G157: Rangers lose again, 3-1 to Felix Hernandez

Felix Hernandez vs Scott Feldman – no real matchup there (not in 2010) anyway.
After Feldman was out, we were down 3-0, and while our pen pitched well, we couldn’t get anything going against Felix Hernandez.
Smoak was 1-3 with two RBI’s that came on a two run home run. EEK! Smoak! Smoak!
Ah well. Limp to the finish line, eh? :)

G156: Rangers raise AL West Flag, lose to M’s, 7-5

On Monday night, the Texas Rangers did something they haven’t done in a decade. Raised a championship flag. Granted, it’s just the AL West Champs (not the AL champs, or the World Series champs), but those could still happen. Still, we’re in the playoffs, and Game 1 is Wednesday night October 6th. Wow. That’s weird.
Game 2 starter is CJ Wilson, and he got his next to the last regular season start on Monday night. It didn’t go well. Five innings, 85 pitches, 8 hits, 1 walk, but six earned runs. Ugh. Not good. Granted, this isn’t the playoffs, but it’s close enough to them, that you want your playoff starters to be good in their last couple of starters. So that’s a little disconcerting. But not enough to make me panic, I suppose.
The only other Ranger pitcher to give up a run was Pedro Strop, but I doubt he’s on the playoff roster, anyway.
The big story was Justin Smoak coming back here and going 3-4 with three RBI’s and two runs scored. Also hit a three run home run off of CJ Wilson in the fifth. He pretty much trashed Ranger pitching this game. Probably made him feel good.
Vlad Guerrero & Nelson Cruz had home runs (Cruz’ being a three run shot), but it wasn’t enough to make a difference in this game.
Ah well. Limp to the finish line, eh? :)

G155: Rangers slaughter A’s 16-9 on 1st day as AL West Champs

This was a game I only saw the beginning of, as it started at 3, and I had to leave the house at 3:45 to attend a Sunday evening church function. By the time I got back, I had seen the score, and was quite surprised by it.
The Rangers pounded out 22 hits, scoring 16 times, including a seven run top of the 9th, which made it a lot more comfortable than it was after the bottom of the 8th. The Rangers pen allowed the A’s to score a six spot in the bottom of the eighth, making it (then) 9-7. A little too close for comfort.
Every Ranger got on the board, except Chris Davis. He took a huge ofer, going 0-6. Everyone else had at least two hits, with Jeff Franceour having the most (4). Two home runs by Mitch Moreland, and one by Franceour & David Murphy.
As big of a win as it was, it certainly was a bit too close score wise. Colby Lewis was OK – which is good, as he’s a defined starter in the playoffs. He went six innings, six hits, one run, although he almost was bombed, the bases were loaded at one point, and I didn’t think he was getting out of it. Matt Harrison did most of the damage, allowing five earned runs in his 0.2 innings of work. Clay Rapada gave up a couple, too.
Harrison hasn’t been terribly sharp lately, I’d be surprised if he’s on the playoff roster.
Wow, that still sounds a bit weird – writing about playoff rosters.

G154: The Rangers win the AL West with 4-3 win over A’s

The moment I’ve waited for since I sat in Arlington 11 years ago (and watched Mike Venafro cover first base on a 3-1 play to clinch) happened yesterday. A popout to short left field, and the game was over. The Rangers clinched the AL West yesterday over the Oakland A’s – formally eliminating them.
It was a game that I couldn’t easily just sit there and watch, as my wife had gone out for a haircut, and I was watching the kids. That’s fine, but it does stop you from paying complete attention to the Rangers game, so the particulars of the game I’m not writing much about. Oh, I had the game on in the next room, and I’d take a peek around the corner from time to time, but watching a 16 month old baby is not conducive to retention of baseball minutiae.
But, my wife got home just before the game ended, and while the kids had started eating dinner at that point I had called in my daughter to see, as at this point, there was two outs in the bottom of the ninth. I wanted her to see them clinch the division. What was cool by my wife was the fact that she also had wheeled the baby into the room in his high chair as well. When the Rangers clinched, my wife and daughter started clapping for it, but so did the baby! Granted, he’s just mimicking us, but it was kind of cool to have the four of us be there in that moment.
My wife’s first remarks other than “Good for them” was, “Oh, we’re so getting some shirts”. My daughter and I are going to the final home game of the season next Sunday, and will probably pick up some stuff there.
But yeah, it was really nice to see the Rangers win. The post game coverage was good, and given the truly unscripted, and live look of it, I’m surprised we didn’t get a ton of F bombs over the live feed (unless it was delayed a few seconds or something). Emily Jones was soaked, and if you’re a female reporter in there during that, better wear something that couldn’t be soaked through, if you catch my meaning – she seemed to tug at her blouse a few times. There also seem to be way more guys wearing goggles during these things. Old timers don’t use it, but the young guys do. I wonder if that falls under a Kangaroo court thing. hahaha.
But on the baseball side of things, it was nice to see Jorge Cantu break through finally, and give the Rangers what they needed – some clutch RBI’s. His first two as a Ranger, and BOTH of them were important in their own right at the time they came in the game.
It really seems weird that we’re in the playoffs again for the first time in ages. Good for us. I just hope we can do better than one win, or worse get swept. Getting swept again would be seriously crushing.
One last thing. I saw someone post this on Chuck Greenberg’s Facebook page:

Now THAT is how you begin your first season as an owner! Simply magical, unreal and everything in between. I can’t quit smiling and I know this is just the start of things to come! Congrats Chuck!

I had to reply with this:

The amusing thing about this is that Tom Hicks had the exact same entrance as an owner in his first year. That was 1998, and his first year team won, based on the work of people who came before him as owner. I mean it’s scary how similar that is.

Congrats Rangers, and congrats for Mike Young for getting there after #1502.

G153: Vlad Leads Rangers to 10-3 win over A’s

Vlad Guerrero had a big home run, had 4 RBI’s to power the Rangers to a win. But to be honest, most Ranger fans (including myself) don’t want to write about the particulars of the game. I’ll leave that to people like Evan Grant who get paid for a living to do it. I just want to steal this graphic from Chuck Greenberg’s Facebook page. This is all I feel after the game Friday night.

P.S. I’ll probably skip all the games inbetween the last one I wrote about and this one, no time to play makeup for about a dozen games. :)