ALCS G1: Rangers pen totally blows it, we lose 6-5

Due to my policy of the last several years, I don’t write about losses to the Yankees.
Except to say this. I had a lot of fun at the game anyway. Was nice to have a woman sitting next to me who was a single seat buyer, so we had someone to chat to. She was nice, and gave me a rally towel for my kid.
But that 8th. What the F…..
When I got home, I deleted all episodes of Baseball Tonight and MLB Tonight that my TiVo had recorded, I don’t want to read any accounts of the game. That game pissed me off so much, I don’t want to read anyone’s thoughts about it.
WHERE THE HELL WAS FELIZ & OGANDO IN THAT 8TH? WHAT THE HELL?

ALDS G5: Rangers beat Rays 5-1 to advance to LCS. Wow.

Wow. I started this site in December 1998, and 12 full seasons and a handful of playoff games later, I finally got to write this..
The Rangers have won their playoff series and have advanced to the ALCS.
I mean WOW. It almost seems so surreal. I’m actually at a loss for words right now. Although I wasn’t during the game. I burned it up on Twitter a bunch. I’ll be posting my game summary in the form of my twitter updates below. But a few bullet points to mention.
Twice we scored runs with a runner on second with a ball that did not leave the infield. That was pretty darned cool. That we got enough runs to win the game that way? Even more amazing.
Cliff Lee. Saw a funny tweet during the game about giving him the entire amount of money from the new Fox Sports Southwest contract. :) I mean wow. I think most Ranger fans are ready for Greenberg/Ryan to give him a blank check to stay. He had some nice curveballs working tonight.
Hamilton looks like the 2009 version of himself at the moment. Looks weak and lost at the plate. Not good.
We now have a record for most strikeouts in a division series by team, and an AL record for a single pitcher. Wheeee!
Carlos Pena looked bad too. Strikeouts all over the place. You’d think he was Brad Wilkerson or something.
My hometown Phillies and my adopted team the Rangers are in the final four. Uh-oh. I’m getting dangerously close to not knowing what to do with myself in the World Series. :)
Below is my tweet list. There’s some cool stuff in there. I’ll be out at the park on Friday for Game 1. Hope to see you out there, too!

  • Ok, here we go. Game 5. Twitter ready. iPad scoring software ready. Go #Rangers
  • MLBN: Ripken, Leiter, and Larkin all picking #Rays to win. The host picked the #Rangers though.
  • RT @aandro: In-game guy @ The Trop is awful. 30-year-old men don’t need to flip cap backwards, act like teenagers. >> Did you say Tony Romo?
  • Good that Elvis wasn’t greedy rounding first. #Rangers
  • RT @VictorRojas29: Catwalk overkill…please stop. #txrangers v. #rays
  • Andrus scores on a 3-1 groundout that never leaves the infield. Run Run #Rangers
  • Nice catch to get the foul out by Moreland. Nice job not falling on his face, too. #Rangers #ShutdownInningInFirst
  • Price had 18 pitches in this 1st inning, as opposed to 24 in Game 1. #Rangers
  • Kinsler got a single, but Frenchy grounded into a DP. Oh well. #Rangers
  • Easy 1-2-3 for Cliff Lee in the second. That’s why we got him. Give this man a blank check! #Rangers
  • Three k’s the first time through the lineup for Price. #RaysStillLosing. #Rangers
  • Bengie Molina breaks out the Antlers! #Rangers – His first stolen base since 2006!
  • David Price has 51 pitches through 3 innings. #WorkThoseCounts #Rangers
  • Infield hit by Bartlett gets two on against Lee in third. Weak hits like that annoy me. #Rangers
  • Hamilton totally airmails a throw to the plate, allowing the runner to get to second. Bad idea there, Josh. #Rangers
  • Nice fielding by the #Rangers to tag out the runner heading to the plate, but also to keep the runner at second. #HeWasTagged
  • #Rays tie the game in the third on a few singles. Could have been a heck of a lot worse. #NoThanksToHamilton #Rangers
  • Man that double by Cruz went to the only place it couldn’t have gone out. His watching the ball cost him a triple, though. #Rangers
  • And there’s the payback. Cruz steals third, Shoppach airmails it into left, we score second run. #Rangers #AntlersAllOverThePlace
  • The pitches by Price after the airmailed throw to third look a lot less controlled. Here comes Price’s emotions. #Rangers #PourItOn
  • Watching Jeff Franceour at the plate.. He looks like ol Dumpmaster D himself, Mark DeRosa. #Rangers
  • Nice curveball by Cliff Lee to strike out Carlos Pena again on a called strike three. #Rangers
  • “@DFishDesign: Nice curveball by Cliff Lee to strike out Carlos Pena again on a called strike three. #Rangers”. Ditto for Upton.
  • There’s the strikeouts for Lee. Struck out the side in the fourth. Looking good. #Rangers
  • Nice atbat for Elvis after coming back from an 0-2 count. #Rangers
  • Impressive at bat by Jason Bartlett against Lee in the fifth. #Rangers
  • 5 out of last 6 outs by Lee being k’s sets the record for K’s by a staff in the division series. #Rangers #MoveOverPadres
  • That’s a home run by Hamilton in our park. Darnit. #Rangers
  • Is it just me, or did Guerrero seem to be swinging harder than usual at this at bat? #Rangers
  • #Rangers get another run on a grounder that didn’t leave the infield scoring a guy from second. #AntlersAllOverThePlace
  • Unless Price’s foot was off the back of bag, it looked like Kinsler was out on the play that scored Guerrero. Rays didn’t argue. #Rangers
  • RT @Evan_P_Grant: Lee just set AL Division Series record with 17 strikeouts in the series. Mussina, Randy Johnson each had 16.
  • Carlos Pena is striking out so much, you’d think Brad Wilkerson was wearing his uniform. #Rangers #GoCliffLee
  • Very quick 7 pitch 1-2-3 inning by Grant Balfour in the 7th to shut down the #Rangers – much better than Price.
  • Is anyone watching the 2003 MLB Season Summary show on MLBN right now? #RatingsOfZero
  • My 5yr old daughter colored a bunch of #Rangers Captain pages for me to have when I watched the game tonight. I love my kids!
  • RT @aandro: Someone may need to start Kelly Shoppach’s car for him tonight if the #Rays lose.
  • We’re through seven innings, up 3-1. Cliff Lee struck out a million. CJ & O’Day up in pen, one’s got to be coming in next inning. #Rangers
  • Longoria needs to stop worrying about who has his hat, and start worrying about catching the ball. #Rangers #Thanks
  • The second inning ending double play for the #Rangers this game – Grrrrrrrr.
  • Jason Bartlett if finally out, after going 3-3 with a double up to this point. #Rangers
  • Ten strikeouts by Cliff Lee through 7.2 innings! #Rangers
  • And Cliff Lee follows up the 10th strikeout with a 1-2-3 10 pitch bottom of the 8th. #Rangers #WhoIsClosingGame
  • HUGE FREAKIN INSURANCE runs there with a two run home run by Capt Uppercut! #Rangers #ICanSmellItNow
  • RT d_a_cameron: Really happy for @NewbergReport.
  • We win. Wow. Just freaking wow. Thank you to Jack Zduriencik. #Rangers
  • The #Phillies and #Rangers are both in the final four in MLB. My head inches closer to disappearance in a baseball black hole.
  • RT BattingStanceG: Tonight, even Justin Smoak’s family & friends are thinking Rangers were brilliant for ditching him. #MLB #CliffLee

ALDS G4: Rays force Game 5 with 5-2 win in Texas

Oh man, that was annoying. I think you can chalk this game up to one big thing.
Evan Longoria woke up. He went 3-4 with two runs scored and two RBI’s. Was the most potent offensive guy on the Rays Sunday afternoon. Two doubles and a home run. His power stroke was going, for sure. While he didn’t account for all the runs, he was part of a bunch of them.
It’s weird that through the four games played so far, the visitors played like the home team should play. You’re expected to win at home, and in both cases, the home team played like they were the timid team visiting the other park. An odd feeling. Hopefully that carries over to Game 5.
Not going to say a bunch about this one as its almost 1AM, and I’m tired, don’t feel like writing a bunch now. We looked flat. While I don’t think Cliff Lee will give us that in Game 5, I didn’t want to burn him twice in the second round, as he won’t get used to the max potential in Round 2, assuming we go deep in that.
Nelson Cruz did have a home run that my 5 year old daughter liked watching. :)
One good offset to this. The Cowboys lost, so they’re 1-3. Cowboys in last place is ALWAYS good, no matter what else is going on.

ALDS G3: Rangers lose game I attend, 6-3 to Devil Rays

Yeah, I know they’re not called the Devil Rays any more. But it bugged me we didn’t beat them, so I’m calling them the Devil Rays. :) Oh, and you can view the photo gallery of mine from this game here.
This was the third Rangers playoff game I had attended. I was at the Oct 2, 1998 game and the Oct 9, 1999 games as well. Unfortunately, my playoff streak is now 0-3. We lost this game. I had picked the Rangers to win the series in 5 before any games were played, but I think a lot of people (myself included) smelled a sweep coming back home. The stage was set on Saturday for that. But before I get into the game, I wanted to say something else.
A big thanks to Mike Gonterwitz (sp?) for inviting me to his pre-game tailgate. I spent about three and a half hours out there. I was a bit worried at first, because I really didn’t know anyone else other than him. However, I brought some dogs, buns, and some Shiner Bock, and I fit in pretty well. There was a minor panic when the propane ran out, and it was discovered that the spare was left at the house (!), but a friend showed up about 15-20 minutes later with a charcoal ‘que in his truck, so the party was back on again. That dude cooked up some badass fajita steaks, and other sausages and whatnot. I had a great time – a few hours spent outside the game eating meat and drinking beer? Hell yeah, you’re gonna have a good time. :) So thanks Mike – I seriously had a great time. Thanks for the invite, hope to do it again sometime.

Once I got in, it was bloody packed. I mean so packed that the area behind the lower home run porch was packed like LBJ during rush hour. You literally stopped out there. Was by far and a way the worst people traffic jam I’d EVER seen in the 16 years the park’s been open. No contest. Was really awful. Eventually made it to my seat, had a decent vantage point, and settled in to watch the game.
The Rangers had their usual pre-game goodies. Charlie Pride sang the National Anthem, but for me, the best moment was Johnny Oates’ grandson throwing out the first pitch. Long time readers here know my affinity for Johnny Oates (links here and here if you don’t). But I got a kick out of seeing the kid out there (was just 8 as I recall). He was escorted by Rusty Greer & Mark McLemore. Liked that. Nice nod to the Rangers’ past glory there.
Once the game got started, it was OK through the first few. There were no runs scored until the bottom of the third, but Colby Lewis looked a little wobbly. It’s one of those things that won’t exactly turn up in the box score. His overall line isn’t that bad, really. Five innings pitched, two hits, no walks. However, he walked five guys – which is more than he’s walked in any game in 2010. That part wasn’t good. But he didn’t break. Still, this is the playoffs, and had it been a mid season game, he would have stayed out there, I’m sure. But you need to win THIS GAME NOW in October, so I understood him coming out. What I did NOT understand was Darren O’Day being taken out later on in the game after just one out. Lewis was immediately followed by Derek Holland (0.2IP), Alexi Ogando (0.1IP, BS), and then Darren Oliver (who was technically tagged with the loss). Compared to the three bullpen guys who came before him, O’Day was sparkling, yet he was taken out immediately. To me, that was the mistake of the game there. They brought in Feliz to get four outs. I would have left O’Day in to finish the inning he was in, as Feliz was meh. While Feliz didn’t get credited with the blown save or the loss, he probably deserved it. Our pen was not good. It just seemed out of whack, given the way it usually performs.
We had a little life at the end when Nelson Cruz jacked a solo home run in the bottom of the ninth to make it 6-3, but by that point the damage was done.
The offense we did have was limited to just three solo runs (3rd, 7th, 9th). The 9th I already mentioned. The other two were on a small ball manufactured run in the third, and the other was another solo home run, that one by “Capt. Uppercut” himself, Ian Kinsler. But really, there was no sustained attack. Six hits overall. No Ranger had more than one hit. To be honest, I expected that with Matt Garza. I was more worried about our performance against Garza than I was against David Price, tell you the truth.
Finally, it doesn’t help when there’s guys on either side of you who are totally non chatty to people they don’t know. *AND* to make matters worse, sigh and groan at every single ball thrown. If it wasn’t a strike, the dude on my right was complaining. That got old after a couple of innings. Come on dude, even Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, & Cy Young threw 100% strikes. Give it a rest, doofus.
Leaving the park, I was bummed at the loss for sure, but as much as Ranger pride might have wanted the sweep, I doubt many people truly expected it to happen. No problem, though.. There’s Sunday’s game.
P.S. The place looked good in all red!

ALDS G2: Rangers shut out Rays to go up 2-0 in series

Yesterday I wrote a lot about the game on Twitter, and I did the same thing again for Game 2, so I’ll repeat what I did yesterday, which was post a list of all my Twitter comments (including a few retweets from other people), as it’s mostly a stream of thoughts while watching the game. I had to go pick up my kid from school in the middle, so I got about 35-40 minutes behind live TV, but I had caught up by the end of the game thanks to TiVo letting me skip all the boring stuff (and the commercials).

  • MLBN’s Larkin and John Hart pick the #Rangers to win Game 2. Al Leiter picked the #Rays. Ready for more tweeting.
  • #Rangers #Rays – My wife just handed me a home made roast beef sandwich as I sit here watching MLBN pre-game coverage. I love this woman!
  • Minor panic. Time Warner Cable told me TBS HD was not available two mins b4 first pitch! aaaaaaaaaa! #Rangers #Rays – it’s back, though.
  • After the first, Shields looks a lot better than their “Ace” from yesterday. #Rangers
  • Really nice dive by Moreland to catch the foul ball. Love the dive. #Rangers #NotRyanGarko
  • A couple of really good catches including a dive in center for Josh Hamilton! #Rangers #WhatRibs?
  • Much better second inning for CJ Wilson. #Rangers
  • Free gift run from Shields. Think Pena would have muffed that throw? Probably not. #Rangers #ThanksJoeMaddon
  • Anyone else tired of hearing that the #Rangers are not just a power team anymore? We know that. #Duh #SoundsLikeJoeMorganDuh
  • Treanors run was a double gift from Shields. First it was a hit by pitch. Second, he scored on Shields’ throwing error. Thanks Jim! #Rangers
  • Had to pick up my kid from school. Now behind about 40min in #Rangers game. At least TiVo will let me skip commercials & pitching changes.
  • No doubter home run by Ian Kinsler. Capt uppercut comes through. #Rangers
  • Complete muff job for Kinsler on the routine grounder. Fortunately, didn’t amount to anything. CJ still shutting out Rays thru 4. #Rangers
  • Treanor gets hit in the back again by Shields. Looks like the same spot. If it happens again, charge the mound! :) #Rangers
  • Shields looks pissed off in the dugout after coming out. Let’s score the two inherited runners and really make him steam. #Rangers
  • All they’re doing is focusing on Shields being mad in the dugout. Got worse after Michael Young’s home run. Hahahaha! #Rangers #Shieldssux
  • Michael Young did appear to go around. We appear to have gotten a gift. Led to Joe Maddon’s ejection. #Hahahahaha. #ByeByeMaddon
  • Can’t wait to see the post game whining by the Rays. You know it’s coming. #Rangers
  • Kinsler gets another RBI, chasing Qualls, who was completely ineffective. #ShieldsInDugoutIsFunny #Rangers #Rays
  • 27 min wait for CJ Wilson in top of 5th, didn’t affect him, though. One walk, no runs. Go #Rangers
  • I wouldn’t have thought we’d be up 6-0 after six before this game started. #Rangers #BringYourBroomsSaturday
  • Nice try by Young going to second on the Hamilton flyball. Gotta hand it to Upton; great throw. #Rangers #Rays
  • CJ is mimicking Lee well. In top of 7th, he’s got first pitch strikes to 12 of last 15 batters. #Rangers
  • More pissed off Rays. This time Shoppach, on a ball that looked like strike 3 to me. #Rangers #hahahahaha
  • Nice job by O’Day and Oliver in the 7th, keeping it scoreless after 2nd/3rd and no outs. #Rangers #RaysCantScore
  • RT Evan_P_Grant: Joe Maddon ejected and I counted at least 10 F-bombs in tirade directed at Jim Wolf. Rays may have gotten jobbed, but Rays have lost poise.
  • Why did Niemann do good? He wasn’t acting like a whiny brat. He kept his cool, unlike several other #Rays – We’ll take it, though. #Rangers
  • Darren Oliver makes the #Rays look bad in the 8th. #GoodNightRays. #Rangers
  • Unless i missed it, it took till the 9th inning of game 2 for the Claw and Antlers stuff to be mentioned. #Rangers #WayToCoverTeamTBS
  • The #Rangers now have more wins in two games of 2010 series than 96, 98, & 99 combined. This is good! I have a ticket to Game 3. Brooms!

I have to say before the series started, I was worried about CJ Wilson given his “meh” September. Shouldn’t have doubted him, he was every bit as good as Cliff Lee yesterday. CJ went 6.1 innings, gave up just two hits and two walks. No runs, struck out seven. Threw 104 pitches. He probably would have stayed in had this not been a playoff game, but you can’t take chances now.
Our pen was awesome too. O’Day faced one guy, got him out, and Oliver finished the game with 2.1 innings pitched, no hits allowed by any of them, although Oliver allowed one walk. They basically stood on the Rays throats, but the Rays didn’t help themselves by getting so mad after a seemingly blown call didn’t go their way.
They’re now down 2-0 to Texas, which in and of itself is very cool. We have more wins in the first two games of this series than we do in the 1996, 1998, & 1999 series COMBINED – which is quite sad. While the game isn’t over, and Colby Lewis can still lay an egg on Saturday, one gets the feeling the momentum will carry the team on Saturday to a series sweep!
And I have a ticket. Man, it’s gonna be cool! Although I won’t be able to do the tweet thing from there, can’t type that fast on an iPhone. :)

ALDS G1: Rangers ride Cliff Lee to 5-1 win over Tampa Bay

I scored this game at home on my iPad, and was chattering a lot on Twitter today during the game. Jamey Newberg did not, so I’m assuming he was doing lawyer stuff at work, otherwise I would have been out Tweeted 20 to 1. :) My summary of the game will mostly be an archive of my own tweets. In chronoligcal order from right before the start of the game until it was over..

  • @Evan_P_Grant the empty seats there are just bloody amazing. Move that team. They don’t deserve them.
  • When did the Orioles hide inside the Rays uniforms? #Rangers (Referring to getting to Cliff Lee early)
  • Stop giving the #Rays batters time at the plate, please! #Rangers #seligaboutpaceofgameagain (Rays batters seemed to be trying to throw Cliff Lee off by calling time excessively in the first)
  • @aandro 4 out of first 5 outs are Ks, though. @aandro Excuse me. 5 out of 6. (in reply to Anthony Andro talking about how many hits the Rays had early on)
  • #Rangers – Both Price and Lee have 43 pitches thrown thru 2 innings.
  • I just clawed from the couch after Nelly’s HR. Off the roof out there! #Rangers #Boomstick
  • Just seven pitches for Cliff Lee in the third. That’s more like it. #Rangers #Pricedidntdothat
  • Retweet of Aandro – The three #Rangers with postseason homers are now Nelson Cruz, Juan Gonzalez and Dean Palmer.
  • The three #Rangers with postseason homers are now Nelson Cruz, Juan Gonzalez and Dean Palmer.
  • That’s the second run that scores on a 3-0 RBI hit. #Rangers #ByBbyePrice
  • Retweet of craigcalcaterra – Price’s “throw it right down the middle” strategy may not be as devious as he assumed.
  • 5-0 over David Price after 5. Rays look like they’ve already lost sitting on the bench. Not a good sign for a comeback. #StepOnTheirThroat
  • BJ Upton, you’re not Derek Jeter. Stop it with the stupid hold your hand up at the ump. You are not getting time. #doofus #Rays #Rangers
  • 17 of 21 first pitch strikes for Cliff Lee. #Rangers
  • Cliff Lee is now the #Rangers record holder for Ks in the playoffs. #AnyoneSurprised?
  • David Price is gone in the 7th after about 105 pitches and a 5-0 deficit. A bit surprised by that, honestly. #Rangers #Rays #w00t
  • More than once the ball/strike indicator on TBS has been wrong. Doesn’t even match the pitchtrax count. Fail. #Tbsfail #Rangers #Rays
  • #Rangers relievers keep Lees shutdown feeling going. Even threw in a strikeout, too. #O’Day #Oliver #CanSmellGame1Win
  • Neftali Feliz takes the hill in the 9th. Non save, but this feels good. #Rangers #Rays
  • This is not the part of a John Wetteland closing performance you want to emulate. #NoMoreHeartAttacksPlease #Rangers #Rays
  • The 9 game post season losing streak going back to 1996 is over. #Rangers beat #Rays 5-1. Feliz looked like Wetteland in 9th for sure.
  • #Rangers had lost something like 10 of 12 at the #Rays park before today.
  • @SixOkay Rangers win Game 1 of the ALDS! P.S. Megan Fox for Wonder Woman!

That last one is an inside joke with someone (as much as an “inside” joke can be inside on a public thing like Twitter). Anyway, it was cool that the Rangers won. Winning Game 1 against a guy we were expected to be shut down by is a huge morale booster. I mean, wow. We’re up 1-0. The last time the Rangers were up 1-0 was October 1, 1996, when they were up 1-0 over the Yankees. That was our last post season win until today.
A few other thoughts. After we went up 3-0, we had scored more runs than all the six playoff games in 1998 & 1999 combined. Granted, that had a lot to do with the Yankees late 90’s dynasty, but to me, that’s a more embarassing stat than the fact we had lost 9 playoff games in a row, and before today only a single playoff game. Two runs in six games over two years is pretty sad. We destroyed that today. Funny that you can talk about an “offensive destruction” while only scoring five runs.
Ten hits, five runs (four earned). Error by Elvis Andrus, but it didn’t affect anything.
Early on the Rays had a beef with Carlos Pena claiming he was hit by a pitch and then ended up striking out. It was a non conclusive call based on replays (to me), and obviously one never knows how an inning might turn after that. But if that was the only thing different, we still would have won the game.
Long balls by Nelson Cruz & Bengie Molina. As stated above in Twitter, they join Juan Gonzalez & Dean Palmer as the only other Rangers with post season home runs (both of those others coming on Oct 1, 1996 off of David Cone). That doubles the lifetime franchise of home run output. Yeesh.
Both starters had rocky first innings – Cliff Lee loading the bases, but he escaped. Both pitchers had over 20+ pitches the first inning. Both escaped, although Cliff Lee found himself after that, retiring about 12 in a row or so at one point.
The biggest observation of mine came from one of my mid game tweets when the Rays were down 5-0. They were shown in the dougout looking sad and depressed (much in the way I like seeing the Cowboys). The point being that it was only the fifth, and realistically, it was only 5 runs. Yeah, it was Cliff Lee, but the fifth inning of Game 1 of the playoffs is not the place to look like you’re about one out away from being eliminated. It was at that point I didn’t think they were coming back. Even when Feliz walked two to start the ninth, harnassing his inner John Wetteland. Had he been wearing #35 on his back, it would have been TOO scary for comfort.
Tomorrow afternoon is Game 2. CJ Wilson against James Shields. A lot was made after Lee came out about how CJ Wilson essentially idolizes Cliff Lee, and will use his info from Game 1 in Game 2. Hope it works. I like our pitching staff, but I’m nowhere near as confident about a win after Cliff Lee. Prove me wrong CJ. Prove me wrong.

G162: Rangers drop season finale, 6-2 to Angels

I took my daughter to this game, but to be perfectly honest, what happened in the game was pretty much not witnessed by me. Basically, I spent the majority of my time in the kid park in center field. And WAITING. Man, don’t spend all your time out there in a game with 45k+ in attendance. We spent probably a good 40% of our total time at the ballpark waiting in some sort of line. Ugh.
Still, when we weren’t waiting on some line, she had fun, and I suppose that’s the whole point. She won some prizes, had fun playing with a few other kids. Was fairly mind numbing for me, however. If I didn’t have my iPhone with me, I probably would have gone nuts. :)
We did see the first four innings from our seats in Section 302 (that’s the best we could get on walkup – egad!). One funny thing about the game, Samantha head them announce Hideki Matsui, and thought instead of Hidecki, they said “Duckie”. That made me laugh. But most of the four innings was spent with her asking me when we were going down to the games. As a baseball fan, that was hell. As a dad, I thought it was cute. Ah well. At least I used the free ticket coupons from the kids packages. Didn’t cost me much money at all.
Another starter who only went five innings. Colby Lewis went five, gave up the two runs we saw, and that was it. Oddly enough it was only on one hit. He walked two. One of them scored as it was in front of Matsui’s home run.
That’s all the notable baseball I saw. The rest I was in center field. Heard the Angels were whining about Ron Washington taking our guys out of the game in the sixth (heard it standing out there, didn’t see it). Probably just po’ed they didn’t have the chance to do it themselves. :)
2011 will be the year that Michael Young breaks about every major offensive record the Rangers have. As the 2010 Season ends, Young has
1st place in Multi-Hit games (543)
1st place in hits (1848)
2nd place in doubles (347; needs 6 to pass Pudge for first)
1st place in triples (46)
2nd place in runs (918; needs 41 to pass Raffy for first)
4th place in games (1506; needs 68 to overtake Pudge, Sundberg, & Raffy for first)

G161: Hamilton leads Rangers to 6-2 win over Angels

This was the final start of the season for CJ Wilson. It was more interesting to me than Cliff Lee’s last start, because we generally know what we’re getting from Cliff Lee. CJ Wilson, we don’t. This was his first year as a starter, and by all accounts, he seems to be gassed a little. His September numbers are up, and to be honest, I’m a little concerned about his start. So I was curious to see how he’d do here.
Early on, I thought “Oh crap”. He gave up two runs in the first inning on a triple, two walks, and two singles. And that was all before Wilson got the first out of the game! Egad, that was an awful start. However, he settled down a bit, and didn’t allow anything else. Just the two runs. However, he came out after five innings, having thrown 82 pitches. He probably could have gone another, but I expect the short outings at the end of the season here are to give some bullpen guys some work before the postseason starts. Our pen was good, we had four guys pitch a total of four innings, although one guy (Rapada) had a line of 0.0 IP. Rapada & Derek Holland allowed a single hit, but that was it. Pen was good.
Our offense put up a pair of three run innings. One in the fifth (to get the lead back) and one in the seventh. Only two extra base hits in all. A double by Nelson Cruz, and a big two run home run by Josh Hamilton (his 32nd overall). All the other nine hits were singles. Our hits were pretty bunched together, as all of them came in slots 1-5 in the lineup. 6-9 (Kinsler, Moreland, Treanor, & Borbon) all took an ofer, although Treanor walked once. But the hits were all up top. Two for Andrus, three for Young, two for Hamilton, one for Guerrero, & two for Cruz. Franceour pinch ran for Guerrero and got an at bat of his own, but didn’t get a hit.
Nice to see the time off doesn’t appear to have affected Hamilton’s offense. Which is huge, as we’ll need him more than ever come Wednesday.

G160: Hamilton returns, but Rangers lose in 11, 5-4

Josh Hamilton returned for the last three games of the season, pretty much to get his swing back for the playoffs. Some would say that’s not enough time, but it’s all we’re going to get. He wasn’t the big power in this game, though.
That was Mitch Moreland, who was 2-3 with two runs scored, and two hits. Also had two walks. But the two hits were home runs. Bengie Molina also had three hits and an RBI. But the rest of the offense was spread out, and contributed to the fact that we didn’t have more runs.
Tommy Hunter was decent, although he only went five innings on 60 pitches. Obviously, he came out not because of being tired.
It’s an extra inning loss. Don’t like those. :(

G159: Cliff Lee great in final start of season; Rangers win 3-2

Some of us have been worried about Cliff Lee a little. He was good when got here, played a little hurt for a bit and slacked, but his last few starts have been on the upswing. So it was with some minor trepidation that I approached his last start of the season. Wasn’t sure what we’d get out of him.
We didn’t get the nine innings mow ’em down Cliff Lee, but the Lee we got was the pretty darned good one anyway Cliff Lee. Seven innings, four hits, no walks, eight strikeouts. Allowed a run, but it was unearned. He looked good, if not totally dominating. Came out after 93 pitches, so that was likely a “we’re taking him out after seven anyway” type of deal.T
He didn’t get the win though, as Darren O’Day blew the save, and allowed the other run to score. Still, I was’t worried about Cliff Lee in game 1 of the playoffs now. :)
The bulk of our offense came from Vlad Guerrero & Nelson Cruz, who combined for five of the nine overall hits the Rangers got. Two of Cruz’ three hits were doubles, but that was it – all the other hits were singles. Was enough to punch across runs in the third, fourth, & eighth to win the game.
Looking forward to Cliff Lee next Wednesday. :)