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G136: Rangers win again in KC, 5-3 over Royals

No commentary on this one, other than to say no home runs for Rod Barajas this game. Juan Dominguez looked good, going 7.1IP, giving up just two hits and one run. He had four walks, which isn’t good, but when the end result doesn’t show that, it’s OK – so long as it doesn’t become a habit for him to walk 4 each time.
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G135: Rod Barajas blasts the Rangers to a win Friday, 8-7

Rod Barajas was hot this game. He had two more home runs (that’s 5 in the last 3 games), and 3 RBI’s this game. Coco Cordero was not, blowing another save.
Chris Young looked good, even if his outing was short (5.1IP, 8H, 3R (1ER). Brocail & Cordero blew this game, forcing it into extra innings. We won on Barajas’ second home run of the game in the 10th. John Wasdin nailed it down for the save. Shame about the blown save, as it would have given Scott Feldman his first major league win.
Again, nice to see a win, but it really feels like too little too late.
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G134: Rangers take first game of Royals series, 5-4

Another game where the bulk of our runs (4 out of 5) came in a clump. We put up a four spot on the board in the fourth inning. It was capped off by Rod Barajas’ three run home run following an RBI double by Hank Blalock. Rod also followed up with another home run in the 7th, so Rod himself accounted for four of the five runs we had.
Kenny Rogers got his first win since the suspension, and he had to dance to get it, as he gave up 11 hits and one walk in his 7 innings pitched. He did only allow 4 runs (3ER). Karsay, Shouse, & Coco combined to throw two innings of shutout ball to seal the win. Coco got his 30th save, and Kenny his 12th win.
It’s nice to see a win, even though it’s just the Royals.
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G133: Rangers beat White Sox on Wed, 9-2

This was actually a pretty well pitched game through the first 5 and a half innings. The Sox were up 2-1 at that point, and both El Duque & Kameron Loe were pitching well.
Loe had gone 6 innings, giving up two runs on four hits with 3K, and 1BB. A pretty good outing. El Duque was just a little bit better until the bottom fell out in the 6th inning for him. His line when he exited the game was 5IP, 6 hits, 6 earned runs, 1 walk, 6K. He also allowed three home runs. Two of them came in the 6th (Young, Soriano). The other was a leadoff HR to David Dellucci in the first inning. We did tack on three more runs in the bottom of the 8th, but the game was essentially over.
Scott Feldman made his major league debut in this game, pitching the ninth. He was perfect. Struck out two, got a flyball out. Nice start there.
It seems we are back on a bit of a roll in terms of winning. Too bad it’s too late.
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G132: Rangers shut out in second half of DH, 8-0

We had nothing this game. In fact, we didn’t score any runs since the fifth inning of the first game of the DH. So our bats went pretty quiet for the last 12 half innings they batted. Jermaine Dye did Mark Teixeira’s thing in this game, having two home runs and 6 RBI’s.
Brandon McCarthy looked pretty good. He went 7.2IP and gave up no runs on just two hits. He was spectacular. I think the only thing that kept him from a complete game was his pitch count, which was 117 when he was pulled. It was nice to see Ranger fans applauding him – I know there were Sox fans there, but there was more applause than that. Hell, I applauded him, although I know he couldn’t see me. :)
Edison Volquez, a guy who seems to make Jamey Newberg go all gooey made his major league debut last night. I was at the park for the recent major league debuts and wins of Justin Duchscherer & Brian Sikorski. But my luck didn’t extend to Volquez. He looked like a rookie making his debut. He seemed to be trying to overthrow a lot of his pitches. There were flashes of brilliance, and as rookie debuts go, I would have to say it went pretty well. Not great, but not awful, either. Volquez went 4.2IP, allowed 6 hits, 5ER, walked two, and struck out three. I would hope he’d get another look before we sent him back. There were moments where you could see the electric stuff, and why the team is high on him. But he is after all a kid making his major league debut. Have to factor that in there as well.
From the “Oh, shut up” department comes another whine from the White Sox. This time it was the usual suspect, Ozzie Guillen who complained about Jermaine Dye being hit. I know you need to stick up for your players and all that, but I don’t think anyone thought that we were throwing at the White Sox batters (in particular Dye). There was nothing to be gained by it, and the guy throwing the pitch (Erasmo Ramirez) wasn’t even touched up by Dye – it made no sense. So Ozzie Guillen can join Mark Buehrle in taking a sip from a big cup of “Shut the hell up”. Obviously the lights weren’t working.
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G131: Rangers take first half of doubleheader, 8-6

This game can be summed up with just a few short words. Crappy starting pitching. Mark Teixeira.
Neither starter could hold a lead – both teams scored in the first 5 half innings, and through the end of the fifth, only the bottom of the third and the top of the fourth went scoreless. Jon Garland went 4.1IP, and gave up 7 hits, 8 runs (5 earned), and 3 walks. Not a stellar performance. Coudln’t have been the lights, as it was all daytime. Joaquin Benoit didn’t fare much better. He was pulled after three innings, and during his time, he gave up 5ER on 9 hits in 3IP. Not good on either side.
However, pulling Benoit was a good move, as he was replaced by CJ Wilson, who seems to have figured it out the last few apperances, as he’s been outstanding. He was really great in this game, too. He went 5 innings, giving up just two hits and one run. He looked sharp, threw strikes – was everything you want in a pitcher. He even got his first major league win in the game, which was nice.
Mark Teixeira was the star of this one. He went 3 for his first 3 at bats. Two home runs, a double, and six RBI’s. Definitely lead our team in this one.
Funny thing is that after the fifth, we couldn’t score anymore. That continued into game, two as well!
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G130: Dominguez outduels Buehrle; Rangers win 7-5

The kid vs. the Cy Young winner. That’s how I started the report on Sunday’s game. It’s close to being the same for Monday’s game, too. Juan Dominguez vs. Mark Buehrle was not something you expected a positive outing from, but that is definitely what we got. Here’s another comparison of pitching lines:
Dominguez: 8IP, 7H, 2ER, 2BB, 3K
Buehrle: 7IP, 9H, 4ER, 1BB, 4K (3 unearned runs, too)
These lines just feel “backwards”. But we’ve gotten good young starting pitching recently, and that’s good. I think the goal now should be to end the season at .500.
We got to Mark Buehrle early, scoring two in the first, another in the second, and then three more in the fourth. We capped the scoring with an additional run in the fifth. Buehrle didn’t seem sharp at all, and then came out in the press afterwards claiming the Rangers “cheat” at home. That seems like whining about losing to me. I’m not claiming any team is beyond cheating, but to claim the other team cheated right after you lost just strikes me as sour grapes. The White Sox didn’t help themselves either by comitting four errors in the field, and allowing three unearned runs. That’s probably where the difference in this game was.
Tex continues to be hot, going 3 for 4 with 2 RBI’s in this game. One of the RBI’s was his 100th, which makes him the fifth Ranger to have consecutive 100 RBI seasons. We had a couple more home runs this game, one was from Kevin Mench, and the other was one from Mark DeRosa which was most definitely wind assisted. DeRosa has done a nice job this past week. I’m not sure if he fits in for 2006, but for the remainder of this season anyway, he seems to be doing his job well.
Edison Volquez pitches today for the first time ever as a Ranger. I bet Jamey Newberg is more excited than he probably is letting on. :)
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G129: Rangers beat Cy Young winner 2-1 on Sunday afternoon

The kid vs. the Cy Young winner. Who is supposed to come out on top in these? Yup, the Cy Young guy. Chris Young vs. Johan Santana was a match up that worried me. I figured as soon as we gave up a run or two, that’d be it. Santana would shut us down and that would be the end of the game. Yeah, I know if you’re reading this, you know how the game turns out, but look at these numbers: Which of these pitching lines is which?
Pitcher A: 7IP, 3H, 6K, 2BB, 0ER
Pitcher B: 7IP, 3H, 6K, 3BB, 1ER
They’re awfully close, the major difference is the earned run figure. The second one was Johan Santana and the first was Chris Young. In his last 3 or 4 starts, Chris Young seems to have rediscovered himself. Which is good, as he’s about to break the Rangers rookie record for wins, he needs just one more. The only run the Twins scored was against Erasmo Ramirez who was called up in favor of Justin Thompson yesterday. But Chris Young out dueling Johan Santana was something I think most Rangers fans were not expecting to happen, so it’s particularly nice to see.
We won the game on a walk off hit by Blalock, after Jesse Crain got himself in too much trouble. The Twins were playing double play depth instead of in, which probably cost them the game based on the ball hit. Nice win, nice series, even the loss felt good, despite it being 7-2. With the exception of the 11th inning on Saturday, I felt we dominated the Twins.
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G128: Rangers and fans bake on Saturday afternoon in 7-2 loss to Twins

There’s two things to talk about regarding this game. First, let’s talk about the game itself. Was a match up of veterans. Kenny Rogers vs. Brad Radke. Brad Radke went 6 innings, giving up 5 hits and just one run. Kenny Rogers went 6 innings, give up 6 hits and NO runs. We were up 1 to nothing going into the seventh, when John Wasdin gave up a run to tie the game. But we picked up a run in the bottom of the 8th to go up 2-1. Then Cordero comes on and blows the save by giving up a run in the ninth, tying it at 2. I generally dislike extra innings from the aspect of we tend to lose them. I like them because we get more baseball, though. :)
We should have won the game in the bottom of the 9th though. Gary Matthews led off the bottom of the 9th with a double. Sandy Alomar then tried bunting, and failed. Twice. He popped up a bunt foul, and then tried a second time and bunt popped up to the Twins’ first baseman. Ugh. Dellucci and Young couldn’t get the job done either, that was pretty much it. We didn’t do much of anything in the 10th and 11th either. But the Twins did. They pounded Brian Shouse & Steve Karsay for 5 runs in the top of the 11th capped off by Jacque Jones’ home run. We lost 7-2 on a game we SHOULD have won. :( To make matters worse, we had a stupid out in the bottom of the 11th as Phil Nevin did get on, but was doubled off first to end the game after a Sandy Alomar hit ball ALMOST went out in left, but Nevin had run all the way around to third by that point, and was doubled off first. What a way to end it.
The other thing to talk about was the heat. I was at this game, and this is the kind of weather that demands that we move our Summer games back to 7:30 at night. Why exactly are we playing all these day games in the summer? I remember a quote in the press a year ago by Buck Showalter about us supposedly trying to take care of our natural environment in that regard, but come on – this is nuts. I walked through the concourse, and it was surprisingly cool (it usually isn’t). But the seating bowl. Wow. That was damn hot. It was hovering around 100 all day and mostly brilliant sunshine. Way too damn hot. They announced the attendance as 25 thousand something. Yeah right. There was at most 10,000, and unless they were all the way in the few rows down the bottom, they were all up in the shade. I know I was. My regular season ticket was 328-5-1. No way, I was up in 328 Row 22 (three from top). The folks who sit across the aisle from me in my regular season tickets were there too. Got a good idea from the lady that sits there. She had a cooler full of ice, and towels. Throw some ice cubes in the towel, and use it to cool yourself during the game. That worked surprisingly well. I figured it would be a “OK, that’s nice, but I’m still hot”, but the ice and the shade kept me pretty cool. But I shouldn’t have to do that, we shouldn’t be playing in heat this bad.
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G127: Kam Loe & CJ Wilson shut out Twins, 6-0 on Friday

Wow. This one was all about the pitching, which is something that is nice to see for next year, but would have liked to have seen more of it when it counted when we were still in the race. Kameron Loe got a start. According to the press, he’d been asking for a start opportunity. He’d been operating out of the pen his entire time in the majors. Generally when you ask for things, you had better deliver. Boy did he deliver. He went only five innings, but that was fine, given he hadn’t been stretched out. The five he went was great. Only five hits, no walks, and five strikeouts; but NO RUNS given up. And then CJ Wilson came on, which wasn’t a good sign given how much he’d been lit up this year. But he matched Loe, going 4 innings, gave up no walks, only ONE hit, and no runs. Wow. What a performance by both. Probably felt better for Wilson more so than Loe.
Offensively, we had three home runs, Mark DeRosa went 3 for 4, bla, bla, bla. This game was about pitching, and wow did we get some. The only downside is that it was against the Twins, who probably could be out hit by Rangers Captain at the moment, but a 6 hit shutout is something I’ll take any day.
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G126: Rangers lose finale of M’s series, 8-2

This was another of those games I had to listen to at work, which means that I didn’t get a good listen. Nice to see some good pitching from Benoit, though. Too bad it was wasted.
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G125: Rangers beat Mariners on Dog Day, 8-1

Due to parental duties, I only got to watch till the sixth inning (and due to work duties I can’t write a bunch either). But what I saw was pretty great. Juan Dominguez looked sharp. He went six innings, giving up just one run on two hits. His walks were high though (five), but he k’ed 3. Overall a pretty good performance.
Ryan Franklin did not have a great performance (5IP, 10H, 6ER), but then we always seem to do well against him. Nice home run by Kevin Mench.
The video of Jim Knox dancing with a large dog was very disturbing.
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G124: Rangers win back at home, 6-4 over Mariners

I had tickets to this game, but I couldn’t go – still haven’t fully recovered from being sick, and I don’t think a 100 plus degree day would be good for me, or for my 4 month old daughter, either. Stayed home and watched.
Chris Young continued his late season pickup and threw another good game, if a short one. He only went five innings, but gave up just a solo home run to Ichiro (no shame there) on the second pitch of the game. After that he settled down and allowed just three more hits over the rest of his time, and struck out six. Ichiro also did him in in the fifth too with an at bat that was about 15 or 16 pitches. Probably cost Chris coming back out for the sixth inning, as he topped out at 100 pitches thrown. Still, if you take away the 15 from Ichiro, that makes 85 which is still about 10 too many for the fifth inning. Our bullpen gave up 3 more runs, but we had enough tonight to hang on.
Mench homered in the fourth, Phil Nevin doubled in two guys in the 6th, and Tex had a solo home run in the 7th. The two home run balls were definitely wind assisted, as they both landed in the first row right over the fence. Neither looked like a home run ball off the bat.
I was kind of surprised that Jim Knox didn’t turn up in right field to give a ball to the guy in the green shirt. If you watched the telecast, you know what I mean. They did however, talk to the loudmouth they showed around Section 226, though.
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G123: Rangers swept away in Florida, 6-3

Nope, wasn’t any better than the rest of the games on the road trip. We got swept for the third time this series, going 1-12 on the entire trip. In fact, for the entire month of August, we’re 4-15. Way to go, guys. Not much else needs to be said, really.
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G122: Rangers shut down again on my 40th birthday, 4-2

August 20, 2005 was my 40th birthday. And I spent it sick. Wasn’t a fun day, spent most of it horizontal or at the porcelain altar. The Rangers didn’t fare much better, getting shut down AGAIN for the 11th time in the 12 games of the road trip.
Scott Kazmir, who is a guy I’d love to have (as I’m sure the Mets would too ), shut down the Rangers going six innings, giving up just one run, four hits, and striking out ten. He looked pretty damn awesome. The two runs we got were in the traditional Rangers way, solo home runs (Matthews in 6th, Soriano in 9th). Outside of that, we had just four hits the rest of the game, pretty much were dominated. The game didn’t feel as close as the 4-2 score indicates.
On our pitching side, Benoit seems to indicate he isn’t cut out for starting. He went 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on six hits with 2 walks. Not godawful, but not great, either. Brocail, Shouse, & Loe kept the Rays off the board for the rest of the game, but it didn’t do much good.
Sunday’s game is the last one of the road trip. Probably won’t be any better.
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G121: Seth McClung shuts down Rangers; Rays win 2-1

You know, when we lose 2-1 games, I tend to think along the lines of “Well, we were beaten by a better performance”. That is definitely true, but in this case, this 2-1 loss felt like 10-1 loss, given all the other losses surrounding it in the schedule.
Juan Dominguez threw a shutout through 5 innings, but gave up a couple of hits and a sac fly in the 6th, which gave the Rays their two runs. It was enough because we got one in the first, and that was it. Seth McClung was brilliant, scattering just 3 hits over his 7 innings of work. It’s hard to beat that no matter who the team is.
Steve Karsay looked pretty good again in this game, going 2.2 IP and giving up donut, while striking out two. Given the state of our bullpen, he’s probably a candidate for the pen next year, too.
A loss is a loss, and we’ve got too many of them to recover from now.
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G110: Rangers lose again, 9-4 to Indians

Ah well. That didn’t last long. CJ Wilson ran out there and got murdered again. I know you need to run guys out there and let ‘em take their lumps to grow homegrown pitchers. But boy is it ugly doing that, and it generally makes the natives restless, especially when you live in a sports town so hell bent on “Now now now”.
Hank Blalock had another error today and went 1 for 3. He’s been bumped down in the lineup, as he doesn’t seem to be producing of late. All of our starters in this game got at least one hit, except for Adrian Gonzalez, who was called back up before this game (he played first, Tex DH’ed). We were led by David Dellucci (2-4, 2R) and Sandy Alomar (2-4). We had four doubles (DeRosa, Dellucci, Young, Alomar). But not enough for the win, because our pitching stunk up the joint again. Although if you took CJ Wilson out of the equation and put a zero in where he was, then we would have won.
Was really nice to see Justin Thompson back in the majors. A really nice story. I hope he sticks around and is effective for more than just the last 6 weeks of the season, as I would like to see all the work he took to get back here and all the loyalty shown on both his side and the Rangers side pay off for more than just six weeks of relief pitching.
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G119: Topes Win! Topes Win! Topes Win! (Rangers win 3-0)

Last week when I got mad and said I wasn’t going to do any more updates until the Rangers won, I figured it would be two or three more games. Maybe four. NOT EIGHT! It appeared I flew my “I give up” banner at the right time, because right after that, the bottom fell out, and our season was over. There’s been griping about management by our top players, both privately and publicly, apparently. That’s not good. Michael Young made the quote “I want to play for a winner”. Uh-oh. It’s getting really ugly, folks.
However, last night the ship was righted, if at least for just one night. Chris Young pitched the way he is supposed to – 8 innings of 2 hit shutout ball. Cordero came in, and got a no doubt save. We got just enough offense for the win. It was a very crisply played game. Looked good. Outcome was good. Too bad we didn’t have more of these.
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That’s it

I know I said a few days ago that I had given up on the season, and I haven’t changed my mind on that.
But we’ve now lost 5 in a row to the Red Sox – Yankees, and I’m so miffed about it, I’m not updating again until they win.

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The Red Sox Series

That was so pathetic I don’t want to even do updates for them.

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G111: Ricardo Rodriguez stinks up Fenway Park on the way to an 11-6 Ranger loss

Well, that was frustrating. After starting off the top of the first inning 3-0, it went downhill pretty quickly. Ricardo Rodriguez was out of the game in the first inning, which is never a good sign. Ricardo’s ERA for just this game was 54.00 – ACK! I thought we had seen some stinking piles of pitching garbage before, but this one took the cake. In fact, due to the debacle that was last night’s pitching, I’m ready to throw in the towel. As those who regularly read my site know, I’ve not been one to give up the season. Now I am. Given how horrendous our pitching situation has degenerated into, I see no hope, and even if we do make it in somehow, we’ll get destroyed in the playoffs, so yeah – I’ve given up on post season for 2005. I could be surprised, and I’d be overjoyed if I was totally wrong, but I don’t see any hope anymore for this year.
Offensively, we had hits all over the place. 16 of them, and every starter had at least one. Blalock had the most with three. Blalock also lead with 2 RBI. Also, in an interesting non Rangers kind of stat, we had no home runs – the first time that’s happened in a game in awhile, and only like the third time all season, if I remember right.
On a fun note, it’s always great to hear the clang of a ball hitting up against the Green Monster in Fenway. Is it me, or has that gotten louder lately? I wonder if someone has stuck a microphone out there to amplify the sound of when that happens. It’s kind of like when a ball hits a foul pole, the sound we get on TV seems so much louder than you would think it should be.
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G110: Rangers win 9-3, taking series against Baltimore

Chris Young showed the form that was having folks talk about rookie of the year today. He’s slid a bunch the last month or so, but today it was early season Chris Young again. He went 7 innings, giving up no runs on five hits. A masterful performance that was marred by the appearance of Kevin Gryboski in the 8th who gave up all three runs the Orioles scored. Doug Brocail finished things up with a scoreless ninth.
Once again, Sidney Ponson continues to show why the Rangers would have been absolutely insane to trade for him. He leaves the second game in a row against the Rangers with an injury, and to hear Tom Grieve talk about him, he’s a fat slob who doesn’t care about himself and his team by not being in baseball shape. He just strikes me as an major career threatening injury waiting to happen. In fact, it wasn’t just Ponson, the Orioles sent out four pitchers today, and they all gave up runs. Ponson gave up 3 in 2.1IP, Williams gave up 1 in his 1.2IP, Bydak gave up 3 in his 2IP, and finally Jorge Julio gave up 2 in his 2IP. Not a good day for the Orioles in regards to pitching.
It was a good day for Ranger bats. We had 14 hits, and pushed across nine runs. The charge was lead by Tex, Gary Matthews, & Kevin Mench who all had home runs. Tex and Matthews also accounted for 2/3 of the runs themselves driving in 3 apiece. Mike Young continues to make one think that he might take a run at the batting championship as well as the hits lead, as he’s batting .331 and went 3/4 last night, raising his total hits for the season to 151 with 52 more games to play. I say 200 is pretty much a lock unless he gets hurt.
We move on to Boston, which could be bad for us, as we tend to never do good in Fenway.
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G109: Rangers retire Johnny Oates #26, and then win 10-3

This was the game that The Rangers retired Johnny Oates’ number at. I’m going to avoid talking about that for now, as I’m planning on writing something larger about Oates in it’s own article.
We got out early in this one. We put up a six spot in the second inning, and never looked back. Orioles starter Daniel Cabrera had some major control issues that led him to give up four walks in the second inning. The inning was capped off by a David Dellucci grand slam to left field to cap the scoring that inning. We also put up a four spot in the fourth behind two home runs and a fielding error (Roberts). So we’re up 10-1 after four.
John Wasdin turned in a pretty good pitching performance this day. He went six innings, giving up 6 hits and two runs with 2 walks and 3 strikeouts. Overall a pretty decent pitching performance. Following him for 3 innings was Kameron Loe, giving up no runs, and earning a save – something I don’t understand, the score was 10-1 when Loe came in, so I don’t get that at all.
Still, nice to see a good pitching on a day where Ranger manager Johnny Oates was paid tribute to. Nice to have a good game to go with a good ceremony.
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G108: Rangers lose to Orioles on Friday, 10-5

Mark Teixeira had a home run, his 29th of the season. So did Hank Blalock. So did Alfonso Soriano. So did Mark DeRosa for cryin out loud! All five of our runs came on the longball. Was a power night, although with a power night sometimes comes not much else. Which is the case, because outside of the home runs, we had just three other hits in the entire game. Most of this off of Bruce Chen, a journeyman who seems to have found some consistency with Baltimore, not unlike John Wasdin with us.
But that’s not really the story of the game. Why did we lose this one? Oh yeah, C.J. Wilson really stunk up the joint. I mean, we’ve had some bad pitching this year, but wow, that was a steaming pile of… well, you know. His line was 2.2 innings pitched, 9 hits, 8 earned runs, two walks, no strikeouts. That’s just positively atrocious. James Baldwin also gave up two runs, but over 4 plus innings, which isn’t too awful. However, the surprise of the night was Steve Karsay, who went two innings, giving up nothing in his Ranger debut. That’s something we need to see more of out of the pen.
We also put Mark Holtz & John Wetteland into the Rangers HOF this night. As per usual, local TV coverage totally botched it and didn’t show us the ceremony. We saw pieces of it, but they cut away in the middle of people talking. Once again, local TV management needs to be shot, as I don’t need to hear how Ford is the Best in Texas, and I don’t need to hear how Dodge things I should be grabbing life by the horns. I should be watching the pre-game ceremony, you twits!
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Devil Rays series

I’m busy trying to wrap up a project today at work for the weekend, so I likely won’t have time to update for the last two games in the Devil Rays series.
Was nice to see us find the can of whoopass and unleash it last night against the Rays. Too bad we couldn’t actually do that regularly, we might have a shot at making a run at it, but this team is just too inconsistant for that.
Good to see Phil Nevin get in the groove last night going 3 for 4, scoring four times. He had a homer, a double, and a single. Good night for him. Hopefully the first couple of games were just jitters.
Baltimore comes in this weekend, minus Rafael “Giambi” Palmeiro. I’m also really annoyed that the Oates ceremony isn’t on TV before the game (if you get the Newberg Report, I was the the reader he was talking about who told him it won’t be on TV). Thanks Fox. By picking this game for national, we lose not only our own coverage guys, but we don’t get the pre-game ceremony. That’s doubly annoying as I can’t go – even though I have a ticket, so I was hoping to see it.