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G112: Rangers powered by Laird, win game 8-4

I was busy almost all day and into the evening helping a friend downgrade his computer from Vista to XP, so I missed a bunch of this game. This will be a short one.
Luis Mendoza was a bit better than his last few starts where he got rocked. Seven innings, four earned runs, six hits, one walk. Not staller, but not horrendous, either. Pen was good too, with two innings of scoreless relief.
Offensively, the big shots were obviously Gerald Laird’s two two run home runs. That was huge. Chris Davis also had a big home run as well. That was the raw power in this game.
For the second night in a row, we had just seven hits. As noted above, three of them were home runs. There were two doubles and two singles, so it was leaning more towards extra base offense than the slower kind. Which helps when you have more runs than hits. :)
The dreaded Yankees (with Pudge – ugh) come to town starting tomorrow night. I will NOT be there.

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G111: Rangers can’t get to five over; lose to Jays, 6-4

For something like the seventh time this year, we tried to get to five games over .500, but failed. The problem we had was even getting one game over .500 for awhile. The bar has been raised a bit to getting stuck at five games over. Hopefully there’s enough time to get through that new ceiling so we can set another one at say 10 games over .500, which if we sustain that through the end of the season, we’ll have a better record than anyone expected at the start of the season, or probably most people when they get a look at our pitching staff ERA.
Scott Feldman may be out of gas, as he’s definitely not as snappy as he was earlier this year. There was a lot of talk of him going to the pen, and that may yet happen, but he doesn’t seem anywhere near as crisp as he was just a month ago, even. His line is five hits and three walks over 5.1 innings for a total of four runs (three earned). No home runs at least, but he just didn’t have it to my eyes. We could blame the heat, but I think it might be a lack of gas already. Jamey Wright followed, and didn’t help matters by giving up two earned runs in his .2 innings of work. Josh Rupe settled things down by throwing three shutout innings, but by then the damage was done – we weren’t coming back this time.
Offensively, we had just six hits, and only four players got them. Frank Catalanotto had a hit, and Josh Hamilton, David Murphy, & Gerald Laird each had two. Wasn’t a great game on our behalf, and while we only lost by two, I just didn’t feel we were in the game. Perhaps I was missing something, but my memory sitting here writing about it on Sunday night tells me that we just didn’t have it.
Oh well, try to take the series on Sunday afternoon.

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G110: Rangers walk off with another one, 9-8

When a team starts coming back all the time like the Rangers have been doing, you start hearing a lot about “We never quit”, and “This team just won’t give up”, and things like that. Fans sometimes get into it too, with the “There is no lead they can’t come back from”. Me, I’m not that blind with belief. I always assume we’ll do something wrong, and the rally will fizzle. That way when they DO come back for a win, it feels that much cooler.
That’s what we got tonight. Another walkoff win. Those are always fun. This wasn’t the kind where it ended with a home run, and you had the dancing pile of players at home plate. This was the kind that ended with a David Murphy single, so you had two piles. One at home plate for the winning run, and another over near first where David Murphy was. Those always seem both more exciting and less exciting. Less because of the impact that having all the players in one big mob generates. More, because you have some guys running all over the place, since they don’t know what to do, or which jumping pile of players to celebrate with. Either way, they’re fun, and that’s what happened at the end of this game.
It didn’t start off that way. Tommy Hunter made his major league debut pitching tonight, and his performance is generally the way ML debuts go for pitchers. They’re generally not going to go eight innings with four hits and one run. They go more like Hunter did – five innings, eight hits, two walks, and six earned runs. ERA of 10.80. His game did start quite odd, though. The first two batters were retired easily enough, but the third (Alex Rios) was awarded first base on pitcher’s interference. Hunter and Chris Davis kind of crashed into each other going after the ball, and by the time Rios got down the line, there was nowhere to go, Davis & Hunter blocked the path to the base. If that wasn’t goofy enough, the next batter (Lyle Overbay) also reached – this time due to catcher’s interference by Gerald Laird. Was a very odd way to get going in your first major league inning. Hunter got out of the inning, but that was about it. In the second, Scott Rolen hit a three run home run. In the next inning, Lyle Overbay hit a two run home run, putting the Jays up 5-0 in the third. They tacked on another in the fourth to go up 6-0.
Josh Hamilton drove in a couple more runs on a two run home run to dead center field, setting off one of the better pileups of kids on Greene’s Hill I’ve seen in awhile. The clip of the kid who got the ball out of the dogpile made it to the Top 10 plays of the night on ESPN’s SportsCenter too – that was rather amusing. A bunch of singles and a double or so mixed in all put together gave us a nice 4 spot to tie the game 6-6 after five.
It stayed that way until the ninth when the Blue Jays plated a pair to go up 8-6 in the top of the ninth. They did that on a single, a triple, and a ground out RBI (by Shrek, no less). That set the state for the bottom of the ninth, where the Rangers made a big run at Toronto closer, BJ Ryan. Salty walked, Michael Young singled, and then Brandon Boggs doubled, scoring Salty. Marlon Byrd was intentionally walked (to set up a double play at any base presumably). Thing is David Murphy singled down the left field line far enough away which allowed two runs to come across, winning the game, setting off the player excitement I talked about above.
Nice comeback win, although I’m getting tired of having to come back from 4 or 5 runs all the time. Turns out team management was too, as the rangers fired their pitching coach & bullpen coach after the game. Out are Mark Conner & Dom Chiti. Their replacements are Andy Hawkins & Jim Colburn respectively. Colburn I don’t know much about at all except he was a pitching coach for the Dodgers & Pirates under Jim Tracy. Andy Hawkins has worked with a lot of our current guys in AAA, so that should work well.
We try again to get to five over .500 on Saturday.

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G109: Harrison bad early, Rangers can’t recover; lose 8-5

I don’t have the time to write, I’m going to have to skip this one.

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G108: Rangers win game with Young pinch hit, 4-3

I didn’t realize I missed reporting on this game, and now that I did, I don’t have the time to write, I’m going to have to skip this one.

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G107: Rangers survive themselves, beat M’s in slugfest, 11-10

Early on, this seemed like a runaway win. We went up 7-0 in the third inning.
Carlos Silva started the game for Seattle, and proved again how stupid his signing was. After this outing, Silva is now 4-12 with an ERA of 5.95. He’s lucky his team bailed him out for a no decision – he certainly deserved the loss. In all, Silva went 2.1 innings, gave up seven hits, one walk, and six earned runs. Not very good.
Thing is, the Rangers couldn’t hold it. Luis Mendoza had an almost equally outing. 5.1 innings, nine hits, and six runs allowed (1 unearned). Jamey Wright followed, and wasn’t that much better. Jamey finished up the sixth inning, going just 2/3 of an inning, and allowed three hits, two of which were home runs.
A cool note in this game was that Ichiro Suzuki collected his 3,000th career hit (if you count Japan too) on the first pitch of the game.
Both closers were pretty awful. CJ Wilson allowed two runs, although one was unearned. JJ Putz gave up three hits, and two earned runs.
Speaking of “awful”, Ramon Vazquez didn’t have a good night in the field, committing three errors himself. He did redeem himself with the game winning walk off double, however. Took a shot at the fans in the post game interviews over the errors and booing, too. :)

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G106: Beltre powers Mariners to 7-5 win over Texas

A few years back when Seattle brought in Adrian Beltre, it was with the promise that he’d provide a major stick to their lineup. Would be the big power masher. That never happened for the most part, but in this game it did. Adrian Beltre led the Mariners to the win over the Rangers. He went two for four this game. Both of the two were home runs. One was a three run shot in the first, and the other was a solo jack later in the game.
That wasn’t the only power from Seattle. Raul Ibanez & Bryan LaHair both had solo home runs. LaHair’s was his first career home run.
Scott Feldman started the game for Texas, and was definitely not the guy he’s been for this season. It will take more than one start to convince me, but there’s been some talk lately of moving Feldman to the pen because his innings are way up for him. It could be any number of things, but if there’s too many of these kinds of outings, it may be something to look into.
The Rangers offense got to Felix Hernandez a bit, touching him up for four runs (three earned) in six innings. Technically a quality start, but definitely not the kind of performance that Hernandez brings to the hill. The Rangers had six walks and eleven hits. Of all that, only two were extra base hits – both doubles by Ian Kinsler. It was single city this game.

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G105: Texas still can’t sweep; we lose finale to A’s, 6-5

As much as Saturday’s game was led by the longball for the Rangers win, Sunday’s game was led by the longball for the Rangers loss.
We did manage to start the game with a lead, going up 1-0 in the first inning on a Milton Bradley double.
Eric Hurley started the game for the Rangers, and ran into immediate problems. Jack Cust got Hurley for a two run shot in the first inning. Hurley got out of the inning without any more damage, but was tagged again in the second. A’s catcher Curt Suzuki jacked a three run home run, and combined with another run the A’s plated that frame, put them up 6-1 at that point. At that point I got digusted and took my daughter out for a ride around town after getting some ice cream. My wife needed a little bit of alone time, so we went out for a ride. While I was out, I had the scoreboard on my XM display, and saw the Rangers moving back in the top of the fifth.
When we eventually got back home, I flipped on the top of the fifth, and it was nice to see the Rangers make a game out of it. The big shot in this inning was a bases clearing double by Hank Blalock.
But outside of our four run top of the fifth, it actually was a pretty well pitched game. Rangers only scored in two innings, as did the A’s. The rest of the game was zeroes.
Really odd that we still can’t seal the deal on a series sweep.

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G104: Texas homers its way to a 9-4 win in Oakland

Well, this was one of the games we couldn’t see on TV. Was radio only, which means no timeshifting for me. Until TiVo comes out with a “TiVo for radio”, I’m stuck listening to the game when it actually happens when it’s radio only. Since I almost NEVER watch anything when it’s really on, that concept is alien to me. Since I was spending the day with my three year old, sitting down and listening to a Rangers game on the radio was not an option, so I just opted out of the whole thing. This was a box score only game for me.
Rangers rookie Matt Harrison started this game, and did not appear to be all that bad, really. He only threw five innings, but gave up just one earned run. There were two more that were attributable to a Michael Young error, but in all, the linescore wasn’t that bad. Five innings, five hits, three walks. Josh Rupe followed up with three innings of scoreless relief. Warner Madrigal finished up, and allowed a solo home run in his one inning of work. In all, not bad. Just two earned runs over nine innings of work – not bad line for the staff at all.
The Rangers work at the plate was fairly efficient, as we had ten hits in all. Three of them were home runs. There were two solo shots (Chris Davis in the 7th & Marlon Byrd in the 8th), as well as the big one, a three run home run by Josh Hamilton in fifth. That’s five of our nine runs right there. Chris Davis also had a double, and got picked up by me on a couple of fantasy teams I’m on. :)
Nice job by the Rangers getting to former Ranger Justin Duchscherer. Before this game, his ERA was under 2, and had only given up three runs once all year. His ERA jumped to 2.37, and we tagged him for EIGHT runs – by far his worst performance of the year. It also guaranteed we’d leave Oakland with sole possession of second place in the AL West.

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G103: Rangers pour it on LATE, win game 14-5

The best picture from the game:

First off, I want to shamelessly steal this line from the MLB.com Texas Rangers specific game recap from this one. When I read it, it’s pretty true. The article said, “This was the perfect get-well card for Rangers hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo, who underwent knee replacement surgery on Friday in Dallas.“. Have to agree with that.
Secondly, it’s probably time to make more complaints about late games. I was watching this game, enjoying it until my wife came out to tell me she was going to sleep, and apparently I had fallen asleep on the sofa somewhere in the fifth or sixth innings. Woke me up in the top of the seventh, so I backed up the game (yay TiVo), and started watching. Well, apparently I was more tired than I realized, as I fell asleep again, only this time it was in the bottom of the eighth. I decided I was just going to go to bed, and stopped the recording, and well, went to bed. I get up this morning, sit at the dining room table with the paper and my coffee, and see the eight spot in the top of the ninth! DAMMIT! I missed it, both because I gave up and went to bed during the bottom of the 8th, and secondly because I stopped my TiVo from recording. I tried undeleting it on Saturday morning, but then I realized I had stopped it recording when I went to bed, which I almost never do. DAMMIT AGAIN! When I told all this to my wife, who was getting ready for work at the time, she said “Wow – that’s so not like you to miss it due to canceling a recording!” We need to get to the Central, and if we have to give up Hicks’ precious regular series against the Astros to do it, then I say go for it. I’m tired of falling asleep on the sofa during all our division games! OK, enough of that. Let’s get to the game.
Vicente Padilla took the hill, and most Rangers fans wondered which one we’d get. The good one from the first part of the season, or the one that seemed tentative and hurt his last two starts before the break. While his line won’t show it, we got the good one. You see, Vicente’s line shows six innings pitched, seven hits, four walks, and FIVE earned runs. He also struck out nine, which I believe is a season high for him. But the five earned runs all came in the same inning – the bottom of the third. The events of the game showed that the runs probably could have been unearned, but they were on the ledger of Padilla. Even the official transcripts and box scores don’t show anything that would have led you to think they should have been, but that’s how the game is played. Actually, it would have been worse, but David Murphy made a great throw, gunning down Hannahan at the plate for the final out of the inning.
Thing is, the Rangers responded in the next inning with a five spot of their own to tie the game. The first batter of the inning reached on a throwing error, which DID lead to unearned runs. Unlike Padilla, Oakland’s starter Sean Gallagher was the “beneficiary” of four unearned runs. Still, the inning was powered by the long ball. After Byrd reached on the error, David Murphy jacked a ball over the left center field power alley wall for a two run shot. After a single (Davis), awalk (Salty), and a bunt (Kinsler), Michael Young sac flied in the third run of the inning. Josh Hamilton followed with a home run to right field, tying the game at 5. It was also Hamilton’s 99th and 100th RBI’s of the season. Quite impressive numbers.
Vicente Padilla must have been energized by that, because he retired the remaining nine batters he faced in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings combined. Was quite the turnaround. Yeah, his third wasn’t too great, but he closed out his performance QUITE strongly to earn his 12th win of the season. There’s been a lot of talk this past week or so as to whether the Rangers would move Padilla. Given his overall turnaround, I find it hard to believe we’d give up our leader in wins, because Scott Feldman aside, we don’t really appear to have someone who can cover that slot in the starting rotation.
The Rangers pushed across the tying run in the top of the 7th when Chris Davis doubled, and was later singled in by Ian Kinsler. The Rangers never looked back at that point. Frank Francisco came in and threw a perfect bottom of the seventh. Eddie Guardado pitched a scoreless bottom of the eighth, and was I believe the last thing I saw before I went to bed. In fact, as I type this, I now recall seeing the double play to end the bottom of the 8th where Kinsler turned it on a slightly bad hop. That’s when I stopped watching. Go figure. CJ Wilson started warming up here, and never came into the game.
That’s because the Rangers exploded in the top of the ninth inning when I (and a lot of other fans probably) had fallen asleep. While an eight run frame means offense all over the place, the highlights was another Chris Davis home run. It was one of those innings (from reading the play by play account) where there weren’t a lot of big moments, it was a ton of small stuff. Here, you read it:

Rangers 9th (Rangers 14, Athletics 5) — Pitcher Change: A. Embree replaces B. Ziegler. M. Byrd grounds out, M. Ellis to J. Hannahan. D. Murphy singles to first base. C. Davis hits a home run to right field on a 2-2 pitch, D. Murphy scores. J. Saltalamacchia singles to right-center field. I. Kinsler walks, J. Saltalamacchia to 2nd. Pitcher Change: A. Brown replaces A. Embree. M. Young hits a ground rule double to center field, J. Saltalamacchia scores; I. Kinsler to 3rd. A. Brown intentionally walks J. Hamilton. With M. Bradley batting, passed ball by K. Suzuki, I. Kinsler scores; M. Young to 3rd; J. Hamilton to 2nd. M. Bradley walks. H. Blalock singles to left-center field, M. Young scores; J. Hamilton scores; M. Bradley to 2nd. M. Byrd doubles to right-center field, M. Bradley scores; H. Blalock to 3rd. D. Murphy grounds out to J. Hannahan, H. Blalock scores; M. Byrd to 3rd. C. Davis grounds out, B. Crosby to J. Hannahan. (8 Runs, 6 Hits, 0 Errors, 1 LOB)

Nice to see the Rangers win the game, something we have had issues doing this season for any sort of stretch of time. While it feels like we’re pretty much out of the running for the divison (we’re 10.5 games back), I also don’t feel we’re bound for the playoffs, but this has turned out to be a decent season because of all the kids we’re playing.
I wonder who we’re moving before this coming Thursday. Laird or Saltamacchia? Padilla? Catalanotto? We’ll see soon enough.
Speaking of “seeing”, Saturday’s game is one of those two mutant games in the schedule where it is not on TV here in the Metroplex. For the longest time, we’ve had 162 games on the TV, and I think about 3 years ago or so, we started having about 160. What’s the deal with the last two?
P.S. After I wrote all that, I realized I forgot to mention that this win put the Rangers in second place, passing the A’s. If we win either Saturday or Sunday (preferably both), we’ll retain second place when the series is over. This is a good thing. While I’m pretty convinced we’re not making the playoffs, I think second place is a good goal for 2008.

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G102: Rangers don’t have enough stick, lose 10-8

I was so busy with work today, I didn’t even realize the game was on. By the time I did realize it, it was 4:30, and the game was already over. From the looks of things I missed some heartbreak.
Oh well, I think I’ll skip writing about this one.

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G101: Rangers lose big to White Sox, 10-2

There’s not much positive to say about this game.
1) Our starting pitching stunk. Luis Mendoza gave up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks (and a home run). Dustin Nippert was no better, giving up four runs on three hits and three walks (and a grand slam). Bleargh. See what I mean from the report from the last game?
2) Our starting pitching stunk. Luis Mendoza gave up six earned runs on nine hits and two walks (and a home run). Dustin Nippert was no better, giving up four runs on three hits and three walks (and a grand slam). Bleargh. See what I mean from the report from the last game?
Yes I realize that’s the same thing twice, but I thought they stunk so bad, it was worth pointing it out twice.
Actually, the big positive was Chris Davis. Having recently been granted the first baseman’s job by Ron Washington, he paid that back with a great night. Chris went 3-4 with a home run. Milton Bradley was also 2-4, but that’s about it for the positive in this game (does Blalock’s triple count?)

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G100: Couple of HR’s lead Texas to 6-1 win on Monday

Scott Feldman has probably been our second most consistent starting pitcher this season, behind I’d say Vicente Padilla. So what do you do with a guy like that in the second half? Put him in the bullpen. There was some talk during the All Star break that Feldman would be going to the pen in the second half. The stated reason is one that’s hard to argue with, I suppose. He’s apparently either at, or about to pass his largest number of innings pitched in his career, I think they’re trying to protect him. I don’t have the numbers in front of me, but don’t pitchers get stretched out in that regard by being pitched, and not protected? I guess it’s only a mild complaint, but when you get performances like we got this game, you don’t want him in the pen.
Scott Feldman tossed six innings, and allowed just one run on four hits. Had three walks, which isn’t great, but there were three double plays turned behind Scott. The pen was quite good too. Three guys followed Scott (Francisco, Guardado, Wright), and between them there was just one hit allowed (Guardado). Great pitching performance. It’s too bad they can’t be consistent for a great length of time – look at our last dozen or so scores, they’re not consistently showing this great pitching game after game.
Offensively, it’s a tale of home runs. Five of our six home runs were accounted for by the longball. Classic Texas Rangers offense. There was a three run shot by Josh Hamilton in the third inning, and there was a two run shot by Hank Blalock in the eighth, his first home run in bloody ages. Given we had six runs, we didn’t have a ton of hits (just eight). Half of them were doubles, though, so we had four doubles, two home runs, and two singles.
Was a nice win, and nice to see Blalock get back on the HR chart. Probably should savor those, as I can’t imagine he’ll be a Ranger come 2009.

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G99: It’s the Taylor Tegarden show as Rangers win 1-0

That headline is really unfair to Vicente Padilla, Eddie Guardado, & CJ Wilson, but I think most people will remember Taylor Teagarden most in this game.
Heck, Taylor got his first caught stealing throw in the majors. He got his first major league hit, which also happened to be a home run. Said home run was also the lone run in this game, and broke up a perfect game bid at the time by Minnesota starter Scott Baker. How cool was all that? It was quite a moment, and he didn’t visibly smile enough for my tastes. :)
Baker certainly personified the concept of “hard luck loss” in this one – no doubt.
This looked like the Vicente Padilla we’ve been seeing all season – going after guys, and not nibbling. His last two outings before this one were the ones where he was presumably hurt, and it’s nice to see him bounce back to his old 2008 self when coming off the DL. Hopefully he stays that way.
Despite the win, I’m a bit surprised at how underwhelming our offense was in this series in Minnesota. For all three games COMBINED we had a total of just three runs (one was zero, too) and eleven hits. Blech. It’s like we went to sleep. That was a horrendous performance. If it wasn’t for our pitching on Sunday, we would have been swept out of Minnesota, and quite frankly, the way we were hitting, we probably deserved that.
Having said all of that, it was quite nice to see Taylor Teagarden have such a cool day. Makes you wonder if that’s it for him for awhile, given our catcher heavy situation right now.

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G98: Rangers stink it up, lose big, 14-2 to Twins

Ugh. The only good moment of this game was Chris Davis’ home run.
I know it’s only two games out of the break, but after last night and tonight combined, does anyone else feel like it’s April again?

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G97: Rangers underwhelm in second half opener; lose 6-0

First off, I wanted to make a comment about the MLB Game Recap for this game. For the last few seasons, I’ve been linking to the recaps on the official mlb site. This year they’ve gotten a lot better, with video and pictures, and recaps from both sides. They’ve been a serious improvement. There’s technically three recaps for each game. The ones that are slanted for the home and visiting team comprise two, and then there’s a third that covers the “general MLB recap”, which also includes the other two. Anyway, for the general MLB one, someone is writing what I would perceive as “comedic headlines”, where it’s things like “Texas Two Step stops such and such team”. But the one for this game really struck me as odd, mostly because it seems bizarre. The phrase was “Perky pitching powers three-hit derby”. Perky? Perky? What exactly is “perky pitching”? That really seems odd to me.
Thing is, this little diatribe I wrote about the word “perky” is more than what can really be said about the actual game. I think most Rangers fans were riding high off of Josh Hamilton’s HR Derby performance. Ian Kinsler’s 25 game hitting streak was ready to be extended, and most Rangers fans I think were feeling good about the team. Unfortunately, we ran into Twins pitcher Glen Perkins. He tossed a gem against the Rangers, going six innings, allowing no runs and just three hits. Those hits were a double (Byrd), and two singles (Young, Bradley). Perkins only went six innings and 98 pitches, though. I thought he probably could have gone longer, but you can’t argue that he would have done better than the bullpen guys who followed. The three Twins relievers each pitched a single perfect inning. You can’t beat that.
Millwood was not good. 6.1 innings, eleven hits, one walk for five earned runs. Bleh.
But the bottom line was the Twins pitching shut us down totally, and handed us our first shutout of the season. Hats off to Perkins and crew for a well pitched game.

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Michael Young ends it in 15th, AL wins All Star Game 4-3

The Rangers had four guys in this game, and they all played. Granted, two of them started, and one of the other two should have started, so that came as no surprise. What was a bit of a surprise was the fact that for roughly an inning or so, all four of them were in the game at the same time – if not all on the field at the same time, as Bradley was a DH. Here’s a short summary of what our guys did:

  • Josh Hamilton – 1-3 with a steal. His hit was a single. He got a lot of applause because of his home run derby moves. Wasn’t terribly impactful in the game.
  • Milton Bradley – 0-2 with a walk and a steal. He was also picked off. The walk was a surprise. OK, not really. He’s been doing that all season.
  • Ian Kinsler – 1-5 with a steal and a caught stealing. He also had a great tag on a not terribly well pitched strike out, throw ‘em out throw from Dioner Navarro. Was well played.
  • Michael Young – 2-5 with what could have been the game winning single in the 11th, but Dioner Navarro was thrown out at the plate. That was made up for by the bottom of the 15th.

I’m not going to get into the individual stuff about the whole game, but the first four innings and innings 9-14 were both scoreless, but for different reasons. The first four were well pitched. The others were well danced. Both teams really gave the othe team a ton of chances, but nobody could get the job done.
Defense was weird. There were some fantastic plays at the plate on both sides (Adrian Gonzalez pick and Miguel Tejada falling down throw plays to save the game comes to mind as well as Ichiro’s throw to get Albert Pujols). Then there was Dan Uggla, who had three errors on his own, although the third wasn’t really his fault.
Young’s hit and lost game winning RBI in the 12th was nowhere near as bad as the bottom of the 11th where the AL had the bases loaded and nobody out, and couldn’t score. In the bottom of the 10th/11th, three of the six outs were at home plate. The National League had the bases loaded in the top of the 12th, and couldn’t push one across, either. AL led off the bottom of the 12th with a double, couldn’t do anything with it. There were a ton of chances in extra innings, but nobody could seal the deal until Young came up again in the bottom of the 15th with the bases loaded and sac flied in Justin Morneau.
Four hours and fifty minutes later, Michael Young gets the game winner for the second time in the last three All-Star Games. Gotta love that.
I have to admit to being somewhat disappointed in the pre-game stuff. Oh, there was nothing wrong with it, and I really did like seeing all the Hall of Famers, but there were quite a few of them that probably should have been there like Johnny Bench & Nolan Ryan. I did like how they staged it so Yogi Berra was the last announced Hall of Famer. Some other things I wished would have happened is have Joe Torre be on the NL coaching staff for some reason. Likewise having Don Zimmer on the AL staff.

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G96: Rangers barely hang on for 12-11 win

No commentary; no time.

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G95: Rangers lose to White Sox, 9-7

I was involved in a church event last night, and will be most of today too, so I have no time to write about last night’s game. Nice try in the bottom of the ninth though. Love the resiliency (sp?).

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G94: Luis Mendoza much better; Rangers beat ChiSox, 7-2

After his last start, Luis Mendoza looked pretty bad. This was a complete turnaround. Mendoza looked like the guy he did at the end of last season. Great sinker, really good command. His last game was just bad, this one was just good. His overall line was 6 innings pitched, three hits, one walk, just one earned run, and EIGHT strikeouts. He was quite good. Kept Chicago off the board for the most part. It was quite a night and day vs his last start.
Our entire staff was pretty good. The White Sox only had five hits in all. Three of them were extra base hits, which accounted for the runs. Carlos Quentin had a double off of Mendoza for one of the RBI’s. The other one was a solo home run by Jim Thome off of Josh Rupe. No shame there, Thome is a big time home run hitter. I’ll take the performance of our staff. Combined, we went nine innings, just five hits and two earned runs with eleven strikeouts. Warner Madrigal was the only one who didn’t have a great outing. He only went two thirds of an inning, walking three. However, he was bailed out by a play at the plate.
For the second straight game, Brandon Boggs threw out a runner at home. Plays at home plate are in vogue this past week with the Rangers, and you almost kind of hope it happens now, don’t you? :)
Offensively, we were all over Gavin Floyd, the White Sox starter. He only went 2.2 innings, giving up five hits and SEVEN walks. Two home runs, for a grand total of six earned runs. We had two home runs this game. One, a solo shot by Chris Davis in the second inning, and a two run shot by David Murphy in the third. We didn’t have a ton of hits (just nine in all), but we were seriously helped by the walk. With the Sox pitching giving up eight of them, including one with the bases loaded, that helps a lot.
Josh Hamilton had three hits, and Michael Young had two. Ian Kinsler also had a hit, extending his hitting streak to 22 I think it is. Strange hit, though he hit the ball deep into the hole at short, and at the time we had a runner on second. The shortstop was really going away from first, so he threw to third. Our runner was safe, and they called that a hit. It probably would have been had the shortstop threw to first, hence the call. But it was an odd hit.
Speaking of odd, I have to go back to the Chris Davis home run. Usually when a home run ball is hit out onto Greene’s Hill, there’s a pile of (mostly) kids going after it. Well, this one only really had one guy running after it. He was out there way early, and there wasn’t a trail of people after him. There was one guy sort of in the area, but that was it. The guy caught it in his glove. Josh & Tom talked about it. What was amusing is that this guy was a web gem on Baseball Tonight too. I wonder if this guy knows that? :)

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G93: Rangers lose game in 11 innings to Angels, 11-10

Shit.

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G92: Rangers win on Hamilton walk off HR, 5-4

I know I just did this a couple of games ago, but.. Yeah, there was some timely hitting. Yeah, we had a strange pitching setup tonight. But darned if this is the only thing you can think about.




What’s with Jamey Wright in the group picture? Looks like he wants to kill someone. :)

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G91: Matt Harrison shines in Rangers’ 3-2 win

Anaheim starter Joe Saunders did something you never really want to do as a starting pitcher. Go the complete game and get a loss. Saunders had a great game. Eight innings, six hits, three runs, no walks, and five strikeouts. A really good line. The problem is the Rangers’ line was way better.
The problem was that Rangers pitching was better. Matt Harrison made his major league debut this night, and was fabulous. Matt went seven innings, giving up just five hits, one walk, and just the lone two runs. Matt had a rough start, with an error made behind him on the first play, but got a double play right after it, and from that point on he seemed to pitch better – even if he looked somewhat scared on the TV. :) Eddie Guardado & CJ Wilson followed. While CJ walked two in his inning (!), neither allowed a run, and kept the win for Matt Harrison.
In all, Angels hitting had just six hits. Two of them were by Howie Kendrick, and the other two were by Guerrero. No shame in giving up hits to Guerrero. Or Kendrick either, but you kind of expect it with Vlad in this ballpark. The only extra base hit was a double by Kendrick, everything else was a single.
The Rangers also only had six hits total. Two were by Michael Young, and the others were scattered amongst the lineup. Thing is, even though we only had six hits, it felt like more of an offensive game than the Angels did. That’s because Michael Young had a triple, Chris Davis had another home run (his fourth in his fourth start in Arlington), and Ian Kinsler had a double. Half of our hits were extra base jobs. Josh Hamilton extended his major league lead in RBI’s with two RBI’s. One was a sac fly to left, and the other was a single up the second base hole. That gives Josh 87 in all.
You know, I’ve written about Josh Hamilton a few times before, but a few more things have happened with him I wanted to point out, and now’s a good a time as any. First, when he was interviewed on the TBS All Star Game selection show, he didn’t shy away from his faith. Far from it. When asked a pile of questions to open, the first thing out of his mouth was (paraphrasing), “First off, Glory be to God for everything I have and where I am.” He mentioned God numerous times through the interview, and that’s something to rejoice over. He was quite joyful in his love of Jesus, and it showed in his interview. It’s for these reasons that I will believe Josh Hamilton when he professes his faith. It’s obvious he wears it for the right purpose. Unlike guys like Deion Sanders and Michael Irvin who profess to believe, but wear their faith like a piece of gold jewelery, and that’s all the wrong reasons.
Anyway, the other thing about Hamilton that I liked was that I read that he told his High School coach (or someone like that from his past) that if he ever made it to the Home Run Derby, that he’d take him as his pitcher. Well, that happened – said guy is going to be Josh’s pitcher in the home run derby. It’s moments like THAT that make me think that not all athletes are egotistical jackasses who care about their contract, and that’s it. So God bless Josh Hamilton. I can’t think of a better baseball player for my little girl to root for.
To get back to the game, Matt Harrison’s performance was awesome. Makes you wonder how long he’ll stick around, and if he can seize the spot on the rotation while he’s here.

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G90: Rangers lose exciting game to Angels, 9-6

I know there was more to talk about, but this game will be remembered for the picture above. I was there. It was seriously impressive live. I stood there in row 14 of Section 325 for about two minutes with both arms up in the air.
Make sure and click on the “MLB.com recap” link above. It has a video clip of the play. Or you can check out this video below..

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G89: Rangers survive 11-10 to take series against Orioles

What do you say about games like this? Offense all over the place. No pitcher was particuarly well represented by his box score.

Texas			IP	H	R	ER	BB	SO	HR	ERA
Millwood (W, 6-4)	5.0	9	5	3	0	2	1	4.93
Wright (H, 11)		2.0	1	0	0	1	2	0	4.44
Rupe 			0.1	2	3	3	1	0	1	4.31
Guardado (H, 17)	0.2	1	0	0	0	0	0	2.90
Wilson (S, 21)		1.0	2	2	2	0	2	2	4.70
Baltimore IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA Liz (L, 3-1) 3.2 7 6 4 5 4 1 5.94 Loewen 1.0 0 0 0 2 1 0 8.02 Cabrera, F 1.1 2 0 0 0 2 0 0.00 Bradford 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.78 Johnson 0.2 3 4 4 1 0 0 1.88 Sherrill 1.1 2 1 1 2 3 0 3.72

In fact, that’s about all I’m going to do for this one. Was a pretty poorly pitched game (21 runs and 29 hits total), that’s what this one boils down to.