Today was the first game of spring training for the Rangers. Oh, there were a few inter squad games before this, including one that had Yu Darvish’s pitches chronicled pretty well. But today was the first real one. As is the tradition since we moved to Surprise, AZ for Spring Training, we took on the Royals.
So I sat down at the computer to listen to the game, as I was working on the new server for my Rangers site at the same time. My son was taking a nap, and my wife and daughter were heading out to a baby shower. So I got to listen to the game. Which was kind of cool. It was VERY nice to hear Eric Nadel’s voice again to start the broadcast. I actually heard the tail end of the pre-game stuff, and the pre-first pitch stuff (like lineups) in the car on the way home. Heard a great sermon by a visiting Bishop at church today, had a good time there, the girls were off to have fun, so yeah, it was a pretty decent day (unlike the day before).
Colby Lewis took the mound to start Game 1 of Spring. He’ll also toe the rubber for Game 1/162 in a few weeks as well. The most annoying Game 1 performance I can recall at the moment was Rick Helling, I believe in 1998 when the first pitch of the season was hit out for a home run. I was actually in the park for that. While this game wasn’t nearly as instantly deflating, the Royals were up 2-0 in the first inning (on the fourth batter) on a Billy Butler home run. That was it, really. The Royals never looked back. Not that it was a blowout or anything, but they were up, and never relinquished the lead. The pitching settled down after that, and the Royals put up zeroes from innnings 2-4. However, they played four in the sixth to cap off their scoring. At that point, it was 6-0. We got there with a better inning from Colby, and two shutout innings by Scott Feldman. Kirkman came in, and gave up four runs in the fifth. One of them was unearned. He came back out for the sixth and pitched much better. Kind of like what Colby Lewis did a few innings before. The final three Rangers pitchers were guys who we won’t see with the big club (Ross, Green, De Los Santos)
Going back to that unearned run. It was caused by Ian Kinsler, who had TWO errors in this game. The Rangers actually had a third later on (by Mike Olt). Yeah, I know it’s the first of roughly 200-210 odd games this year, don’t make much of it. But even still, you don’t like seeing two errors by the same guy in one game.
The only offense we had was four singles (Luis Martinez (backup C), Nelson Cruz, Josh Hamilton, & Ian Kinsler). The fifth hit was a solo home run by Mitch Moreland in the bottom of the fifth for our only score of the game. Listening on radio, it sounded like one of those majestic shots that went most of the way up the burm.
Wish we had more offense going, and yeah, it’s early, but you like to start spring 1-0, instead of 0-1.
One amusing note was the announcement by Eric Nadel showing how much Yu Darvish will affect things around here. His first spring start is Wednesday. That game is not scheduled to be on the radio, but it is scheduled to be on mlb.com gameday audio. The big deal here is that the first two innings WILL be broadcast on the radio, which is strange. It’s only because Darvish is scheduled to pitch those two. Then the game will drop off the radio, and go to mlb.com exclusively. The whole game will be on mlb.com.