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G130: Rangers lose again, 11-5 to Red Sox

No commentary from me about this game.

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G129: Rangers shut out 2nd in a row, 4-0

No commentary by me for this game.
Except to say getting shut out two games in a row is never good.

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G128: Rangers shut out by White Sox, 10-0

No commentary on this game from me.

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G127: Sox beat Rangers late, 3-2

No commentary from me on this game.

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G126: Rangers homer their way to win in Chicago, 7-4

Early on, I thought we were in trouble.
Matt Harrison was anything but sharp. He gave up four runs in this game, two of them in the first inning. A third in the second inning, and the final one in the fifth. That he was even out there in the fifth to give up that last one was a bit of a surprise to me. He was totally ineffective.
Jake Peavy, on the other hand was pretty dominant through the lineup in the first three innings. In fact, other than walk to Mike Napoli in the second inning, Peavy would have gotten through 1-9 perfectly, 9 up 9 down. Peavy actually started into the fourth inning like that, too. First two guys down.
Then the wheels fell off. Michael Young singled sharply into left field for the Rangers first hit of the game. Was a clean hit, too. OK, that was done, but it seemed like that hit took all the air out of Peavy oddly enough. Nelson Cruz followed that up with a double down the left field line, scoring Michael Young. OK, we’re on the board. Napoli walked again for the second time in the game. It set the stage for Mitch Moreland, and in a swing that reminded me of Hank Blalock’s shot against Eric Gagne here some years ago in the All Star game, Mitch jacked one out to right center field for a three run home run, giving us the lead.
After the home run, Peavy settled down a bit. 1-2-3 in the fifth, but the sixth.. nope. Josh Hamilton had an epic at bat in the sixth. It went ten pitches, and he fouled off something like five or six pitches in a row. Forget the exact number, but it was at least five of them. On the tenth pitch of the bat, he tattoed one that was a total no doubter off the bat. The right fielder looked a bit, but barely moved. Went 3/4 of the way up the crowd in right. Solo home run, and a great battle. Mike Napoli also singled this inning, at least personally earning his base with his bat this time. Mitch Moreland followed it with his second home run of the game and his fourth & fifth RBI’s of the night. As I have Moreland on a couple of my fantasy teams, that was a good night for me.
That was the end of the scoring, the White Sox didn’t do anything in their last four frames, and the Rangers didn’t add any more. But it was over, anyway.
Tateyama had come on in the fifth inning, and put out not a huge fire, but picked up Matt Harrison. Tateyama was quite good this night. 2.2 innings pitched, the only thing he allowed was a single walk.
Mike Adams & Neftali Feliz also pitched perfect innings too – one each. The pen was rock solid tonight, showing it’s much improved variant since the trading deadline.
This was a solid win, one I think we needed after the disappointment of the walkoff in Anaheim the night before. Feeling good about the rest of this series.

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G125: Rangers lose on walkoff home run to Angels, 2-1

Well, shit. Didn’t like that at all.

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G124: CJ outpitches Santana, Rangers win 4-3

Ian Kinsler comes through late in this game, and doesn’t do his “Capt Uppercut” thing. He blooped a single late in the game to give the Rangers a 4-3 lead over the Angels. Given my continuing lack of Cable TV, I didn’t see it, but I did see the highlights. Nice win.
It started off with the first real pitching challenge the Rangers would face in this series, CJ Wilson vs Ervin Santana. And CJ outdid Santana. Look at the lines:
Wilson: 7 IP, 5H 2R, 1ER, 1BB, 6K, 110P
Santana: 7.2IP, 10H, 4R, 3ER, 4BB, 4K, 129P (1HR, too)
That’s pretty much the story there. Was worried about this match a bit, mostly because of Santana, but our guys took care of it.
The Rangers’ offense was pretty spread out. Twelve hits in all, only Elvis took an ofer. Everyone else had at least one. Kinsler had the two RBI’s mentioned above. Josh Hamilton & Mitch Moreland had the others. Moreland’s was a solo home run in the 6th.
Speaking of home runs, the home run given up by Kohi Uehara in the bottom of the 8th ended up being harmless, but at the time I wasn’t thrilled with it, because it cut our lead from 4-2 to 4-3. Little too close, but that was the end of the scoring.
The Rangers are now SEVEN games up on Anaheim for the division lead. Even if we lose the fourth game, I’m quite happy with taking 3 of 4 from Anaheim here. I was hoping for that, but expecting a 2-2 split in this series, so we’re good.

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G123: Rangers take second in series from Angels, 7-3

Seventeen hits. Seven runs.
Derek Holland going 8.2 innings.
Let’s kick the Angels in the head. That was a great game! :)

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G122: Rangers take series opener against Angels, 8-4

The Rangers go into Anaheim up four games on the Angels. While it’s definitely not a season clincher – it’s just mid August. Still, being up four and going into Anaheim for four games is an important series. While I have to admit to dreaming about sweeping before we played a game at all, I don’t think many Rangers fans expect that. I think you kind of expect a split, and hope for 3-1, and dream for 4-0. We’re playing too good for anything less than 2-2, I think, so at a split we still leave with the same four game lead.
The Rangers have a habit of not doing good against guys making their major league debuts. So the guy the Angels threw out there we had a shot at. Garrett Richards was making his SECOND major league start. Against Alexi Ogando, I figure this was our best shot at a win given the matchups in the series. However, we didn’t get a chance to test that too much, as Richards came out of the game after the fourth batter of the game.
We got some offense early with a leadoff double by Ian Kinsler. After a throwing error by the Angels, Elvis Andrus had an RBI infield groundout for the first run. The Angels answered back in the bottom of the second with a single/double combo by Hunter & Wells to tie the game at 1. The Rangers however got it right back in the top of the third with another double by Kinsler, and then a double by Hamilton. We never looked back.
That’s because the offense exploded in the fifth with a six spot. It was highlighed by back to back home runs by Nelson Cruz & Mike Napoli. Those two home runs were the first two batters faced by Anaheim reliever Rich Thompson, too.
The Angels added a few more runs in the fifth & seventh to make it a bit closer, but the six run inning was an deflator for the Angels, I’d wager.
Alexi Ogando got his 12th win of the season after going 6.1 innings. Bit high on the walks (8) and runs (4), but he got the win, which is ultimately the entire point. Uehara & Lowe kept the Angels under check after that, so we took the win on Monday night.
Five up in the West now.

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G121: Rangers sweep A’s with 7-6 win

The Rangers scored three runs in the top of the first and never looked back. Well, OK, they did when the A’s scored four in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. But it’s a lot cooler to say “they never looked back”. :)
The Angels lost, so we’re going into the big four game series with them up four games. Most impressive.

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G120: Rangers win again against A’s, 7-1

The Rangers took care of Oakland again, although in this game, the runs didn’t come early, they came late. The game was scoreless going into the sixth, as Colby Lewis & Trevor Cahill pitched a pretty good pitcher’s duel. Even after six it was just 1-0. After 7, it was 2-1.
Colby actually came out earlier than I figured he would. Just went 6.1 innings, but had 101 pitches. A little high, but I didn’t think he needed to come out then. Still, he got out with just one run allowed. No other runs were scored.
The Rangers offense woke up late, and put up a three spot in the 8th and a two spot in the 9th to give us a 7-1 win.
Everyone had at least one hit in this game – Kinsler & Hamilton had two each. Kinsler’s two hits were both doubles. Napoli & Elvis also got into the doubles party, too.
Nice win.

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G119: Rangers score early, keep A’s down, win 9-1

Before the Rangers got to Oakland, CJ Wilson mouthed off about what he doesn’t like about Oakland. Which is pretty much everything. The mound, their fans (for not showing up), etc.. There were some negative CJ Wilson signs in the stadium, but it didn’t matter, as CJ shut ‘em down.
He went six, giving up just four hits and one run. Walked a few too many (three), but struck out seven. Got his 11th win of the season, lowering his ERA to 3.28. Tateyama, Lowe, & Feldman followed him up, and each threw a scoreless inning.
The Rangers offense was fairly concentrated. We put up a six spot in the second inning, and then a three spot in the fourth. Most of which came against former Rangers pitcher Brandon McCarthy. Brandon had to come out of the game when Endy Chavez nailed him in the knee with a batted ball, that bounced all the way into the Rangers bullpen, which is quite a haul in Oakland.
As we work in the AL West, it’s nice to see us beating up on Oakland & Seattle. We should do that as the defending AL Champions.

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G118: Seattle gets the last game in the series, wins 4-3

Derek Holland pitched a quality start (6IP, 2ER), but lost the game. Well, technically, he didn’t lose the game, Uehara got tagged with the loss. At the time Holland came out of the game, the score was tied 3-3.
Uehara allowed three hits in his inning of work. That’d do it, usually.
All three of the Rangers runs came from home runs. Josh Hamilton had a solo shot in the fourth, and Ian Kinsler had a two run shot in the fifth. That was it for our scoring.
Bah, was hoping for a series sweep.

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G117: Rangers walk off again, 7-6 against Mariners

Seattle actually managed to hit the ball around a bit in this game. They put up all six of their runs in the first three innings against Alexi Ogando who was unusually awful. Not like I’m pretending he’s unhittable, but this was pretty awful for him. Just 2.2 innings pitched, eight hits and six earned runs. That was it for the runs the Mariners got. The Rangers had five relievers follow Ogando. They were Tateyama, Lowe, Oliver, Adams & Feliz. No runs from any of them, so that’s good.
The Rangers had nearly as many walks given to them as hits. They had nine hits, and six walks. That kind of combination is usually bad news for the opponent, and it was this night, too.
The Rangers had four out of their nine hits as extra base hits. Two doubles (Young, Torrealba), and two home runs (Chavez & Kinsler). Chavez had a good night overall, going 3-5 with two RBI’s and a run scored. He’s turning out to be very much the valuable extra guy who does well when you plug him in. Glad to see that. I’ll wager he’ll be around next year, too. :)
The walkoff was against the final Seattle pitcher Aaron Laffey who faced just two batters, and didn’t get either of them out. He allowed singles to Endy Chavez & Josh Hamilton, which scored Ian Kinsler ,who led the inning off against another pitcher.
Gotta love walkoffs at home. :)

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G116: Rangers handle Seattle in 9-2 win on Monday

Nope, Seattle’s still pretty bad. They have one of the best team blogs out there in USS Mariner, but the team itself, pretty awful. They have two really good starting pitchers (Felix Hernandez & Michael Pineda), and an extremely good fielding centerfielder (Franklin Gutierrez) but that’s about it. Team still can’t hit.
As evidenced by their two run, six hit attack against Matt Harrison, who pitched well. Seven innings, five hits, no walks, six punchouts, and just two runs. Nice start for Matt, who earned his 10th win of the season, joining I believe everyone else on the starting rotation in that regard. Mark Lowe & Darren O’Day followed, each turning in a scoreless inning.
The Rangers jumped all over Charlie Furbush (who?!?), the Seattle starter. Four innings pitched, eight hits, four walks, seven runs allowed (six earned). There wasn’t a ton of power, just a lot of sustained hits. We only had two extra base hits in the fifteen overall we got. Both were by Nelson Cruz (double, home run). The Rangers also walked seven times.
Yeah, Seattle’s not that good. Bet Don Wakamatsu is either laughing somewhere or is pissed off. Not sure which.

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G115: Young gets to 2K, Rangers win 5-3

Colby Lewis started this game, and gave up all three runs to the Indians. Had an decent line if not stellar. 7.1 innings, five hits, three runs. unfortunately, the Rnagers offense didn’t wake up until he was out of the game. Colby left down 3-0. Does it still count as a quality start if you’re losing?
Darren Oliver & Mike Adams followed him, not allowing anything.
On the other side, though, we didn’t have a ton going ourselves. We managed just seven hits for the entire game. But there was a good concentration in the bottom of the eighth, as we threw a five spot up there. The first six batters in the inning reached (walk, single, single, single walk, single). After that, we had a force out, but that was constructive, as it scored a run.
Michael Young also reached 2,000 hits for his career in this game. Was nice that it happened at home. It obviously brings up the question of can he get to 3,000? It’s possible, sure. But he’ll definitely have to play for awhile. He’s 34 at the moment, and there’s 47 more games this season after this one. Figure that would put him conservatively at 3,050 for a career total after the 2011 season. That means he’d need 950 to get to 3,000. Would mean if he sustained 200 hits per season, he’d need to play into the 2016 season to get it. And he’d have to not have any dropoff in hit production to get there. If you play more conservatively, and say he gets regularly 150 hits per season, he’d need to play into the 2018 season to get there, at which point he’d be 41. Not impossible here in the AL, but probably unlikely. We’ll have to see how sustained he can keep hitting over the next 4-5 years to see how realistic of a chance he would have for 3,000.

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G114: Wilson start wasted, as Rangers lose 7-5

CJ Wilson & Fausto Carmona had a good pitcher’s duel going. After 6 innings, the score was 0-0. Then the wheels fell off. Well, not completely. Wilson still had a good line when he came out of the game. 6.2 innings pitched, five hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 9 strikeouts, two walks. Not bad at all. Darren Oliver and Koji Uehara followed up nicely, allowing just a single walk between the two of them.
At this point, the Rangers were up 4-3, on the strength of a four run bottom of the 7th inning. Couple of singles, an error, another single, and a sac fly produced the runs. Not sexy, but it worked. We were winning.
Then Neftali Feliz came in for the top of the ninth and laid an egg. Double, sacrifice bunt, single, flu out, double, home run, then a couple of outs. Actually, the home run was givien up by Tateyama. It was’t a pretty ninth inning.
We did pick up a run in the bottom of the ninth, but the top was pretty deflating. Made for an even more annoying than usual loss.

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G113: Rangers walk off against Indians, 8-7

Tom Grieve: “That’s some kind of win right there!”
Early on, I thought this game was going to be a big offensive noisemaker, and a loss. After three innings, we were down 7-3. Derek Holland was pretty bad, didn’t make it out of the second inning, throwing 53 pitches, giving up six runs. Bah.
But we fought back, making it 7-5 in the 6th, and then tying the game 7-7 in the bottom of the ninth. The bottom of the ninth one was rather exciting, as it was a two run home run by Michael Young. I don’t think there’s ever a bad home run in the bottom of the ninth, even when you’re down 15 runs or so. :)
Anyway, in the bottom of the 11th, we scored on a pretty bizarre play to win. Elvis Andrus was on second base, and Josh Hamilton was at the plate. He hit a slow grounder to shortstop, one that wasn’t quickly picked up. Josh busted ass down the line, and beat it out, but all the time Elvis was running. Never stopped, kept running home, and the first baseman stalled just enough looking at the umpire at first, so that his throw home was just delayed enough to allowe Elvis to win the game. Walk off infield single.
If you click on the “MLB Link” above this text, and then on the video tab, you can see a highlight of this play. It’s quite cool to watch!

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G112: Rangers pull out series finale win in DET, 5-2

The Rangers pulled off a salvage win in the series finale in Detroit. Alexi Ogando, easily our biggest surprise this year, went 6.1 innings, allowing just two runs. IT was his third win over the Tigers this season.
Our offense was a triple by Michael Young and ten other singles. If Michael Young played here, given the way he goes to right center, I could see him leading the league in triples pretty easily. :)

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G111: Rangers lose again to DET on late homers, 5-4

Much like the game before it, this one was one on home runs by the Tigers, latter in the game. Alex Avila & Ryan Raburn handled this one.
Sigh. What is it with Detroit?

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G110: Rangers lose to Tigers on late home run, 6-5

A late comeback wasted. Nelson Cruz & Mike Napoli both hit home runs in the top of the 8th. However, Brennan Boesch hit one of his own in the bottom of the 8th off of Mike Adams to win the game.
Not a great debut for Mike Adams as a Ranger. Probably won’t be the way he performs overall (aka pull a Eric Gagne for the Red Sox), but you never want to see that in Game 1 with your new import.

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G109: Rangers & CJ lose, 7-3

I didn’t hear any of this game, as I spent the afternoon at the circus with my daughter on Sunday, and had such a good time, I didn’t think about the game. In fact, I didn’t even take a look at the trade deadline moves until we were back on the Dart train coming home.
To that, I didn’t pay any attention to the game, nor do I feel like writing about it, as I had such a good time in the circus, and for some reason, that made me not want to care about this specific game. :)

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G108: Derek Holland masterful, shuts out Blue Jays 3-0

Derek Holland pitched himself into the Rangers history books today. First off, his performance today. Darn impressive.
Complete game, nine inning shutout. Allowed just four hits (all singles), one walk, struck out five, and was helped by a double play. Total of 95 pitches thrown. Highly effective. Too bad I couldn’t see it. Heard most of it as I was driving around running some errands today. Only blip on his ledger is the one error the Rangers had was his own, a throwing error. But it didn’t affect anything. He was spectacular.
And about this history books. Check this out. Derek Holland has three shoutouts in the month of July. Four overall for the 2011 season, and is tied with Cliff Lee for the most in the majors this season. The last time a Rangers pitcher threw four shutouts in a season was Doc Medich in 1981. The overall club record is six, set by Fergie Jenkins in 1974, and tied in 1976 by Bert Blyleven. Given the way he’s rolling, it may not be unreasonable to think he could set the team record.
Checked into MLB records, and the Rangers were tied with Philly for 13 shutouts this season. If my numbers are right, with this win, the Rangers have taken over the MLB lead in pitched shutouts with 14.
As long as I’m wallowing in stats, the win by Holland gives him 10 wins. That ties him for the club lead with CJ Wilson, Colby Lewis, & Alexi Ogando. Matt Harrison is right behind them with nine himself. How long has it been since the Rangers have had five starters with 10 wins in an ENTIRE season, let alone at the start of August? Probably ages, if ever.
Anyway, the Rangers offense all came from the longball. Mitch Moreland hit a two run shot in the second, which is his first official home run off a lefty. He had one in that game that was lost to a rainout earlier in the season, though. The other was one by Mike Napoli in the 8th, a solo shot. We had seven other hits, including a double by Chris Davis in his final game as a Ranger.
But this one was pretty much all about Derek Holland. Loved that start.

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G107: Cecil does it again, Blue Jays beat Rangers 3-2

The Rangers didn’t fare much better against Brett Cecil the second time around.
Here’s something telling. The Rangers had ten hits. We left eight men on base as a team. If you count individual player left on base numbers, that was TWENTY! No wonder we didn’t win this game. Couldn’t get it done when it mattered most.
Bret Cecil had a lot to do with that – again. 7 innings pitched, seven hits, one walk, six strikeouts, and one earned run. Came out with just 94 pitches thrown, not a lot, so I’m not entirely sure why he came out when he did. No matter, the Rangers didn’t get it done against him. That’s two in a row in a week. His overall record is 4-4. Two of those wins are against the Rangers. I’ll repeat something from an update a few days ago. Bah.
Alexi Ogando started for Texas (again against Cecil), and fared the same. Pitched OK, but didn’t get the win. Ogando only went 5.2 innings this time, and gave up just four hits, but four WALKS. That’s excessive for him. All those walks didn’t help. Oddly enough, none of them factored into the three runs. Those runs in the sixth came on a single, single, and a three run home run. Two of the walks were the last two batters Ogando faced in the sixth.
Tommy Hunter came in to relieve Ogando and was masterful. He went 2.1 innings, threw just 32 pitches, and allowed just a single hit. No runs, no walks, he looked quite good. I guess that’s what Baltimore saw, as I write this, we just traded him to the Orioles (more on that in another post).
We did make it interesting in the ninth, putting up a second run to make it 3-2 at the time. Mike Napoli started the inning off with a solo home run. Mitch Moreland followed it with a single. A ground out, a strike out (Davis), and a pop out ended the game and the comeback. Rangers lost 3-2.
Game ended on… wait for it… a popup by Ian Kinsler.

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G106: Rangers come back, take finale against Twins, 4-1

First off, I wanted to draw attention to the image with this entry. Given I can’t watch games on TV much anymore, this is how I’ve been “watching” games. Via the MLB At Bat app. Depending on where I am, it’s either iPhone or iPad. This particular game was on the iPhone. Checked in during the 8th, and saw this status update for Ian Kinsler. I cannot say I was surprised to see that. Capt Uppercut has returned, going 0-4 this game.
The Rangers pounded out ten hits this game. Couple of doubles (Hamilton & Torrealba), and a pile of singles. It was enough to plate a run in the fourth & fifth, as well as a pair in the eighth. Josh Hamilton went 3-4, pulling his average up over .300 (304) with a triple and a double. Actually, Hamilton was the home run short of the cycle.
Michael Young & Mitch Moreland each had two hits.
Matt Harrison was solid this game. Went 7.1 innings, gave up eight hits and a walk (a little high on the hits, but not alarming). Just one run in the sixth (to Thome). Came out with 114 pitches thrown. The relief core behind him was solid. Tateyama (0.1 IP), Arthur Rhodes (0.1 IP), and Neftali Feliz (1 IP), were all perfect. Nothing allowed by those guys.
Well pitched game.
Not thrilled at Capt Uppercut making a comeback, though.