G145: Rangers lose walking off in the rain, 3-2

This was a pretty darn good pitching duel by both starters, and both of their starts were wasted. One could make the point that Rogers’ wasn’t, as the Tigers won, but I’m referring to the point of neither starter getting a win – that’s a “wasted start” to me.
Vicente Padilla: 7IP, 5H, 2ER, 2HR
Kenny Rogers: 7IP, 10H, 2ER, 1HR
In fact, of the five runs scored this game for both sides, 4 of them came from solo home runs. The game moved pretty darn quickly. We did make a few gaffes running the bases, including Carlos Lee trying to go to second from first on a flyball to left. In fact, we had the leadoff batter get to first in the first three innings, only to be wiped out by a double play.
But we lost the game on a walkoff home run by Carlos Guillen (his second of the night) off of Ron Mahay. Disappointing loss, as the Rangers certainly pitched well enough to win the game.

G143: Rangers lose to Mariners in 13 innings, 3-2

This was a very well pitched game, with both starters having lines like this:
Robinson Tejeda: 6.2IP, 2R, 1ER, 4H, 7K, 2BB
Jarrod Washburn: 6IP, 1ER, 6H, 5K, 2BB
There was a gaggle of relievers in this game (7 for Texas, 6 for Seattle). Most of them were fine. However, JJ Putz for Seattle gave up a key run, and then John Rheiecker was charged with another run, but Rhein’s was worse as the game was lost on that one.
I didn’t see the end of this game, as I had fallen asleep by that point. :)

G142: Rangers lose to Mariners, 7-2

This game was actually very well pitched, except for three half innings. Those would be the bottom of the fifth, the bottom of the eighth, and the top of the ninth.
Kevin Millwood actually pitched a quality start (technically), going 6 innings, giving up 3 runs. Jack Benoit pitched a scoreless seventh, but then Frank Francisco, fresh off the DL after Tommy John surgery, gave up two runs in his 0.2 IP. It took Rheinecker & Bauer to complete the other 1/3 of an inning, and the two of them gave up two hits and two runs to do it. The big problem was the grand slam that Rick Bauer gave up. Come to think of it, all 7 runs the Mariners got were on home runs. The three in the 5th were a 3 run home run, and the four in the 8th were a grand slam.
Cha Seung Baek looked good, going 7, shutting out the Rangers on four hits. Joel Piniero struggled a bit in the 9th, gave up a few hits and a couple of runs, but the Rangers really weren’t in this offensively at all.
At least that old guy fan who wears the blue hat got to throw out the first pitch. ;)

G140: Rangers hang on and beat A’s 5-4

Well, this was another game that I never got to see all of, because I went to bed before it was over. In fact, when I woke up, I had no idea what the final score was. Actually I did, I had seen it, because it was the current score in the bottom of the sixth. :)
The Texas offense was powered by Mark DeRosa who is likely to cash in with someone on a good contract for 2007 (sure hope it’s with us). Mark had a three run home run in the top of the third inning to put us up 4-0 at the time. We actually should have been up by more than this, as we wasted a couple of good scoring opportunities early (including a bases loaded no out one in the first, which we got nothing from).
During this, Adam Eaton was rolling along putting up zeroes until the bottom of the fifth when Nick Swisher broke up the shutout with a home run over Gary Matthews’ head in center field. Still, Eaton was looking good. However, we danced around Frank Thomas too many times, as Thomas walloped a three run home run in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 5-4.
And that was the game, except for 3.1 innings of scoreless relief by our bullpen which allowed us to hang on and get the win over the A’s. But as I said earlier, it’s a little too late, I can’t see us climbing out of the hole we’re in to overtake the Angels and the A’s to win the division, which is the only way into the postseason for the AL West now.

G139: Rangers ride Nelson Cruz to victory, 8-1

In yesterday’s update, I asked if Eric Young had played for us so far this season. He had not, but he was in the starting lineup today in left against Barry Zito. EY had a great day, going 2 for 5 with a double and a triple (which missed being a home run by a couple of feet). EY’s double was a two run job in the first, and the triple (on which he later scored) came in the sixth. EY saw Barry Zito pretty well today in Oakland.
In fact, the Rangers as a whole have been pretty decent against Barry Zito in their last 10 starts, going 5-5. After starting off 12-0 against Zito in his career, .500 seems pretty pedestrian. However it only seems to be in Oakland. In Arlington, he still beats us down, but in his own park, we seem lately to own planet Zito. Today was another in that pattern. Zito walked three in the first inning, finally serving up the aforementioned two run double to Eric Young. We then got another run in the top of the third on the extremely rare inside the park home run to Nelson Cruz. We can thank Jay Payton for that. In fact, Payton played a big part in Gerald Laird’s double, and Eric Young’s triple, I don’t think we would have gotten any of those if Payton had played his position correctly this afternoon.
We added another in the fourth, again by Nelson Cruz, who singled in Gerald Laird. Cruz struck again in the top of the sixth inning by jacking a Zito pitch over the right field wall for a three run home run. This drove Zito from the game finally, after having given up seven runs in his 5.1 innings pitched. Zito walked 6 in all, three in the first inning alone – he was not the unhittable pitching machine we have known from years gone by. But at least he won’t be in our division after 2006, that’s pretty much a given it seems.
While all this was going on, Robinson Tejeda was pitching a gem of his own. Robinson went 6.2 innings, gave up 10 hits, but no earned runs at all. The one run the A’s got was an unearned run on a Laird fielding miscue. Joaquin Benoit & Wes Littleton turned in a combined 2.1IP, giving up just one hit between them; a nice followup. As with yesterday’s game, it’s a shame these great September performances won’t count for much.
We did however get to see Eric Young have a great game, Nelson Cruz have a career game in RBI’s (five), and a great pitching performance by a young pitcher who I hope sticks around and does well for awhile, Tejeda.
If Tejeda keeps pitching like that, it just might make some fans forget about us sending Dellucci away to get him.

G138: Rangers win behind Millwood, 5-2

As I’m also a Phillies fan, I follow them, and I remember well Kevin Millwood’s no hitter a couple of years ago, so it was with great interest that I was watching the first few innings of this one, once it became obvious that Millwood was on this game.
Kevin Millwood was perfect through 4.2 innings, until he ran into the Kevin Kouzmanoff juggernaut. Kouzie homered off Millwood to break up the perfect game, no hitter, and shutout all at once. Yeah, I know he’s only been in two games, but he has two home runs in 8 at bats in the majors. :) However, Millwood adjusted, and only gave up one more total hit (a double to catcher Martinez in the seventh). In all, Kevin Millwood gave up 1 run on two hits over his eight innings. He also struck out ten batters, which is a bit of a generally unattainable stat for Rangers pitchers. He was strong in every way, a commanding performance – and at our ballpark. Course it wasn’t 100 degrees out, which might be the key to Kevin pitching in Arlington.
Offensively, we had a bunch of hits, but the only ones that mattered were all in the seventh inning. After Kinsler & Laird singled, Nelson Cruz hit a ball to short too far in the hole for Peralta to do anything with; it loaded the bases. Gary Matthews followed with a ball that looked like a clear double play, but his hustle kept it to just a fielders’ choice and an RBI. Mike Young singled for his 181st hit of the season, scoring Gerald Laird, and driving Paul Byrd from the game. That brought in Fernando Cabrera to face Mark Teixeira who has found himself again in the second half of the season. This at bat was no different, Tex deposited a pitch from Cabera over the wall next to the Rangers’ bullpen for a three run home run, extending our lead to 5-1. That was it for the Rangers’ scoring this day.
The Indians faced CJ Wilson in the top of the ninth who allowed one unearned run (on a Michael Young error). With a run in, it made it a save situation, bringing in Aki who did allow a single after coming in, but did manage to get the Kouzmanoff juggernaut to ground out to end the game, getting the win and his 30th save of the season.
While we’re not mathematically out of the race, we essentially are, it’s a shame great games like this will be lost to the season in a month spent trying to figure out 2007. Oh well. I guess there’s Mike Young’s march to 200 hits.
Has Eric Young actually played yet since being called up? That seems like a bit of a surprise to me.

G137: Darnit Darnit Darnit

I’ll probably have a proper update on tonight’s game later, but in the meantime, this is about all I can think of to say..

090206_darnit.jpg

DARNIT! DARNIT!

In case I end up not updating for this one, it was nice to see Kevin Kouzmanoff from Cleveland make major league history with a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues. Funny thing is I called it right before it happened, and I got a few funny looks from the people sitting around me at the game. :)

G136: Rangers drop series opener to Tribe, 7-2

Earlier this year during spring training, the Indians gave Grady Sizemore a rather nice contract. It was for 6 years, $23.4 million dollars. It runs through 2011, and there’s a 2012 option. Watching this series, you should be able to see why they did it. Just in last night’s game, Sizemore went 3 for 3 with two doubles, a home run, he walked twice, did not strike out, and scored two runs. I’d say that was a pretty positive offensive evening at the ol’ ballyard. While he muffed a play in ceter field on a ball hit by Gerald Laird, and he was picked off first by Padilla, he’s something special. He’s only 24, and looks to be in the Cleveland lineup being productive for awhile.
However, it wasn’t just Sizemore that beat us. Vicente Padilla had his worst outing in awhile, as he’s been generally excellent recently. Padilla went 5.1 innings, but had a ton of pitches (112, and 91 after 4), allowed 6 runs, gave up 8 hits and walked three. We got down early, as Padilla gave up three runs in the first, another in the second, and it felt pretty deflating, we never seemed to get up off the carpet after that.
In fact, of our two runs, one was a solo home run by Ian Kinsler, a no doubter to the back of the seats in section 7. The other one was an RBI single by Carlos Lee (his 100th overall RBI in 06). We could never get anything going against Jake Westbrook, who I think would be a perfect pitcher for the Rangers in this ballpark. Unfortuantely, the Indians hold an 07 option on him, which I suspect they’ll take.
For the first time in awhile, I’m actually ready for football season to start, which is rather unusual for me, I’m not truly ready for that until after the World Series. I guess this dropoff at the end of the season has gotten to me more than I had realized.

G135: Rangers beat O’s on Thursday 7-5, take series

The Rangers jumped all over Daniel Cabrera early to the tune of 4 runs in the first two innings. That intial jump was led by a disputed (and probably incorrect from the replays) home run by Gary Matthews, as well as a double by Carlos Lee. In fact, in the five innings he pitched, Cabera gave up five runs (4ER). For a guy who was as touted as he was, that’s a lot.
On the flop side, Adam Eaton went five himself, giving up just 2 runs (1ER). He probably would have gone further, but had 93 pitches through five; rather a lot for just five innings. Joaquin Benoit came in and kept the Orioles at bay until the ninth when he appeareed to run out of gas, giving up three runs which at that point brought the A’s to within two. It required bringing out Otsuka for a save.
I didn’t see any of this game, was doing some baby stuff. :)
I wonder who we’re calling up today now that the rosters have expanded.