Sorry for the lack of updates the last few days, been horribly busy at work, I didn’t even have time to put a page together, and I just figured I’ve give myself a mini break as we head down the stretch.
We got a little bit of revenge last night against the Orioles, as we beat ‘em 6-4. Surpisingly, we got another decent starting pitching performance from someone you weren’t expecting it from – John Wasdin. Wasdin went six innings, giving up 2 runs on four hits, striking out four and walking two. A really nice performance. Our pen was it’s usual good self, except for Carlos Almanzar, who had a bit of a rough time out there (0.2IP, 3H, 2ER, 1BB). But, we got the job done.
Speaking of the pen, Francisco Cordero got his 40th save last night (in 42 chances). It was his 20th consecutive save in 20 chances, which beats the streak he had going earlier in the season. A most pleasant surprise there. I don’t think anyone doubted his ability, but I think most everyone thought he wouldn’t be this good for another year or so.
Offensively, we were led by Eric Young. Eric went only 2 for 2 officially, but he also walked twice, had a stolen base, two RBI, and was everything your leadoff guy wants. I’m not ready to proclaim him our leadoff guy, but he usually does good there, and he did get the job done tonight.
As usual, the other teams around us in the playoff hunt won again, so we’re not making up any ground. Was also interesting to see Steve Busby back in the TV booth tonight. I just wish he could be the backup instead of Bill Land. Bill’s a bit too boring for my tastes.
The game was 7-4, although it was 7-1 through two outs in the bottom of the 9th. The game feels like we lost 15-1, actually.
Johan Santana. That’s about all that needs to be said about this one.
Fire’s out. The winning streak is over at 8, tying a mark we set earlier this year.
Fortunately, the A’s also lost today, so we remain .5 games out.
Unfortunately, the Angels did win (although they swept the Yankees in the process), so they’re now tied with us for second, also at .5 games out.
Zack Greinke was masterful. He looked spectacular, and he did look like a high school kid out there, quite young looking. If he can keep that up, he’ll be an awseome pitcher for a long time.
Erickson was ineffective, giving up way too many walks, and a grand slam. Calvin Pickering, just called up today to replace former Ranger Ruben Mateo who was DFA’ed before the game, had the grand slam, as well as a second home run and 6 RBI total. Benoit wasn’t terribly great either, giving up a few more runs in his time on the mound. He was supposed to pitch Tuesday, but that’s not going to happen now, we need another starter for Tuesday’s game – likely the guy from the minors who was talked about (can’t remember his name right now).
Oh well. Disappointing, but I can’t say I’m unhappy with a 9-1 record over the last 10 games.
We got two runs, but we really didn’t deserve them – one came on a balk, and right now I can’t remember how the other showed up (sac fly, I think). It really feels like we got shut out.
Not much time to write. 8 in a row. Manny Alexander came through with a big hit, and Tex hit his 30th home run. Cordero was shaky again for the second day in a row, but still got the job done. Sunday afternoon we go for the sweep – would be our 9th in a row, and three consecutive series sweeps.
Not a whole lot to write about for this one. Ryan Drese labored a bit in the first inning, but settled down, and only allowed five hits and three runs over his 7+ innings of work to get the win – his 11th, and a career high. Almanzar and Cordero came on and didn’t allow any runs, but Cordero was a little shaky this outing; still got the save.
Offensively, we didn’t have much going on overall. We only had a total of four hits the entire game. However, THREE of them were home runs (one three run by Mench, and two solos by Dellucci), which accounted for all of our runs. One of Dellucci’s was a cool one into the fountain in right field.
We’ve won seven in a row, but aren’t making any progress, as the A’s and the Red Sox are winning as well.
Six in a row. Two sweeps in a row. 4 games left till bald TV announcers. Although it’s not as big of a stretch for Tom Grieve. ;)
I was at the game with my wife last night, and we were in some really good seats (Sec 29, Row 15), which I got hooked up with from my ticket agent. We had a great front row (well, almost) seat to watch the 6th Ranger win in a row, and the second consecutive series sweep, as well. I figured coming into this game that we’d lose, because Kenny Rogers hasn’t been pitching well since the All-Star game. More though the fact that the Indians are a high powered offense, and had lost a couple in a row, including the absolute stomping we gave ‘em on Tuesday. However, that was unfounded, as Kenny Rogers went 6, giving up two runs.
Offensively, we were powered by three home runs, that drove in all five. One by Dellucci, and then two by Blalock – one solo, one two run. And on a night when Blalock’s wife was in labor, Tom Grieve & Josh Lewin “called” both Blalock home runs, and the Hanks’ Homies were on the field with Hank before the game.. Was a great night for #9, that’s for sure! There was no movement in the standings as both the A’s & Red Sox won. However, it’s got to be great going out on the road behind 6 in a row, and two sweeps in a row.
Oh, and this morning on The Ticket, one of the guys (forget who) compared the Rangers to a cockroach – a great analogy. They just won’t go away!
Anyone who follows me and this site knows that I love baseball, and always love going to the ballpark to attend games. I go to a ton of them. By my count, I’m going to 34 games this season at the Ballpark (been to 25 already). Why is that important? Well, of all the games I am going to this year, I miss the history setting night – DAMMIT! :) Here’s a short list of some of the cool stuff that happened at Tuesday night’s game.
- First win for Scott Erickson in a long time
- It was Buck Showalter’s 700th win as a major league manager
- Mike Young went 3 for 3 with a walk
- We had 17 hits & 16 runs
- All the starters had at least one hit
- Four guys scored 3 times (M Young, Soriano, Teixeira, Mench)
- Kevin Mench almost hit for the cycle
Oh yeah. Mark Teixeira hit for the cycle. It was a very cool moment – in the excitement of having 16 runs at the time, Tex’s pending cycle was something that kind of snuck up on me. Josh mentioned it on TV, but I didn’t pick up on it until it happened, so I had no kind of emotional buildup. It was definitely cool. Some quotes by Tex after the game said he didn’t want to show up the Indians being up 16-1 or something like that. I’m sure he could have done a curtain call for the fans, and the Indians probably wouldn’t have minded.
However, the best thing is that our offense seems to be getting back on track, and I’m not just talking about the explosion of this game. Overall, the “vibe” – at least to me feels to be like it’s coming back, although Blalock still hasn’t joined the party yet. This is good, as we’re coming into the home stretch, the time when we have to play well. The time when we play only AL West is coming up soon, and it’ll be a catfight till the end, I’m sure.
The game was actually more of a dominating performance than 16-4. It was 16-1 up until the ninth inning when Doug Brocail gave up three runs in the top of the 9th. That’s about the only real bad thing of the night.
One last thing about the first paragraph, and going to more games. It’s starting to look like the Dallas Cowboys are going to be moving to Arlington – or at least the real possibility exists. If that happens, it will make parking at the Ballpark hell for awhile as the location is supposed to be “next to the Ballpark”. Not to mention the hell it’ll be when there’s a Cowboys game and a Rangers game at the same time. I sure hope they improve the roads around there. Cowboy traffic is a nightmare. However, if they build the rumored Dart high speed train out in that direction, I won’t care, as I’ll be taking the train all the time.
I didn’t get to watch very much of this game – my wife and I had company over last night, and the baseball game wasn’t on the agenda. When the company left, I was pretty tired, so I whizzed through the game in about 20 minutes on my TiVo. A nice comeback win. A few thoughts: Callaway looked a bit rusty in the first, but seemed to get it together. Perhaps he can be someone to help down the stretch. Goodness knows he can’t be any worse than all the kids we put out there.
Brian Jordan appears to be looking like he might be able to help as well. We’re not talking an OBP of .475 and a slugging of .850, but at least someone who won’t strike out every time.
No change in the standings as everyone around us in the division and the wild card won, too.
Anyone think if they get to 10 wins in a row Josh & Tom will shave their heads like was talked about on TV last night? ;)
Well, this Sunday afternoon brought a nice day to the Rangers, who have definitely had a hard time with the “dog days” of August. We swept the Devil Rays, which was nice as division leader Oakland lost. In fact, everyone moved up. In fact, the AL West is essentially a three way tie, as right now, the Rangers and Angels are .5 back of the A’s. We’re technically in second place due to percentage points. What makes it even more interesting is that we’re tied with the Red Sox for the lead in the AL Wild Card race, too. Most interesting, as we’re rounding the corner into the final stretch of the season. The only thing that concerns me is our recent wins are against the Devil Rays & the Tigers. While a win is a win, you’d rather them be against better teams. Yeah, there’s the story about they’re all Major league teams, but let’s face it. Beating the Yankees and the Red Sox is way different than beating the Devil Rays & the Tigers.
The game itself was led by pitching aberration Ryan Drese. I call him that, because no one is supposed to be able to pitch like this at our ballpark. He has a home ERA of like 2.1 something, which is the best in all of the American League. He’s top 5 in overall ERA. It’s amazing. I said it before, and I’ll say it again. I was way wrong on Ryan Drese. I wanted him out of here almost as bas as most people wanted Chan Ho Park out of here. Drese appears to have figured it out.
Our outfielders appear to be picking it up again, especially since the change in lineup Buck did a week ago or so. Dellucci is doing great in the #2 hole. I’ve always been a proponent that it shouldn’t matter WHERE you bat in a lineup, your job is to hit the ball. However, if it makes them play better, than go for it. Blalock is really starting to concern me, though. Laynce Nix had a home run today, and looked a lot better overall. Mark Teixeira added a home run in the bottom of the eighth. That solved a couple of things. First, it took away a save chance for Cordero, who probalby needed a day off, not to be pitching three days in a row like that. Second, it just proved how amazing his power is this year – he’s got more HR than his rookie year, and he spent 4-5 weeks on the DL. If he had a full number of at bats, I believe he’d be in the lead for homers in the league. Assuming he gets a full season next year? Look out. I just know it’ll cost us big time when his contract is up for renewal in 2006, as he has Satan as his agent.
Oh, and they keep talking on TV about how we have 9 guys with 10 home runs or more. If we get a 10th, it will tie a major league record. As of right now, the 9 guys with that many home runs are Teixeira (28), Blalock (24), Soriano (24), Mench (16), Mike Young (14), Barajas (13), Nix (13), & Fullmer (11). The next one is Gary Matthews, who has 9. I figure he’s good for one more the rest of the season, so that will give us our record tying 10. If we wanted to break the record, it might be a stretch, as the next closest guy is Herb Perry, who has 5. We only have two other guys on the roster with any home runs at all, and they’re Jordan with 2, and Adrian Gonzalez with 1, and he’s not even in the majors. So unless Herb goes on a tear and gets 5 the last 6 weeks of the season, I doubt we’re getting to 11 guys.
One other thing. The Devil Rays have some absolute greased lightning on the bases. Carl Crawford was bad enough, but this new kid they called up? Joey Gathright? I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone run that fast – it was absolutely amazing. Oh, and BJ Upton? He was born two YEARS after I graduated high school, and I’m double his age. ACK!
Boy, this game started off ugly. In the top of the first, Bacsik gave up three hits, and hit two batters. Surprised we only gave up two that inning. We stormed back to take the lead in the bottom of the second behind a two run double by Brian Jordan, who is doing well the last week or so, perhaps he’s turned it around. Would be a nice boost in the last 6 weeks of the season.
However, we couldn’t hold it. Nor could the Devil Rays hold the lead once they took it back. This game went back and forth with runs scored in 6 of the 10 half innings between the first and fifth. In fact, the last run scored in the bottom of the fifth when Kevin Mench hit a home run to left off of Devil Rays reliever Franklin Nunez, who was making his major league debut (he got the loss, too). Soriano made a great double play, tagging a runner and throwing to first. There also was a goofy 1-3-6-1-4-6 pickoff play, too.
We probably should have scored more, as did the Devil Rays, we both left a lot of players on board. Both sides committed an error, and our bullpen was great again. The game ended with a thrill, as Gerald Laird threw out the major league steals leader Carl Crawford to end the game.
We go for the sweep tomorrow.
A win is a win. I’d like to say it’s a great win, like a 2-1 win over the Yankees, but it wasn’t. 5-3 over the Devil Rays is still a win, and right now, we need wins any way we can get them. It’s absolutely amazing that on August 13th, we’re still only 1.5 games out, and in the hunt of things. Earlier in the season, I didn’t want to get worked up because I felt it was too soon. OK, NOW I believe in it. It’s 6 weeks to go, and we’re in the playoff hunt. Our rotation is in shambles, and we’re still here. I would think that Showalter would have to get consideration for manager of the year for all this.
Anyway, about the game. Kenny Rogers took the mound, and Kenny’s last few starts have been unlike the start of the season for him. It was getting to the point where I think people were starting to think that Ryan Drese was the only reliable starter we had now. Kenny stepped up a bit. He wasn’t masterful, but he did go long enough to keep us in the game, and get his 14th win of the season. I think those dreams of him having a 20 win season are gone. It mathematically still could happen, but I don’t see him winning 6 more for the rest of the season. My guess is he wins 17-18 now. Prove me wrong, Kenny!
Offensively, we scored 3 of our 5 runs on two home runs. Another alarming stat. We are not the club we were at the start of the season, when we’d drive in a ton of runs w/o home runs. It seems to be back to traditional Ranger baseball, whack it lately. Tex & Dellucci had the other RBI’s, besides Nix & Sori’s HR’s.
Our bullpen was good, although not as lights out as it was in the past. Cordero had to pitch 1.1 innings for the save, and he made it interesting; he even mixed in a balk. But he got the save in the win – and I guess that’s the bottom line. We won the game.
I don’t have much time to write about this, so here’s a few highlights.
1) Drese was great
2) Kevin Brown lost to the Rangers again
3) THE YANKEES LOST!
That about sums it up.
Ugh 2. We got swept in Baltimore and will now limp home to meet the Yankees. This could get real ugly.
Lost to the Orioles. Erickson was “OK” in his first Ranger start. Rodrigo Lopez was awesome. That’s about it.
Ugly from the start. The only good thing to say about this game was that our pen was pretty decent once we got into the guys who are normally out there.
A really quick, nicely crisp moving game lead to a Rangers sweep in Detroit, and our retaking of first place, with our 60th win of the season. I know a lot of the local press in spring training was saying this was about all the wins we’d get total, as they were saying 100 loss seasons. Ha!
Ryan Drese earned his eighth win of the season, and did it in a way we don’t normally do. Nice, quick pitching, and a low scoring game. All told, there were 3 runs, and 13 hits for both teams. Thing is, both teams had a few other opportunities to score, and didn’t. The Tigers had the bases loaded twice, and didn’t get anything, and we had bases loaded once, I think, and we didn’t get anything, either.
Drese, and Ledezma for the Tigers were cruising along through five, when Ledezma came out due to a pitch count limit. Esteban Yan came in, and gave up a solo home run to Soriano to win the game. Our bullpen (Mahay, Almanzar, Cordero) was spectacular, not allowing any runs on the way for CoCo’s 33rd save of the season.
A really nice, very National League feel to this game.
I have to say I wasn’t thrilled at seeing another in our line of starting pitchers (the 14th this season now) go out there. I was thinking “Oh great – here’s another guy who will get pasted and sent back to the minors”. I was wrong about that. Mike Bascik went 7 innings, gave up just four hits, and NO runs. He walked no one and struck out four. Was a stellar performance. Sure, it’s just the Detroit Tigers, but still. It was an impressive line. I’d say he earned himself another start with that.
Another Ranger that had a good night was David Dellucci. He went 3 for 5 with an RBI, and two runs scored. However, the best night probably was by Laynce Nix. Nix was 3 for 3 with 2 RBI’s, a walk, and three runs scored. He also had a couple of diving catches in centerfield, and an assist on a putout at home plate. Was definitely a good night for the boy from Midland.
The Yankees also won, which brought us back to just half a game out of first. The Red Sox also lost, which gave us a 1.5 game lead in the Wild Card race. Things are looking good. I think I might allow myself to believe, even given the shaky state of our rotation.
This game ended up well, but there were a few warning signs in it for me. First, the obvious one. Mike Young. He had to sit out with a problem with his back. As the local media outlets are saying, no one really knows when he’ll be back. Hopefully it’s today, but if it’s not today, that’s a bigger flashing red light to me. He’s been the person who has almost always been good for a hit or three a game. He’s also the only player for which we don’t have a realistic option. If we have to put him on the DL, it creates another problem, as none of the other 25 man roster guys are true Shortstops, so we’d probably have to move someone else at the same time. Not good.
The other problem was Kenny Rogers. He seems to pitch well, then give up or let the lead get away, which is what he did last night. We ended up getting the win, but Buck had taken Kenny out before an inning was over, so Kenny couldn’t get the win. He’s still pitching well, and god knows he still plays his defense (he had three great defensive plays last night), but something is starting to scare me there.
Offensively, Eric Young did really well, going 3 for 5 with an RBI (the GW RBI), and a run scored. He wasn’t tested much in the field at SS, but offensively he provided the spark we needed. We had two home runs – one from Teixeira and one from Mench. The one from Tex was a “true” Comerica Park HR, the Mench one would have been an out in their old park configuration. Either way, those coupled with the EY hit were enough to give us the win – our pen was it’s usual stellar self in holding up the back end.
Not much time to write about this one, but there wasn’t much to write about anyway. We were shut down for the most part by Mark Redman. He allowed just one run on 6 hits over 7 innings. Nick Regilio for us didn’t pitch too badly, either, but we usually score more than that for our pitchers. :)
Well, the news of the day was the trading deadline, really. Oh yeah, the Rangers played, but they were really squeezed by the home plate umpire, and we likely lost because of it – or at least in part. We did get a home run out of Brian Jordan, which was a bit of a surprise.
Back to the trading. We got Scott Erickson from the Mets. He was already DFA’ed by the Mets, so it’s not like a huge trade – we’re only giving up a minor league PTBNL for this, so it’s not likely it will be anyone important. I like that for the most part we stood pat. We tried to trade Brad Fullmer, but his injury prevented that move to the Padres. We almost traded away AA 2B Ian Kinsler and another prospect for Larry Walker and a lot of cash. That’s the kind of move we didn’t need to be making. Fortunately, Walker rejected the trade with his no trade clause.
But the biggest story was the Nomar Garciaparra trade. I have to say I was a bit surprised by that. I figured he’d finish up in Boston and then walk in the off season. It’s a bit disappointing on one level, as Nomah is my wife’s favorite player, and he won’t be coming here anymore as he’s with the Cubs now. Of course, we could trade Soriano for pitching, move Mike Young back to second, and put Nomar at short here in Texas – yeah! ;)
This was also the induction ceremony for the second 2004 Rangers Hall of Fame game. While I never saw Fergie Jenkins pitch, or Buddy Bell play with my own eyes, I know them by reputation, and they both seem worthy candidates to be enshrined. There’s also Tom Vandergriff, who brought baseball here in the first place – all of us fans owe Mr Vandergriff a debt of thanks.