Ranger Resurgence

First of all, I should probably mention the fact that Mlblogs.com has recently switched over to WordPress. So the website may look a little bit different to you, but there should be a WHOLE BUNCH of cool new things that I can add later. Once I figure out how it all works, of course.

Anyway, did you freakin’ see the Rangers’ game last night?? It was epic!!!

The first 8 innings or so were kind of ho-hum. The Rangers and the Royals were tied at two runs apiece.

The excitement started in the middle of the bottom of the 8th inning, when Ian Kinsler dove to catch a line shot that would have fallen into shallow right field otherwise. The Royals had a man on 2nd base who could have easily scored if that ball and gotten through, but instead it became the 2nd out of the inning. Thanks, Ian!

Then in the top of the 9th, the Royals brought in legendary closer and birthday boy Joakim Soria. But Soria didn’t have such a great birthday. Texas was able to get another run across thanks to a pinch-hit RBI single by the always-amazing Elvis Andrus, and they took the lead 3-2. Woo hoo!!!

With Neftali Feliz on the hill for the Rangers in the bottom of the 9th, I was feeling pretty good about the Rangers chances. But then Feliz did some very un-Feliz things.

The very first pitch he threw in the bottom of the 9th was belted for a solo homer by Royals’ rookie Eric Hosmer, tying the game at 3. Uh oh.

Then Neffy walked Jeff Francoeur (who I really wish the Rangers had been able to keep, BTW). They took Francoeur out of the game and put in Jarrod Dyson to pinch run.

And Neffy promptly picked him off.

Then he walked the next guy, Billy Butler. The Royals put Mike Aviles in to pinch run for him, and Neffy promptly picked him off too. Nice!

I don’t like the fact that Neftali is walking guys, but at least the got the outs afterwards. The Royals say that he balked, but it didn’t look like a balk to me. And the most important thing was that there were 4 major league umpires on that field, and none of them called a balk either.

So the game went to the 10th inning, and Neftali Feliz came out to pitch for the Rangers again. But no one from either team scored in that inning, so they went to the 11th.

In the top of the 11th, Adrian Beltre hit a 2-run single to center field off the Royals second-to-last bullpen guy, Jeremy Jeffress. That put the Rangers on top 5-3.

After Jeffress allowed those 2 runs, he was pulled from the game and the Royals brought in the last guy from their bullpen, Everett Teaford. Even if the Royals had been able to come up with 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th, they wouldn’t have any more options for pitching help. They’d have to go to their starting rotation.

But the Royals weren’t able to come up with 2 runs in the bottom of the 11th. The got 1 run, mainly due to defensive indifference, but it wasn’t enough and the Rangers won 5-4.

Whew! That was a nail-biter!! The Rangers really seem to be figuring things out now, and with Josh Hamilton and Nelly Cruz both on rehab assignments and due to come back to the Bigs soon, I hope it just gets better from here.

The Rangers only have a 23-20 record, which if you’re math-deficient means that they’re only 3 games above .500. But it doesn’t matter because they’re still 1 1/2 games ahead of the Angels (22-22), which means the Rangers are in 1st place in the AL West. I’ll take it!

Days ’til my next game: 4

Overall Rangers’ record: 23-20

My Rangers’ record: 4-1 

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