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G97: Rangers pound Buehrle & White Sox, 10-3

The big bats came out in Chicago tonight, the Rangers apparently showing no ill effects of their tri city tour yesterday.
The bats came alive again, putting the Rangers into double digit runs for the first time since the first game after the All-Star break. It was defintely powered by the longball. We bashed four of them, two off of starter Mark Buehrle, who we beat up on again. Buehrle actually went seven innings, but gave up 5 earned runs. Chicago trotted out three relivers after Buherle, all of which gave up runs, too.
Texas sent out five pitchers of their own. John Wasdin started the game, but was pulled after just 3.2 innings, only having given up 2 runs, which I felt was kind of odd. Following Wasdin was Ron Mahay, who was credited with the win. Wes Littleton, CJ Wilson, & Rick Bauer all followed – they combined for just one run allowed (Littleton).
But again, this was the game of the home run. Mike Young, Mark Teixeira, & Brad Wilkerson hit three, but the best one was Kevin Mench. He had a three run home run which at the time put us up 9-3. This was Kevin’s first home run since early June.
Nice way to get my regular updating started up again. :)

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The big catchup from my trip

Well, I’m back. As the White Sox series is about to start later this evening, I need to get back into things. I probably could have updated for the Toronto series, but I got lazy. As I wrote before, I was home on a two week trip to Pennsylvia to visit my family and my wife’s. While we were in Pittsburgh, we attended Fanfest, which was a lot of fun. I did post some pictures of that online, you can see them here. As a lot of games passed between my last update and now I’ll have rather short recaps of them. Most of them I didn’t even see being out of town. :)
June 28th: Rangers lose to Giants, 5-1. The big deal in this one was a grand slam that John Rheinecker gave up to Ray Durham. Of course the Rangers only pushed across one run of their own – only getting one extra base hit. While we lost by 4, this game felt like a game where we lost by just 1. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
June 29th: Rangers lose to Giants, 2-1. Even more maddening than the 5-1 loss, or the fiasco that was the foul/fair ball of Teixeira’s for me. 2-1 games mean one thing – you didn’t hit well enough to win. A great start (6IP, 4H, 1ER) was wasted by John Koronka. He was bested by Jason Schmidt (7IP, 5H, 1ER). Ian Kinsler had two of the 5 hits, we had not much going on. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
June 30th: Rangers beat Astros, 3-1. Padilla beats Oswalt. Vicente Padilla, who has become our hottest pitcher of late bested Roy Oswalt in Arlington. Oswalt even pitched a complete game (8IP, 9H, 3ER), but still got the loss. That was because the Astros were dominated by Padilla. Vicente went 8 innings, giving up just 4 hits and 1ER. Otsuka got his 16th save of the season. If I wasn’t headed out of town on a trip in two days, I probably would have been at this game. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 1st: Rangers lose to Astros, 7-0. Another shutout. Four Houston pitchers combined on a 3 hit shutout of the Rangers. Man, we had NOTHING this game. John Wasdin technically had a quality start, but was nowhere near sniffing a win. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 2nd: Rangers lose to Astros, 9-5. The first of the games I didn’t get to see, as I was in Philadelphia by the time the game started. I did see on ESPN about Millwood having to come out of the game early. At the time I thought it was going to be bad, but it turns out not to be. Not a very well pitched game by Texas, giving up 16 hits with 3 walks. There goes the Silver boot to Houston. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 3rd: Rangers beat Blue Jays, 6-1. John Rheinecker turned in a great performance, going 7 innings, giving up just one run on 5 hits. He was followed up by Coco & Bryan Corey for the win. Mark DeRosa had a home run, and Kinsler, Laird, & Mike Young (two) had doubles in this one. From the line score, it appeared we didn’t get it into gear until late, scoring 5 of our six runs in the 6th, 7th, & 8th. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 4th: Rangers lose to Blue Jays, 3-2. John Koronka took a tough loss, going 8 innings total, giving up just three runs, but was bested by former Cy Young winner, Roy Halladay. Halladay went 7.2 Innings, gave up no runs. We tried to come back against BJ Ryan, but couldn’t seal the deal. Mike Young got his 1,000th career hit, if his health holds up, I think 3,000 will be no problem for him at all. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 5th: Rangers beat Blue Jays, 9-3. Vicente Padilla got his 8th win of the season tonight, going 6.2 innings, giving up 3 runs. But we more tha covered that by doing a number on the Toronto staff. Toronto ran four pitchers out there, none of them escaped unscathed. Casey Janssen took the worst of it, going just 3.1 innings, giving up 5ER. We had 5 doubles and four home runs in this one. Lots of offense here (14 hits total). [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 6th: Off day for Rangers. I was at a Phillies game this night. Had seriously great seats, just two rows between me and the home dugout. Got to see closeups of Pat Burrell striking out.
July 7th: Rangers beat Twins, 9-4. Like the last game against the Jays, the Rangers got out fast, scoring 8 of their nine runs in the first three innings. Again, we had four doubles, and two home runs this game – most of which came in the first three innings. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 8th: Rangers lose to Twins, 4-0. The second time we were shut out this month. This time we were closed down by Francisco Liriano (and two relievers). We could get only six hits in all (2 by DeRosa). John Rheinecker didn’t pitch bad again (6IP, 3ER), but was beat by someone else. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 9th: Rangers beat Twins, 5-2. In a surprise, John Koronka beat Johan Santana. Johan Santana seemed to melt, based on the fact that of the 5ER he gave up, 4 of them were in his final two innings. John Koronka picked up the win in this game, although he went the minimum 5 to get it. Two home runs this game, one by Tex, one by Matthews. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 10th: I attended the Fanfest in Pittsburgh this day. Was a lot of fun – I posted some pictures of it online here. My wife got to meet and talk to Jackie Robinson’s daughter, and I noticed Billy Ripken hanging out in the baseball card show, stopped to talk to him for a bit – that was quite fun, too.
July 11th: Mike Young was the All-star game MVP. It was quite cool to see that. Really nice to see him get some national press. My wife and I hung out in a local bar for the start of the All Star game. We were probably the only people clapping for the AL players, and specifically Mike Young and Gary Matthews, but it was nice to have that kind of communal fun. We ate dinner at this place, was quite nice.
July 12th: Off day – no baseball.
July 13th: Rangers beat Orioles, 15-1. Bombs away is the word here. Mark Teixeira led the way in this one with a career high 3 home runs, as well as 7 RBI’s. We had six home runs in all, as well as two doubles. Offense all over the place. Of the 11 different batters we sent up there, only Jerry Hairston didn’t get a hit, and he was a late inning sub anyway. All our starting 9 had hits. Vicente Padilla had a great game here too, but that kind of got buried behind all the offense. Padilla went 7, giving up 4 hits and just 1 earned run. He continues to roll. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 14th: Rangers beat Orioles, 2-1. Our offense disappeared after last night. We could only garner 4 hits in all, but it was enough, as we won 2-1 over Kris Benson and the Orioles. Benson did what Oswalt did a week ago or so, pitch a complete game aginst the Rangers, but lost. Kevin Millwood showed no ill effects of his early exit last time out. He went 6, gave up just one run, and the trio of Bauer/Cordero/Otsuka sealed the win, earning Aki his 18th save, and in my opinion the pole position for the closer’s job in 2007. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 15th: Rangers lose to Orioles, 8-1. Uh, hello? Where’d our offense go? After the outburst to start the second half, we haven’t done much since. Two runs yesterday on four hits, one run on six hits tonight. Rheinecker got bombed, giving up 7ER in 3.2IP – that was pretty much the game in a nutshell. Our pitcher got bombed, and we broke out the no hit sticks. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 16th: Rangers lose to Orioles, 4-0. Not only did our offense actually get worse by getting shut out for the third time this month (and it’s only half over), we also tossed in three errors for good measure. Blech. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 17th: Rangers lose to Blue Jays, 10-1. OK, this is getting sad. In the the last four games, we’ve gotten a total of 4 runs. Not only that, John Koronka stunk up the joint this game, giving up 9ER in 3.2IP. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 18th: Rangers beat Blue Jays, 5-2. It’s still sad when we win the game, and score more runs than we did in the previous four combined without getting to double digits. However, it wasn’t all nice, as we scored all five of our runs in the 8th inning – it looked like we were well on our way to another scoreless game at that point – I have to admit. I did see this one, but only from the seventh inning onwards, so I got to see all the fun. All those runs came right in time too, as Padilla had just come out of the game after pitching 7 innings, giving up just two runs – he deserved the win. Fortunately our bats came alive at exactly the right time to get Vicente his 10th win of the season. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 19th: Rangers beat Blue Jays, 5-4. We had another game like last night, where we had donut through six innings (well, OK 1 run, but it felt like less), and then picked up four in the 7th frame and then held on for the win. Kevin Millwood joined Vicente Padilla as a game winner on the staff. Assuming he picks up a win on his other start in the remainder of July, that would give him 11, and a pace to get about 16 or so – maybe 17 depending on how that “half a win” falls. :) We were led here by Gerald Laird, who went 2 for 3 (two doubles) and scored twice. Gary Matthews was the beneficiary of that, getting two RBI’s. Mark DeRosa also had a line drive opposite field home run in this game, too. [ MLB.com recap of game ]
July 20th: Rangers lose to the Red Sox, 6-4. A makeup game from all the rain we had in Boston on our trips in there. This was a scheduled day off, but it made for quite an intersting travel day for the Rangers, being in three towns in one day. Rheinecker got hit around a bit again, going just 3.2IP, giving up 8 hits and 4 ER. That’s pretty similar to Curt Schilling’s line too, except Schill went 7, doubling more or less Rheinecker’s distance. The difference here is that Bryan Corey also gave up 2ER in his inning plus for the Rangers, while nobody from the Boston pen gave up anything. Offensively we had two doubles this game on a total of 11 hits. And now we’re off to Chicago for a few games there. Do we still have a ballpark? I haven’t seen a game at home in almost two whole months it feels, and this all seems like road games. :) [ MLB.com recap of game ]
And there we are. All caught up. Now time to get back to the grind of doing daily updates again.

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G77: Tex screwed by umps twice in same week, Rangers lose 5-3

Tom Grieve probably had to restrain himself from swearing over the air. He seemed cheesed off. As well he should be. The Giants ought to put out a bigger food spread for the umps or something, as they owe them for this, big time.
I only saw the end of the game, as I had some work work to do tonight – I saw just the ninth inning. What a fiasco that was. Man. I don’t know how to write about this game. Yeesh.
UPDATE: Tom Hicks apparently has discussed this situation with Bud Selig. Details here.

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G76: Rangers drop series finale to Rockies, 3-0

Vicente Padilla didn’t pitch bad in this game at all. He went 6 innings, gave up three runs. Should have been enough for a win. But it was not. In fact, just the first one would have been enough, as the Rangers were shutout by the Rockies, 3-0.
After Padilla, Bryan Corey & Rick Bauer each pitched an inning, giving up no more runs.
However, against Byung-Hung Kim, Jose Mesa, & Brian Fuentes, we could manage only 5 hits (all against Kim). Two of those hits were by Jerry Hariston (both bloops over the second baseman as well, not hit well).
That’s the story of this game. No offense. In Coors Field. Humidor be damned, I want my 30 runs a game in Denver back!

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G75: Rangers can’t overcome Tejeda’s start, lose 11-6 to Rockies

Well, we gave up on Fabio Castro yesterday, as the Rule 5 pick was designated for assignment to make room for Robinson Tejeda who started on Saturday. Tejeda was lit up – BIG TIME, and is supposed to be sent back out again today before Sunday afternoon’s game starts. That sequence of events kind of reminds me on how we lost Doug Davis to a roster squeeze a couple of years ago, actually.
Anyway, Tejeda just plain stunk up the joint. He gave up a big old ugly 6 spot in the bottom of the first inning. We never quite recovered from that. In all Tejeda gave up two singles, two walks, a double, and then a three run home run to cap it all off. In fact, probably the only reason it wasn’t worse was that Tejeda struck out the pitcher to end the inning.
And then it rained – which prompted a very funny story from Tom Grieve about his time in the minors around 1970 or so in Colorado when a tarp blew up and into the stands. That was a great story by Tom. Watching the Rockies guys struggling with the wind reminds me of that now classic footage from the 1993 Fla Marlins season when they had some serious tarp issues.
Anyway, when we came back from the rain delay, I was supriginsly still watching. Tejeda was sent back out, and gave up another run in the second inning for a total of 7. Tejeda actually went three innings total, giving up 7ER on 7H, 3BB, and 2 HR. Not good. Not good at all. I bet there’s a lot of Ranger fans right now that wish we still had David Dellucci. In fact, I bet Dellucci still wishes that, given how little playing time he’s gotten in Philly.
We actually tried to make a game of it in the middle innings. After four innings, we were down 9-1. We picked up a four spot, to make it 9-5, and the momentum seemed to back on our side. However, Jack Benoit gave up two runs in the bottom of the 6th to make it 11-5, and that was it for the scoring for the rest of the game, save for a solo home run by Mark Teixeira in the 9th inning to make it 11-6.
It felt like we tried to come back, but when Benoit couldn’t keep ‘em off the board, we lost what little momentum we had. The game really seemed out of reach after the first inning, however. I’m surprised I watched the entire game, I usually give up on games like that, and do something else, but this time I stuck with it. :)

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G74: Rangers beat Rockies 8-6

First game I’ve gotten to watch completely in awhile, although I spent most of the time actually perusing my company’s public forums for contiuning reaction to our game release a few days ago. :)
This was a Coors Field game. Lots of offense. It’s not like the score was 19-14, but 8-6 is still a decent amount of offense. It didn’t start out that way. Through five innings, the score was a pretty non altitude assisted 4-1. Then the floodgates opened in the sixth inning. Check out what happened in the sixth for the Rangers:
– M. DeRosa struck out swinging
– M. Young grounded out to shortstop
– M. Teixeira doubled to deep left
– H. Blalock singled to right center, M. Teixeira scored, H. Blalock to second advancing on throw
– K. Mench singled to center, H. Blalock scored
– G. Laird doubled to deep left, K. Mench scored
– I. Kinsler intentionally walked
– J. Botts hit for J. Koronka
– S. Dohmann relieved J. Francis
– J. Botts singled to center, G. Laird scored, I. Kinsler to third
– G. Matthews Jr. grounded out to second
And that was just the sixth. It was a bit more flashy in the seventh.
– M. DeRosa popped out to shallow right center
– M. Young doubled to deep center
– M. Teixeira homered to deep right center, M. Young scored
– H. Blalock homered to deep right center
– K. Mench grounded out to second
– G. Laird struck out swinging
Blalock’s home run there was the 100th of his career. John Koronka got the win, but just barely. He was pulled for a pinch hitter (Botts, who got a single), and we took the lead before Scott Feldman came in to replace Koronka. The shine is off Koronka from the great start he had, but he’s definitely a servicable starter, so that trade worked out pretty well.
We added five more doubles this game (Young 2, Laird 2, & Tex). We have about 900 so far this season it seems. There were the aforementioned home runs by Tex & Blalock (going back to back). In all we had twelve hits, and while it wasn’t pretty, we got the win.
That’s all that matters.

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Getting caught up

Well, as I said a couple of days ago, I’ve been busy, and haven’t had time to update the site. My company released a new game demo (Prey, go check it out, although it is a “Mature” rated game). As such, my time was big time elsewhere. I missed a few games totally, as well as only half paid attention to the ones I did see. As such, I’m summarizing all the missed games in a quick update here. Just for completeness’ sake, I guess.
Jun 17 – Beat Diamondbacks, 8-4: Matthews, Young lead team, going 2-4 each. Team hits for the cycle. Koronka gets a win. Of the 5 Rangers pitchers, Ron Mahay is the one with the most experience, and he was in the minors for awhile this season.
Jun 18 – Beat Diamondbacks, 10-7 for the series sweep. Kameron Loe was not good at all, giving up 4ER in 2.1IP. He goes on the DL after this start. Cordero blows another save; gets win. Mike Young goes 5-5 in the DH slot. Team hits for the cycle again. First three batters (Matthews, Young, Tex) have a combined 9 hits (out of the team’s overall 15). Nice to break out the brooms.
Jun 19 – Off Day
Jun 20 – Lose to Padres, 6-5. Mark Teixeira had a spectacular defensive game. He had what looked like a game winning walk off home run, and was screwed by first base umpire Bill Welke. That’s pretty much what people remember about this one.
Jun 21 – Lose to Padres, 3-2. Bill Welke strikes again. This time he’s behind home plate, and blows a call on a play where Michael Young scored, but was called out. Given we lost by one run, that was huge. Former Ranger pitcher Chris Young returns and pitches well against the Rangers. Also had former Rangers Eric Young & Adrian Gonzalez in tow. And I know it’s childish, but I still giggle like an 8 year old when I hear the name Barfield.
Jun 22 – Win against Padres, 5-3. John Rheinecker survived this game. He did get the win, but gave up eleven hits in 5.1IP to go with two walks. He’s lucky he only gave up two runs with all that. Still more doubles for our insane doubles rate this season. Cordero doesn’t blow a save. Blalock, Matthews, Young all 2-4. Nice to salvage a win before going on the road.

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G68: Rangers beat Diamondbacks, 5-3

This game was about Kevin Millwood.
I was supposed to go to this game tonight to get the giveaway (the Build a Bear Bear) for my daughter, but I couldn’t go – my wife got sick, and it was better if we didn’t go. If anyone has an extra one of those, and wants to take pity on me, please let me know. :)

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G67: Rangers lose game and series to Sox, 8-2

Definitely not John Rheinecker’s best game. Actually, it was fairly bad. But given the way he’s pitched in his games before this, I think no one is too bent out of shape over this one. Rhein gave up 11 hits and 5ER in four innings. Raised his season ERA to 3.60.
That’s pretty much the story of this game. It was rematch of the game Rhein & Mark Buehrle, but this time the roles were reversed. Buehrle gave up 2ER over 8 IP.
Rhein & Buehrle’s lines were the story of this game.

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G66: Rangers shut out White Sox, 8-0

This was Vicente Padilla’s game.
8 innings pitched
3 hits
0 runs
3 walks
7 strikeouts
2 beanings of AJ Pierzynski
109 pitches (70 for strikes)
The most telling moment for me was in the second inning when the Sox had 2 men on at second and third with nobody out, and nobody scored. That was the Sox best chance all night, and they couldn’t capitalize.
On our offensive side, we hit around Javier Vazquez. Blalock started it with a solo home run in the third. We then hit him up for a four spot in the fourth. What’s nice about that is that all four runs came with two outs. We extended our major league leading doubles lead with three more tonight (Blalock, Tex, Kinsler).
Gary Matthews continues to keep his grip on the CF job, and went 3-5 tonight with an rbi and a run scored. He continues to look great. Kinsler was 2-3, even Hairston was 2-4. Only Barajas & DeRosa were hitless. But DeRosa had the defensive gem of the night with a one handed grab of a ball hit into the ground. It was do or die, and he threw home, and kept the Sox off the scoreboard. Was a great play.
Was a great win over the World Series Champs. Keeps us in first place.

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G65: Rangers lose to White Sox, 5-2

The Rangers lost last night. I only got to see the first part of it, and I’ve been too busy at work today to write an update.
I’ll probalby have something to say later tonight when I update for tonight’s game, too.

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G64: Rangers dominated by Contreras; lose 8-3

John Koronka did not pitch well. He gave up hits to 8 of the first 11 batters, and then, well – it was too late. Well, actually it wasn’t, but the game felt out of hand almost immediately. Especially when going up against someone like Jose Contreras.
We had 32 at bats, and only got 6 hits out of all that. Barajas had two hits, and nobody else had more than 1. Barajas did have a two run homer in the fifth to make the score 6-3 at the time, but even then the game never felt that close at all. Just felt like we lost the game in the first inning.
Koronka stunk up the joint, giving up 6ER on 9H with 3BB over 4.2IP. Ugh. Benoit also gave up 2ER in his 3IP. Bauer finished up with 1.1IP and didn’t give up any runs, but by that point it was all over.
It’d be nice to blame it on a lack of rest after the travel fiasco involved in getting out of Boston after a DH, but I wouldn’t actually believe that.

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G62 & 63: Rangers split DH with Sox

After the rain on Saturday, we actually played a doubleheader on Sunday. Given I have several games to update tonight I won’t write a lot about each.
Game 1: The early game started at 11AM, which means I didn’t see much of it. I was at church when the game started, and since I had something scheduled to do in the afternoon, I didn’t have the time to watch all of this game, in fact, I only saw less than an hour of this one. But this game can be boiled down to essentially two home runs. Kevin Mench jacked a two run home run ove the Monstah off Josh Beckett which broke a 2-2 tie. The game was going well until the ninth inning when Otsuka blew a save, which has been rather unusual this year. It was however on a three run walk off home run to David Ortiz. Giving up a home run to Ortiz isn’t that unusual, but the game felt like ours – even when we were just tied. Just “felt” like we were going to come back and win. And that did happen, until the final pitch of the game. Here is the MLB.com update for this game.
Game 2: When Game two started I was in a movie theatre in Plano seeing the new Pixar flick Cars on a DLP screen (which I highly recommend over a conventional movie theatre). I didn’t get to see this game until later in the evening, and I accidentally saw the score before I finished watching ghe game, so that got ruined for me. I then flew threw the game in about 20 minutes on TiVo.
We had SIX more doubles this game. But outside those doubles, we had 16 more hits this game, all singles apparently. Mark DeRosa was 4-6, Tex was 3-6, there were hits all over the place. All of our starters had at least one hit (Matthews & DeRosa each had four). This one was a nice bounceback after the major disappointment of game one. Given I saw so little of teh games today, I’m gonna leave it at this, but since this was all about offense and numbers, I suggest checking out the box score below and reading that. Here is the MLB.com update for this game.

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G61: Rangers beat Sox 7-4

After a few attempts to play, and after a rather lengthy rain delay, the Rangers and the Red Sox finally got a game in on Saturday. As just about every angle of the game’s weather conditions has been covered, I’ll try not to write about that.
Johnny R pitched for us (I still have a hard time typing in and getting right the name Rheinecker), and didn’t pitch as good as his first couple of outings, but then again, nobody else has pitched like that, either. Rhein went only 5.2 innings in this one, giving up 3ER on 9 hits with three strikeouts. With those kinds of numbers, I’m surprised he didn’t give up more than three. Given the odd timing of the game due to weather, I didn’t get to see all of it; but from what I saw, he seemed what his line indicated – just “OK”.
However, right after that came Bryan Corey. When he was called up, I made a snide comment about him, not exactly rude, but not exactly pleasant, either. However, at least for this game, he silenced all critics. He faced four batters, struck out all four of them. I did see this, it looked great. Obviously that kind of record won’t hold up, but wow did that look good. :) Cordero & Otsuka followed up, and Cordero gave up a run, Otsuka got the save.
Offensively, we were led by Blalock & DeRosa, who were 3-4 & 2-5 respectively. The remainder of the team garnered just four hits collectively. Blalock had a home run off of former Sox closer Keith Foulke in the ninth inning. We also had three more doubles, which really seems like our strength this season.
I wrote the above text on Monday night around 10:30PM, so my memory is a bit foggy. I did write some text on Saturday when this originally happened; that text is here:

Rangers beat the Sox in the one game that was actually played today. I’ll have something about it later. Wouldn’t mind a free hot dog or two, though.
The other one that was supposed to be played today was postponed and there will be a doublehader tomorrow. The first game starts at 11AM Dallas time, and the second at 4PM (presuming there isn’t a 16 inning game or something).
Both games will be on Fox Sports Southwest according to Josh Lewin during tonight’s game.
Here’s the official Rangers press release.

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What a soggy mess

Well, today we had a day night doubleheader. The day game was technically a rainout makeup game from a few weeks back, and tonight’s game was the regularly scheduled game.
About half an hour ago, tonight’s game was postponed. As of right now, they’re still supposed to play the technical makeup game from the first part of the doubleheader.
The regularly scheduled game for tonight (which is now not being played) has no makeup date left. It’s amusing, as the games a few weeks back had two makeups. One was today, the other one was a date in the future (which I can’t recall at the moment). That game was also as I recall on one of the lone common off days the two teams had. No clue when they’re gonna make up the postponed game from tonight.
Tomorrow, perhaps? Course we then have to come back home for a 6PM game in Arlington on Monday. Yeesh, what a mess.

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G60: Rangers lose to Red Sox, 4-3

Well, we lost our second game in a row, 4-3 to the Red Sox. While no one ever truly likes losing, this 4-3 loss to the Sox is far more pallatlable than that complete stinkbomb in Kansas City the night before. Mr Yuck, indeed!
I had forgotten the game started at 6PM, so when I was driving home from work, I tuned in about 6:50 for the pre-game stuff, and the game was in the bottom of the second, and we were down 3-0 already. Not a good way to start. We did pick up a couple when Michael Young jacked a Tim Wakefield ball over the Monstah for a two run home run. That was pretty much it for offense, save for an RBI single by Hank Blalock over closer of the year Jonathan Papplebon in the 8th. In all we had eight hits, half of them by Gary Matthews & Mike Young. The other four were scattered amongs four players who got one each. We did get two more doubles tonight (DeRosa, Matthews) to extend our MLB leading lead in that category.
Vicente Pidente Padilla took the mound for us tonight. His start reminded me of Kevin Millwood’s the other day – not dominating, in fact bordering on falling over the edge, but when you look at the total line, it was a decent game, and that’s the bottom line, I guess. Well, no, wins and losses are, but that’s not completely under the control of the pitcher. Padilla went 7 giving up 3ER (all in the first) on 9 hits, 6 strikeouts, and one walk. Not a bad outing at all.
Still, it ended up as a loss. We go into a day night doubleheader saturday. I love doubleheaders. I hate day night doubleheaders, though. Especially at home. Blech. Speaking of that, have the Rangers ever done a day/night doubleheader? I can’t recall one in recent memory – can you?
I’ll say this, Sox fans seem to really love Kevin Youkilis by the reaction of them to just about anything he did. I always wished we had some guy like that where the whole place got excited about no matter what. Been awhile.
Anyone think that we’ll extend Gary Matthews & Mark DeRosa at the end of this season? I think Matthews has played himself into a possible long term solution in center. As much as I like Laynce Nix, I can’t argue against what Matthews has done up here – sustained success is something Nix has yet to achieve, unfortunately.
Anyone think that the thing with Jason Grimsley sounds like something from a CSI episode or something? There seems like a lot more “drama” then there has been with some of the other big names that have gotten in “trouble” (unofficially, of course)?

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G59: Rangers lay an egg in Kansas City; lose 16-12

What the HELL was that mess? I mean…

Mr. Yuck
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G58: Late inning heroics lift Rangers, 4-2

As I’ve said many many times before, I detest going up against young pitchers on other teams, making either their major league debuts, or have only pitched a game or two. These guys knock us out. Tonight was no different.
We went up against KC rookie Bobby Keppel. who I believe was making only his third or fourth start. And, true to form, he kept us off the board. It wasn’t for a lack of trying though; we had several balls to the warning track that died just before going over the fence. Still, we were shut out for 8+ innings.
Keppel went into the ninth, and gave up a single to the first batter he faced, Hank Blalock. Following that, Buddy Bell went to his bullpen and brought in Ambiroix Burgos. While I understand Bell’s decision to go to the pen in the ninth with your rookie protecting just a two run lead, the Royals’ pen has the worst ERA in the American League (what a stunner), with about a 6. Burgos came in, gave up a single to DeRosa, struck out Wilkerson, and then hit Mench, loading the bases. Kinsler hit a sac fly to break up the shutout, making it 2-1. Barajas was down to 0-2 with two outs, and blooped a single into left, tying the game at two.
Bell brought in Elmer Dessens to try and stop the bleeding, but it didn’t help. Gary Matthews Jr, who I hope gets an All-Star nod, doubled to left, scoring Barajas & Hairston (who had run for Mench). That put us up 4-2 for the eventual win, amidst rather a lot of boos from the few fans who were there in Kansas City.
John Koronka had the ball for us. Koronka, who has been one of 2006′ better surprises has slipped a bit his last couple of starts. He did however pitch pretty well this game. He went 6.1 innings, giving up two runs (QS) on 6 hits with 2BB, and 1K. He got a no decision, but i think he needed to have a good outing line score wise. I don’t think he was in danger of losing his job or anything – but you don’t want to have too many bad starts in a row.
Our bullpen was much better than KC’s (again, not hard). Alfonseca, Otsuka, & Cordero pitched, and din’t give up any runs. Now Otsuka set up Cordero, but I think that only happened because we scored a bunch of runs in the top of the 9th to take the lead, I think the idea was to get Otsuka work in the 8th, and that was it. I don’t think this was a formal change back to Corder as closer.
Oakland lost, so our lead in the West is back to 4 and a half games. I still maintain it’s not great, as we have the worst record of any of the six division leaders, but it’s still nice to say “First place Rangers” again. Been awhile since I could say that.
Also, I got a laugh out of what MLB.com’s game wrapup had as a headline for this game.. Fab four sings in No. 9 I doubt whoever wrote that will see this text, but if you do, it made me laugh. :)

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G57: Rangers beat Royals Tuesday, 6-2

First off, let me say it was nice to see the Rangers win in Kansas City. It seems to me that we’ve had this mental block there where we can’t win in recent years. Course this year with the Royals already 150 games back and 0-500 this season it seems, we had a shot. :)
Texas retains their hold on first place with a win in Kansas City. Kevin Millwood took the hill for Texas. On the road this year, he’s been the same pitcher he was last year, no walks at all (until tonight), and a bunch of strikeouts with an ERA under 3. At home he’s been well, not that pitcher. But on the road, he’s been great. Tonight he labored a lot. His overall line shows a quality start (7 innings pitched, 2 earned runs, 7 hits, 5 K, 1 BB), but he really labored. He had I think over 60 pitches (or clsoe to it) after 3, and from some of the camera shots they were showing of him in the dugout between innings, he seemed flushed, like the heat was a bother to him. Still, you can’t argue with the ultimate line, and that’s the mark of a good top of the rotation guy. Even when he’s not dominating, he finds a way to get the job done, and he did. A well deserved win, I thought.
Offensively, we got several more doubles (4, Young, Tex, Mench, & Laird) – we’re leading the AL in doubles as a team. Our home runs are down this year, but our doubles are way up. Speaking of home runs, we got a couple of those, too. One from Brad Wilkerson (filling the 666 nonsense we’re hearing about today – Uniform #6 got a HR out of the 6 hole on 6/6/06), and one from Ian Kinsler. Kinsler’s double was alomst another home run, so he had some nice power tonight, as well as three RBI’s. We had 11 hits in all, and they were nicely scattered – only Mark Teixeira didn’t get at least one hit.
As for Kansas City? Well, they still have a nice ballpark even if it’s been bombed with advertisements the last 5 years or so. It is still a park I want to travel to see. Oh yeah, the other memorable moment for Kansas City reliever Danny Bautista uncorked a wild pitch that bounced off the ground and ended up (according to Josh Lewin) about twenty rows into the stands. That reminds me of that old classic baseball clip you see in blooper reels of a Yankees pitcher (forget who now) who goes to pitch, and the ball goes flying way out of his hands straight up, and lands on that screen that is behind home plate in Yankee Stadium, and rolls back down towards the field of play. If you’ve watched enough blooper reels, you should know that pitch. It’s been that kind of year for the Royals when I remember that kind of thing for them in a game, and not anything “good”.

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G54, 55, 56: Rangers take two of three from White Sox

I got pretty sick on Friday evening, and it carried over through Saturday and into Sunday.
Because of that, I fell asleep watching Friday night’s game three seperate times, and Saturday night’s wasn’t much better. While I was conciuous I was dealing with some issues that decorum prohibits me from discussing here. Suffice it to say my mind wasn’t all there. I’ll look back at the games, and write something quick about them.
Friday: (W: 4-3) Kameron Loe & Jon Garland had similar lines, going 6 or so innings, giving up 3 earned runs (although Loe gave up twice as many hits (10-5) as Garland did). The bullpens were the story here. Chicago’s gave up one run, ours none. That was the difference. We had one home run (Wilkerson), and three doubles tonight (Tex, Young, & Matthews). Francisco Cordero picked up the win (his 5th), and I think puts him up there with our team leaders in wins. Otsuka got his 10th save. [ MLB.com Recap ]
Saturday: (L: 8-6) Vicente Padilla was pulled early in this game after throwing only 3.1IP. He gave up 7 hits and 7ER on 3BB and 4K. That was pretty much the game there. Chicago put up a rather ugly 7 spot in the fourth inning, and while we got a ltitle momentum back with a 3 spot in the top of the fifth, we couldn’t rally enough. We lost the game 8-6. Gary Matthews continued to be hot going 3 for 5 with 2 doubles, and a run scored. Blalock & Young were also 3-5. We had 13 hits overall, but it just wasn’t enough, we couldn’t overcome the pitching of Padilla tonight. [ MLB.com Recap ]
Sunday: (W: 10-2): This was the game I knew the least about actually. I was feeling better Sunday, so I did some errands. I did hear parts of the game as I was driving around town, but it’s hard to get a grasp when you hear half an inning here, a few batters there. Looking at the line, John Rheinecker pitched his second great start in a row, and is now 2-0 with us. Rhien went 8 innings, giving up just 2ER on 7 hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Another well pitched game from him; hopefully that can conitnue, as I can’t see us sending out someone who is pitching that well. We bombed Mark Buehrle to the tune of 6 earned runs over 7 innings pitched. Mark didn’t help himself with four walks, either. Jerry Hairston Jr got into the action, and did make an error in his first Ranger game. Hairston went 0-4, but did walk once and scored. Mark Teixeira was red hot this game, going 4-5 with two doubles. But as hot as he was, it didn’t compare to Gerald Laird. Laird was 4 for 5 also, but had two doubles AND two home runs with 4 RBI’s. A great day for Gerald – hopefully the tide starts to turn back to him, as I don’t think Barajas will be here next year. Time to give Gerald his job back that he lost due to injury. [ MLB.com Recap ]
Tomorrow night we go into Kansas City for game against the woeful Royals. I’m sure we’ll lose 2 out of 3, as we seem to have a mental block that disallows us from playing good there.

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G53: Rangers bombed by Mariners, 14-5

Mama said there’d be days like this.
There’d be days like this momma said.
OK, it’s game 53, and we haven’t had much in the way of total shellackings. There’s always a handful of those you have to suffer through in a season. Nothing much good generally comes out of them. This night was no better.
No one escaped. We sent four pitchers out there (Koronka, Benoit, Bauer, Wilson), and all four of them stunk up the joint, although Benoit the least of them. The combined line for the four pitchers was 9IP, 18 hits, 14 earned runs, 6 walks (although none by Koronka), and 6 strikeouts. Koronka gave up the lone home run allowed by Ranger pitching.
The only good bit was in the fifth inning when Gary Matthews Jr hit a grand slam, I believe our second in two days. I also seem to recall that we now hold the major league record for grand slams or something in 2006.
As ugly as this game was, we still took two out of three, and a series win is always good.

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G52: Rangers survive 4 errors, win 6-4 on Tuesday

I didn’t see much of this game, as I had some household responsibilities tonight. I did see some of it, and from the Rangers point of view, I saw the most important inning, the third. I wasn’t happy at the top of the third when we were down 3-0, as Millwood seems to continue his streak of not pitching well in Arlington.
But then the bottom of the third Mike Young jacked a ball into the bullpen which put us within a run, we were down 3-2 at the time. Then Mark Teixeira singled. Hank Blalock followed up with another single, and then Mark DeRosa walked, loading the bases for Brad Wilkerson. Wilkerson hit what he says he thought was a sac fly to right, but it kept carrying and carrying and it cleared the wall for a grand slam. That put us up 6-2, and it felt good.
But then we tried to give it away from that point on. We had a total of four errors tonight. We hung on, and for the second night in a row, Carl Everett ended the game. Last night it was a fly to right, tonight it was a called strikeout that brought out just a tad of the Boston era Carl Everett. Course Raul Ibanez did his best Boston Everett impression in the first after being called out on a strike.
The Mariners seem again to be a “not much going on” team. They just look lethargic. If you want to see what Mariner fans are thinking, check out the USS Mariner site. They’re practically in complete revolt over there.
I don’t have much else to add to this, not having seen most of the game, but a win is a win. We’ve now won three in a row, and have a 28-24 record, and were technically 4.5 games up in the West at the end of the game. However, before we get all excited about that, it’s the worst record of a division leaader of the six divisions. A division lead is always a good thing, but when you’re the lowest seed in that department it doesn’t fare well for the playoffs, IMO. If you take the Rangers record and plop it into the other divisions, this is where they’d stand.
AL East:
Fourth place, behind Boston, New York, & Toronto, 2.5 games back
AL Central:
Third, behind the Tigers & White Sox, 6 games back
NL East:
Second, behind the Mets, 2.5 games back
NL Central:
Tied second with Reds, behind Cardinals, 5 games back
NL West:
Third, behind Diamondbacks & Dodgers, 2.5 games back
While it’s fun to say we’re in first place, it’s not the greatest first place. If we were 10 games over 500 or something I might be more excited about it. It’s a cautious excitement for now.
Also, congrats to Chris Young, who came close to a no hitter, taking it into 8 tonight against the Rockies.

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G51: It’s all about the Rhine

John RhineckerEight & 1/3 innings pitched
Four hits allowed
Zero runs allowed
One walk allowed
One extremely huge standing ovations
First major league win
Twenty Seventh Birthday
I don’t know how my meager words could do justice to what John Rhinecker did on the mound Monday night. What a birthday present from him, and the shaving cream pie he got in the face from Kevin Mench in the post game show was a great moment. All I hope is that this performance doesn’t get him sent back to AAA. I think he should definitely be allowed at least one more start. I mean.. Wow.
Jarrod Washburn had a great game himself, going 7 innings, giving up just six hits and two earned runs. The runs were on his only real mistake, a home run by Mark Teixeira in the sixth inning, which barely cleared the left field scoreboard wall. But it was enough.
Freddie Bynum is hitting .222 with 2 HR & 6 RBI and 3 SB. Juan Dominguez is 4-5 with a 6.22 ERA in 10 games over 46.1 IP. I think all Ranger fans should send a thank you card to Billy Beane out in Oakland for this one. Does anyone miss Juan Dominguez at the moment? When does John Koronka pitch again?
Oh, and Jamey, I’m not forgetting the PTBNL. I want to steal someone else. We have two steals in this three team trade, let’s go for the trifecta. Let’s get greedy. ;)
Oh yeah, we won 2-0. :)

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G50: Rangers beat A’s Sunday night, 4-3

Well, I was tired yesterday from doing a bunch of yardwork in the morning, so by the time the game rolled around I was pretty tired. I fell asleep duing the game, and missed most of it – I woke up, and saw the score, so most of what happened I didn’t see.
I did however, get to see Jason Botts’ first career home run – a no doubter into the upper home run porch. I also saw Botts’ double. In all, Jason had two hits. Ian Kinsler, the other rookie playing this game also had two hits, going 2 for 4 with an RBI (a broken bat check swing at a ball about to hit his head). In fact, the entire rest of the team only had two more hits (Barajas/Blalock). We managed only 6 hits total, but made ‘em count. We were outhit, yet won the game.
Both starters gave up all the runs (Padilla, 3, Saarloos – 4) Otsuka got his 8th save for the Rangers. Cordero did pitch before him, but was quite wild, giving up two hits and a walk, although not allowing anyone to score.
It was a nice game as everyone else in the division lost, so we’re now three games out in first over the A’s, and give over both the Mariners (whom we play tonight) and the Angels.

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G49: Rangers lose to Planet Zito, 6-3

Usually, when the Rangers are going up against Barry Zito, it means a loss. This game is no different. We lost to Barry Zito. Except for a short moment of wildness in the bottom of the sixth, he was pretty untouchable. If you take out the events of the bottom of the sixth, Zito’s line would be: 7.1IP, 3H, 0ER, 2BB, 7K. A pretty impressive line. Howerver, in the bottom of the sixth, Zito hit Teixeira, walked Blalock, and then gave up a three run home run to Phil Nevin. Other than that, Zito didn’t allow much at all. His actual line was 7.1IP, 4H, 3ER, 3BB, 7K. It felt way more impressive than his real line indicates. Zito was also helped out by some sparkling defense by Eric Chavez, who made some really REALLY impressive plays at third, and probably helped out Zito’s line.
Kameron Loe on the other hand was not impressive. He didn’t stink up the joint, but he left a lot of pitches up, and gave up way too many hits. Loe went just 5.2IP, but gave up eleven hits in all, walking 2, striking out two. He also gave up 6 runs, although 2 were unearned. That was generous I thought, because the play in question didn’t really look like a Blalock error, I thought it was a double, and it initially was ruled that, but was changed inbetween innings to an error, giving Loe just 4ER instead of 6. I’m sure Jay Payton didn’t appreciate that.
Our bullpen was quite good, going a total of 3.1 innings of shutoutball. Four relievers (Wilson, Feldman, Mahay, Bauer) combined for just one hit (Bauer in the 9th) with 2K and 2BB.
However, due to the generally bad Oakland bullpen, Ken Macha left Zito out there as long as he could. Zito, who finally ran out of gas in the 8th after going 7.1 innings with 126 pitches gave way to Houston Street, who tonight acted like the closer, and only gave up a total of one hit in his 1.2 inning save.
The way Loe was pitching, it felt like it could have been a whole lot worse. I credit Zito for this game’s outcome moreso than anything else that happened.
I wonder what that guy in the first row of Section 323 with the giant Rangers flag, and snakes all over the place thought of this? I sat behind him for a bit at last night’s game, and assumed he was the Kam’s Snake Pit guy, but I couldn’t tell for sure. Assuming that was him, I’m sure he wasn’t thrilled with the way Loe pitched tonight.