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G162: Rangers drop season finale, 4-2

Well, we ended up in last place again. There was a bit of a small thrill there with the possibility of not ending up there chasing the A’s, but again, our little team from Texas ended up in the cellar. This was due to having been swept by Seattle, including Sunday afternoon’s 4-2 loss to close out the 2007 campaign.
A.J. Murray started the game, and (technically) had a quality start. Six innings pitched, five hits, three earned runs (four total), two walks. Which aren’t outstanding numbers, but not horrendous.
Aw heck. It’s Game 162 of a not really great season. We lost. We’re in last place. I don’t feel like going into a lot of detail about the final game of a season that is now over.
I also considered doing an end of season writeup on each player, but I’m going to shelve that. Mostly due to my burnout post from a few weeks ago. I decided I was going to finish the season, then table the site for awhile and see how I feel. While I’m probably going to continue into 2008, I am going to take a break for awhile, so this will be the last post I make for awhile unless something major happens.
Or I get excited about my Phillies being in the playoffs and advancing. :)

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G161: Rangers shut down, lose 5-1

This one was totally down to Miguel Batista. A pitcher I was hoping we would have tried to acquire a few years back when he was with Toronto. Batista looked really good this year for a well traveled pitcher (Pirates 92, Marlins 96, Cubs 97, Expos 98-00, Royals 00, Diamondbacks 01-03, Blue Jays 04-05, Diamondbacks 06, Mariners 07). His career numbers don’t indicate the level of pitching he showed on Saturday, but I always got the feeling when he was a Blue Jay that if he could “just figure it out”, he’d be incredible, and he looked it today.
Batista went eight innings, giving up just three hits and one run while walking two and k’ing five. Was quite the starting pitching performance. Unlike Kevin Millwood, who is our “ace”. Our guy went 7, giving up 11 hits, 3 walks, 5 runs (4 earned).. The only really positive thing is that he went 7. Oooh. That’s important in Game #161 of the season. :)
Offensively, we were closed down quite good. Three hits. Two singles (Sosa, Botts) and a double (Cruz). Brad Wilkerson had a sac fly for the only run we got. But… meh. A flaccid performance for sure on behalf of the team from Texas.

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G160: Rangers lose late to Mariners, 6-4

Well, whenever the game numbers start with 16, you know it’s a sad time. It means this is the last series of the year, and Ranger baseball, like so many seasons before it will be over, because there’s no October play for us. Sigh. There is also the issue of the 9PM start time. I had to be up early on Saturday, so I didn’t see the whole game – in fact I fell asleep on it, and I didn’t find out who won until I woke up after the game had ended.
As for the game itself, the Rangers threw out Edinson Volquez, who went 5.1 innings, giving up six hits and three walks (not that great), but allowing just three earned runs. By no means a great outing, but not exactly bad/awful, either. Just “OK”. We ran out five relievers (Littleton, Rheinecker, Francisco, Benoit, & Wood). The first three were good, not allowing any runs. Benoit & Wood however, were not. They allowed three runs in the last 1.2 innings pitched by the Rangers, and the Mariners the win. Since I didn’t see them pitch, I can’t attest to the mechanics and all of how they pitched, but you can’t argue with the BS & L stats in the box score for them. It wasn’t good.
Jeff Weaver on the other hand was much better, if not great himself. Eight innings pitched, nine hits, four earned runs, but no walks. Weaver allowed three doubles (Kinsler, Vazquez, Salty) and a home run (Metcalf), and five singles. JJ Putz also allowed a fourth double to David Murphy. I did see the Metcalf home run, and it didn’t look like a massive titanic power swing like you see some of the big sluggers take, but the ball just slid out. It was quite a pretty home run.
Michael Young got hit #201, and his average stands at a healthy .315.
Fortunately, Oakland was blanked by Anaheim 2-0, so we remain tied for third place with just two games to go.
I did like the quotes in the paper on Saturday morning from Ranger players saying they wanted to bring back the red uniforms for 2009. For some reason, MLB rules state that if you want to make a change to your uniform, the deadline for the FOLLOWING season is in March, so for us to change in 2009, we’d have to have it in by March 2008. Never quite understood that rule, but there you go. I’ve always liked red, as have a lot of people. Buck Showalter did, as he got the coaches to wear red in spring training. I actually thought that was a good idea, because it would help spot a coach in the sea of humanity that can be spring training workouts and the like. I hope this files.