite a few close calls) until the bottom of the 10th when Arod came up with the bases loaded against Billy “I still have the stupidest beard ever” Koch. Arod jacked a ball to right center field, and I figured the game was over, but it kept traveling, and he ended up with a grand slam in the 10th to win it 10-6. Was a nice finish to this one, for sure. :)

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G102: Rangers win big; beat A’s 12-4

This game started off good – with a three spot in the first inning against Mark Mulder. At that time I felt that we had better hold it, because three against Mulder is an accomplishment – and I was right – he didn’t give up anything else – at least not until the 7th. In the 7th, we had fallen behind 4-3, but then we had what can only be called an explosion of epic proportions, scoring 9 runs in the 7th inning, capped off by TWO home runs by Carl Everett. That’s something that no other Ranger in history has ever done. Everett probably won’t have much longer in a Ranger uniform, but he did etch out a piece of history while he was here.
Wish I could have been there to see this in person, from what I saw on TV, it looked like a fun time that inning. :)
Additional game commentary is available here.

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G101: Rangers lose to Seattle, 7-2

We gave away the lead in the bottom of the first inning, and while we tied it back up in the top of the second, we gave it away for good, and never looked “back” after the second, when we gave up a five spot, which actually felt worse than it looked. I actually got disgusted, and turned the game off. As it was a 9PM start, and I felt we weren’t doing anything more after that (I was right), I wanted to go do some other things around the house. :)
Additional game commentary is available here.

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G100: Rangers beat Mariners, 4-3

We picked up a win in Seattle behind the strong pitching of Kenny Rogers, also rumoured to be going to Seattle. Kenny looked great again this year, getting his 11th win. If he manages to stick with us for the rest of the season (doubtful), he’ll probably easily get 17 wins.
Anyway, we went ahead on the second pitch of the game, and never gave up the lead. Frank Catalanotto hit a home run on the second pitch over Ichiro into the stands, and we never looked back. Well, maybe we did late, when the Mariners made it 4-3, but it was still nice to get a win.