G162: Rangers lose season finale to Angels, 7-4

It’s always a sad day when the last game of the season arrives. There’s no more (meaningful) baseball for another 5 months or so. So it was with both sadness and joy that I headed out to the Ballpark for the final game of the 2005 season. Sadness because it was the last game, we had a sub 500 record, and we would probably lose this one, too (we did).
Joy because I had won a contest a few days ago from the Rangers for a luxury box for the final game of the season. I rounded up some family and some friends, and hit the ballpark. Due to having a box, I wanted to be there when the gates opened, so I could get maximum use out of the time in the box. It was good because I had a 5 month old daughter and my mother in law was with us. Both do much better not being in the heat. So the suite AC was nice. In fact, whenever I’m in a suite (this was only my fourth game in one), I rarely pay much attention to the game. I spent most of my time talking to my guests. I did see however Mike Young’s hit and removal from the game, which was a nice touch (screw you Yankees for whining about it). Was nice to see the ovation he got when Chuck Morgan announced that Young had the batting title. Congratulations to Mike Young for that. He became a father and was AL batting champ. Nice year for him, although I’m sure he’s saddened by not being in the playoffs.
I will write about the season in general later on, but I wanted to say I had an awesome time at the game.

G161: Rangers lose again to Angels, 7-6

It’s a sad thing when you can say that up until the sixth inning, the most interesting thing that happened at the game was when Rangers Captain visited your section.
Juan Dominguez didn’t even get out of the first inning, giving up four runs on 6 hits with 1BB in 0.2IP. Not good. Set a tone for the night. As I said above, not much good happened until the sixth except for Rangers Captain showing up. In the sixth we had a quick strike score, when Soriano hit a three run home run (a no doubter, too). We did score one in the third, but I think I was paying attention to Captain at that time. We did make it interesting in the bottom of the ninth with two triples, but couldn’t finish the job off, losing 7-6, guaranteeing a losing season. :(

G160: Rangers lose to Angels 7-1

Well, three games to go. I was at this one, as I tend to panic when there’s single digit games left in the season, and I need to go to them. :)
RA Dickey was all over the place with his knuckleball, and didn’t have any kind of control in the first inning, and it cost him. He gave up two runs in the first, and it could have been a boatload more. It was an ugly inning. He actually settled down until the fifth when it fell apart again, and he gave up three more runs. Edison Volquez, one of the relievers also tanked, giving up two runs in 0.2IP. Ramirez, Shouse, & Feldman also pitched, and were good. Problem is that John Lackey was a lot better. He only went 5 innings, but gave up no runs on three hits. Kelvim Escobar followed that with two shutout innings of his own. We only got a run against former Ranger Esteban Yan.
We only had 5 hits this game, and two of ’em were from Kevin Mench. Unfortunately, none of them were from Mike Young, so his hitting streak stopped at 25 games. He’s almost assured of winning the batting title, unless he has a complete ofer the rest of the season, and Arod gets like 15 hits.
On the really good side, Alfonso Soriano stole second base and then third in the same inning, and became the only 30/30 guy in Ranger franchise history.

G159: Rangers drop finale of M’s series, 4-3

We lost. Kenny Rogers got a “quality start” in his final performance as a Ranger (barring some major change of Hart (har-har) somewhere). He went 6, giving up 4R (3ER) on 9H. He ended up losing the game, as Ryan Franklin who we usually destroy pitched well. That leaves Kenny with a record of 14-8. Probably not what Scott Bora$ wanted going into what is likely Kenny’s final contract negotiation. At this point, I think the only way Kenny comes back is if Hart moves aside. Not that Hart would move aside for any player, but that’s probably what will have to happen. I personally wouldn’t mind Kenny coming back. As has been said many times in many places, he knows how to pitch in Arlington, and doesn’t seem to mind being here (except in contract years).
Things aren’t looking good for finishing with an over 500 record. That means we now have to sweep the Angels at home over the last three games, which will give us a record of 82-80. If we take two, we end up at 500. Offensively, only six hits. Four were by Dellucci & Tex. The others were Mike Young & Shrek. Not much happening offensively for us really. Except we got a home run from David Dellucci in this one. We now need 6 over the last 3 games to break the all time record. Fairly doable, but we have to be consistent about it, don’t want to have to go into the last game needing five.

G158: Rangers beat M’s again, 7-3

No time for an big update, but we’re back to .500 again. We’re falling behind in the race to get the home run title. We had better tee off at home in the last three games if we still want that. Mike Young’s hitting streak is at 24 games now. I’m tired of the Phil Nevin watch.
Great article in the DMN about Mike Young being a new dad. As a new dad myself, I can relate.

G157: Rangers take first game of M’s series, 3-2

No time for an big update, but it was nice to see some good pitching in this game. Was also really nice to see Mike Young take care of business and break his own hit record for the Rangers in his first two at bats. He’s a virtual lock for the batting crown.

G156: Rangers win on Sunday night, 6-2

I started watching this game, but tuned out because I am not a fan of watching Rangers games with other broadcasters. I don’t really have anything against Morgan & Miller, but they have to make it seem like the person watching the game has never seen the game. I don’t need a basic education on the Rangers when I’m watching their games, I know what I’m watching already. Not only that, they do the interview the managers in the dugout stuff, which I could do without.
We took the rubber game of the Oakland series 6-2, behind a great performance by Juan Dominguez, who went 7.1IP, giving up just 2ER on 8 hits, and 0 BB. Benoit & Cordero finished up, giving up nothing, was a good pitching performance from the guys in the Texas uniforms. On the other side, Kirk Saarloos got knocked around a bit, giving up 5ER on 8H in 3.2IP. Not a great performance there at all.
Offensively, we were led by Mike Young (2-3), Jason Botts (3-4), and Rod Barajas (2-4, 3R HR). Back to two games under .500 with 6 games to go. We should do OK in Seattle, the final three games at home will be the tough ones.
Mike Young watch: 2-3, now batting .333 (.14 points ahead of Guerrero), 215 hits – needs two hits to break own franchise record for hits
Phil Nevin watch: Back to the bench after going 0-4 yesterday, got another $58k
HR watch: 1 (Barajas), Team total: 258. Needed to set record: 7. Games left: 6
You can view my full update for this game here, or you can leave a comment about this game below.

G155: Rangers pen blows the lead in Oakland Saturday, 7-6

Another game I missed due to a screw-up on my part – I saw the score when it was over before I watched the game on the TiVo, so I didn’t bother to go back and watch.
RA Dickey did well enough, going 5.2IP, giving up 2ER, while walking 5, hitting one guy.. OK, it wasn’t stellar, but he pitched well enough for a win I thought. However, our bullpen which has been respectable if not great lately reverted to their earlier season form. Even Mark Teixeira talked about it, saying “all this year we’ve been finding ways to lose”. He’s right about that, our pen let this one away. We had gotten to Zito as well, forcing him to give up 5ER on 7H over his 6 innings. Not a shellacking, but definitely un Zito like. It was wasted.
Tex also went 2 for 4 with a double and a home run. Mike young went 3 for 5. That’s 5 hits, we had a total of nine, so it wasn’t a terribly balanced attack.
Mike Young watch: 3 for 5, average up to .332, hitting streak of 21 games
Phil Nevin watch: Off the bench, but went 0 for 4 for that 58 grand he earned in this game.
HR watch: 1 (Teixeira), Team total: 257. Needed to set record: 8. Games left: 7
You can view my full update for this game here, or you can leave a comment about this game below.

G154: Rangers take opener of Oakland series Friday, 3-1

Kenny Rogers won in Oakland. What a shocker. He has a record of about 600-2 in Oakland’s stadium. Formally, he went 6.1IP, giving up 1ER on 5H and 5BB. A high amount of walks, but it didn’t affect his bottom line. And the run they did get was a solo home run in the first by Kotsay. Beyond that, the A’s were pretty much kept under control.
Offensively, we had some hits (nine), but it felt like one of those games where we couldn’t get it all going. The only person with more than one hit was Blalock (two). Everyone else who got one got that, one. One of them was Mike Young who advanced his hitting streak to 20 games with a home run. If Young runs the table for the rest of the season, he’ll tie Gabe Kapler’s club record of 28 a couple of years ago, which will be frustrating since he’ll be on a roll, and the only thing that stops him will be the end of the schedule. Since we open at home next year, it will make for an interesting celebration of a new franchise record, what with it being the home opener – that’s always an electric crowd anyway.
Since I covered Mike Young above, the Phil Nevin watch was another 58 grand spent on a right handed bench warmer.
You can view my full update for this game here, or you can leave a comment about this game below.

G153: Rangers drop finale of Anaheim series, 7-4, get swept

Well, we got swept by the Angels. Before this series, we got back to 500, now we’re three below again. I knew that with 12 games left and 6 against the Angels that it’d be hard to stay at 500. Right now there’s 9 games left, so we’ll have to go win 6 out of the 9 to end the year at 500. Not a great proposition, imo.
This was another game I missed most of due to night time daddy duties. From looking at hte box scores, Chris Young had an OK start, going 5 innings, giving up 3 runs on 3 hits and three walks. As many walks as hits generally isn’t a good thing, and it probably cost him in the ER department. Volquez on the other hand came in and got bombed, giving up 4 hits and 3ER in 0.2IP. That was pretty much the deciding factor.
We had no home runs, so we had better start getting things in gear if we want the major league home run record, I think we need as many HRs as there are games left at this point. Given the way the season has gone, it would be nice to end up with that. Mike Young seems to have locked up the batting championship, barring a meltdown.
Mike Young watch: 2 for 3 with an RBI on a sac fly. Batting 330.
Phil Nevin watch: Still on bench. Collected another $58,596 warming the bench.
You can view my full update for this game here, or you can leave a comment about this game below.