Tagged: AAA

Elvis Weekend was great!

Elvis Andrus
Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything since Friday afternoon. I realize that there have been 3 Rangers’ games in that time period. But I attended the games on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday was dedicated to watching the game on tv and trying to get everything else done that I needed to do this weekend. So I’ve been kinda busy.

This was a great weekend for baseball. The weather was absolutely perfect, and Elvis Weekend was a can’t-miss gimmick at RBIA.

Friday
I went to the game with my friend Mary, and we met Wes Wilson and his son Brady at the stadium. Brady is an absolutely precious 5-year-old with a passion for baseball. He was really interested in the game, and he kept asking Wes questions about the game. So cute!!

The Rangers jumped out to a lead early in the game, scoring 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning. They tacked on another run in the bottom of the 4th before the Tigers were able to answer with 2 runs of their own in the top of the 5th. 3-2 Rangers.

But then the Rangers scored another run in the bottom of the 5th, taking the score to 4-2 Rangers. And that’s where the score stayed until the top of the 9th inning.

Neftali Feliz
The seemingly invincible Neftali Feliz took the mound, striking out the first batter. The second batter lined out to the 2nd baseman, so the Rangers just needed one more out to win the game.

Austin Jackson singled. Then Johnny Damon doubled. Uh-oh. Next Magglio Ordoñez singled in both runners to tie the game at 4-4. Nooooooo!!!!!!!! Then Miguel Cabrera flied out, ending the inning. And the bottom part of our order was coming up.

As Justin Smoak approached the plate, I was nervous. He’d just been called up from AAA and hadn’t gotten a hit yet in the Bigs. But he has been very patient at the plate, and he worked a walk. Nice! Then Matt Treanor laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Smoak to 2nd base.

Joaquin Arias went in to run for Smoak, and Ryan Garko pinch-hit for Andres Blanco. They decided to intentionally walk Garko, giving us runners on 1st and 2nd with one out.

Then came the big guns. Nelson Cruz came in to pinch-hit for Julio Borbon. And he took another walk, loading up the bases for the player of honor, Elvis Andrus.

And Elvis singled on a line drive to center field!! Joaquin Arias scored, bringing the final score to 5-4 Rangers! Wow, that was awesome! Then we got to see a great fireworks show set to Elvis (Presley) music! Also of note: Frank Francisco pitched a perfect inning of relief in the 7th.

Saturday
Elvis bobblehead

This game wasn’t anywhere near as entertaining, although I was looking forward to getting the Elvis Andrus bobblehead and seeing Scott Feldman dominate the Tigers. Too bad the bobblehead was the only good part of the day.
The Rangers got out to an early lead of 4-0 in the first two innings.

And then the game went in the crapper.

Feldman gave up 3 runs in the top of the 3rd, and two of those were scored before Feldman was able to record the first out of the inning. Things were starting to look ominous. But the Rangers still had the lead, 4-3, so there was promise.
Scott Feldman
Until the top of the 4th, when the Tigers scored 5 more runs. Yikes. It all started off with Feldy giving up a lead-off walk to start the inning. Don’t you know that usually comes back to bite you???
Then, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Scott Feldman threw a wild pitch, allowing the runner on 3rd to score. Michael Young came in from 3rd to grab the ball and tossed it to Taylor Teagarden, who missed it as the other runner came in to score from 2nd base. Doh!!!
And it just kept getting worse. We finally got out of the inning, but there were 5 more runs on the board by the Tigers. Feldman only lasted 3 2/3 innings, giving up 4 earned runs. It’s not so bad, I thought. We still have 5 1/2 more innings of baseball to play. We could come back.
But nothing else happened for the rest of the game on either side, and the Rangers lost 4-8. Oh well. At least I got an Elvis bobblehead, and I got to hang out at the ballpark on a beautiful day!

Sunday
It was an afternoon game, and they said the weather was perfect once again. Sunday’s giveaway was a red Elvis Andrus jersey to kids 13 and under, and you could see them dotted throughout the crowd in the stands. I was feeling optimistic, and I couldn’t wait to get the bad taste of Saturday night’s game out of my mouth.

Colby Lewis

But it didn’t start off too well for the Rangers. Colby Lewis allowed 8 of the first 11 batters he faced to reach base. The Rangers came up to bat in the bottom of the 1st inning already down 3-0.

Michael Young, who is always reliable, got on base with a single. Then David Murphy went yard, bringing the score to 3-2 Tigers.

In the top of the 2nd inning, the Tigers added another run, making it 4-2. But Mike Maddux must have said something to Colby that really made a difference after that run was scored, because Colby didn’t allow any more runs in his 6 1/3 innings pitched.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Rangers were able to add 4 runs to overtake the Tigers 6-4. Then they added 2 more runs in the bottom of the 5th inning, bringing the score to 8-4 for the second day in a row, but with a different winner this time.

Michael Young
I don’t know what Colby’s problem was, but the important thing is that he overcame it and gave the Rangers several quality innings. Colby retired 15 straight batters after his initial hiccup, and he earned his 3rd win. Michael Young drove in 5 of the Rangers’ 8 runs.

Tonight’s game will mark the 4th game in this series against the Tigers, and Matt Harrison will take the mound against Jeremy Bonderman. Harrison only lasted 4 innings in his last outing, but his first two starts were good, even though he didn’t get a win in either one of them. He’s still 0-1 for 2010.

World Series Game 1, Random Rangers Thoughts

Last night was Game 1 of the World Series, and the Phillies won!! And they didn’t just barely skate in for the win; they completely dominated. Cliff Lee was the starting pitcher for the Phillies last night, and he pitched a complete game. CC Sabathia started for the Yankees, and he did a pretty good job, but he was nothing compared to Cliff Lee. The Phillies were leading 6-0 going into the bottom of the 9th, but the Yankees were able to score a single run, keeping them from getting shut out. The final score 6-1. It was awesome!

The Rangers met with CJ Wilson at the end of the 2009 season and talked to him about possibly going back to a starting role. Which is very interesting. I think CJ could be a good starter, but we have a lot of options for the starting rotation in 2010. As things stand, we’ve got Kevin Millwood and Scott Feldman for sure, and the remaining 3 slots could be filled by: one of our other starters from 2009 (Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Brandon McCarthy, or Dustin Nippert), Guillermo Moscoso or Luis Mendoza (who were starters in AAA), or by Neftali Feliz (being groomed to be a starter). Ron Washington also apparently wants to acquire a veteran starter, and Ben Sheets’ name is being tossed around yet again.

Rusty Greer confirmed that he recently interviewed with the Texas Rangers to take over Rudy Jaramillo’s former job as batting coach. Although Rusty doesn’t have any MLB coaching experience, he was a beloved player for the Rangers who spent his entire career here and who was adored by the fans. He has been coaching baseball at the collegiate level for Texas Weslyan. Evan Grant wrote a rousing article campaigning for Greer to share the job with current Oklahoma City batting coach Scott Coolbaugh, but Joey Matschulat with the website Baseball Time in Arlington (bbtia.com) reports that Scott Coolbaugh isn’t even interviewing for the job. Interesting.

18-year-old Japanese pitching phenom Yusei Kikuchi decided last week that he was going into the Japanese Draft and that he would not take part in American MLB. The Rangers had sent Derek Holland over to Japan in hopes of luring Kikuchi to the Rangers, but I guess it wasn’t meant to be.

Originally published October 29, 2009 

Questions

I have billions of questions buzzing around in my baseball-obsessed mind, all of which will be resolved at some point during the off-season, but I feel the need to get them out. Then I can cross them off when they’ve been resolved and explain the answers. So here we go!
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Ownership: Who will be the new owner of the Rangers? Will Nolan Ryan still be the team president? Will Nolan Ryan be a minority owner? Will Tom Hick stay on as a minority owner? Will new ownership affect (i.e. increase) our budget for the 2010 season?

Here’s what we know: There are 3 main groups, which are fronted by Chuck Greenberg, Dennis Gilbert, and Jim Crane. Greenberg’s group has included Nolan Ryan as a minority owner, so if he wins out, obviously Nolan will have a stake in the ownership and will stay on as president. But then again, it’s possible that if one of the other groups wins out, they’ll let him in as a partial owner. It is possible that the new ownership could fire Nolan as president, but I think that’s unlikely at this point. The fans love Nolan, and it wouldn’t make a good impression on the fans if their first move was to fire him. Tom Hicks has expressed interest in retaining a portion of his ownership as well, so we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. At this point, the budget for 2010 will be approximately the same as it was for 2009, so the new owners will have to meet that budget or increase it. It would be nice if we could have a little more leeway to get some big names to Texas for our playoff push next year.
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Marlon Byrd: Will the Rangers re-sign him for 2010 and beyond?

Here’s what we know: Marlon says that he wants to stay with the Rangers. The Rangers want him to stay. He made a little over $3 mil in 2009, so he’ll want at least that much per year in his next contract. How much more is anybody’s guess. This is probably his only chance to negotiate a multi-year contract, and he’s probably wanting at least 3 years. But Marlon is already 32, so I’m sure the Rangers are anxious that health issues may mar his future playing time. And the Rangers don’t have a whole lot of money to throw around, so I’m sure that will affect how much progress is made towards contract negotion. But Marlon is a strong influence in the clubhouse, and Michael Young (team leader) is strongly campaigning for the Rangers to keep him. I think the Rangers will offer him something in the neighborhood of 4, 5, or 6 million dollars for the next 3 years, plus lots of incentives (i.e. bonuses if he plays at least x number of games, if he hits at least y home runs, or if he steals at least z bases, etc.). But if he wants something like $10 mil a year for 5 years, I think the Rangers will let him walk.
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Ivan Rodriguez: Will Pudge be back?

Here’s what we know: The fans adore Pudge, and he said that he wants to finish out his career here. And even though he’s pushing 40, he’s still pretty darn good. He’s played on 2 World Series teams, and he has a lost of post-season experience (which the Rangers are seriously lacking). He has 13 Gold Gloves. But because of his age, the Rangers might be hesitant to offer him a multi-year contract, or to pay him a particularly hefty sum for 2010. Jarrod Saltalamacchia recently had surgery for Thorasic Outlet Syndrome, and while his prognosis looks good, there’s no telling how he’ll progress. Taylor Teagarden was unimpressive in 2009. Max Ramirez spent a lot of time on the DL in AAA. And the Rangers just outrighted Kevin Richardson to the minors. So it might be good to have him around. We acquired him as “strictly a back-up catcher” in August of 2009, but he ended up being our everyday catcher to close out the season. He made 1.5 mil in 2009. Will he accept $1 mil and a one-year contract? $5 million and a 2-year contract? We’ll see.
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Omar Vizquel: Will he be back for 2010?

Here’s what we know: Omar has said that he wants to play next year, even though he’s the oldest active position player at 42 years old. He was a great mentor for Elvis Andrus in his rookie year (2009), but does Elvis still need him in 2010? He has 11 Gold Gloves, and his defensive work is truly beautiful. I swear, he looks like a ballet dancer out there sometimes! He played 63 games for the Rangers this year: 16 games at 2B, 27 games at SS, and 20 games at 3B, and he made NO errors. None, zippo, nada. That’s pretty amazing. He’s said he would be interested in returning, but he wants to shop around first.
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Starting rotation: Which 5 pitchers will we go with in our starting rotation for 2010?

Here’s what we know: Ron Washington has already said that Kevin Millwood and Scott Feldman have guaranteed slots next year. But the other 3 are up for grabs. The possible candidates are: Neftali Feliz, Derek Holland, Tommy Hunter, Brandon McCarthy, Dustin Nippert, Matt Harrison, Eric Hurley, and Guillermo Moscoso. I discussed the pros and cons about all these pitchers in a previous blog. But Wash has also said he would like to obtain another veteran starter this winter. So if he does that, then there will only be two spots up for grabs, making the competition even tougher. But can we get anybody good for relatively little money? And of course, as we all know, our starting rotation can change a lot during the year due to injuries, etc. I mean, look at our poor rotation in 2009! On Opening Day, it was Kevin Millwood, Vicente Padilla, Kris Benson, Matt Harrison, and Brandon McCarthy. Matt Harrison and Brandon McCarthy both went on the 60-day DL, Kris Benson was a disaster, and we released Padilla because of all his foolishness. So you never know what can change throughout the season!
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Acquisitions: Right-handed bat to play 1B and DH, left-handed relief pitcher

Here’s what we know: In addition to a veteran starter, Wash also said he’d like to pick up a right-handed bat who can play 1B or DH, as well as another lefty reliever. I’ve heard Jermaine Dye’s name brought up to fill that first role, and while he is right-handed, he has played mainly in the outfield. In 2005, he played 1B once and SS once for the Chicago White Sox. That’s it. But if we keep Marlon Byrd, we may not need another right-handed bat. CJ and Eddie are our only lefty relievers at this point, and Eddie’s probably not coming back (I’ll address that later), so it would be nice to have another one.
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Batting coach: Who will replace Rudy Jaramillo?

Here’s what we know: Jon Daniels and Ron Washington are supposedly “constructing a list” of candidates to replace Rudy, and they plan on interviewing about 4 or 5 guys for the position. Some names that have been thrown around are Scott Coolbaugh (Rangers AAA batting coach), Rusty Greer (former Ranger), Will Clark (former Ranger), Julio Franco (managing in Mets farm league), Gary Pettis (currently our 1st base coach), Carney Lansford (fired by San Francisco last week), Clint Hurdle (former Colorado manager), Tim Wallach (Dodgers hitting coach in 2004), Thad Bosley (hitting coach in Oakland with Wash), Gerald Perry (hitting coach for Cubs, fired in June), Greg Colbrunn (minor league hitting coach for Yank
ees), Dave Hudgens (former A’s hitting coach), Mike Boulanger (Minor League hitting coach), and Toby Harrah (former Ranger, current hitting coach for Tigers). I’m sure there are a bunch of other names too that I haven’t heard yet. So obviously, there are a lot of choices. It’s just about finding a good fit.

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Eddie Guardado: Is he really retiring?

Here’s what we know: He’s definitely thinking about it. But that’s about all we know. He didn’t pitch too well towards the end of the season, so as terrible as it sounds, I’m kind of hoping he retires. He’s a free agent, and I just don’t think it’s useful to pay him a significant amount of money for just one more year when he’s at the end of his career and losing his stamina.

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Outfield: What will our outfield look like next year?

Here’s what we know: Marlon Byrd (righty) is a question mark. We have Josh Hamilton (lefty), Julio Borbon (lefty), David Murphy (lefty), and Nelson Cruz (righty). We also have Chris Davis (another lefty in the lineup) as our starting 1st baseman, and Salty is a switch hitter. So we could possibly have 5 left-handed bats in a 9-man line-up. That’s not so good. Borbon is rumored to be “the center fielder of the future,” but he has a weak arm. He’s supposed to be working on that this winter, but who knows? Josh Hamilton had a spectacular 2008, but he had trouble staying healthy this year. I don’t want to lose anybody, but I have this sneaking suspicion that we’re going to trade David Murphy. That hurts me, because he’s a good Texas boy, but I just can’t shake that feeling. And I have a feeling that Nelson Cruz could be great. I’m mean he could be Josh-Hamilton-in-2008-great. But what about Craig Gentry? He was the surprise September call-up from AA. It makes the most sense that he would at least begin next year in AAA, but it’s certainly an intriguing idea. He’s a righty, with an incredibly strong and accurate arm, and he’s supposedly speedy on the bases, but he needs to learn how to bat against big league pitching.

A quick sprinkling of information

*The Phillies won the NLCS last night, and they are going to the World Series

*Tonight is Game 5 of the ALCS, and the Yankees are up 3 games to 1 over the Angels. If the Yankees win any 1 of the remaining 3 games in the series, they will be going to the World Series. The Angels would have to win tonight’s game as well as the remaining 2 games in New York to advance. It’s not looking too good for the Halos. 😦

*Derek Holland went to Japan earlier this week to talk to Yusei Kikuchi, an 18-year-old pitching phenom. Kikuchi has to decide by October 29 if he wants to go into the Japanese draft (to play for a professional Japanese baseball team) or into the American draft.

*New ownership: Originally the consensus was that a deal wouldn’t be brokered until at least January 2010. But now the timetable has apparently been pushed up, because it’s looking like a deal could be finalized by the end of 2009. Jim Crane and Chuck Greenberg (2 of the 3 frontrunners to buy the Rangers) have both individually visited the ballpark and had a meeting with Nolan Ryan, Jon Daniels, and Tom Hicks this week, so Dennis Gilbert is sure to follow.

*Jason Grilli and Kevin Richardson have been outrighted to AAA Oklahoma City. They both have already cleared waivers. The Rangers expect Jason Grilli to decline the assignment and become a free agent and go somewhere else, while Kevin Richardson could possibly re-sign a minor league contract with the Rangers. This adds 2 more open spots of the 40-man roster, along with the assumed vacancies left by Andruw Jones and Hank Blalock, who are not expected to re-sign with the Rangers, and Eddie Guardado, who might retire.

*Jarrod Saltalamacchia might play in the Dominican Winter League, in order to rehab after his surgery.

*The Surprise Rafters are tied for the lead in the AFL West (which consists of a grand total of 3 teams), with a win-loss record of 5-3.

Originally published October 22, 2009

Mourning the loss of Rudy Jaramillo

Rudy Jaramillo is the best hitting coach in baseball. Not just in the American League, but in all of baseball. And he was the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers for 15 years. He has spent 26 of his 31 years in baseball with the Rangers. But not anymore.

Last week, word came down that the 59-year-old Jaramillo had declined the Rangers’ offer of a one-year contract with a 3% raise (on top of his already league-leading salary). He apparently wanted more security, even though Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels said that “Jaramillo specifically mentioned that the one-year offer was not a factor in his decision to leave the club.” Maybe he just got restless after all his time in Texas and just decided on a change of scenery. Who knows?

After the Rangers’ unimpressive offensive production this year, it’s understandable that they wouldn’t want to commit to Jaramillo for multiple years in the future. It’s also widely known that owner Tom Hicks doesn’t have much money to spread around, so Jaramillo wouldn’t be able to obtain a Yankee-esque salary. But as I said, Rudy is already the highest-paid hitting coach in the majors, and the Rangers were gonna give him a raise, albeit a small one.

But it was reported today that Jaramillo has signed a deal with the Chicago Cubs. “The Cubs gave Jaramillo a three-year contract, reportedly worth $2.42 million.” Yikes, that’s a lot of money. Rudy’s final-year salary with the Rangers was $650,000. With this new deal, he’ll be getting an average of approximately $150,000 more per year.

Well, at least Rudy is going to the National League. I truly wish him all the best in Chicago. I like the Cubbies. I mean, come on, how can you NOT like the Cubbies?? They’re very likeable. The thing is, I don’t know who can fill his shoes here in Texas.

In the midst of the playoff races, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what the Rangers need to do to truly become a post-season team. They already have what they need to make it TO the playoffs; they could have gotten there this year if not for a few things that didn’t come together just so.

But it’s not about just getting TO the playoffs; it’s about proving that you actually BELONG there. In watching the NLDS, the ALDS, the NLCS and the ALCS, I’ve come to realize that the Phillies, the Angels and (God forgive me) the Yankees and the Dodgers are truly post-season teams.

They play at a higher level. They don’t just inexplicably collapse. And if they DO inexplicably collapse, then they can recover quickly. I don’t feel like the Rangers have the cohesiveness to do that. They’re just not there yet.

I feel like the Rangers were very fortunate to have a lot of great things drop in their collective lap this year: outstanding pitching, an increase in our defense taking us from good to great, getting Pudge after Salty got hurt, Mike Maddux, and the amazing performances of nearly a dozen rookies who made it to the Bigs during this last season.

But the hitting took a plunge. Of course, it’s hard to decide where to lay blame: with all of the hitters (and a disproportionately large number of rookies), or with the hitting coach. And a lot of people decided to blame Rudy.

I am not one of those people. I’ve always been a good mediator in arguments, because I have the ability to see both points of view. Of course, it makes it very difficult for me to make decisions, but that’s not the point. Rudy has been our hitting coach for the last 15 years, like I said, and in that time, the Texas Rangers have largely been known for their great hitting. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Conclusion: Rudy Jaramillo is amazing.

But the Rangers’ offense did have a sharp drop-off this year. So maybe Rudy is losing his touch, or he’s unable to connect with our 20-something rookies, and the upcoming generation as a whole. But if that’s the case, then why is it happening now all of a sudden? Why not last year? Or next year?

I don’t think the Rangers’ offensive woes can be blamed solely on one person. I think it just comes down to a bunch of players having an off-year all at the same time. Which sucks, but what are you gonna do?

So no matter what the reasoning (i.e. length of contract or salary or restlessness or whatever), Jaramillo is gone. The Cubs are better off for their acquisition, and the Rangers will find it difficult to get an adequete replacement. A lot of names have been thrown around, but apparently Ron Washington and Jon Daniels “have not yet begun the interview process.”

My vote is for Scott Coolbaugh, who is currently the hitting coach for the AAA Oklahoma Redhawks. He straightened out Chris Davis this year, and he has a history with every single Rangers’ player that has spent any time in AAA. I think we should keep it in the family.

But, then again, I don’t know all of the candidates. So I guess we’ll see. And I’ll be there for 21 home games next season, supporting my Rangers all the way, no matter who they get. Good luck, boys!

Well, there’s always next year…

Michael Young
With the Rangers’ loss to the Angels last night (5-2 Angels), they officially have no chance of making it to the post-season. Which is probably good at this point. They all just seem to be too tired to play much longer. Except Michael Young, who had a 3-week “vacation” recently. And you can tell that Marlon Byrd really wants to play, even though he’s tired and hurt. He had to come out of last night’s game in the 1st inning because of a “right hip capsule strain.” I don’t know what that means, but it doesn’t sound good.
Marlon Byrd
I’ve really gotten the feeling lately that Marlon has been so frustrated with the Rangers’ inability to win, and that he’s been trying frantically to make something happen. So it’s probably good that his body is making him stop and admit that it’s over. I know you don’t want it to be over, Marlon. I don’t want it to be over either. But it is. Just rest and get better and prepare yourself for next year.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman got the start last night, and he looks tired too. He battled, but he only got through 3 2/3 innings, and he gave up 7 hits and 3 walks for 4 earned runs in the short outing. Feldman said afterwards, “I’m falling behind guys, and my command is not too sharp. I’m getting into bad counts. Hopefully, in my next bullpen [session], I can make an adjustment and finish on a strong note. I’m really glad I have one more start.”
I really hope Feldy can make some changes and have a better start next time around too. We need it.
David Murphy
Scott Kazmir did NOT get the start for the Angels last night. Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to rest him in preparation for the post-season and instead started RHP Sean O’Sullivan. In O’Sullivan’s 5 innings, he only gave up 3 hits to the Rangers (including a solo home run by David Murphy in the 4th inning) for 2 earned runs. Pretty good for a rookie who spend a good amount of time in AAA this year!
Michael Young had another 2-hit night. It still amazes me how dependable that guy is. He just goes out there every day (when he’s healthy, which he usually is) and he produces. Every game, you can always count on Michael to make the routine (and not-so-routine) plays in the field and to get some hits at the plate. I’m glad we’ve got him for next year.
Guillermo Moscoso
Guillermo Moscoso came in to pitch 2 1/3 innings after Feldman came out of the game, and he did a great job. We haven’t seem him very much this year, since he’s been shuffled back and forth to AAA several times during the season. But if last night was any indication, I’m looking forward to seeing more of him next year. He didn’t give up any hits in the outing (no hits! In 2 1/3 innings!), with 1 walk and 2 strike-outs. I really hope he becomes incredibly famous, especially since I have his autograph. 🙂
Pedro Strop and Willie Eyre each came in to pitch an inning of relief in the 7th and 8th innings, and I was pretty impressed with them as well. Both of them have had troubled outings this season, but last night’s performances looked hopeful.
Pedro Strop
Pedro Strop gave up 2 hits; one to the rookie Chris Pettit, which was his first big league hit (and I’m sure Pettit will remember it for the rest of his career). He also allowed the Angels to tack on another run. I know it sounds crazy for me to say that I was impressed with Strop after he gave up a run, but he seemed like he was pretty in-command. Obviously the hits aren’t good, but he also got 2 strike-outs in his inning. He’s still really young, but he looks promising.
Willie Eyre gave up one hit with a strike-out, and he didn’t allow any runs to cross the plate.
Game Notes:

Josh Hamilton
*Josh Hamilton will not play any more this year. After a meeting with Josh, Ron Washington, and trainer Jamie Reed, they decided to shut down Hamilton for the last 6 games of the season.

Chris Davis (my husband)
*Chris Davis has a sore hamstring and did not play in last night’s game. He is currently listed as day to day.
*Marlon Byrd said last night that his hip has been bothering him for 3 weeks, but that he will show up tonight and try to play. So I guess we’ll find out more tonight about whether or not he’ll be back.
     Craig Gentry

Craig Gentry.jpg*Craig Gentry did a good job in center field last night after Marlon Byrd came out of the game. He has a really strong & accurate arm, his bat just needs to catch up.
 
*This team is just distraught. They’re obviously not happy with their performance of late, and this is really not how they wanted to end the season. They obviously wanted to make it to the post-season. Their first choice was to take the AL West, but if they couldn’t do that, they wanted to win the Wild Card. If they couldn’t do either of those, they at least wanted to finish strong. They did NOT want to go into a 5-game skid 3 weeks before the end of the season, then spend their remaining time trying (and failing) to get their $h!+ together.
Derek Holland
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Derek Holland (8-10) against the Angels Matt Palmer (10-2). Man, that looks scary. Derek Holland has been both spectacularly good and spectacularly bad this year, so it’s anybody’s guess as to which Dutch we’ll see tonight. And Palmer’s 10-2 record definitely looks intimidating. But I really hope the Rangers can pull off a win tonight; they’ve lost 3 games in a row now, and they need something to pull them out of their funk.

Win on Friday against TB Rays

Sorry, I’ve been slacking with my blog this weekend. I went to the game today, but I won’t talk about that yet; I’ll get into that in my next post. For now, I’ll talk about Friday & Saturday’s wins against the Rays.

Friday, September 25

Derek Holland
Derek Holland.jpgDerek Holland led the Rangers on the mound on Friday, and I wasn’t too optimistic. But he surprised me and did a pretty good job. He gave up 3 runs, all in the bottom of the 3rd inning, but then he came back in the 4th and 5th innings and shut out the Rays. The biggest thing that Holland is learning is how NOT to completely fold when he has a bad inning, and that is very important for a young pitcher. And apparently he’s learning.
Julio Borbon
The Rangers started it off by getting 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, and another run in the bottom of the 2nd. Julio Borbon singled to lead off the 1st inning, followed by a single by Elvis Andrus. Marlon Byrd came up to bat one out later, and he hit a double, scoring both Borbon and Andrus, and accounting for the 2 runs in the 1st inning.
Chris Davis
Chris Davis got a solo homer in the bottom of the 2nd, and it was his 20th of the year! That’s not too shabby, especially since he spent 7 weeks in AAA this season!
So when Derek Holland gave up 3 runs in the bottom of the 3rd it wasn’t too bad. Holland (who has been prone to the home run ball this season) gave up another homer on Friday, to Gabe Kapler, but it was just a solo shot. It must have been hard for Derek to settle down after giving up that home run, and he did end up giving up 2 more runs, but he was able to get out of the inning. That was huge, because Wash definitely didn’t want to have to pull his starter in the 3rd inning. So he got out of the inning without allowing the Rays to take the lead, and he shut down the Rays in the 4th and 5th innings.
Ian Kinsler
Then in the bottom of the 8th inning, with the Rangers leading 5-3, Marlon Byrd and Hank Blalock walked. Ian Kinsler came up next, and he finally got his 30th home run of the year, after he got his 30th steal the night before! So now, Kins is only the 3rd second baseman ever to be a 30-30 man. And two of the three were Texas Rangers when they got the achievement (Alfonso Soriano also did it in 2005).  So with Kinsler’s home run, the Rangers won the game 8-3.