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G113: Rangers beat A’s, 8-6

Kason Gabbard took the hill in this game, and looked pretty decent. He got in a bit of hot water in the third, but got his way out of it. Not so much in the fourth when he gave up the first run of the game on a hit to Donnie Murphy. Gabbard gave up a single to Piazza and then a home run to Mark Ellis in the sixth after setting down the previous four in a row, and 7 out of 8 before the Piazza single.
The bottom of the sixth was a big one for the Rangers. It started off with a Cruz walk, and then a rather interesting play on a screaming liner by Jason Botts. It forced Cruz to dive back to first, that was an odd looking play, we almost ended up with two runners at first. Then Cruz was doubled in by Saltamacchia. Gerald Laird then doubled in two runs, knocking out Chad Gaudin (who I dropped from about four fantasy teams I had him on before the game). After the pitching change, Ramon Vazquez bunted Laird over to third, which seemed a bit of an odd move in the middle of a big inning. Frank Catalanotto then doubled in Laird. Then a real puzzler, the A’s intentionally walked Michael Young to get to Marlon Byrd. It ended up working, as Byrd grounded out to third, ending the inning, but it worked – we scored four runs.
Kason Gabbard came out of the game in the top of the seventh after a pretty decent line. Six innings, three earned runs (technically a quality start), five hits, three walks (too many), and four strikeouts. Way too many pitches, though – 107. Still, six innings is doable.
Wes Littleton came on, and was completely ineffective, allowing all three runners to get on base, leaving for Frank Francisco with the bases loaded. But Francisco navigated his way out of that mess, and did not allow anyone to score. I know how that feels, the Rangers have done that. Nice to have it happen for us, as opposed to against us. Francisco just mowed ‘em down in the seventh. Cust flied out, Piazza struck out, and Mark Ellis grounded into a fielder’s choice. Into the eighth, Dan Johnson lined out, and Marco Scutaro flied out. Those five outs in a row came on just 12 pitches. Donnie Murphy’s at bat end that with a double, followed by an RBI single by Curt Suzuki, followed by a home run by Shannon Stewart making it 7-6, a close game again. Frustrating outing by Francisco, as he was totally dominant his first five batters, and then totally not the next few after that.
The Rangers did add one in the bottom of the 8th, and had a chance to bust it wide open, but just settled for the one.
That was it for the A’s, though. CJ Wilson came in and pitched the rest of the game, not giving up any runs, and getting the save. Kason Gabbard got his first win as a Ranger, and his first in Texas.
Random comment: Jason Botts just looks gigantic at the plate. :)

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G112: Rangers lose in 13 innings, 9-7

I have to say, once we fell behind 6-0 in the first inning, I lost my desire to watch the game. I’ve had enough of that kind of crap inning as a Rangers fan, and the prospect of sitting through another game hoping and praying we’ll catch up was not one I was looking forward to. It got worse once we got to the third, and went down 7-0. By this point, I was flipping channels, and started watching Baseball Tonight, and also watched more of the Nationals Giants game than the Rangers game. That kid the Nats ran out there (John Lannan) looked pretty good on the hill against Barry Bonds (and the rest of the Giants).
Anyway, the Rangers did pick up a three spot in the bottom of the third to make the game a little more palatable. Two scored on a Sosa Texas leaguer to left, and the other on a Marlon Byrd single.
As bad as the first inning was for Rheinecker, I have to give him some credit for battling, and staying out there for five innings. Really, other than the grand slam in the first, he wasn’t THAT awful. Now there’s no good way to say giving up six runs in an inning is a good thing, but innings 2-5 were pretty decent. Shine’s off the shoe a bit regarding that honeymoon feeling when he was called up, though.
In the bottom of the eighth, we got the bats going again and got closer. We scored three. The first two were on a Jason Botts home run (which I’m sure had every Newberg fan and Jamey himself probably too excited for their own good), and a groundout by Kinsler, scoring Salty.
The bottom of the ninth was led off by Michael Young’s first home run in three months (to tie it and go to extra innings), and then two innings later, Michael Young led off the inning by getting his first ejection of the season, followed quickly by the first ejection of Ron Washington too. Ron looked pretty darned mad. I know managers can get mad, but Ron seems like one of those “nice guys”. Nice guys can get seriously mad when they do get mad. Makes me wish I could lip read, there was a really good closeup of the argument on TV.
Mike Wood (4IP), Joaquin Benoit (1IP), & CJ Wilson (2IP) were all great out of the pen, keeping the A’s off the scoreboard. Then in the 13th, came in Willie Eyre. I had that feeling of doom. I’m not a real big fan of Eyre, and my feeling was upheld. Eyre gave up two runs in the top of the 13th that lost us the game. Shame, as it was a great feeling coming back from down 7-0 so early.
A few amusing things… Regarding Marlon Byrd, when did this thing start I saw on TV where everyone was “doing the Bird”? I don’t have a problem with it, it’s rather cool, but I can’t recall seeing it before tonight. Also, I saw on TV that Saltamacchia had his own “Hank’s Homies”. Forget right now what they were called, but it was “Salty’s Shakers” I think. That’s nice to see so quickly.
Bonds is still at 755. I’ll probably be flipping between channels again tonight to see if he hits 756. I know it’ll be all over SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, and every sports show and website from here until the end of time, but there’s something about “seeing it live when it happens”, that makes me want to flip channels. :)

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G111: Rangers swept in Toronto, 4-1

I’m not going to say much about this game. I’ve been sick, and haven’t felt like writing, I just wanted a marker page. :)

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G110: Rangers & Eyre blow it early, lose to Jays, 9-5

I wonder if Alex Rodriguez’s 500th or Barry Bonds’ 755th got our boys to forget about this mess any easier.
This was another game my TiVo blew it on (I need to check my settings), and when I turned it on about one hour after the game started, I figured they’d be into the fourth. They were just starting the second. And we were already losing 6-1. Oh well, time to head back to the Xbox for some more “The Bigs”.
The Rangers site’s story on this game has the headline “Eyre can’t stop bleeding for Rangers in loss”. They’re right. From what I see from the recap, it was a mess. Look at this:
- R. Johnson singled to shortstop
- L. Overbay walked, R. Johnson to second
- A. Rios doubled to left, R. Johnson scored, L. Overbay to third
- V. Wells doubled to deep left, L. Overbay scored, A. Rios to third
- F. Thomas homered to deep left center, V. Wells and A. Rios scored
- T. Glaus walked
- A. Hill flied out to center
- G. Zaun singled to deep center, T. Glaus to third
- J. McDonald sacrificed to pitcher, T. Glaus scored, G. Zaun to second
- R. Johnson struck out swinging
All in the first inning. Bleargh. Eyre’s overall line was just atrocious. 2.1 innings, six hits, seven earned runs, two walks, two strikeouts, and two home runs. And they said they pitched him because they thought he’d do better than Mike Wood, who didn’t arrive until really late at night and was tired with short rest. I can’t imagine it being a whole lot worse. Actually, I can, but I tell myself that so it’s not as bad. AJ Murray gave up the other two runs in his 2.1 innings of work. Littleton & Francisco followed, and did stop the bleeding, but it was done.
Offensively we weren’t too bad, with eleven hits (one double, one triple, one home run, eight singles). But with two home runs by Frank Thomas, and the early lead, this one was over immediately, really.

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G109: Toronto’s Halladay beats Rangers 6-4

I missed most of this game due to family events. Building a block building with my little girl seemed more important than watching the Rangers game tonight. But still, I’m a Ranger fan, so I had to say something about the game after checking out the box score.
The Rangers scored early, putting three on the board in the first two innings. This was powered by a Nelson Cruz triple (scoring Cat), and an Ian Kinsler single (scoring Vazquez & Laird). Unfortunately, this was offset by another pedestrian opening by Kevin Millwood, who allowed three runs to the Blue Jays in the first inning (single, walk, single, double). Kevin’s overall line wasn’t too awful – those were the only runs he gave up. However, too few innings (four), too many hits (eight), and WAY WAY WAY too many pitches (96) combined to kick Kevin out after the fourth. We only used one other pitcher this evening (Jamey Wright), who also went four innings, and gave up three runs to Toronto in the sixth.
Jamey’s appearance in relief will keep him from starting on Saturday. Instead, we’re calling up Mike Wood from AAA to start in place of Kameron Loe who is going on the DL with some back pain (although it doesn’t seem serious from reading about it). Nothing terribly bad here, but I have a “meh” feeling about it.
Offensively, we had one triple (Byrd), and eight singles scattered around the game. Halladay went 6, giving up four earned runs. Not exactly Cy Young caliber stuff, but it was enough to beat us this Friday evening.

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G108: Rangers shut out by Tribe, 5-0

Jake Westbrook got his second win of the season. On August 2nd. Against us. Figures. It was his 13th start of the season, and only his second win. He pitched like he was Roy Oswalt, which he is most definitely not. That’s usually when pitchers do things like that. Westbrook was pretty much in control, going six innings, giving up 5 hits and one walk and five strikeouts. No runs, obviously. Pitch count was a bit high, 103, but it didn’t matter. Cleveland’s relievers went 3 innings, two hits, no runs. We were shut out.
The Rangers had seven hits in all (including two doubles (Young, Botts)), and that’s usually enough to push across a run or two, but we couldn’t do that. Was pretty much an ineffective offense today.
Kason Gabbard made his Rangers debut today, and wasn’t that bad. He went 5.2 innings, gave up 3 earned runs on eight hits and one walk. Struck out four. It was cool to hear that outside the strikeouts, his outs were all on the ground except one fly ball. Shortly before Gabbard came out, Eric Nadel uttered the phrase “Jason Gabbard has been a ground ball machine today.” That will be good in Arlington. Makes you wonder what we’ll do when Vicente Pidente comes off the DL. Almost makes you wish we hadn’t have signed him, eh? Still, Gabbard was pretty good, if not great today, so it’s something good to build on, I would think.
And finally, I wanted to have a mini rant about the KRLD post game call in show. The first 3-4 callers to Mike Ogulnick are prime reasons why I don’t like listening to call in shows. The guys who said “we’ve been in a rebuilding mode since 72″ & “we’re the AAA team for the rest of MLB” are exactly what I mean by short sighted, knee-jerk “fans”. When you say silly things like that, it completely discounts everything else you say, and make someone who really knows baseball want to shut off the radio (which I did). I ranted about this the other day about the Teixeira trade, and I won’t go into a full rant here, but dammit – where’s Steve Busby when you need him? Ogulnick wants to be everyone’s friend. Come on man, call some of these people morons like Busby used to!

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G107: Rangers win in extra innings, 9-6

First off, my TiVo did not record the game tonight. That was a bit of a bummer. I had spent the early evening playing some more of “The Bigs” on my Xbox 360, and then was going to check out the game, as I wanted to see Saltamacchia, and catch a glimpse of Gabbard, but to no avail. I did get to see Salt’s RBI hit on Baseball Tonight as I was flipping back and forth between that and coverage of the Minnesota bridge collapse.
I did see that we won 9-6 in extra innings, which is a surprise, as we usually seem to lose 10 inning games. I did get to hear the first inning on the radio at work while I was waiting for my ride home to show up, she was delayed due to the big storms in the area then. Really felt like we were going to get out to an enormous lead in the first inning. Paul Byrd was all over the place, and allowed 4 of the first 5 batters on, which scored a run. Jarrod Saltamacchia came through in his first at bat as a Ranger, he singled in two runs in the first, making it 3-0 early.
However, John Rheinecker gave it all back and then some with a four spot in the bottom of the second behind a single, a double, and two home runs. Cleveland though decided to help out by gifting us a tie again in the top of the third on a Garko error.
Things stayed calm for a little while until the bottom of the fifth when Rheinecker was knocked out following a Garko single/RBI and a Travis Hafner double/RBI. That made Rhein’s line 4.1 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs, 2 walks. Ugh. That was the bad Rheinecker. You know, I don’t have any good reason to do it, but I wanted to say “Rhein’s line” again. I amused myself typing that. :)
Our bullpen was outstanding again. Five relievers (Eyre, Littleton, Murray, Benoit, Wilson) combined to go 5.2 innings of shutout ball. Combined they allowed just three hits, NO WALKS, and seven strikeouts. Would have liked to have seen that – darn TiVo.
Frank Catalanotto (now one of the elder statesmen on this team) doubled in a couple of runs in the top of the 8th again, tying the game up, and sending it to extra innings where I don’t like being – we always seem to lose. Especially if it’s JUST ten innings. Give me 14 or 17 or something, then we win, but 10 is bad.
In the 10th, it seemed like Cleveland was a mess from looking at the play by play log. Vazquez single, Cat fielder’s choice (no out), Kinsler reaches on throwing error (Vazquez scores), Young intentionally walked, Botts hit a sac fly (Cat scored), Byrd singled (Kinsler scored), Cruz struck out. It was enough.
But the bits that most Ranger fans wanted to know about…
Nelson Cruz: 2-5, 1 run scored
Jarrod Saltamacchia: 1-5, 2 RBI
Jason Botts: 0-5, 1 RBI (sac fly), 3K
Sammy Sosa: 9 innings bench time
Kason Gabbard: Pitches tomorrow
Was weird seeing Teixeira hit a home run in Atlanta on Baseball Tonight. The Atlanta fans were having a love fest, but I bet you anything they’ll be wanting to run him out of town come October 2008.

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G106: Rangers pitch well, beat Indians 3-1

After the disaster that was the last game in Kansas City, one wonders how many Ranger fans were more looking forward to the trade news of the day than the team actually playing a game and losing. Especially against Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona. Mr. Carmona has been lights out this year, going 13-5 (after this game), and just generally being an awesome young starting pitcher.
McCarthy has been unstable at best, and I don’t think 2007 Rangers fans know what they’re getting each time he goes out there. So it was some surprise to most I’d wager that Brandon pitched as well as he did. His overall line was 6.2 innings pitched, four hits, three walks, and one earned run. The earned run was a solo home run to Ryan Garko in the seventh. Josh Lewin had just made a point that McCarthy hadn’t pitched this far in a game this season so far. Don’t blame him, but McCarthy seemed to be running out of gas in the seventh, and couldn’t seal the deal. Frank Francisco came in and put out that small fire. Heck, CJ Wilson, who got the save tonight was also lights out. 1.2 IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K. A great night for Rangers pitchers. McCarthy even got into things in the fourth on a wild pitch that he was able to get back to the plate on and tag out the runner trying to score – which at that point preserved his shutout.
Carmona didn’t do too bad himself. He went 7 innings, giving up five hits and one walk. He allowed three runs (two earned on a call that should have been a hit all the way). He probably would have gotten the win most nights with that line, but tonight he was beat by Brandon McCarthy.
Nice to see Saltalamacchia turn up in the dugout during the game. The bit about him and Hank Blalock and their kids’ names tattoos was fun to watch. Salt is probably playing tomorrow’s game. That’ll be worth looking out for.
Bottom line, an extremely well pitched game, on a day when we took inbound several good pitching prospects via trade. Makes you wonder just what the heck in the world we were doing in Kansas City?!?

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G105: Rangers swept out by Royals, 10-0

The less said about this mess, the better.

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G104: Royals beat Nelson Cruz, 6-5

Kevin Millwood had an awful game on the mound. His line was atrocious. He went 2.2 innings, giving up nine hits and one walk. All six runs the Royals got were off Millwood, and they were all earned. No good way to describe that.
Of course it did mean that our bullpen pitched pretty well. All six KC runs were scored in the first three innings. After that, our bullpen put up zeroes.
Offensively, it was all Nelson Cruz, making his first appearance since returning from AAA after the trade of Kenny Lofton. Cruz was the show, hitting two home runs, and driving in all five runs the Rangers scored. Was nice to see that. Hopefully the new batting stance we saw on TV during this game helps him out. I did like him a lot when we first aquired him about a year ago. But he definitely has fallen since then. Hope he puts it back together again.
But a tough loss. We did make some noise in the ninth inning, scoring two to get to 6-5, and I believe left the bases loaded when the game ended. Darn.

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G103: Rangers lose to Royals, 6-1

You know as I started watching this game, I thought “Oh, it’s Jamey Wright, this won’t be so bad”. What a fool I was! I was duped into believing that the guy wearing #45 lately was a great pitcher. His recent performances had me believing that he was someone to trust. I should have known. This was the Jamey Wright we knew and loved before he signed here. The one that caused me to contemplate blinding myself with knitting needles when he made the 25 man roster. ;) OK, that’s an exaggeration taht fooled nobody. But it wasn’t something I was thrilled when when the Rangers did it. Tonight wasn’t good. 6.2 innings pitched, ten hits, four walks, and five earned runs. Three of them came in the first on a home run to Butler. It was at that moment I sort of wrote the opening bit for this entry. We never recovered.
Brian Bannister tossed a gem against us. Seven shutout innings on four hits and two walks. Not much else to say, the kid was good.
The only offense we got was a Sammy Sosa home run into the grass in left off of Joaquim Soria in the 8th. That was it. Sosa also had a single, as did Mike Young, Mark Teixeira, & Brad Wilkerson – but that was it for our offense, aside from the couple of walks. We had nothing.
The old problem with being unable to win in Kansas City isn’t still with us, is it?

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G102: Rangers sweep Mariners behind 7-6 game

It’s been awhile since I’ve used this graphic, and even longer for a four game sweep. But it was needed, as the Rangers finished off the Seattle Mariners who have now dropped six in a row. I didn’t see any of this game, because I had gotten a new computer, and had the game on via MLB.com’s gameday.
Anyway, Brandon McCarthy had another “eh” outing. Five innings, three earned runs. Only one walk, which was good, but eight hits, which was not. Pitch count was too high again. 100 pitches in five innings. That’s gotta be better. That (to me) seems to be McCarthy’s biggest fault. Too high a pitch count. Other than that, he’s good enough now to battle through. He just burns out too fast, due to nibbling/balls/walks/etc…
Our pen also fit the “eh”. Eye/Francisco/Benoit went a combined four innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs. Only one walk by them too (Eyre), which was a good thing.
Offensively we had five doubles this game by five different players. But the big shot was a two run home run by Ramon Vazquez in the bottom of the 8th.
Can’t think of anything particularly earth shattering to say about this game except that it was quite nice to take a four game sweep. :)

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G101: Rangers win game 2 of DH, beat Mariners 4-3

Kameron Loe pitched the first inning like the Loe from the first part of this season. While he didn’t give up any actual runs, he did pitch like he was in quicksand, throwing something like 25 or so pitches. That did NOT look promising. Couple that with a 30 pitch fifth inning, and one wonders how the heck he managed to throw into the seventh inning. 55 pitches in two means the other frames had some small pitch counts. :)
Loe actually was pretty decent until the fifth when the Mariners scored all their runs. The first one scored three of the four of the first five batters of the inning singled. It actually would have been worse had Gerald Laird not picked off Betancourt from second. Raul Ibanez was at the plate on a disputed call – The Rangers thought they had stuck him out to end the inning – they were walking off the field, and home plate umpire Jim Reynolds said that he had not, it was a foul. This of course bought a cascade of boos from the fans in the park. It got worse on the next pitch when Ibanez doubled to the alley in right center, scoring two more. Reynolds was the target of some booing that would have done Philadelphia fans proud. I was listening in the park, and they said on the radio that it did appear to bounce, but that was a bad feeling. At that moment, you thought that it would be the game breaker.
The Rangers did follow it right up with two more of their own, tying the game at three. But this game was powered by Travis Metcalf. Metcalf went 4 for 4 tonight, scoring one, and driving in one – but the one he drove in was the important one. In the bottom of the 8th, he doubled to left, scoring Gerald Laird. Metcalf had a triple earlier in the game, that was his major league first. The four hits was also a career best for him, as the radio guys said he never got more than two in a game before.
CJ Wilson relieved Loe, going 1.1 innings, giving up no hits, while striking out 3 of the four outs made on his ledger. He was followed by Eric Gagne again. Gagne did mostly the same thing as the first game. Allowed a single to lead off his frame, then not allowing much else. Gagne saved both ends of the doubleheader, as well as a pitching the night before – three appearances in 24 hours.
While Loe wasn’t crisp, he hung in there and battled well. Our pen kept it good, and allowed us to come back and get the win. I was at the doubleheader sweeps in 2004 when we beat the Red Sox & the Pirates. I love doubleheaders anyway – but they’re a heck of a lot better when your team wins both ends of ‘em.
This picture was taken from the same location the picture I posted with game one was taken from – couldn’t decide which to post, as I like both, so I posted one per game. :)

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G100: Rheinecker sparkles against Ms; Rangers win 2-1

I always go to doubleheaders. I love them. Unless they’re the “day night” doubleheaders, in which case, they’re really NOT double headers. Just two games played on the same date. Anyway, the park was beautiful. All the rain has seriously helped out with the green around the place. I’ve been coming to the ballpark since it was opened, and this day just looked more beautiful on the outside. I got to the park around 3PM, which was plenty of time to get to my seat, so I decided to walk around a little and take some pictures. I was just looking for a new pic of the outside of the ballpark, and I think the couple I posted did the job.
As good as that feeling was, it was matched by the pitching performance by John Rheinecker this afternoon. Usually when we call up someone to pitch one of these doubleheader starts, they’re sent right back down after stinking up the joint. Not this time. Rheinecker was brilliant. He went seven innings, and allowed NO EARNED RUNS. The one run the Mariners did get was on a rather goofy looking two base error by Michael Young in the first. Not often you see the shortstop make an error, and then the ball ends up next to the tarp over by the stands. But Rheinecker was great. Seven innings, six hits, one walk, four strikeouts, and as I mentioned just one run – none earned. One has to think that will keep him in the majors. It was seriously impressive to watch live at the park. It was followed up by Benoit’s scoreless (and hitless) inning of work. Eric Gagne came in, and allowed one hit, and then struck out two, getting the save.
Offensively, we had seven hits total. Marlon Byrd tripled in the fourth, scoring Sosa to tie up the game. As I’ve said before, Byrd has been impressive, and this game just added on to that feeling. Michael Young had an RBI single in the fifth, scoring Travis Metcalf for what turned out to be the winning (and final) run of the game.
Marlon Byrd made a really great LONG running catch on a ball hit by Richie Sexon in this game. Really looked like the kind of play that Kenny Lofton would have done a decade ago when he was in his prime. Looked like the kind of play that could earn Byrd a serious look at the permanent CF job the rest of this season.
It was an absolutely beautiful afternoon. The temperature was 89 when the game started, which is very nice and very unusual for July 24th in Texas. Had a nice breeze, a nice quick game which was extremely well pitched on both sides, really. Couldn’t have asked for a better couple of hours at the ballpark. It’s games like THIS that make it worth driving out to Arlington from Garland. Although I expect the folks at USS Mariner might have a different take on this game. ;)
It was seriously nice to see a 2-1 win at home. The game was rather fast moving, concluding in two hours and twenty one minutes.
The picture I posted with this game was taken today around 3PM or so standing in the announcer’s “booth” at the Dr Pepper youth ballpark. That spot is a great place to get a nice looking picture of The Ballpark in Arlington as you can see here.

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G99: Rangers hang on and beat Mariners, 8-7

If you look solely at the hits column in the box score, this would seem to be a rather evenly distributed offensive game. We had 13 hits in all, and of the 9 batters, only Adam Melhuse did not have any hits. Nobody had more than two of them. So you would think this was a pretty spread out offensive game, eh? Not really. Sammy Sosa had five of the eight RBI’s. Brad Wilkerson had two more, and Michael Young had the remaining one.
Sosa had a double in the third, which drove in Young and Tex. Sosa came through again in the fifth with a big three run home run, driving in not only himself, but Young again and Kenny Lofton. Brad Wilkerson also homered in the same inning, driving in two (Byrd). So we’re looking good, going up 8-3 after five innings. Then the fun began.
In the top of the sixth, Kevin Millwood went out, and gave up a single to Jose Lopez. After a popout to Betancourt, Kevin was pulled in favor of Ron Mahay. What was weird about this was Millwood’s pitch count. He was pitching like he was Robinson Tejeda. Millwood tossed 115 pitches in his 5.1 innings of work – way too many. After getting Ichiro to strike out, Mahay allowed a double, giving the Mariners a fourth run. He got out of that, and then Frank Francisco followed up with two scoreless innings.
In comes Eric Gagne. Eric did a great John Wetteland impression, even in a non save situation. The first four batters reached against Gagne. The first three scored. Guillen singled, Beltre, doubled, and then Richie Sexon jacked a three run home run, making the score 8-7. And after that he gave up a single to Johjima. Uh-oh. However, that was the end of the scoring. In fact, the game ended quite bizarrely when Ben Broussard lined out to right field, doubling off Jose Lopez to end the game. Not often you see the old 9-3 double play to end a game.
Still, a win is a win, and you’ll always take it.

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G98: Rangers lose finale to Indians, 8-3

Looking a lot like the pitcher that the Phillies gave up on and shipped to Texas, and NOT like the pitcher that the Phillies threw against Texas a few seasons ago, Robinson Tejeda took the hill on Sunday night in the finale of the series against the Indians. He was not particularly good. Robinson went five innings, giving up 5 hits and five walks. He also gave up five runs (3 earned), and struck out four. I know we’re trying to stick with guys to let them learn, but he’s had 46 major league starts in his career with Philadelphia & Texas. One would think he’d be a little more consistent by now.
Willie Eyre was nothing much to write home about, either. He went two innings, giving up five hits and a walk, and three earned runs. Blech. His ERA (4.33) isn’t that horrendous, but I can’t say I feel very confident when he takes the hill.
Offensively, we had just seven hits this game; three of them by Marlon Byrd. Byrd certainly seems to have played himself into the Rangers long term plans, assuming he can keep up most of his current pace. I don’t think anyone expects him to bat around .370 all the time, but he hasn’t embarrassed himself offensively or defensively. Odd that I started this story talking about a failing former Phillies player, and now talking about a failed Phillies player who is seemingly making it here.
Gerald Laird was hit in the hand with a pitch, and it didn’t look pleasant on television. Hopefully it’s not something bad which will require a DL stay. We all know what happened to Laird the last time he went on the DL. Barajas, eh?
Lost the series to the Indians 3-1. That wasn’t fun.

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G97: Rangers win against Indians, 8-5

I didn’t see much of this game, because I was busy feeling sad for myself. My computer at home broke yesterday. It’s a doorstop now. Because of that, I had to go buy a new one, and I wasn’t in the mood to watch baseball – I was playing a new football game on my Xbox 360.
However, I did see the first inning, where the Rangers jumped all over Cliff Lee. We scored five in the bottom of the first on a bunch of hits that never seemed to stop coming. In all that frame were three singles and three doubles. And then we only got three more hits the entire rest of the game. One big one was a triple by Marlon Byrd in the bottom of the seventh (which I also saw when flipping by between games) that gave us a more comfortable lead after the Indians had crept back into the game during the last few frames.
Jamey Wright didn’t give up a lot of runs in his performance (3 total, only 1 earned), but he had an obscene pitch count – was at 82 after just 3.1 innings. Way way WAY too much. Of course, his giving up six walks (!) might explain that.
Interesting that two players most folks expected to be out of here (Sosa, Gagne) both came out publicly saying that they wanted to stay here. Read there’s talk of an extension for Gagne. I wouldn’t be opposed to that, assuming he stayed healthy.

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G96: Rangers lose close game, 3-2 to Indians

For eight innings, the Rangers were completely closed out of this game offensively. Cleveland pitcher Fausto Carmona tossed eight brilliant innings, giving up no runs on three hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Was an outstanding performance. Not much else you can say about that.
Brandon McCarthy wasn’t too bad either, although he was nowhere in the league that Carmona was. Brandon tossed 5.2 innings, giving up the three runs the Indians got (two came on a home run to Travis Hafner). He walked three, struck out four, but still had too high a pitch count (100 in his 5.2 IP). But not all that awful, either. Problem again was Carmona.
Our bullpen, a strength this season, was good again. Wilson, Benoit, & Feldman all tossed scoreless innings, allowing just three hits combined (and one walk). That was a good outing for the Rangers pen. Perhaps they had a good outing at the rectangular table before that. ;)
We did make some noise in the botom of the ninth against Cleveland closer Joe Borowski. We scored two unearned runs on a few miscues by Cleveland. It just “felt” like they were trying to hand us the game. However, we couldn’t finish off the job, and left the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, after scoring two and then loading them up. Oh well.

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G95: Loe struggles, Rangers lose 7-5

Maybe it’s time to send Kam Loe down to AAA for a couple of hours to recharge his batteries. In his second straight mostly “meh” start, Kam looked positively Chan Ho Park like. Loe went six innings, giving up six runs on six hits, while walking four. He threw 97 picthes, which wasn’t really bad pitch count wise, but you can’t find much good in those numbers. Heck, he even has three sixes in a row in his line score. ;) Seriously though, it was not a well pitched game for Kam.
CC Sabathia though was the first starter to get to 13 wins. He too went six, giving up three earned runs (four overall), and only had one walk.
Offensively, we had a decent amount of hits (12), but couldn’t get enough together to score more than 5 runs. Brad Wilkerson had two hits (one was a double), Ramon Vazquez had three hits (one a double), and Gerald Laird went 2 for four (one was a home run).
The message I get from looking at this box score is mediocre (at best) starting pitching for the Rangers coupled with an inability to drive in runs (Ranger batters left 16 men on plate, although the team total was lower than that) leads to another loss. That would be our 54th loss of 2007; it came in game 96 of the season.

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G94: Rangers shut down in Oakland finale, 6-0

Kevin Millwood had one bad inning. The second. In that inning:
- N. Swisher walked
- M. Ellis singled to left, N. Swisher to second
- M. Kotsay reached on fielder’s choice, N. Swisher to third, M. Ellis to second on pitcher K. Millwood’s throwing error
- M. Scutaro singled to center, N. Swisher scored, M. Ellis to third, M. Kotsay to second
- B. Crosby walked, M. Ellis scored, M. Kotsay to third, M. Scutaro to second
- K. Suzuki struck out swinging
- T. Buck hit sacrifice fly to center, M. Kotsay scored
- S. Stewart singled to right, M. Scutaro scored, B. Crosby to third
Not a good inning. However, even if none of that happened, it wouldn’t have mattered. Oakland pitchers Lenny DiNardo and Santiago Casilla were totally dominating. DiNardo started, and went seven innings, giving up just three hits. Casilla relieved, went two innings, gave up just one hit. That was it. No walks, no runs, no nothing. The Rangers had four hits total. Two of them were doubles (Metcalf, Wilkerson) and the others were singles (Hairston, Young).
Not much Millwood was going to do against that. Still, his line was’t all that bad, really. Six innings, 3 hits, 4 runs (although only one was earned). Walked three, which isn’t great, but not entirely horrible, either. So Millwood has continued his good pitching since his return, but he got screwed by his own throwing error.
It’s definitely one of those “tip of the cap” moments.

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G93: Rangers whomp on A’s, 11-4 on Tuesday night

The top of the lineup certainly came through for the Rangers this game. Kenny Lofton went 3 for 5 with a walk, and scored two runs. Michael Young went 5-5 with a walk, scored once, and drove in three runs. In fact, Lofton got a triple on the first pitch of the game, and then Young doubled him in on the second pitch of the game, so we led the game extremely quickly.
Sosa couldn’t come through here – I believe he came up twice with the bases loaded and two outs. I wonder if we’re going to be able to get anything for him at all. Sosa left eight runners onbase himself. Bleh. He did have a sac fly at one point, but leaving eight isn’t exactly getting the job done.
Other than Young and Sosa, the other RBI’s were by Laird, Vazquez, & Hairston. No home runs in this game, plus two doubles (both Young), and one triple. We had 12 singles – so it was a low powered attack, but it got the job done.
Robinson Tejeda was out of the game before the end of the fifth, going just 4.1. The usual problem. An obscene amount of walks (six). Four hits, 3 earned runs, two of which came on Jack Cust’s fifth inning home run).
Ron Mahay got a save in this game – I wonder why we didn’t use Gagne – perhaps needed a day off.
Speaking of Gagne, there’s a lot of noise that he wants to stay here past 2007, I wonder if that’s something we’d realistically consider.

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G92: Jamey Wright – yeah, Jamey Wright shuts down A’s; Rangers win 4-1

Kind of busy at work today to write. But I have to admit to being surprised at the performance turned in by Jamey Wright. Very impressive.

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G91: Rangers salvage series finale against Angels 5-4

This is another game I didn’t get to see much of. The game had started by the time I got home from church due to a meeting regarding a new church we’re building. By that time I flipped on the tube, and saw we were down 4-2, and I sighed, turned the TV off, and played some more of “The Bigs” on my Xbox 360. I benched Teixeira there, and he didn’t complain about it. :)
McCarthy was OK in looking at his line. Six innings, six hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, and 3 earned runs (four overall). The pen was good this day, throwing quite a lot of innings (5 overall with five relievers). They shut down the Angels, and allowed us to win the game.
We won on a home run by Mark Teixeira that just barely qualified as home run – it appeared to be aided by a fan in the replay I saw.
Still, a win is a win. Something we don’t do much in Anaheim much anymore.

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G90: Rangers drop second in a row to Angels, 9-5

Well, there’s a little dose of reality. I don’t think anyone thought Kam Loe was as totally dominating a pitcher has he showed since his “return” as his numbers had shown. Nor did I think he was a horrendous as he was early in the season. I do think he was better than this, however.
I didn’t get to see the game (as I have some family in from out of town now), but his line was 2.2IP, 3 earned runs (plus two more unearned ones), 5 hits, and worst of all 5 walks. Blech. That’s 10 “bases” given out in 2.2IP. OK, maybe it wasn’t that great, but I guess my first look missed the walks. If he does this again, we need to send him to AAA for a throwing session. :)
The pen wasn’t that great either. Only CJ Wilson escaped unscathed. The other three (Eyre, Littleton, Francisco) all gave up something.
We had a chance to get John Lackey out early, he was horrendous in the first inning, throwing something like 42-45 pitches. That was the only part of the game I got to see. We did score three in the first, which was good, but I think we left the bases loaded, or with two on, and with a chance to score more and get Lackey out early. Let him off the hook. Kind of figured when we did that, we’d probably lose.
Kenny Lofton continues to play extremely well, going 3-5 with two doubles, and scoring twice. Heck, even Sammy Sosa got a triple in this game. Our offense wasn’t too bad tonight, this one was our pitching letting us down. As common as that sounds to long time Ranger fans, the extremely recent vintage Rangers haven’t been guilty of that.

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G89: Rangers open up second half with frustrating loss, 2-1

This was a good old fashioned pitcher’s duel.
Kevin Millwood tossed seven innings, giving up just one run on five hits and three walks. There were also two double plays turned by Rangers defense this day.
Kelvim Escobar went eight innings, giving up just one run on six hits and one walk. The Angels turned one double play.
And what did we do with that? Pissed it away on a walkoff loss in the bottom of the ninth to the Angels. At least Millwood has apparently overcome his slow start and has become seemingly the pitcher he was in his year in Cleveland.
Lofton continues to play well at the top of the lineup. I liked the guy a lot. But I can’t see him having any value here past July other than mentor, which we probably don’t really need. Hopefully he goes somewhere where he can win in 2007.
Also, does anyone believe for a minute the stuff that Mike Ogulnick has been pushing about Kevin Millwood being a player to be traded before the deadline? I can’t see us doing that. Besides, doesn’t he have a no trade?