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G88: Rangers beat Twins, 8-6

No time to write commentary today. Great game, though! :) Game notes are here.

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G87: Rangers pitch well, beat M’s 5-1

Another good day to be a Ranger fan. First off, we got a very nicely pitched 5-1 win against the best team in baseball at the moment. Ismael Valdes looked good, not like that train wreck he looked like the last few starts.
But the best news of the day was that two and a half Rangers were named to the All-Star team. Alex Rodriguez is the starting shortstop, and that’s no surprise. The other player is Hank Blalock, who was picked as the backup in the players’ vote. He really outdistanced his closest competition for the spot – that was really nice to see. The half was that Carl Everett was also named to the All-Star team as a DH. Carl’s a White Sock now, but he got the award on his playing time with the Rangers – that was great.
Don’t have a whole lot of time to write today – it being Monday at work and all. :)
Game notes are here.

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G86: Rangers lose to Mariners, 3-2

A frustrating game. For some reason, extra inning games fill me with dread. We always seem to lose these – and for some reason, in the 10th. This one was no different. :(
John Thomson pitched surprisingly well – must be the fact that he now wears his pants legs up, and we can see his socks! :) He went 7 innings, giving up only two. Problem was that Jamie Moyer did basically the same thing. Ugueth Urbina gave up a run in the 10th, and we couldn’t come back from that.
Juan Gonzalez had another home run – probably makes his trade stock higher.
Game notes are here.

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G85: Rangers beat Mariners on Jul 4th, 7-3

The 4th of July brought with it this year the usual things. Stirring ceremony at the beginning with a bunch of kids being sworn into the Air Force, those little mini planes behind centerfield, a flyover (which was timed perfectly this year), fireworks, and the Seattle Mariners. My mini plan gave me a ticket to this game, and while I did not stay for the fireworks show, the game was great. I wasn’t expecting much throwing Victor Santos out there against Freddy Garcia, Seattle’s #1 pitcher. However, it turned out better than I thought.
Santos was wild in the first inning, tossing 34 pitches (by my count), and allowing a few runs to score, as well as another in the third. Santos had a total of 5 walks in his 4+ innings of work. However, in the bottom of the fourth we blew the game open – batting around, and scoring 5 runs, powered by a 3 run Juan Gonzalez home run. In fact, the Rangers as a team hit for the cycle that inning. We tacked on two later on on a couple of sac files to make the game 7-3.
Our bullpen threw scoreless baseball, although it got dicey in the ninth when Ron Mahay let a couple of guys get on. Mahay was brilliant in the 8th, striking out the side with some really dominating looking stuff. As was said on the postgame show, our lefthanders this season (Shouse, Mahay, Fultz) have done extremely well, and I remember there being talk of there not having much from the left side this year – a great surprise.
I ended up not staying for the fireworks because up until this year my wife and I have seen just about every fireworks show that the Rangers had over the last 5 years or so. I think it’s safe to say “I’ve seen the show already”. Plus it got me home faster. :)
One last comment. We’ve won two in a row and are now only 20 games back from the Mariners. After winning two in a row, isn’t this the place where we usually lose the next 4?
Game notes here.

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G84: Rangers eek out win over Halos, 6-5

It was a good night to be a Ranger fan (something I don’t get to say much anymore). Tony Mounce looked really good again. He had a curveball that reminded me of Barry Zito’s at times – it had some wonderful movement. I’m not claiming he’s Barry Zito of course – I’m not that naive. It’s just he looked awfully good at points. He went 5.1 innings, and got his first major league win. Rosman Garcia slipped a bit, giving up a couple in under an inning, but Shouse, Cordero, & Urbina gave up nothing, with Urbina getting his 22nd save. I know Urbina will be gone, but I wish we were a bit better – I’ve really enjoyed his time here.
However, I think the biggest story was Hank Blalock getting two home runs tonight, one to each side of the field. Juan Gonzalez came through with a two RBI hit (might help his rumored trade to the Dodgers with Mike Lamb). Overall, it was a good game to be a Ranger fan, and while we let the Angels back into the game, we hung on and got the win.
We split in Anaheim, won in Houston before that, and had a winning road trip. This can’t be our Rangers, can it? :) Now we’re home for awhile, and we play the Mariners. We’re 21 games behind them in the standings. It could be much uglier after this weekend.
Game notes here.

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G83: Rangers shut out by Angels, 5-0

Well, we got shut out – not much more you can say. Only four hits, scattered. Our seventh shutout of the season. Not good, but then again we knew the 03 Rangers weren’t going to be good, I guess.

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G82: Rangers lose to Angels, 7-5

Well, we lost this game, and it got out of hand in the first couple of innings, as Ismael Valdes gave up a bunch of runs again. He gave up 7 in 5 innings, and while the linescore says he only had 5 earned runs, that’s still too many, and he really deserved all 7. RA Dickey, Brian Shouse, and Jay Powell (!!!) didn’t give up anything, so I guess that’s good.
We tried to mount a comeback in the 8th inning when we got the second home run of the game from Mike Young, as well as one from Arod to bring the game to 7-5, but all that did was bring out Troy Percival, which means there’s nothing else to do except make outs.
However, the news of the day was the trade of Carl Everett to the White Sox. I have to admit, I really didn’t want to see him go, and while I know it will help our club, I have had a major turn of heart on Everett. I still think he’s too slow to play centerfield, but he’s been a great citizen here, and hasn’t caused any problems. I really was kind of hoping he’d stay. Instead, we’re stuck with Gonzalez and no Everett for the rest of the season.

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G81: Rangers beat Angels, 6-3

OK, we’ve won two in a row. This time John Thomson didn’t have the ball up and all over the park, giving up just three hits and three runs over seven innings (98 pitches). He pitched pretty decently, and our offense worked, as opposed to the barely being able to get two runs a game crud we’ve been seeing a lot of lately. It was capped by home runs by Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. What’s better is that we got it against Ramon Ortiz, someone who has pretty much owned the Rangers, going 9-1 lifetime against us before tonight’s game.
These 9PM starts are rough, as my wife and I had company over for dinner, and I didn’t get to start watching the game until 11:30 – by that point I was so tired, I just started skipping through several sections on my TiVo – probably watched the whole thing in less than an hour. I really wish Hicks had let us move to the AL Central a couple of years ago when we had the chance.
The season is now halfway over. I said that to my wife last night. I said “That’s it – it’s just downhill towards the end of the season now” :)
Game notes here.

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G80: Rangers beat Astros 8-5

Ramos was wild early, walking 7 in 3.1 innings, hitting one, yet only giving up 3 runs, on two hits. Had he had better control, he probably would have stayed in this game, and done well. After the three we gave up in the first inning, we didn’t give up any more again until the bottom of the ninth. In the meantime, we scored 8 runs (all from the 5th onwards).
It was powered by home runs by Kevin Mench, Rafael Palmeiro, and a nice triple by Arod that Craig Biggio fell down running after. We also scored a couple on 2 RBI single by Juan Gonzalez in the 9th.
Victor Santos & Rosman Garcia pitched well – a combined 3.2 innings giving up nothing. That’s nice to see. Cordero was good his first inning, but not good the second, which allowed Urbina to come in and get a save, which he was good at this time (no heart attack saves).
That’s it for Interleague this season. We had a horrific record this time around, going 4-14. :(
Game notes here.

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G79: Rangers shut out; lose to Astros 2-0

Well, I didn’t see much of this game – I came home and fell asleep watching the game. Woke up in the 9th inning, didn’t see the point in backing up the TiVo to watch it. Didn’t miss much, although Tony Mounce pitched really well again – that’s promising.
Oh yeah, we formally lost the Silver Boot trophy today.
Juan Gonzalez is still a Ranger; he needs to go – release him!
Game notes are here.

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G78: Rangers beat Astros, 10-7

As good as it was to see a win, I can’t help but think of the fiasco up in Boston. A 25-8 game. It was 14-1 after one inning. The Red Sox got 10 runs before they got their first out. A Florida pitcher had to be carried off on a stretcher with his head immobilized because he got hit in the head. People were throwing at batters – there were two dugout empties, and at least one ejection. Man, if I was at that game, I’d certainly feel I got my money’s worth. Here’s the details of that game.
Anyway, my favorite moment of our game was actually the pinch hit appearance by David Matranga. My wife and I have checked out several Round Rock Express (Astros AA team) games over the last couple of years, and we always saw David Matranga down there. Well, he finally made it to the show last night. And he clocked a home run in his first major league at bat – I got all excited about that.
On our side, we were hitting the ball around the field like a pinball. We had several shots that hit a wall and went rolling – one was good for a triple for Arod. It was a back and forth and pretty close until the 9th inning, actually. Joaqin Benoit was OK – he got pulled probably earlier than he normally would, but that seemed to be a consequence of National League play. Raffy had a very nice, very majestic, and an absolute no doubter home run in the seventh inning, scoring three. The Astros had four home runs, but none were big problems. Raffy also turned in some nice defense in the field, too. Overall a nice game that felt more in the Rangers control to me watching it than the score indicated.
Overall for the Silver Boot contest, we’re down 3-1, and a total of 12 runs. We need to win by a total of 12 runs over the next two games to take the series.
Juan Gonzalez is still a Ranger; he needs to go – release him Here’s more on that mess.

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G77: Rangers lay a big stinker; lose 13-0

I guess we got too high and mighty on that two game winning streak, and needed to be brought down. What other reason could there be for a game where we lose 13-0 and give up four home runs in the span of 10 batters? Certainly can’t be our pitching. Feel free to insert a joke about our third round draft pick being in attendance to witness it. Feel free to insert a joke about the Rangers Captain pitching later this season.
Mark Mulder looked like a Cy Young award winner, that’s for sure. He allowed only 3 hits all the time he pitched. Hard to do anything against him when he’s on like that.
On the positive side, Ron Mahay was great. He gave up a single to his first batter, then nothing afterwards. Looked sweet!
The Juan Gonzalez trade is still undecided; he needs to go.
Game notes here; additional notes here.

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G76: Rangers barely win, 9-8 against Oakland

We won, but God knows we tried to blow it giving up 2 runs in the top of the 9th. If that text looks familiar – it should. I wrote it about the previous night’s game. It applied again. We went ahead big with a nice rally in the 6th, 7th, & 8th when we scored a total of 7 runs to take a 9-6 lead. So we bring in Urbina again. He proceeded to do what he did the night before – give up runs. Two this time, and then proceeded to get the save. It really reminded me of some of John Wetteland’s saves. :)
We had the longball going, with a solo shot by Arod on the first pitch he saw in the first, as well as two of them by Raffy later in the game during the big rally. That was nice to see – hell, even Raffy got a bloop hit to left. He’s also shown bunt a few times, so hopefully he’s at least trying to beat the shift.
The Juan Gonzalez trade is still undecided, and while my virtriol from yesterday about my “no Juan” picture has calmed down, I still think he needs to go.
And finally, a very scary moment early when Carl Everett’s bat went flying into the stands and hit two people. A 4 year old kid, as well as a 15 year old girl. Both were taken off the field. Carl was extremely shaken up, and my wife and I both commented that it’s terribly obvious that he has feelings and a heart, otherwise he wouldn’t have reacted the way he did when it happened. Play was stopped for awhile during which medical attention was given. We heard later on that the 4 year old went home fine, and the 15 year old was still at the hospital, but will most likely not need anything more than stitches. One comment I’ll make about the situation. Folks who are down in those seats where things like this happen tend to be the least attentive fans there. They’re what a friend of mine calls the “boob job & cocaine crowd”. In other words, people who have too much money. Where I’m going with this is that they’re on cel phones, talking about some biz thing and not paying attention, generally. In my opinion, four year olds should NOT be down there, because they have no clue what’s going on, they’re just “there”. And as such, they have no comprehension of the danger they’re in. I don’t think parents should put kids THAT young in harm’s way. I know I wouldn’t.
Hey, two in a row, and we’re only 21 games behind the Mariners now. Here we come! :)
Game notes here, and additional notes here.

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G75: Rangers win 7-6, despite themselves.

We won, but God knows we tried to blow it giving up 3 runs in the top of the 9th. Mark Teixeira looks good, and I have to admit, I was on the bandwagon that said he should be in the minors. He’s certainly turned it around, and I enjoy seeing him come up to bat. Carl Everett jacked a home run off of Chad Bradford again. That’s Carl’s third I believe, and Bradford has given up just 5 home runs total to everyone – I think Carl pretty much owns him.
Our kids have pitched awesome the last few nights. Ramos last night, Mounce before that, and Benoit (although he SHOULD pitch better as he has more experience). It’s funny how a few good pitching performances change your outlook. We may not need the horse to pitch after all. :)
However, the news of the day was the Gonzalez (almost) trade. I wrote about it in my forums already, so you can just check out that thread here – don’t really need to repeat myself here. I’m now firmly in the camp that Juan needs to go. If he decides to force the issue and stay here, he should be released.
Anyway, it’s a sad state of affairs when a win gets zero talk at all – it’s like “The Stars are letting Derian Hatcher walk – the Rangers tried to trade Juan – and oh yeah, we won”.
Game notes here.

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G74: Rangers lose 3-1. Nobody shocked.

Well, shit. Tony Mounce was great. That’s about it.
Can we put this guy in to help out? Please?

Game notes here.

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G73: Rangers lose 7th in a row AGAIN, 3-1 to Houston

Lost 7 in a row. Lost 19 of last 21. About to set a franchise record for futility going all the way back to 1972 when we first moved here from Washington DC. Jay Powell sucks. I think the horse can pitch better than what we throw out there. Pick one. As bad as it seems, I get the feeling it will get worse – I don’t think we’ve hit rock bottom yet, as bad as things are. :(
Actually, Joaquin Benoit was quite good Sunday night. At the start of the game, I thought he had a shot at the 3 or 4 year old record of a Ranger pitcher not getting 10 strikeouts in a game. He came close (he had 8). He looked quite good, quite sharp until he appeared to run out of gas in the sixth – which is far more than we’ve gotten from a starter lately.
We got our only run on a very long Mark Teixeira home run the bottom of the first inning to (GASP) give us a lead. It actually stayed that way until Benoit gave up two runs in the 6th and was pulled.
Given there’s not much else to write about, what’s with the crappy player intro music? There’s some really horrible player music now – what’s that garbage that’s being played before Kevin Mench’s at bats? Ewwwww…

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G72: Rangers continute stinkfest, lose 9-5, lose boot too.

We made this a bit interesting late, but the game was nowhere near as close as the 9-5 score indicated. We were losing after the first pitch of the game, a home run to Craig Biggio, and that pretty much was it for the game. The Astros scored in innings 1-6, and we scored 4 in the 7th & 8th, but even with those, the game felt like it belonged to the Astros from the second Biggio hit the home run.
As usual, a team throws a kid making their major league debut against us, and he’s great. Rodrigo Rosario went 6 innings, giving up 2 runs (only 1 earned), and overall had us baffled. When we do that, the other team gets 7 runs in 3 innings and 80 pitches off our guy. Sigh. Any chance we can take this team down for a server upgrade and a reboot? It might do some good, as would my suggestion about putting in the horse.
Also, I don’t know if anyone noticed, but out in left field in this game from Sec 201 or 202 or so, someone had hung a white banner with nothing on it From where I was sitting, it really looked like someone was throwing in the towel – like it was a surrender flag. I called in to the post game show and asked them about it, they had a chuckle, but didn’t see it themselves. If anyone knows who hung that, have them email me, I’d love to talk to them. :)

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G71: Oh dear. Rangers lose big, 12-3

OK, the Astros come back to town for the Lone Star Series. Does the change in opponent make a difference? Hell no . We lost 12-3. It actually was closer than that until the 9th inning when the entire team seemed to Jay Powell; giving up 7 runs in the top of the 9th to effectively remove any real chance we had of coming back to win this.
I was there. There wasn’t much else to write about – except I got a pretty decent hat as a giveaway item. Oh, and someone popped by again (dude, I’m sorry I keep forgetting your name) to say hello to me. I also seem to have abandoned scoring games on paper, and have gone to scoring games on my Palm PDA using a program called Scorepad.
What? Write about the game? Feh – there’s nothing worth writing about, except maybe Arod had a home run. :)
Game notes here, and addtl notes here.

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G70: Rangers lose again; 9-2 to A’s

A daytime game during the week – that means that I don’t get to listen to most of it. This was no different – I only heard the start, when Mario Ramos seemed to be pretty decent in his major league debut. Then Jay Powell came in later. He certainly seems like the next person to ride the train out of town – I wonder why we haven’t made the call yet?
I think I’ve officially given up on this season. Up until our big recent slide, I thought we had a chance to at least be respectable this season – that’s not happening. :(
Bring on the Astros. We’ll sell tickets – which is what I guess it’s all about, eh?
Game notes here.

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G69: Rangers lose 4-3 for 2nd night

We lost again – by the same score (4-3) that we lost the night before. We actually got good pitching – Tony Mounce didn’t give up anything in his 6 innings pitched. Alex Rodriguez broke out of his slump with an 2 run RBI home run. Ugueth Urbina had a meltdown, and let the A’s back in the game, and then we lost it in extra innings.
I actually was thinking that Mounce looked pretty good. Plus he’s a lefty – something we could use.
Game notes here.

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G68: Rangers lose 4-3, but Raffy BUNTS!

We lost again. I can’t say I’m totally shocked. It was nice to see us hang in the game, and not lose like 8-0, 12-2, etc…
One very cool thing. Raffy laid down a bunt on the third base side for a hit. FINALLY. He complains about the shift, yet he doesn’t try to beat it by laying down a bunt. He should do this more often!
Game notes here.

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G65: Rangers shut out 2nd night in a row, 8-0

Well, it was nice to see Pudge again. That’s about as nice of a thing as I can say. We haven’t scored at all in now over 18 innings!
I’m going to Saturday’s game, I’m hoping they break out of it.
Game notes here.

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G64: Rangers don’t show up; lose 11-0

That was an f’in disgrace. :(
More info about this game on mlb.com here.

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G63: Rangers lose to Mets, 8-2

So much for that winning streak.
Victor Santos started for us, and pitched like well.. not Nolan Ryan. Seriously, he pitched like a kid who doesn’t seem to believe he belongs here. I didn’t feel the Rangers were really bad, but it was yet another in the long list of games that just got away, without anything massively huge happening. I suppose Cliff Floyd with his 5 RBI’s was a big deal, but I never felt blown out in this one, even despite the score.
The Mets starter (Jae So, a Korean) did one thing I thought was very cool – and something our culture probably would never do. When an umpire gives him the ball, he removes his cap and bows to him. I rather liked that – nice to see someone with some respect for those in charge of the game. I wish more would have that kind of respect for the game.
We had a lot of balls that died on the warning track. We probably should have been right in this one score wise; maybe even have won it. However, we had quite a few die before going out, including one (who I forget hit it) get caught at the absolute deepest part of the park – the nook at the 407 sign in right center. :(
Oh well, another loss. Another day closer to the point where we’re probably going to trade away a bunch of veterans.
More info about this game available on mlb.com here.

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G62: Rangers finally win again; 9-7 over Mets

‘Topes Win! ‘Topes Win! ‘Topes Win! :)
The losing streak is over, powered by a rather balanced attack – everyone had at least one hit, plus we had four home runs (Raffy, Teixeira, Young, & Blalock). Teixeira’s one was quite impressive, going halfway up Green’s hill – for a distance I think of 445 feet. The furthest by a Ranger this season.
Our pitching was pretty decent, except for Jay Powell, who I think is on the same train that Yan & Van Poppel rode out of town. Powell gave up 3 hits, three earned runs in ZERO innings pitched. His ERA was 9.9 before that, now it’s 11.25. I think he needs to go, too. Thomson gave up 3 over 6, Fultz gave up 1 in 1.2, and Urbina had a four out save.
Not to mention I was sitting in the leather seats in the Gold Club – I won the KRLD Golden Moment contest, and had these seats. They were very cool in terms of comfort, both in the chair and the air conditioning. What I didn’t consider at all before the game is that you can’t hear Chuck Morgan in there, and while they do put the KRLD coverage on, the general chatter from the bar is so loud, that you can barely hear that. While it’s a comfortable place to watch a game, it’s certainly not the best in terms of baseball. You also cannot see the Jumbotron from in there. They do have TV’s which can be switched to the Jumbotron coverage, but it’s not quite the same. The tickets had a face value of $60 on them. I don’t know if I’d ever actually buy them, but as a freebie, it was definitely worth checking out.