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G19: Rangers win late game in Anaheim, 7-6

This was a game I didn’t get to see much of.   Had to work.  But I did catch a few minutes here and there.   What I didn’t miss was the mostly blah performance of Derek Holland.   When I was thinking of writing for this game, I thought it was going to be one of those back and forth games.  That did turn out to be the case in the middle innings for a little, but not as much as I realized.

The Rangers started out with a couple of runs early against Joe Blanton.  A guy I remember from his time in Philly.  When he got on the ropes early, I was immediately expecting a blowout.   That didn’t happen.  We did score 2, which is always helpful.  But we let Blanton off the hook, as we could have had a lot more than that.    [Read more...]

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G18: Rangers sweep M’s with 11-3 thrashing

I am not going to write a lot about this one.   The old “running out of time to write” right now thing.  But I will put down a few bullet points.

  • Justin Grimm looked as good as I’ve seen him since his initial stellar major league start.   Was quite good.
  • I got to see just a little bit of this game, but I did get to see the bottom of the fifth
  • Always amusing to see a game with an 11-3 score with an official credit for a save.  :)
  • In watching game commentary on Twitter, it was funny to see both “Nelson Cruz boomstick” and “Nelson Cruz bloopstick” at the same time. :)
  • Nice jets on Leonys Martin.  Good to see he didn’t hurt himself on his triple.
  • Martin wins the slugging percentage award for this game with a triple and a double.
  • Always ALWAYS love seeing grand slams by the Rangers.   Even better when the outfielders for the other team don’t even MOVE when the ball is headed their way.  :)
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G17: Two shutouts in a row, beating M’s 5-0

Two shutouts in a row.  Granted, it’s the Mariners, who have had offensive problems the last several years.  But still.   Won 7-0 yesterday.  Won 5-0 today.   You’ve GOT to love that kind of performance from your pitching staff.   Yesterday the big deal was Yu Darvish.   Today the big deal was.. well.. all of them.    Because in the third inning, it looked pretty bad. [Read more...]

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Misc Small Transactions

Here’s a few small transactions that happened over a couple of days:

  • P Zach Simons released (Apr 11 – could be Apr 1)
  • P Justin Miller recalled from AA and placed on 60 day DL
  • P Jeff Beliveau traded to Tampa Bay Rays
  • P Julio Borbon claimed off waivers from Rangers by Chicago Cubs

I really was hoping that Borbon could go somewhere and win.  I always felt he got a bit of a bad deal here.  Not *TOO* bad, mind you – as he had numerous chances to seize the job.   But in the end, he was passed by other guys on the roster.   Shame, as I always liked the guy.   Hope he does well in Chicago.

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G16: Rangers shut down Mariners, 7-0

Whatever was bothering Yu Darvish in his second start, certainly didn’t bother him this game.   He looked more like the almost perfect guy in his first outing of the season.   Wasn’t quite THAT good, but man, he looked good here.  His pitches were moving – he mowed guys down.   He very much looks like what the Rangers expected to get when they sent a truckload of money to his Japanese team, and then offered Darvish himself another truckload of money.   Take that Dice-K! [Read more...]

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G15: Rangers lose to Cubs on Thursday, 6-2

This is one of those games that has a simple explanation.  Oh, I could write multiple hundreds of words about it, breaking down all the details, but it really is very simple.  Carlos Villanueva for the Cubs was good.  Alexi Ogando for the Rangers was not.    Ogando allowed five earned runs in 2.1 innings.  That was the game  in a nutshell.

Our only two runs came on two solo home runs (Kinsler & Cruz).  In fact, Kinsler & Cruz were our ENTIRE offense, as we had just four hits total.  Both of them had two hits (the others being singles).  Nobody else had any.

That’s it, folks!

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Rangers rained out in Chicago

Wednesday’s game against the Cubs was rained out, and due to the way interleague is handled now (basically all the time), a replacement date is unknown.   They couldn’t DH it on Thursday because that day had rain in the forecast, too.   But the replacement game has no announced time.   Somewhere along the line, we’ll have to go back to Chicago just to play one game.   While I’m just a fan from home, and don’t have to travel, I imagine the players don’t care for that kind of thing.

The MLB story I link to here mentions the Rangers didn’t do their usual tarp slide – mostly because it was too cold.  :)

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G14: Rangers eek out win in Chicago, 4-2

April games in Wrigley were never as fun as the ones later in the summer.  Growing up a Phillies fan, I always thought what made Wrigley look as good as it did was all the walls and ivy.   Which was never the case in April, as it was a bunch of brown vines, which I thought made the park look just the opposite – pretty dreary looking.   I do like that into 2013, the walls are still advertising free.  I remember for the longest time Wrigley had NO advertising of any kind inside the park.  That was really unique.   That’s been lost, but the walls remain mostly ad free.  Be nice if it could have stayed ad free.  I have always loved the ivy covered walls there.  I hope to see a game there someday.  :) [Read more...]

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G13: Rangers drop Sunday game to M’s, 4-3

Nick Tepesch took the mound for this start, and while I didn’t think his line showed a very good outing, I didn’t feel it was that bad.   Oh, by every measurable number he didn’t do too great.  5.2 innings pitched.  Threw 102 pitches, allowed nine hits, four earned runs.  Pretty “meh” outing.  However, the “gut feeling-ometer” in my head didn’t think he was as awful as his line seemed to indicate.    I like this kid, really want him to do well.  Would love for one of our kids to come up, claim a spot, and not give it back.   With the surgery for Harrison, plus Colby Lewis still out, we need at least one of these guys to claim a spot on the rotation.   Hoping it’s Tepesch. [Read more...]

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G12: Rangers beat Mariners, 3-1 on Sat

I had to work and do a bunch of family stuff, and as such I went to bed early on Saturday night.  I didn’t get to see any of this one, so this is a pure box score recap from me.  :)

The pitchers duel I thought we’d get the night before with Darvish & Iwakuma materialized a bit more solidly on Saturday night with Alexi Ogando taking the hill against Joe Saunders.  Saunders is a weird case for us, I always feel like we should crush him, but he’ll turn around and do what he did last night against us; especially when he was with the Angels.   Sat night was not a “crush him” night, I see. [Read more...]

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G11: Iwakuma beats Darvish, 3-1

While the team and Darvish both denied it afterwards, I cannot help but feel that the blister/finger issue that took Darvish out of his last start early contributed here.   He was wildly inconsistent.   There was an inning or two where Darvish looked like he did in the (almost) perfect game.  Then there were innings where he looked like he did on his first ever Major League start last season.   Most of it was in the middle, but the inconsistancy didn’t feel “right” to me.  There was something off, there was something keeping him from pitching like he did in the second inning of this game  the whole game. [Read more...]

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G10: Rangers beat Felix & M’s, 4-3

The Rangers go to Seattle, and take on their toughest pitcher, Felix Hernandez.  As is my custom, I refuse to call him “King Felix”.  Again, if you’re a Mariners fan, or are Mariners media, that’s fine.  But I’m tired of seeing Rangers media give him the accolade by calling him that.  I refuse.   Anyway, while there’s no denying he’s a great pitcher, the Rangers don’t seem to be dominated by him.  Oh, he’s beat us, sure – but we’ve beat him our fair share.   Probably more than we should, considering how dominating he can be.   That’s good, IMO – great pitchers should beat you, but when you can hold your own with them, you’re doing good yourself.

[Read more...]

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Matt Harrison to DL

  • P Matt Harrison placed on 15 day DL, retro to Apr 6
  • P Justin Grimm recalled from AAA
  • P Justin Miller recalled from AA and placed on 60 day DL [ Link ]

This isn’t a move I particularly like.  But Harrison has been pretty bad the first two starts of the season.   Odd, because I don’t recall him being hurt or bad during the spring.   So it popped up pretty quickly.   I’m also not sold on Justin Grimm as a replacement.  Bullpen on standby there.   Hopefully I’m wrong, but outside of Grimm’s original major league debut, I haven’t had a lot of trust in him to start games for us.

Justin Miller is a procedural move only, so I won’t count him in my list of players who have been called up this season.

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G9: Holland hard luck loser; Rangers lose 2-0

Before the season started, I wrote about Derek Holland that I hope he pitches well this season.   Well, so far he has.  Unfortunately, he’s just 0-1 so far on the young season.  Last night’s game was a good definition of “Hard Luck Loser”.    Derek’s line on Wednesday was 8IP, 5H, 3BB, 4K, 2ER on 110 pitches.  You tell me your starter goes out there and throws eight innings, allows just two runs?   Yeah, I’ll take that ANY GAME from any of our starters.   You cannot fault Derek Holland for this loss. [Read more...]

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G8: Tepesch spectacular in debut with 6-1 win

When I was watching this game, as Tepesch progressed through the game I was immediately reminded of Brian Sikorski.   He’s a Ranger starter who made his major league debut on Aug 16, 2000 (boxscore) against the Yankees, and nailed it.   I wrote about that here.  I bring this up, because I wasn’t the only one to make that connection.  Jamey Newberg did as well, he wrote about that in his update on Tepesch’s debut.   But this night wasn’t about Sikorski, it’s about Tepesch. [Read more...]

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Nick Tepesch Purchased, Borbon Gone

  • P Nick Tepesch purchased from AAA
  • OF Julio Borbon designated for assignment [ Link ]

Well, the Julio Borbon era ends in Texas.  I have to say I figured it would end differently.  I figure we’d work out a trade with someone.  We may yet, but a DFA was a bit of a surprise.   He had a great spring, and I hope he ends up somewhere and does well.  Always liked the guy, feel bad, but he got buried behind a lot of other guys.   We always talk about how David Murphy has never gotten playing time.  Borbon did get playing time – twice, and didn’t capture it.  Still, you feel like he could now.   It just won’t be here.  See ya later Julio.

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G7: Nathan gets 300th save in 5-4 win

I didn’t get to see any of this game, missed the whole thing.  Lot of noise about the last pitch of the game afterwards.    It got Joe Nathan his 300th career save, and if you watch the pitch itself, it does seem like we caught a break on that.   After the game, Joe Maddon of the Rays threw a major wobbler on Twitter about it.  But even the ump came out and said he blew the call.  Check this out.. [Read more...]

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Robinson Chirinos acquired

  • C Robinson Chirinos acquired for PTBNL or $ from Tampa Bay
  • P Jeff Beliveau designated for assignment [ Link ]

I honestly don’t know much about either of these guys.  Probably just a move to have some more depth at catcher in the minor leagues.

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G6: Rangers take series against Angels with 7-3 win

It was immediate right away that Yu Darvish wasn’t going to have the same kind of game against the Angels that he did against the Astros.  That’s not simply because the Angels are a better team.  He was wild.  It felt a little like his first ever start here in Arlington last year.  He recovered, and kept the damage to a minimum, but we were down 2-0 pretty quickly in the top of the first. [Read more...]

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G5: Home Run Derby leads to 8-4 Angels win

This one can be summed up easily.  The Angels hit more home runs this game than the Rangers did, and that’s why they won.

[Read more...]

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G4: Rangers take home opener, 3-2 over Angels

I think I’m going to go with a stream of “comments”, vs an article for this game. I’m sitting at my desk doing a ton of things at once (all baseball related), and I have the chance to have live comments here..

Pregame:

Glad for this game to get started, I’m tired of hearing EVERY sports commentator asked “What do you think the reaction to Josh Hamilton will be?” Seriously, does this honestly need to be asked? The “Be silent” people don’t have a chance. We all know what the reaction will be.

I had to stay home for this one, I had a ticket option, but certain realities kept me from attenting. That’s unfortunate, but I’m still “virtually” at the game. Being connected with the radio, mlb.tv, and twitter feeds & Facebook timelines from people who ARE there.. It’ll be cool.

Even though I’m sitting at my computer, and could stream the game over the Internet, I broke out a manual radio, pulled the antenna up, and listened that way. Seems more “pure”. :) [Read more...]

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Winners of Josh Lewin Book

I picked these awhile ago, but real life has gotten in the way, and I’ve been unable to post the stories.  I picked a couple of winners, and am sending out the books.  One bonus that I didn’t tell people about.   I got Josh Lewin to autograph the books, too!   Josh was most kind, I mailed down the covers to him in Florida when the Mets were still in camp down there.  He sent them back to me, and now I’m ready to ship everything out, so I wanted to post the winners.  Thanks to those who entered, and if you missed the original post, go check it out, as it has my review of the book.   Let’s get to the winners:

 

1) Janis T.

I always enjoyed the interplay between Josh and Tom about “cookie talk”.  They had fun with it, and it didn’t just lie there between the two of them like a dead mackerel as it sometimes does now.  I know that’s inconsequential in the scheme of things, but as one of the people who is a Huge Rangers fan, and who also enjoyed making things to send up to the booth when I got to go to a game, it was fun. And hearing him shout “Ballgame!” after a win.  Always great.  I miss Josh.

2) Brandon C.

I think my favorite story about Josh was sitting in my bedroom after school on September 23, 2004, watching the Rangers face the Oakland A’s. I still remember keeping up with the game until I could get home, then turning the TV on in the bottom of the ninth, watching David Dellucci stride to the plate, and then seeing that swing. I saw the ball drop into fair territory, then all I remember next is Josh screaming hysterically as the two runs scored that would win the game, and for the first time in years would give the Rangers hope at making the playoffs. Even though it never came to fruition, that memory of Josh making one of the most exciting games in franchise history that much more exciting was something that I will cherish as a Rangers fan forever. If they’ll ever release the video of it, I’m pretty sure it will be one of the clips I show my kids one day to get them excited about baseball. But I have Josh to thank for really making it even more memorable than it already was.

3) Jeff W.

My absolute favorite Josh Lewin moment came when Bengie Molina hit for the cycle in Boston in 2010. Both Grieve and Lewin were fired up all game long with how well Molina was hitting, including his grand slam. But then, when Molina drilled that hit in one of the most improbable spots in Fenway, there was a point when both of them realized that this could be it.  The most unlikely player on the team was going to do the impossible. And there it was, “Big Fella”, as Josh affectionately called him, slid into 3rd and also into the history books. And the best part?  For that 12 seconds it took Molina to move 270 feet, Lewin wasn’t an announcer. He was a fan, just like the rest of us.

And finally, here’s my own favorite..

My single favorite memory (sorry if I already told you this) was probably the time you punked TAG with the telestrator, by diagramming something on the field, and you ended up writing JOSH.  I wish I had that on TiVo.  Most people will go with the Hamilton walkoff where Josh practically screamed his lungs out of his mouth with BALLGAME!!!!

And while I’m at it, I think my favorite TAG moment is probably when Hideki Irabu was with the Rangers..  He was getting shelled, and going to commercial, TAG”s mike wasn’t closed, and he said “This guy couldn’t pitch his way out of a fucking paper bag!”.  Roared on that one.  Loved the honest reaction there, but that’s something you guys can never do.  heh.

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G3: Rangers shut out Astros again, 4-0

I was out of practice keeping track of Rangers games, and given this one started at 1PM, I forgot about that until 2, so I missed the beginning.  Apparently what I missed was more of the lining up of strikeouts that Darvish had been doing in Game 2.   Alexi Ogando continued that parade of Astros walking back to the dugout in this game, too.    While he didn’t have 14 of them, he did have 10.  Always a good number to see.   Even better when it came in 6.1 innings of work! [Read more...]

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G2: Darvish Oh So Close.. Rangers win 7-0

Going into the bottom of the ninth inning, I had Eric Nadel on, and I have to say, I was getting waves of chills going over my back.  I mean, OH MAN.  I wasn’t watching when Kenny Rogers pitched his perfect game, but I have to imagine it felt like this.  I had contacted several friends, told them they needed to get the game on.   It was one of those “moments”.    While I am tired of hearing about the Cruz non catch in right in the World Series, I have to say that Newy Scruggs equated it well.  He said this was like that.  You got up high, let yourself believe, and the it crashed down.  Yeah, it was pretty crushing.   Before that, I was fist pumping sitting in front of my computer, I was seriously into it.  Was texting a friend at the same time, chatting with another on Facebook’s chat, so yeah, I was into it with a few friends.   Then… Marwin Gonzalez.  I mean, who? [Read more...]

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G1: Rangers end up losing big to Astros, 8-2

I was ready to go.  I caught up most of the parts of my Rangers site, I had the game loaded up on “WatchESPN”, so I got to see the game (and listened to some bad announcing).   Matt Harrison was looking good early, on, and then “that” happened.   And by that, I meant that somewhere between the top of the fourth and the bottom of the fourth, the Rangers and Astros seemed to switch uniforms.  They certainly were not playing like they were supposed to.   I think they switched uniforms! [Read more...]