Monday, May 18, 2009

Two Broom Series in a Row For the Rangers; Rangers Sweep Halos in Weekend Series

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
The bullpen let Millwood down in the first game of the series and made it interesting down the stretch, but the bats rallied and pulled out the win.

The Rangers were arguably helped out quite a bit when Lackey (Halo's pitcher) was ejected 2 pitches into his start in the second game of the series. He threw behind lead off hitter Kinsler then hit him. Apparently, the ump thought that this was some sort of retaliation against Kinsler since he went yard twice against the Halos the day before.

After a great catch at the wall in the 7th (?) Jedi-Josh didn't return to the game with a strained groin.

Otherwise, really not much here. 

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
No defensive errors. No base running errors. They turned double plays. Pitchers got out of jams. 

Jedi-Josh seems to be back, both at the plate and in the field. 

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Still no Frankie closing the games.

The Rangers have won 7 straight and now own one of the biggest leads of any division leader in MLB.


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Get Out the Brooms, Rangers Beat M's in Last At Bat 3-2!

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Rangers offense was kept very, very quiet through 8 innings.

Rangers had 8 runners LOB.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Matt "Harry" Harrison spread out 7 hits over 9IP, giving up only 2 runs for the eventual complete game win.

The offense produced just enough, dramatically so in the bottom of the 9th, for the win.  

Hammerin' Hank hit a solo homer in the 9th.

Then Crash Davis went yard with Murphy aboard for the game winner later in the 9th to win it 3-2.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Rangers are only 1.5 games ahead of the Halos since the Halos have been keeping pace.

Again, this series starting tomorrow will tell us a little more about where the Rangers are.


Rangers Comeback and Win 6-5 in the 11th!

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
A throwing error by Young, the old man gave the M's the lead in the top of the 11th, nearly costing the Rangers the game.

The Rangers left 13 on base. 

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Young made up for his error in the top of the 11th with a lead off single in the bottom of the 11th. He'd score the tying run.

Hammerin' Hank hit the game winner.

Elvis continued to perform on O & D. He made another ridiculous, highlight reel play at short and had an RBI producing triple.

McCarthy was very serviceable, with 7IP and 4ER. The bullpen, without Frankie, gave up no earned runs.

Jedi-Josh went yard again.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
McCarthy still doesn't seem to be equal to Danks but, hasn't been terrible either.

Frankie may be back sooner than later.

The 3 game series against the Halos is this weekend. A lot more will be known about the Rangers after this weekend. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Ranger's Over M's 7-1; Return of the Jedi-Josh

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Had the game remained close Frankie would not have been available because of some trouble with his bicep. Thankfully, the Rangers blew the game wide open with a 6 run 7th.

Otherwise, not a lot to write here.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
When the Rangers blew the lid off the game seemingly all the young guns (and some veterans like Young, the old man, and Jones)contributed:
1) Y, the old man, singled
2) Jedi-Josh went yard scoring Young.
3) Jones reached on an infield hit.
4) Byrd doubled, moving Jones to 3rd.
5) Nellie Cruz's sac fly scored Jones, moved Bryd to 3rd.
6) Crash Davis (he had hit a solo homer earlier in the 5th) reached on an error, Byrd scored.
7) Salty doubled, Crash scored, Salty reached 3rd on the throw.
8) Elvis singled, Salty scored.

Kinsler singled but didn't score later in that same inning.

Scooter Feldman pitched 6 1/3 innings, giving up only 4 hits and 1 earned run.

Doogie Holland pitched a perfect 1 1/3 innings and Every-Day Eddie pitched a perfect 9th to close the game (non-save opp.).

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
If the starters keep pitching like this it'll be difficult for Doogie Holland to break into the starting rotation, not a bad problem to have. If one of the starters falters, then Doogie appears to be ready to step in.

Your Texas Rangers are 8-2 in their last 10, not too shabby.

Hopefully Frankie's injury is short term but it could be more serious and put him on the DL, which would mean trouble for the Rangers in close games when they need a shut down closer. Every-Day Eddie and CJ Wilson have been anything but consistent this year. Maybe Jennings? Maybe closer by committee if Frankie goes on the DL?


Monday, May 11, 2009

Rangers Win 7-1! Still "First Place Texas Rangers"

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
I got nothin' here really. Great game all around on O & D.

I guess if I had to be picky Padilla served up 4 walks and had to get himself out of a jam early on. 

Rangers had 6 LOB.

But really, that's about it.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Padilla gave up 1 hit. In his last 2 starts he's given up 2 hits total, that's gotta be a record or something (it is, he's the 1st Ranger in history to accomplish that feat).

The Rangers' offense, without Hamilton or Young, put up some runs to support a great start by their hurler.

The Rangers bullpen only gave up 1 hit, for a 2 hit game.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Your Texas Rangers lead the division by 1/2 a game over the Halos and have 3 game set against same coming soon. And the Halos to date have won 4 straight. Lastly, and again, if they can win that series against the Halos, or better yet sweep, we'll be talking about the Rangers all summer, I think. I hate to put to place too much weight on a May series against a divisional rival but, if you look at the schedule this is a big deal with inter-league play coming up, especially for a young ball club.


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Rangers Lose 3-2, But Still "First Place Texas Rangers", Barely

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
The mighty Texas Rangers' offense managed to put up a whole 2 stinkin' runs, ruining a great start by ace Millwood.

Millwood arguably was left in 1 inning too many by Wash.

"Ghosts of Bad Trades Past" continued to haunt the Rangers as the White Sox's ace, and former Ranger, Danks pitched a great game.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Millwood looked great in the loss giving up 3 runs is 7 IP, at one point he got out of a bases loaded jam in the middle innings.

Rangers continued to run on the base pads. 

Elvis looked and performed great on D and O.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
The Rangers lead the division by only 1/2 a game.

Watch out the Halos, they've won 3 straight and are right behind your Texas Rangers. Rangers play 3 against the Halos next weekend. The outcome of that series may set the tone for the season, especially if the Rangers sweep or are swept.

Questions still surround, and are being written about, owner Tom Hicks' default on loans concerning the Rangers.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Rangers Win 6-0 Over White Sox! Still "First Place Texas Rangers"

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Rangers' D committed another error.

Rangers' offense left 9 on base.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Matt "Harry" Harrison pitched a complete game 4 hitter. Let me write that again, Matt "Harry" Harrison pitched a complete game 4 hitter. Wow.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Apparently, Harry's catcher going forward is going to be Teagarden. Usually, only pitchers like Maddux or El Presidente have their own guys catch a game when they pitch instead of the usual catcher. Although, with this result your really can't argue with it.

Rangers are up in the division by 1.5 games.

But, watch out for the Halos, they're at .500 and are going to soon be at full pitching staff strength.


Thursday, May 7, 2009

Rangers Win 3-2 Over A's; "Hello, First Place Texas Rangers"

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Rangers put up only 3 runs.

Francisco allowed 2 base runners to get on in the 9th in a 3-2 game.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Elvis went yard (solo) to start things off on a good note in the 1st.

Rangers manufactured 2 runs in the 4th.

No errors for the Rangers.

Only 4 Rangers LOB.

Scooter Feldman only gave up 2 runs in a quality start.

Doogie Holland pitched 2 scoreless in relief.

Francisco got another save. ERA to date: 0.00

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Rangers are in the 1st place in May. Yes it's early but they're still in first.

Their win streak is now 5.

They're 3 games above .500 after a dismal start to the season.


Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Rangers Win 7-2, Sweep 2 Game Series Versus 1st Place M's

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Padilla pitched a 1 hit, 8 IP game but got a no-decision.

Why? a) the Texas offense managed only 1 run through 9 innings; b) Kinsler booted a likely, probable double play ball with 1 out and runners on 1st and 2nd for an error, allowing an unearned run to score in the 6th.

Rangers left 9 on base, at one point 8 of them in scoring position I think.

Glass Half Full / Silver Lining:
Padilla pitched a 1 hit, 8 IP game, more than a "quality start", albeit for a no-decision.

After the aforementioned error in the 6th, in the 7th Cruz tattooed a ball into deep left-center to tie the game. Seriously, it was a, "anything that goes that far should have a flight attendant on it," type of homer.

In the extra inning the Rangers put up six runs, including 4 on a Salty grand-salami to blow the game wide open.

In a non-save opportunity Francisco comes in and closed the game (a run scored but is earned by ODay who put the runner on). Francisco's ERA for the season: 0.00.

Rangers hit the ball well, just never with runners in scoring position until the 10th.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Rangers are .5 back in the division and play 8 games against divisional foes(2 vs. the A's and 3 each vs. the Halos and M's) between now and May 17. We'll know a lot about the Rangers between now and then.

Will Holland get his first start between now and then? Maybe, hopefully, probably, depending on Scooter Feldman's next start. It's just a guess, and nothing against Scooter, I hope he turns into an ace, or a solid 4th-5th starter, he may be. But, goddammit, I wanna see little Doogie Holland, with his pink bag and all, get a start.


Rangers Beat Division Leading M's 6-5

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Murphy got caught stealing in the 8th. Not sure if it was the best time to try it.

Millwood got rocked in the 5th giving up 4 runs.

Silver Lining:
Crash Davis hit the game winning homer with Murphy on board (he had singled just earlier).

Rangers' bats got to the M's ace scoring 2 runs in each of his last 3 IP, also handing him his first loss of the season.

Rangers continued to be aggressive on the bases, though this time they were caught.

Elvis made an amazing play at short, diving to his right he snagged a grounder that was almost past him, gathered himself on one knee on the outfield grass and threw out the runner at first in the 9th inning on an extremely close play (he looked safe to me but, it was still a great, close play by Elvis, plus the baserunner for the the M's didn't sell it, the baserunner immediatly looked at the ump after reaching first, looking for the "safe" call, maybe making the ump more likely to call him out).

Millwood pitched 4 perfect innings to start the game before giving up 4 runs in the 5th. After the 5th he settled down, giving up just one more run, and pitched 8 1/3 innings for the win.

Francisco registered another save. ERA for the year: 0.00.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
I know Crash Davis went yard but he again had a multiple strike out game and in the process left 3 on. He doesn't walk, seemingly ever, strikes out often and is batting about .200.

True to their rhetoric the Rangers did not yank Millwood at the first sign of trouble in the 5th. Of course he is their ace. 


Monday, May 4, 2009

Rangers Over White Sox 5-1!

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Danks came into the ballgame with an ERA under 4 (I think).

I know Harrison was at (about) 100 pitches after 5 innings but I thought the new philosophy for the staff was to push them a little more than they're used to, especially if they're pitching well. And in this case McCarthy had a shutout after 5 IP.

Silver Lining:
Harrison looked better than Danks.

Rangers scored in 5 out of the six innings and, maybe more importantly, only one run was scored on a homer (lead off homer by Kinsler in the 1st)

The relievers only gave up one run.

ODay looked good again. Jennings gave up a run but still looked good. Wilson closed (non-save opportunity) and looked OK.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
During the ESPN broadcasts someone (Miller?) mentioned that in the off-season Jaramillo had worked with Josh Hamilton (currently on the DL) to re-work his swing. Why? What was wrong with his swing last year? Perhaps the "re-working" of Hamilton's swing by Jararmillo is why Hamilton's off to such a lousy start this year.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

Rangers Win 9-6 over White Sox

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Relief pitching continues to be an issue as the bullpen gives up 5 ER's (Mendoza-4 ER's, Guardardo 1 ER), making it a close game down the stretch.

Silver Lining:
McCarthy looks good, albeit in a short start, in 5 IP.

The Rangers offense comes through with 9 runs.

Francisco closes the game, ER's to date: 0.00

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
The set up job is O'Days to take if he continues to perform well.


Rangers Lose in Opener vs. White Sox 4-3

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
Rangers offense puts up only 3, wasting another quality start by a Ranger pitcher.

Silver Lining:
Scooter Feldman took a shutout into the 6th.


Friday, May 1, 2009

Rangers Lose 4-2

Glass Half Empty / Afternoon Cloud:
The mighty Texas offense put up 2 runs and left 12 on base wasting what was, for Padilla, a quality start.

Every-Day Eddie faced one batter in relief with the bases drunk in the 7th and walked the batter on 4 straight pitches.

Silver Lining:
Hammerin' Hank went yard, again.

Jones continued to perform well.

Every-Day Eddie showed some fire. He vehemently disagreed with the 4 straight ball calls and got tossed out of the game after Wash had already pulled Eddie. Still nice to see someone show some emotion when things go badly, as opposed to Rangers only showing emotion when things go well.

Kinsler is robbed of 3-run, game winning homer in the bottom of the 8th by a great defensive play at the wall by the A's. In other words, they had a chance to win it.

Thoughts / Observations / Sidenote(s):
Your Texas Rangers fail to rise above .500 for the first time since the first week of the season.


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