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G140: Rangers lose very soggy game Saturday, 8-3

The Rangers were outhit 15-6. That’s the bottom line, really.
Kevin Millwood was ass. 3.2 innings, 8 hits, 2 walks,5 earned runs. He’s out of gas it seems, and I’m starting to see rumblings that the Rangers should sit him to not let him get to his vesting option. If they tried that, I could quite easily see Scott Boras raising a stink about that. I’m sure someone will write about whether or not Nolan’s “just shut up and pitch and stop whining about pitch count” mentality is causing this or not. But Kevin Millwood now is not the guy you want pitching a lot should we still manage to make the playoffs, which is more and more starting to not look like it’s going to happen.
I could write about the relievers, but I don’t want to. Millwood’s pitching performance was pretty bad, so I don’t feel like writing about Rangers pitching for this game at all.
If you want to look for something good, three of the six hits the Rangers got were extra base hits. Doubles by Kinsler & Davis, and a home run by Julio Borbon, which itself accounted for two of the three RBI’s. In fact, the other RBI was Borbon, too. So he had all three of the team’s RBI’s. Marlon Byrd had two singles. Not much else going on besides that.
Except rain. Lots of rain. They played through the game in a lot of rain until the bottom of the ninth when the Rangers had a man on first, and were playing in a swamp, more or less. Byrd had one of his two singles to lead off the inning, then Nelson Cruz hit a ball to short which was a perfect double play ball, except that Wilson slipped and fell, and Byrd slid past second base. It was a mess – it reminded me of the postponed Game 5 swamp in this past World Series.
Don Wakamatsu came out, and said something to the umpires, and play was put on hold, as the teams came off the field. The tarp was run out, but it had been raining on the field for a few hours, there was almost no point. The game was then called roughly an hour later, and it was over.
Granted, the Rangers were down by five there, but we did have two on with nobody out. I would have liked to have had the chance to keep going. Would have been nice to pick up the bottom of the ninth the next day or something like that. Would like to hear an official explanation for that or something.

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Friday night’s game rained out

Well, the headline says it all. Fridays’ game was rained out. It didn’t rain too hard around here, but it did in Arlington, as the game never got started. Was kind of looking forward to it, as well. I did spend the time with family. First putting my daughter to bed, then after that, played a little “The Bigs 2” on the Xbox 360, and when my wife was done putting the baby to bed, we watched a little “Man v. Food“. Man, that’s a great show.
Anyway, this will be made up Sunday as part of a doubleheader. That’s particularly annoying for me, because I have some church commitments I have to go to. I could probably postpone those, and go to the games, but since my family only has one car, that would deprive the rest of the family, and I can’t do that. Anyone want to pick me up in Garland, and go to the DH with me? :)
Kevin Millwood was supposed to pitch Friday night. He’s pitching Saturday, and Derek Holland & Tommy Hunter are pitching the doubleheader on Sunday.

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G139: Rangers sweep Indians with 10-0 bombing on Wednesday

A little while ago I made the remark that Scott Feldman really was the Rangers staff ace. That notion is now getting some movement as Dave Barnett referenced the fact that Feldman is the real staff ace now. Makes you wonder, if all things are equal if Scott Feldman will get the opening day nod for 2010. He certainly deserves it. Millwood has held that position the last few years, but man, he doesn’t really deserve it in 2010, does he?
Today was highlighted by seven shutout innings for Scott Feldman. He scattered five hits and a walk – none of them in the same inning. Which would explain why a five hit shutout had only one 1-2-3 inning (the third). He left with 111 pitches thrown, which would possibly be the only knock on him, that’s a few too many pitches. Not obscenely too many, but a little on the high side. General convention says you should have 105 through seven. So not too awful, but the lack of more than one 1-2-3 probably contributed to that. But you can’t argue with this.. This was the fourth shutout in the last nine starts for Feldman. Wow.
Offensively the game started with a bang. Cleveland starter Fausto Carmona was beyond awful. 0.2 IP, 5 H, 5ER, 1BB, 1K, & 2 HR. He threw 41 pitches, and only got two outs in the game. I mean, as much as it was good for the Rangers to have a performance like that, you felt bad for Carmona (although not TOO much – haha). Those five runs were all scored before 11:30AM Dallas time. And that’s all we got offensively this game. That’s all we got for the majority of the game – we didn’t get any more until the ninth inning.
The biggest individual performance was Esteban German, who went 5-5. Nelson Cruz was the only Ranger without a hit, taking an 0-5. Marlon Byrd, however, continued his assault in Cleveland. While he didn’t have as many hits as the doubleheader, he did have four RBI to go with his 2-5 performance. Other notable things is that Pudge had 3 RBI’s. We also had 10 batters in the first, scored nothing else for seven more innings, then had a total of 11 more in the ninth as well. We had five runs in the first, and five runs in the ninth. Probably could have had a lot more in the ninth, as we left the bases loaded.
The game was finished off with some fantastic defense in the ninth inning. There was a great lineout to Elvis Andrus, and then a big play from Andrus to Chris Davis.
For the first time since the end of the 1999 season, the Rangers are 19 games over .500. They’re also just a game and a half behind Boston for the Wild Card. Of course, as I write this Boston hasn’t played yet tonight, so it could end up being just one game. LET’S GO ORIOLES!

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G138: Rangers take DH sweep with 10-5 win in Game 2

Marlon Byrd went 4-4 with a walk in game 1 of the DH. In game 2 he went 3-5. That’s most impressive – combined, Byrd went 7-9 with a walk. Wow.
But he wasn’t the only one hitting this game. Everyone did – nobody took an ofer. In fact, just three of the nine Ranger batters had a single hit (Andrus, Jones, German). Three guys had two hits (Cruz, Murphy, Teagarden), and three guys had three hits (Kinsler, Byrd, & Davis). There was a ton of offense. If you count game 1, that’s 21 games in the doubleheader, which was a nice bounceback after the scoreless streak we had just gotten over. Five doubles, a home run (Davis), and a pile of singles accounted for all of that.
Bradon McCarthy was charged with five earned runs. I say charged, because Eddie Guardado allowed the two inherited runners he took the mound to to score. Those runs were the only ones allowed, though. None of the Ranger relievers were charged with any runs. McCarthy, if you take away the last couple of runners pitched fairly well, and looked like the early season McCarthy. Man, you get the feeling that the 2009 incarnation could be good just in case he could stay on the field. Oh well.
Kind of pressed for time, plus it’s hard to write about a game while another one is on (I’m listening live to the Wednesday game at the moment). Nice to get a sweep, even though both Boston & Anaheim won. We still gained half a game on those by the benefit of the doubleheader sweep.
We’re now 6-0 in three doubleheaders this season. That’s sweet.

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G137: Rangers hang on, beat Indians in Game 1, 11-9

David Murphy solo home run in the second
Julio Borbon solo home run in the third
David Murphy fielder’s choice RBI in the fourth
Pudge double, scoring David Murphy in the fourth
Elvis Adrus double, scoring Julio Borbon in the fifth
Marlon Byrd three run home run in the seventh
Julio Borbon solo home run in the ninth
Pudge double, scoring Byrd & Cruz in the ninth
That’s the list of the Ranger runs, and how they scored. That’s all after the Rangers had gone sixteen innings without scoring a run at all, so it was a nice breakout. They needed all of that to get the win, however. Would have been nice to coast, and not worry like that.
Julio Borbon’s two home runs were great, it was the first multi home run game of his career, and he raised his career home run total from 1 to 3. :)
Marlon Byrd was the big deal, though. Byrd went 4-4 with a walk, so he was on base all five times he came up. Scored twice, had three RBI’s.
The team also had five doubles, a specialty of recent Ranger vintage, too.
But, as usual, with a game that had a total of 20 runs between both teams, there were some epic level pitching breakdowns. Of the nine pitchers used total between both teams, only one didn’t allow any runs. That was the final pitcher by Cleveland (Mike Gosling), who only pitched 1/3 of an inning. He also only threw one pitch, too. I’m not going to list all the pitching awfulness, as there was a lot – just look at the MLB Recap link above. Man, it was some pretty ineffective pitching. For the record, the Rangers threw 136 pitches total, and the Indians threw 163.
But the game was definitely closer than I wanted it to be. Still, a win is a win. We’ll take it. We need a lot more this month.

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Update on the Sale of the Rangers

I noticed an article that came out last night which had an update on the sale of the Rangers situation. The full article talks about a few things, not just the Rangers – the relevant part of the article is about halfway down the page under the subtitle of “UPDATE ON POTENTIAL SALE OF THE TEXAS RANGERS”. A few of the bullet points.

  • Hicks is looking for about $600 million for sale of the team.
  • The Rangers value appears to be currently lower than the San Diego Padres. (eek)
  • The only names that have come out are David McDavid & Nolan Ryan, so no new names in the article.

The article also goes on to say there could be ownership issues for the Stars, too. While it doesn’t explicitly state that, the words used in the article imply (or maybe I’m inferring, not sure) that there could be an attempt by creditors to force control of the team from Tim Hicks, despite there not being any move to sell the Stars at the moment.
I suggest reading the article. It isn’t all new news, but it is a good summary of the current situation, as it is known to me.

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Monday night’s game was rained out

Not much to say about a rainout. I had the game recording on the TiVo, and when I saw it was rain delayed, I padded my recording by three extra hours at the end. It appears to have been called somewhere around a two hour and 20 minute delay from the outset tonight, although I’m not 100% sure about that.
Anyway, it will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Tuesday night – the first game is now scheduled to start at 4:05.
That makes two doubleheaders in a week for the Rangers. Haven’t seen that in awhile.
Tommy Hunter was supposed to start Monday night, and will start Game 1 of the doubleheader. Brandon McCarthy will start Game 2.

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G136: Rangers shut out by O’s, 7-0

I don’t even want to write about this. :(

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G135: Rangers drop close game to Baltimore, 5-4

I missed most of this game, as I was driving around in the afternoon, and only heard bits of it on the radio. When I started listening, the Rangers were up 3-0 going into the bottom of the first. Then they gave up a run to the O’s in the first. Then they gave up another run to the O’s in the bottom of the second. They picked up one in the top of the third, but then gave two more back to the O’s in the bottom of the third. That was the end of the scoring for the Rangers. The O’s however, tacked on a single run in the bottom of the fifth, which turned out to be game winning run, as no more runs were scored after that for either team.
Sigh. At least the Red Sox lost.

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G134: Rangers go to five in a row with 5-1 win in Baltimore

The Rangers closed the gap in the wild card race to just two games with a win in Baltimore, as Boston got shellacked in Chicago on Friday night. They did it with a familiar story, really awesome starting (and relieving) pitching.
Wait.. WHAT?!?
It’s amazing that the 2009 edition of the Texas Rangers is seemingly more known for its pitching than its offense. Scott Feldman, who took the mound in Baltimore on Friday night is one of the best examples. He’s 15-4 on September 4th, and that’s really amazing considering he started the season in the bullpen. While his record wouldn’t be that radically different, perhaps maybe 17-4 if he won both of the starts he might have gotten in early April, it’s even more amazing if you look at the numbers of those three appearances.
Apr 9 – Cleveland – 2.1 IP, 5H, 4ER, 2HR, 2K, 0BB
Apr 13 – Baltimore – 2.2IP, 4H, 3ER, 1HR, 3K, 2BB
Apr 22 – Toronto – 1.2IP, 2H, 2ER, 0HR, 1K, 2BB
After those three relief appearances, his ERA was sitting at 12.15. Which was actually a drop, because after April 9th, his ERA was 15.43! A guy with an ERA over 12 isn’t a likely candidate to be added to the rotation, but he was. His first start was April 25th in Baltimore, actually. He went five, threw 78 pitches that game, and was not terribly stretched out, in a spot start for Mr. Anna Benson. Scott never left the rotation after that. While I do not believe it’s a realistic option, just seeing his name mentioned with the words “Cy Young” in the same sentence is nothing short of totally amazing. I know great players can come from any round (as evidenced of what the 62nd round once produced in Mike Piazza), but the fact that we’re talking about a potential Cy Young performance from a 30th round Texas Rangers self drafted starter is just stunning. I know Kevin Millwood is technically the staff ace, but wow, is Feldman pitching like it. If we make it to the playoffs, I know who I want in there easily multiple times in a five game series. :)
Scott last night went 6.2 innings, allowed just four scattered singles, no runs, and a couple of walks. Left with 102 pitches thrown, and two guys on base, so he was pulled before it got out of hand. His performance Friday night lowered his ERA from 3.72 to 3.62.
Scott wasn’t the only pitching story – Neftali Feliz took over for Scott and threw the final 2.1 innings of the game. As good as Feldman is, you look at Feliz and go – “Oh wow” – if his numbers hold up like they do now, it would be stunning. I don’t think it will, there will be a crash, or an adjustment, a comedown, or whatever you want to call it at some point, but Feliz is fantastic, too. Last night he went 2.1 innings for the save, allowed NO hits, NO walks, and struck out two. He lowered his ERA to 0.41. ZERO POINT FOURTY STINKIN’ ONE! Wow. Can he be a weapon in the playoffs.
I mean who would have thunk it? The Rangers have been out of the playoffs for a decade now, and when we got back? We were led there by our pitching. Just amazing.
On the other side of the ball, we didn’t exactly destroy Baltimore, but had a decent amount of offense. Double by Davis, home run by Cruz, and six singles accounted for our runs. Andrus & Byrd had two hits each, the rest were all 1fors. The RBI’s came from Byrd, Cruz, Pudge, and two by Chris Davis on his double.
It’s a lot of fun to be in this race, isn’t it?

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G133: Rangers take series finale against Toronto 6-4

Well, day one of this series had a major thrashing of Texas by Toronto. Day two was a doubleheader that we swept, but lost Michael Young. So what would happen for an encore on the third day? Well, some good, and some bad.
The good was that we won the game. That gave us the series 3-1, and on top of that, we gained ground on both Boston & Anaheim, as both of them lost their games, too. As of the end of the day, we were now just 3.5 games behind Anaheim, and 2.5 games behind Boston for the Wild Card. That’s a pretty good feeling.
The bad was that Josh Hamilton came out of the game, with what was described later as lower back soreness. I spotted that when he ran out the double, he wasn’t running terribly hard, and after he did get to second, it took him awhile to stand back up, he was in obvious discomfort. So I wasn’t surprised he came out at all – although the TV announcers seemed to be.
Tommy Hunter took the mound for Texas, and while he wasn’t lights out like he’s been in a few starts lately, he did decently. Certainly enough to get the win, which he got – his seventh of the season. Tommy went 7 innings, giving up five hits (two of which were solo home runs), four runs on a couple of walks. Not exactly dominating, but a decent outing. He did come out with just 86 pitches, which was a low number for seven innings. Not entirely sure why he came out when he did, really.
Chris Davis handled third for this game, but he’s not expected to be the regular third basemen while Michael Young is out. That’s expected to be a mix of Omar Vizquel & Esteban German; mostly Vizquel.
Offensively, Nelson Cruz had the best night, going 3-4 with two RBI and two runs scored – one of which was on his six inning home run. Hank Blalock also had a couple of hits, and the remainder were scattered amongst the Ranger bats; nobody else had more than one. There was another home run – a solo shot by Elvis Andrus, and a double from Josh Hamilton. But not a lot of sustained power inside innings, as evidenced by the 1-1-2-2 score breakdown for us.
Jarrod Saltamacchia was activated off the DL – he still needs his surgery, but he’s being carried as the emergency catcher, and as a pinch hitter – he’s not expected to catch again in 2009 unless something goes very wrong ahead of him with Taylor & Pudge.
We’re 75-58 with just 29 games to go. If we do well in Baltimore and Cleveland (like sweep both, which is possible), we’d come back home 81-58, and that would guarantee us at least not to have a losing season. But realistically, at the rate we’re playing, I’d like to see them do way better than just that. WAY better.

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G132: Rangers beat Jays 5-2 in second game of DH

I didn’t take as many pictures during the second game as I did the first, but I did get some. Let’s start with this one.

Pudge screwing up the chalk lines behind the plate before the first pitch is thrown. Something that was really nice to see in a doubleheader. Truth be told, I figured he’d catch one of the games, but it was great to actually SEE it. He DH’ed in the first game, caught the second.
Brandon McCarthy took the mound for Game 2. When this season started I was feeling good about Brandon. I think most Ranger fans were. I called him the key to 2009. We needed him to pitch well if we were going to have a chance. Through May, when he went on the DL again, he was doing pretty good. 5-2 with an ERA in the 4’s. I forget the exact number, but he was decent. Not lighting the world on fire, but doing well enough. Then he went back on the DL, and was there for about three months until yesterday. I don’t know about you, but those three months pretty much sapped out any good feeling I had about him early in the season. So when it was announced he was starting in Game 2, I didn’t feel good about it. Quite frankly, I figured both games would be big losses. Wrong. Brandon went 6.1 innings, giving up three hits, one run, while both striking out and walking two. In fact, when he walked off the mound in the seventh inning, he got a very nice standing ovation.

There wasn’t a ton of action through the first few innings. In fact, no runs scored in the first three and a half innings. Both Brandon McCarthy & Brian Tallet were pretty good about not allowing runs to score. The Rangers had runners in each of the first three innings (Kinsler walk in the 1st, Murphy single in the 2nd, & Kinsler single in the 3rd). None of them scored, although Kinsler did get to third base in the first inning. Likewise, the Jays had a runner in the first (Aaron Hill single) and the second (walk to Kevin Millar), but neither advanced. They were gone 1-2-3 in the third. Hill walked in the fourth, but was wiped out on a double play, which ended up as a 1-2-3 inning, too.
Then we got to the bottom of the fourth inning, and we got this with Josh Hamilton’s at bat..

Josh had deposited a ball over the Rangers bullpen for a solo home run to lead off the fourth. It was majestic to watch, one of those long ones that gives you a chance to admire it as it heads out. That wasn’t all the scoring in that inning. Chris Davis was up, and at that point, Murphy & Pudge were already on base due to a walk and a fielder’s choice. Davis busted ass down the line, and beat a throw on a routine grounder to second. Brian Tallet was late getting to first, which allowed Davis to reach. By this point David Murphy had been on the move, and Tallet at this point made a really wild throw to try and stop Murphy, and it was worse than his failure to cover his base, so it allowed Murphy to score. Was a great moment. The Blue Jays harnessed their inner Bad News Bears in that sequence. Loved it.
We actually ended up loading up the bases again here, but didn’t get anything done further, as Ian Kinsler popped out to second base to end the inning with the bases loaded.
The Rangers plated two more in the fifth. Elvis Andrus led off the inning with a double, and on a 2-2 pitch, Josh Hamilton bloody well rocketed a pitch into the right field stands to the left of the wedgie. It got out in a real big hurry. Was a no doubter. Two home runs for Josh is impressive this year. It’s the first time he’s done that. Coming into this game, he had just nine home runs for the entire season.
I interrupt this game commentary to bring you another picture of Ranger players watching the girls dancing on the dugout. This time it’s Derek Holland & Omar Vizquel.

The Rangers added one more run in the sixth when Chris Davis launched a ball onto Greene’s Hill in center (which looks REALLY far away when sitting in Section 26). Anyway, that gave Davis some nice numbers for the doubleheader.. Chris went 5-8 with one run scored and four RBI. A good night for a guy who looked really lost when he was sent down to AAA.
Darren O’Day came in, gave up the first run (although not totally by his own hand, it was an inherited runner CJ Wilson allowed to score). CJ Wilson himself seemed shaky again. While not nearly as bad as he was in the Metrodome, he went 0.2 innings, allowing the one runner of O’Day’s to score, but gave up no runs of his own.
Frankie came in and threw a perfect inning in the ninth to close it out for his second save of the day. He threw a total of eight pitches in the second game, for a total of 23 pitches and two saves for the day. Not bad work at all. Was really nice to see this twice tonight:

One thing that was NOT good was what happened to end the third inning. I watched Michael Young run down the line to beat out a throw. Nothing special there. Have seen that a ton of times. But when he hit the bag, he did this little hop, which while it didn’t seem overly concerning, did seem slightly out of the ordinary. I didn’t think anything of it because Michael wasn’t grabbing anything, or didn’t need help to get off the field. However, in the top of the fourth, Omar Vizquel moved from short to third, and Elvis Andrus was now playing short. Uh-oh. A couple of innings later, it was announced on the radio (I always listen when I’m in stadium) that he had pulled his left hamstring, and was going for an MRI today (Wed) to check it out. There was no concrete word last night as to what might happen, as folks were just reacting to it, but no matter how you shake it, he’s out for awhile. Will he return at all in 2009? Dunno, but this has to totally kill any chance of getting 200 hits. Obviously, more info is needed from the MRI today, but no matter how you shake it, he’s out. Just two weeks seems unlikely to return from a hamstring problem. Four weeks means he’d come back for the playoffs, assuming we get there. Anything more, forget it, it’s 2010 for him. Gotta feel bad for the dude – he’s stuck it out here for awhile with bad teams, and we finally get a good one, and he gets hurt right before the finish line. Let’s see if he can come back early – but not TOO early, don’t want to hurt himself long term just to play in the playoffs.
Let’s hope we can hold it together without him. Maybe Josh Hamilton getting it right now is what we need to cover this. Chris Davis at third? Omar Vizquel at third? Dunno.
If this weren’t September, he’d be on the DL. I mention that because that will hurt me on my fantasy teams he’s on, since I can’t DL him. There’s no need to DL him for the expanded rosters.
We definitely do not want to be without this picture for too long. I know I don’t.

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G131: Rangers beat Jays 5-2 in first game of DH

I love doubleheaders. Always have since I was a kid. And I’m not talking about those fake “split” doubleheaders where they clear the place out between games. I mean real honest to goodness two for the price of one doubleheaders. I try and go to every one I possibly can. There was one earlier in the season, and it came the day after my son was born, so I think I would have been put into the hospital myself if I tried going. So I was looking forward to today for awhile. Got in the car and headed to Freebirds for a fillup before heading to the park. Given I’m still unemployed (sigh), I have to conserve money where I can. Then I drove to the game from there, which worked out, as I didn’t spend any money on food at the Ballpark. One tip they don’t publicize a lot. They have this “designated driver” program, where you sign up saying you won’t drink any beers or whatnot at the game. You are put into a drawing for a Rangers jacket each game, and they give you a coupon for a free soda. That’s the only thing I got from the concession stands the whole doubleheader. Filling up at Freebirds beforehand will do that. :)
Anyway, I got to the park, and my tickets were at Will Call, so I had no idea where they were going to be. Opened the envelope, and got a surprise. I had seriously awesome seats for the game. I mean, check this out – this is where I was sitting!

I have to confess I wasn’t particularly looking forward to the pitching matchups. Dustin Nippert and Brandon McCarthy starting for Texas. I’ll talk about McCarthy in game 2’s remarks, but I have to say I wasn’t thrilled at seeing Nippert. He’s done decently overall, but my gut feeling said he was going to be torched. Perhaps it was fallout from the 18 runs last night – who knows. I wasn’t thrilled.
The game got off quickly, however. Ian Kinsler popped a home run in the bottom of the first inning. It felt good, and it seemed like the ball clanged around in a sea of empty seats out there in left. I know the start of doubleheaders are always not terribly populated, but it seemed more empty than usual out there. That home run though was pretty much it for power. There was one Pudge double later in the game, but everything else was a single. Not much in the way of extra base hits in this game.
Speaking of Pudge, I was rather excited to see him in person as a Ranger again for the first time in ages. Pudge DH’ed in Game 1, and it was VERY cool to hear Chuck Morgan announce him again. As much as I feel this will be just for 2009, it would be very nice to see Pudge stay on past this season. It just “feels” good for a Rangers fan. Below are some pictures of Pudge in action during game 1. Just because it “feels” good. :)

Anyway, it wasn’t all about Pudge. Dustin Nippert had a decent line, but sitting there witnessing his pitching, he wasn’t dominating. His line was good, though. Six innings, five hits, two runs, one walk, four strikeouts. Dustin left the game with 99 pitches thrown, and at the time a 3-2 lead.
I have to confess, he did better than I thought he was going to. So good for him. Bad for me. I am confused about one thing. Several reports of the game online refer to the run scored in the fourth by the Jays as unearned, yet all the box scores list it as earned. Anyone reading this have a clarification?

However, after Nippert came out of the game, in came Neftali Feliz. It was cool to see the fans take to him the way they have. He got a huge round of applause, and when he was on the mound? Holy crap! He struck out the side in the seventh inning. He also threw 12 pitches, only one was a ball. It was sensational. He came back in the eighth, and while he threw a few more balls than one (six), he was equally as sensational. In all, Feliz threw two perfect innings. 27 pitches, 20 for strikes. Struck out four of the six guys he faced. Wow. Thank you – thank you, THANK YOU John Schuerholz!

One other nice thing to see was Chris Davis go 3-4. All three were pulled singles to right, but the third one scored the two runs we plated in the bottom of the seventh. It probably should have been an error, put I’m sure Chris will take the third hit, and a couple of RBI’s.
Speaking of errors, Marco Scutaro made two of them this game. Which, if I remember right was rather odd, as the radio guys said he had only made four all season previously to that. There was another charged error in the game to Toronto (a fielding error by McDonald), but there should have been four.
Frank Francisco came in and threw just 15 pitches for the save. He allowed one hit, but that was it.
It was hard to get the name Rzepczynski into my iPod Touch when I scored the game. My pod kept trying to correct the spelling, and even then I had to check what I was typing a couple of times. That was one of the harder entries in scoring I’ve had to do ever. :)
One final remark. It appears that the Ranger players, and Pudge in particular like watching the Rangers six shooter girls dance on top of the dugout. Check out these two pics. :)

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How many in 2009?

Usually towards the end of the year, we always hear about how many players the Texas Rangers have used overall in any particular season. The Rangers are usually towards the high end of that list. Injuries, callups, usually make for a long list, and you tend to forget the guys who are here so quick that they don’t even have time for the proverbial “cup of coffee”.

Last year I kept track of it, and it worked pretty well, so I’ll do it again for 2009. This post will get bumped whenever there is a player who is making his first appearance for the Texas Rangers in 2009. I am going to count guys who get called up, but don’t play immediately (or sometimes don’t play at all), as they will be part of the 25 man roster officially. So here goes. The most recent additions will be on the top of the list. The original opening day 25 man roster is not in any particular order. The Rangers have one guy in the 2009 original 25 that is making his major league debut (Elvis Andrus), which was the same as 2008 (Kaz Fukumori).

#45 – Craig Gentry (Sep 1 – Major League Debut)
#44 – Pedro Strop (Aug 27 – Major League Debut)
#43 – Ivan Rodriguez (Aug 18)
#42 – Kevin Richardson (Aug 15 – Major League Debut)
#41 – Esteban German (Aug 5)
#40 – Neftali Feliz (Aug 2)
#39 – Dustin Nippert (Jul 7)
#38 – Julio Borbon (Jun 29 – Major League Debut)
#37 – Jason Grilli (Jun 9)
#36 – Doug Mathis (Jun 3)
#35 – Brandon Boggs (Jun 2)
#34 – Guillermo Moscoso (May 29 – Major League Debut)
#33 – Tommy Hunter (May 29)
#32 – Joaquin Arias (May 9)
#31 – Greg Golson (May 4)
#30 – Max Ramirez (May 1)
#29 – Luis Mendoza (Apr 23)
#28 – Darren O’Day (Apr 22)
#27 – Derek Holland (Apr 18 – Major League Debut)
#26 – Willie Eyre (Apr 15)
#25 to #1: Kris Benson, Scott Feldman, Frank Francisco, Eddie Guardado, Matt Harrison, Jason Jennings, Warner Madrigal, Brandon McCarthy, Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Josh Rupe, CJ Wilson, Jarrod Saltamacchia, Taylor Teagarden, Elvis Andrus (Major League Debut), Hank Blalock, Chris Davis, Ian Kinsler, Omar Vizquel, Michael Young, Marlon Byrd, Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, Andruw Jones, David Murphy.

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G130: What was THAT MESS? Rangers lose 18-10

What was that mess?
It’s pretty bad when you score 10 runs in three innings, with a 7 spot, and it doesn’t feel like you did it, or it even mattered.
You can try making yourself feel better by saying things like “It’s only one loss”, and we’re only 6 games behind Anaheim, and 4 in the Wild Card, but..
Wow. THAT SUCKED!

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G129: Rangers bullpen gives it to Twins; we lose 5-3

Uh-oh. Another well pitched game given away by the bullpen. That’s happened a little too much lately. While it’s not a true problem I think, the fact that it’s happened more than once is a little concerning.
Kevin Millwood started the game in search of his first win against the Twins (!). Period. He pitched more than well enough to win. Six innings, six hits, two walks, and just two runs allowed. Both of those were on a two run home run to Jason Kubel. So Kevin was keeping things well in check. Felt good turning it over to the bullpen.
Jason Grilli came on first, and threw a scoreless, one hit inning of relief. That felt good.
What didn’t feel good was what CJ Wilson did. One inning, three hits, one walk, and THREE runs allowed – all earned. CJ was also credited with a blown save, and loss. Good, he was total ass this game.
Offensively, We had a couple of doubles, a Nelson Cruz home run, and a pile of singles. Didn’t exactly light it up, as Scott Baker kept us mostly in check. 7IP, 6H, 3R, 6K, 1BB. Their bullpen didn’t allow us any movement, but it didn’t matter.
Was a pretty deflating feeling in the bottom of the eighth, so there wasn’t much fun to be had in the top of the ninth. Another late inning loss. Sigh.

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G128: Scott Feldman brilliant, Rangers win 3-0

I’m taking a pass on this one, but not for the usual reason. This evening after the game was over, I found that a friend of mine had to go to the emergency room. She had just had a miscarriage a few days before, and had come home after having that procedure done. She had to go back to the ER tonight, and has been worked on all night. It’s almost 3AM now, and I’m gonna crash. My mind has been there tonight, plus I’m sure a lot of tomorrow will be spent dealing with fallout of her ER trip tonight. So I’m giving this one a pass – just wanted to say why, it’s not a casual bailout.
God bless you my friend, may you be healed both physically and emotionally. You’re too young for this kind of stuff.

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

P.S. Scott Feldman was great, wasn’t he? Nice to see him getting some love on ESPN (they had him on Baseball Tonight via telephone)

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G127: Rangers screwed by AAA Ump, lose 3-2

Darnit.

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G126: Rangers tee off on Yankees, win 7-2

You know, after the game was over, I tried to think of some cool way to say how great this win was. I thought and thought, and couldn’t come up with something good. All I wanted to say was “Man, that game felt great. The Yankees lost.” This felt better than most Ranger wins against the Yankees, too. I can’t quantify that, it just “felt” better.
AJ Burnett was actually quite good. Went six innings, gave up just two hits, and struck out twelve. That’s 12 out of 18 batters he got outs on he struck out. However, one of the hits was a three run home run to Ian Kinsler. Then when Burnett came out, his successor gave up another three run home run – this time to Chris Davis – something I’m sure brought a smile to Jamey Newberg. Ian Kinsler followed up with another home run in the 8th. We just overpowered them. Which is no easy feat.
Dustin Nippert was completely ineffective, but was lucky as hell. He didn’t make it out the fourth inning, and when he did exit, he had thrown 98 pitches. He also bloody walked seven batters during this time, and I believe only one of them scored. Jason Grilli followed up, and got the win, but deserved it. 2.1 innings of perfect baseball. CJ & Frankie finished the game out, not allowing any runs either.
I listened to the game on the radio in front of the computer, and had the MLB Gameday going too. I used their Twitter integration to chat with others about the game, which was kind of cool. Enjoyed that.
What else is cool is Anaheim lost and Boston lost. Good. Good, Good.
Oh, finally, after last night’s game, I wrote that they need to end the Jason Jennings experiment. That turned out to be pretty prophetic, as before this game, they designated Jennings for assignment to make room for Pedro Strop. I usually don’t get my baseball wishes answered that fast. :)

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G125: Rangers lose to Yankees 9-2

As has been my policy for the last few years, I don’t write about losses to the Yankees.
I will say this, however.. I think it’s time for Jason Jennings to go. It was a nice experiment for awhile. Drive through, please.

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G124: Rangers hang on, beat Yankees 10-9

I really should know better. I really should. You see, last night my wife got something in from Amazon.com she’s been waiting years for. One of her all time favorite TV shows was finally released on DVD. This would be thirtysomething. Anyway, she had the big TV after the kids went to bed, so I was going to watch the game when she was done. I had avoided the scoreboard by not going to ESPN or my Yahoo front page or anything like that. I was good. And then popped up something I forgot about. The Firefox plugin TwitterFox decided to tell me what Victor Rojas was saying. And he said this. GAH! Now I don’t blame Victor, I blame myself for not turning off the plugin. I’ve figured out I need to avoid Facebook when I’m watching a game timeshifted (Hello Hannah), but now I need to turn off TwitterFox, too. Bleargh! So I knew the Rangers won before I started watching any of it. I did watch part of the game, the bits where the Rangers scored, pretty much.
As I’ve said numerous times before, anytime there’s 19 runs scored in a game, there’s not going to be a lot of good pitching. For the most part, that held up here, too.
Kevin Millwood had a horrendous first inning, but mostly settled down after that. Total line 5.2 innings, 7 hits, 5 runs, 5 walks, two home runs. Blah.
Jason Grilli. Ugh. Zero innings pitched, 1 hit, one walk. Both scored.
Frank Francisco. One inning. 3 hits, 1 walk, 2 earned runs. Bleargh! Even John Wetteland didn’t give us heart attacks quite LIKE THAT!
On the other side… Joba “Fist Pump” Chamberlain.. 4 innings, 9 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks. No home runs, though. He was bad.
Chad Gaudin. 3.2 innings pitched, 7 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 2 home runs.
Domaso Marte finished for the Yankes, and went 1.1 innings, not allowing any runs, but that LOWERED his ERA to 11.05.
The best pitcher of the night was Neftali Feliz. Two innings, just one hit, no walks, 2 k’s, no RUNS! O’Day also threw a zero on his line score, but he was just 0.1 innings pitched.
That’s the pitching. Offensively, the Rangers had 16 hits, the Yankees had 12. The only Ranger to take an ofer was Marlon Byrd. Everyone else had at least one. The guys with multiples were Young (2-5), Kinsler (2-5), Chris Davis (2-4), Elvis Andrus (3-5), and Josh Hamilton (4-6). There were two home runs for Texas. A solo shot in the fifth by Nelson Cruz, and a two run shot that just cleared the wall in right in the 7th scoring two. There were three doubles in the game, but it was mostly singles, as we had 11 of them. It was a lot. The Rangers pounded on Mr. Chamberlain.
Then we had to fight off the inevitable Yankees comeback in the bottom of the ninth. However, since I saw the final score before I watched it, I didn’t have nearly the nailbiting that most Rangers fans had. :)
Still, a win is a win, and it’s nice to get out of the Bronx with some of those. Let’s see what Derek Holland is made out of Wednesday night.

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G123: Scott Feldman stops losing streak, shuts out Tampa, 4-0

Scott Feldman comes in and shuts down the Rays to restore order to the win column for the Texas Rangers. Scott has been fantastic this year, but if you’re reading this you don’t need to be told that. He did turn in a performance today that was very cool. He did something a Rangers pitcher hasn’t done in ages, and that’s strike out eleven hitters. Scott went seven innings in all, and that’s 21 outs. 11 of them were K’s.
It didn’t stop there, either. Darren O’Day struck out the side in his one inning of work, and Frank Francisco had one of his own, too. That’s 15 K’s out of 27 total outs. Really nice going there.
The Rays were held to just five hits in all. Just one was a double by Pat Burrell, and all the rest are singles. Burrell was the only one with more than one hit.
On our side, Pudge caught the game, and went 1-2 with a walk. Pudge? WALK? What the… He also drove in two of the four Rangers runs (Michael Young had the other two). There wasn’t a ton of offense on our side either, but we didn’t need a ton.
That’s thanks to Scott Feldman, who has to be a serious lock for top of the rotation in 2010. If we insult him by not starting him in the rotation again, he should walk away from the Rangers. :)

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G122: Rangers lose to Rays in 10 innings, 5-4

A couple of home runs (Young, Byrd), a triple (Young), a double (Teagarden), and three singles weren’t enough. The Rangers lost in 10 innings.
I hate writing about those almost as much as I hate writing about Yankees losses. If we go into the Bronx this coming week and are bad, I’ll have an easy time with my updates. :)
One positive, Michael Young had another three hit game. That brings him to 159 hits with 39 games left. One hit per game gives him 198, I think he can pick that up easily enough and get to 200. :)

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G121: Rangers are a little too late, lose to Rays 5-3

We’ve had decent luck against Tampa Bay starter Scott Kazmir – or at least my memory tells me that. So I was kind of surprised when I watched this game and he was the Scott Kazmir that “Scott Kazmir” says Scott Kazmir should be. Not that one who was just an average pitcher.
Against Texas on Friday, Scott pretty much shut down the Rangers, holding us scoreless through seven plus innings. That was finally stopped when Taylor Teagarden hit a home run off of him in the 8th to lead off. That was followed up by RBI’s from Marlon Byrd & Andruw Jones. Jones’ RBI I don’t understand – I missed it live, in that his box score shows no hits, and no sac fly. Not sure how he was credited with his.
There wasn’t a lot of Rangers offense. Six hits in all, and three of them from Michael Young (2 1B, 1 2B). Byrd & Andrus singled, and there was the Teagarden home run. But when Kazmir was pitching like that, there wasn’t much to go around.
Dustin Nippert took the mound and pitched like a lot of Rangers pitchers in late August – “meh”. Five innings, seven hits, five runs (four earned) two walks, and three strikeouts. The pen was pretty good (nothing allowed), but the runs against Nippert were all that the Rays needed for the win.

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G120: Rangers bomb Twins 11-1 on my birthday

Well, Thursday was my 44th birthday, and I headed out to Arlington for my tradition of attending a game on my birthday. I’ve done that as long as I can remember. I’ve mentioned this here before, but if you didn’t know I go on my birthday. If they’re not in town, I go on the closest calendar day to August 20th. I have to confess when they signed Pudge, I didn’t want him starting on Wednesday night. I wanted him starting on Thursday for the first time, so it would be my birthday game. That didn’t happen. But I got to see him in the dugout! Wheeeee!
I did get to see Derek Holland in person, and he didn’t seem to be “on” this game. He struggled in places, and while he still got the win, and didn’t allow a ton of runs to score, it wasn’t the smoothest outing I would think. Overall, his line was 5.1 innings, 83 pitches, seven hits, no walks, 3 k’s, and just one run allowed. The reason it was just one run was in thanks to Netfali Feliz. In the sixth, Holland loaded the bases, and was pulled by Ron Washington. In came Feliz. This was something I also wanted to see, and while he didn’t hit 100, there were several 97’s and 98’s, and watching him warm up, it really looked like Walter Johnson. I thought Feliz’ movement in warming up really really looked like the old pitcher for the Washington Senators, Walter “Big Train” Johnson. Willie Eyre and Jason Jennings also tossed soreless innings onto this game, but the big moment was the second pitch that Feliz threw. With the bases loaded, he got Joe Crede to hit a squibber over to Michael Young, who stepped on third, and then threw to first for the inning ending double play. Just felt then like it killed the Twins. From that point onward, it was all smooth sailing for Rangers pitching.
The Rangers hitting was quite good, too. In all, we had seventeen hits. As I’ve said many times before, that many hits leads to a lot of things like “Every Ranger starter had at least one hit”. Which is what happened. They all had at least one. We had three guys with three hits (Borbon, Young, & Blalock). Borbon chipped in with his first career major league home run, a pull job down the right field line, just to the left of the wedgie. In all, there was a lot of extra base hits. We had three doubles (Andrus, Young, Borbon) and four home runs (Byrd twice, Borbon, & Cruz). That Borbon was even here to get the shot when Cruz came back from the DL is a testament to how hot Borbon has been since first coming up recently. I’m glad he’s sticking around.
Hank Blalock had three sharp hits, and he’s been batting worse than Chris Davis was when he was sent down. Makes you wonder what’s going on there.
The multiple home runs was a great, and we almost had six. Ian Kinsler upper cutted one that went WAY WAY up – over the foul pole high, but just to the left of the pole. The other one was a ball that Michael Young hit, that bounced off the top of the left field wall, and back in play. There was a video review of the ball, and man, it just missed being another home run by literally an inch or so. So we had four homers, but could have quite easily have had six. Nice to see the offense going.
The Rangers also turned three double plays, which I’m sure helped. :)
We head out on the road to Tampa, New York, & Minnesota to close out the Metrodome. That will be hard trip, and if we can do it without losing any more ground to Anaheim, we could be in good shape. New York will be the hardest, as they’re doing quite well at the moment.
One last thing about Borbon. I don’t think he should be wearing #29. That number should be a plaque hanging in left field with the numbers 26, 34, & 42.