G134: Tejeda not good, Rangers lose 7-4 in 10

I won’t have time to write about this, as there has been an uh “event” at my company which will take all my time to deal with.
Suffice it to say that Tejeda was not very good last night – it took him something like 45 pitches to get out of the first inning. Ugh. And then the 10th. Ugh 2.

G133: Rangers beat O’s 9-4 behind Millwood complete game

I did something I actually haven’t done much this year, which was go to a Rangers game. I’ve written before about the cost of these things – so I won’t go into that again, but cost is the reason why I don’t go to as many anymore. By the end of August, I’ve gone to roughly 20 by this point. This year I think my total attendance is under 10. I’d have to go count, but it’s probably 7 or 8, I think. But I went using one of the ticket vouchers the Rangers have sent me in a “Hey we want you to come back” kind of promotion. Was a great night for baseball. As I knew the place would be mostly wide open, I decided to sit in Section 3 up against the Orioles’ bullpen. I hadn’t ever intentionally sat out in that area before (that I can remember anyway), so I decided to give it a go. Was a nice night weather wise, so I chose that (Sec 3, Row 7, Seat 1 formally). I ended up sitting amongst a family of Baltimore fans, which who were nice to chat with.
So I filled out my lineup card with a bit of trepidation, as Kevin Millwood is not known for stellar pitching performances in Arlington. However, it was in the mid 80’s when this game started, and that seemed to really impact him, as his overall line was pretty good. 9 IP, 4ER, 8 hits, 8 strikeouts, and NO walks. Now the strikeouts seemed to be helped by Larry Vanover, who had a really wide strike zone (O’s pitching had 11 Ks). After the early couple of innings when Kevin seemed to be relying on just his fastball, he mixed in his curve, and things got going. In the top of the third, Jay Gibbons doubled, but that would be the last hit the Orioles would get until two outs in the ninth. Millwood retired 18 in a row at one point. He gave up a couple of hits in a row in the top of the ninth for the fourth run, but from the third on, he was masterful, he was the ace we’re paying him to be. I’m hoping that in 2007 he can parlay his’ years’ experience pitching here into better home results.
The game offensively was a see-saw battle early, with the O’s scoring two in the top of the second, then we got three in the bottom, and they tied it up with the aforementioned double in the top of the third. It stayed that way for a bit until Mark Teixeira hit a solo home run in the fifth that BARELY cleared the wall in right field. That gave us the lead we never looked back on.
The only other scoring the Rangers would do would be a nice five spot in the bottom of the seventh, mostly against Rodrigo Lopez, who appeared to be completely out of gas when eventually taken out – he probably should have been out much earlier than he was. Hank Blalock & Mark DeRosa had the big hits in that inning driving in most of the runs. Hank’s was a double against a left hander (Byrdak) who had come in just to face Hank. Odd that the Homies weren’t there to cheer him.
However, the best moment of the game for me aside from the Rangers win was Corey Patterson’s catch in the second inning. Going full tilt into the wall, he caught it and crumpled over – it was quite a spectacular catch. From where I was sitting, I had a GREAT view of it, as I was sitting exactly parallel to the center field wall, so I had a completely close and perfect angle to see it. It was quite the catch, I had to applaud it even before the customary applause a team’s fans gives an opposing player who has gotten hurt. It was quite the catch.
But I was glad I went – it wasn’t opressively hot, we won, and I had a nice time. Too bad it has to be so darn hot to sap these nice feelings out of people in the summer.

G132: Rangers salvage finale of A’s series, 3-0 behind Padilla

The Rangers managed a win in the final game of the A’s series, which is disapponting, as we needed to sweep the A’s to have any realistic chance of getting back in the race.
However, you couldn’t fault Vicente Padilla in this series. He certainly held up his end of the bargain in the finale Sunday. He was strong, going 8 innings, giving up just four hits, while striking out eight. He did walk four, which is a bit high, but it didn’t impact him, as he pitched a shutout. Aki followed up for his 28th save of the season – that’s really all that needs be said about our pitching, it was quite good this day.
Oakland starter Dan Haren wasn’t bad, either going 7 giving up three runs on 7 hits with twelve strikeouts. But Padilla bested him, and you only need win by one run. It was enough to salvage something, but man it feels like too little too late.
While we got some great pitching, our offense was pretty flat (Matthews & Young had 5 of the 7 team total hits alone), and it just feels like “a little late to the party for this kind of game, guys”.

G131: Rangers lose to A’s 5-3, now 9 games out

Since we’ve sunken to our low point of the season in terms of being out of it, I felt the image at the bottom of this entry was an appropriate image to use tonight.
About the only high point of the actual game was when Carlos Lee doubled in two runs in the bottom of the eighth. Came up with the bases loaded; the exact situation we brought him over here for, and he delivered. Oh, and Joaquin Benoit pitched pretty well, too.
But we had 8 hits in all, 5 of them by Mike Young and Carlos Lee. Adam Eaton was knocked around a bit, Wes Littleton was pretty wild with his control, it just didn’t feel good at all, despite the great performance by Benoit who did keep us in the game. Could have actually been a lot worse, Frank Thomas came up twice I believe with the bases loaded, and didn’t deliver – we could have lost by a lot more than just two runs.
I think this image applies very well tonight. At least it will make it less crowded when I go to some games in September. :(
Rangers Season Over

G130: Rangers lose to Planet Zito 9-3, drop 8 back

Barry ZitoI bet Barry Zito wished Mark DeRosa had gotten sick, or that we had started Eric Young in right field tonight. More on that later.
Edinson Volquez started for Texas, and he had a really high pitch count; 91 through 4. He managed to navigate a few minefields, the worst was in the fourth where Volquez walked a couple, allowed three singles, but only let two in during the fourth (three overall). I guess it wasn’t that great of an outing when you look at it that way, but given how many guys were out there on the bags in the top half of the frames, it could have been a hell of a lot worse. Volquez was out after four, replaced by Josh Rupe. Rupe was a lot more effective. He needed just 8 pitches in his first inning. In fact, the rest of Volquez’ relief was fine, as they all shut out the A’s until the ninth, when Rick Bauer gave up a two run double making the score 5-0 and then Michael Young comitted a throwing error allowing a sixth run to score, ending Bauer’s time on the hill. CJ Wilson came in and finished the game for Texas, but not before making the ninth inning stick a whole lot worse, giving up three more runs to make it 9-0.
None of that really mattered though. We were up against Mr. Teddy Bear, who is about 150-2 when pitching against the Rangers. And he continued to make our guys look like soft hitting Teddy Bears because we had donut through seven (save for one walk). That was until Mark DeRosa came up in the bottom of the 8th and broke up the no hitter, singling to center field. OK, at that point I could root for the Rangers again. I never really root against them, but if you’re gonna be beat, at least you could have said “it was a no hitter”. :)
As it was, the entire team was shut down through eight plus innings except for Mark DeRosa who got a single. He also walked later. However, in the ninth, Zito faltered a bit, walking Gary Matthews, and then letting Michael Young reach on a fielder’s choice that got nobody out. Carlos Lee followed that up with a triple scoring Young & Matthews. That chased Zito from the game. Chad Gaudin followed, and allowed the third run on a groundout by Tex, scoring Lee. That was all we could put together.
The funny thing is I already had this paragraph written in the middle of the ninth after Matthews’ walk as if Zito was going to go the distance on a one hitter; I had to rewrite the bit above when we got a little life. :)
We lost the game 9-3, but it was’t as close as that. Felt like we should have had a zero in the runs column the way Zito pitched. And now we’re 8 games back with 32 to go. Doesn’t look good for the home eleven.

G129: Rangers beat Devil Rays, stop slide

The Rangers finally managed to beat the Devil Rays on Thursday night. The fact that I have to make a point out of that is sad. We are down seven games to the A’s now as we (IMO) limp home to face the A’s. We have three games against them, and we could end up four out. Or we could end up a whole lot worse. My gut feeling says we’ll take 1 of the 3.
Anyway, the Devil Rays series was just depressing, I didn’t want to write about it. Although on Thursday night, we got a glimmer of what made the Rangers trade David Dellucci to the Phillies at the end of spring training. Robinson Tejeda went for us, and ever since he beat us back in Philly last June, he’s struck me as one of those types with great talent, but no control, mostly due to his young age. But tonight Tejeda went 7.2 Innings, giving up just two runs on 5 hits. I didn’t see most of the game, but his line looked pretty good.
Offensively we managed to get nine hits in all. Carlos Lee & Gerald Laird had two each, the rest were scattered, with no other Ranger getting more than one. Tex, Blalock, & Lee all doubled, and Carlos Lee also had a home run – something he was lauded for before the trade, but seems to be not doing much since donning Texas blue.
It’s always nice to get a win, but we should have had way more than just ONE in the Tampa series. Sigh.

I normally don’t do this, but…

I give up.
I’m not stopping the site at all, I’ve weatherd some bad teams since I started this, but I give up on the 2006 season. Sigh.
Oh well. Who will our outfield be in 2007?

A little behind

Got a little behind with some real life stuff, going to take a break from updating for the Tigers series. See ya early next week.

G121: Rangers win big 9-3, fight the Angels in the 9th

Well, there were two innings worth talking about in this game. The first one is the third inning, and the other is the ninth.
Scott Feldman pops Adam KennedyThe third was notable because of the big huge 8 spot we put on the board. This was capped off by a grand slam by Ranger outfielder Nelson Cruz. This apparently was the first time that Cruz ever came to the plate with the bases loaded as a major leaguer, and he hit a line drive grand slam over the left field wall. That wasn’t the only run Cruz scored that inning, as he was driven in on a two run home run by Ian Kinsler. Kinsler’s home run was interesting because it came a pitch or two after what would have been a caught stealing for Cruz, which was negated when home plate umpire Sam Holbrook nullifed the play on his own umpire’s interference. That was a very good inning for us.
The top of the 9th was set up by some fun in the bottom of the 8th. Mike Young was hit by a Kevin Gregg pitch. Brandon Donnelly relieved Gregg, and immediately hit Freddie Guzman with a pitch, and was ejected. In the top of the ninth, the Rangers brought on Scott Feldman to pitch the ninth, and the submarine pitcher was later discovered to be a submarine puncher, too. This was when Adam Kennedy was plunked, charging the mound, clearing the benches.
The brawl wasn’t a really long drawn out one, in fact, as bench clearing brawls go, it was pretty tame, not a lot of those secondary and tertiary fights you usually see. But it’s always entertaining to watch these things. Best moment of the fight for me was Mark DeRosa’s football style tackle of Adam Kennedy who got plunked pretty well by Scott Feldman, who punches sidearmed too. It wasn’t quite the pasting that Nolan Ryan gave to Robin Ventura, but Feldman’s pounding of Kennedy can pretty much be seen in the photo here. Kennedy didn’t get much (if anything) on Feldman before being tackled to the ground by Mark DeRosa.
Of course, all this was set up by Vicente Padilla yesterdaay, and also Adam Eaton a week or so ago, so there’s been a lot of beanball between the teams lately. Will make for an interesting end run of the season, if this stuff is still hanging around.
On to Detroit where we meet Kenny Rogers & Pudge again tomorrow.