G145: Rangers stink it up. I mean A LOT. Lose 4-0

I didn’t think the last few games could be topped by bad play. I was wrong.
Wow, that was just pathetic. Lose 4-0 to the A’s. Get one hit (single by Marlon Byrd) by the A’s, the last place team is bad.
We now have four straight games in a row where we went a combined ofer with men in scoring positions.
We’ve scored just one run in our last 37 innings.
We’re six games back in the West, and 6.5 in the Wild Card. It might be time to bring out that tugboat picture I have posted here the last few years or so when we’re done.
Ian Kinsler walked twice, but he popped out to the outfield about 25 more times, too.
Sigh.

G144: Rangers lose again 6-1 to Oakland

I was at this game. I wasn’t expecting to me, but I was sitting in the library in Garland near my house, and saw a message posted by Michael Gonterwitz asking if anyone wanted tickets to the game. I did, so I headed on down. Turned out it was great, because I got to sit in Section 15, Row 3. The view from there was quite awesome. Thanks a lot for the invite, Mike. I had a good time sitting down there – was quite the treat for me.

Unfortunately, the view was about the best thing in the game. The Rangers continued their total lack of offense in this game. Well, that’s not ENTIRELY true. They did score one run. But it was their only run of the game, and the only run for the previous 22 innings when it happened. So now the Rangers have one run over the last 27 innings. UGH! I mean..

It was bad. Brandon McCarthy was all over the place. Three innings. Only allowed four hits, but he walked three, and allowed four earned runs. Neftali Feliz gave up the others, and his ERA “raised” to 1.46, just about an entire point, as I think he was at like 0.65 or something like that before this game.
We also had three errors. A throwing error by Pudge, a fielding error by Esteban German, and offhand I can’t recall what the third was. It was sloppy to say the least.
But the more annoying part was our offense. We had just five hits. Two of them were doubles (Byrd & German), two were singles (Murphy & German), and one was a home run by David Murphy in the fourth. It broke the scoreless streak at 22 innings, but was pretty pathetic as the lone offensive output over the two games before this, AND this one.
I think we’re about done, folks. Would take a miracle to bring the team back, and even if they did get in, you’d get the feeling they’d be like the San Diego Padres, who back in there, and get destroyed in the first round, since they’re not really that good.
I mean, when you’re more interested in getting a good shot of the live Dot Race when it runs right past you instead of most of what was going on in the game, you know you’re watching a bad team.

G143: Rangers look pathetic losing to A’s, 9-0

I think that might be it, folks. While I haven’t completely given up for the 2009 season, that certainly was a deflating feeling. Yeah, I know. We’re only technically 4.5 games behind Boston, but it doesn’t feel good, my friends.
This was great through five. Then not only did the wheels fall off, but they all fell off, the truck went off the road, went upside down in a ditch, and the only thing to do in the meantime was read Jean-Jacques Taylor articles about the Rangers while you waited to be picked up by AAA. What a nightmare!
Anyway, I digress. Feldman looked great through five. Then it sucked. SUCKED HARD. Rangers have now been shut out two games in a row, and haven’t scored in what, about 50 or 60 innings? Actually, it’s 19 and change, I believe, but who’s counting?
Thing is, I’m not even mad at this. Usually I get mad at losses like that. Not this one, I was just sad and disappointed.

G142: Rangers shut out in game 2 of DH, 5-0

Felix Hernandez (and two relievers) shut down the Rangers. Julio Borbon had three singles, which was half of the total offensive output the team had. No runs.
Derek Holland seems as gassed as Millwood has lately. Six innings, eight hits, two walks, five earned runs. As good as Derek seemed when he came up, he seems positively pedestrian now. He’s young, I can pass it off, but you would have loved to have seen one of our kids lead us to the playoffs, eh?
Really – not a lot to say about this one. Felix Hernandez was great, we couldn’t mount any offense. Meh.

G141: Tommy Hunter brilliant in DH Game 1 win, 7-2

So Friday night’s game was rained out. Saturday night’s game probably should have been. So we get to Sunday. We have a doubleheader to play. Due to some insane television coverage rules (I think), the DH was scheduled to start at 12:05. Due to the rain still in the area, the game didn’t start till just about 5PM.
The game was finished in two hours and eighteen minutes. Why? Tommy Hunter. He threw a complete game on just 102 pitches. The breakdown was 68 strikes and 34 balls. The Mariners managed just six hits, and just two runs. it was not totally dominating, but it certainly was a really great performance. Something that’s needed given how many doubleheaders we’ve pitched. Nice to rest the rest of the pitching staff with a complete game in one of the doubleheader games.
Offensively, it was four doubles, three home runs, and five singles to account for the Ranger runs. Given how soggy the grass was, the home run by Chris Davis that landed on Greene’s Hill sank into the grass, and disappeared. Made me laugh. Made Tom Grieve laugh on the air, too. You can catch a little of that by watching the clip on mlb.com of the home run.
Not a ton to write about. Tommy Hunter was great. Our offense put up a seven spot. We won the game. :)

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.