Tagged: Guillermo Moscoso

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!
———————————————————————–
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.
————————————————————————
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.
———————————————————————-
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.
————————————————————————-
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.
————————————————————————
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!
———————————————————————–
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.
———————————————————————
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.

——————————————————————
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.

——————————————————————
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.

report card

I checked T.R. Sullivan’s blog today, and he had a kind of report card for this year’s players. I agree with most of what he says, but we differ on a few things. This is his report card:

Starters
Kevin Millwood – Manager has already said he is the Opening Day pitcher in 2010
Scott Feldman – What an amazing season.
Derek Holland – This kid is going to be fine. Can’t wait for his next start.
Tommy Hunter – Tommy, meet Nolan Ryan, the resident conditioning fanatic.
Brandon McCarthy – The Big Tease. He has talent but at what point do the Rangers say uncle?
Matt Harrison – He was pretty good before he got hurt
Neftali Feliz – The Rangers will try him in the rotation. Bet he makes it
Dustin Nippert – His numbers will work every year
Guillermo Moscoso – Should be Opening Day pitcher at Oklahoma City

Relievers
Frank Francisco – Needs warning label: handle with care.
C.J. Wilson – Most Valuable Reliever
Darren O’Day – Transaction of the Year
Jason Grilli – Wasn’t the same after he got hurt
Doug Mathis – Can he fill middle relief role?
Eddie Guardado – No finer person in baseball
Pedro Strop – Needs more time. Just not ready
Willie Eyre – Taking long road back from injuries

Catchers
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Should still be No. 1 on depth chart
Ivan Rodriguez – Would you give him $4 million for two years?
Taylor Teagarden – Should have been in Triple A
Kevin Richardson – He is from Seattle area. He should have started one game this weekend.

Infielders
Chris Davis – Only one other player is a bigger key for Rangers in 2010.
Ian Kinsler – Absolutely nothing wrong with 101 runs and 86 RBI.
Elvis Andrus – He lived up to it all
Michael Young – Turns out he can still hit…and play third.
Omar Vizquel – He has one definite vote for the Hall of Fame.
Esteban German – A nice fifth player if the Rangers had the room
Hank Blalock – Hank’s Homies bid you adieu. It was fun while it lasted.

Outfielders
Josh Hamilton – Obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010
David Murphy – Forget Rusty Greer all right? Anybody think he can be Paul O’Neill?
Julio Borbon – Definitely the kind of player the Rangers desperately need
Nelson Cruz – He is a good player. Can he be a great one or is this enough?
Marlon Byrd – Loved watching him tell the rookies to turn off the football game on Sunday and turn on baseball.
Andruw Jones – Next.
Craig Gentry – Off to Triple A to bide his time.

My take:
Derek Holland: I wouldn’t say I “can’t wait” for his next start. I think if he works hard during the off-season, he can have a stellar year. He has a lot of untapped potential.
C.J. Wilson: I would not call him the most valuable reliever. I think with C.J., you never know what you’re gonna get.
Pudge: I don’t think it will take that much money. I think $3 million for 2 years, or if the Rangers aren’t sure how long he’ll last, then around $1.5 mil for 1 year.
Ian Kinsler: His runs scored and RBIs are good, but he needs to be more reliable. And, most importantly, he needs to work on his swing in the off-season and find out whyhe’s popping everything up!!!
Esteban German: I don’t think it’s an “if the Rangers have room” situation. I think they’ll definitely need a bench player who can step up if anyone gets injured, and who can spell all 4 infielders at regular intervals. He has played mainly 2B and 3B, but he has big league experience at SS and 1B as well. He’s a true utility infielder.
Josh Hamilton: I don’t agree that he’s “obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” If he can perform, it will be great, but I don’t think we can depend on him to perform. You can never predict injuries. I don’t want to trade him, because I think he’s a great addition to a team, whether he can play or not. And when he’s good, he’s really good. But look what this Rangers team did this year without Josh Hamilton!
Julio Borbon: I wouldn’t say that the Rangers “desperately need” someone like Borbon. Borbon has a great OBP, and he’s excellent at stealing bases and manufacturing runs. But he’s got a weak arm for an outfielder, and he’s not good against LHP. Borbon is a lefty outfielder, and we already have Josh Hamilton and David Murphy that are left handed outfielders.
Craig Gentry: Gentry can be the perfect center fielder that the Rangers “desperately need” in 2011, but he needs more experience. If the Rangers decide to take a chance on Gentry like they did on Elvis, it could pay some amazing dividends. But I’m betting that the Rangers put Gentry in AAA all next year.
Marlon Byrd: I don’t know anything about the rookies watching football, but I think Marlon is the “biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” We need him next year. Not only is he an amazing player, he’s a revitalizing force in the clubhouse.

Random Rangers Thoughts: 2010 Starting Rotation

Ron Washington has already said that Kevin Millwood and Scott Feldman are guaranteed a spot in next year’s starting rotation, and that Tommy Hunter, Brandon McCarthy, Matt Harrison, Derek Holland, Dustin Nippert, Guillermo Moscoso, and Neftali Feliz will have to battle for the remaining 3 slots.

Kevin Millwood

Like I said previously, I think a 6-man rotation would benefit Kevin Millwood. He needs more rest between outings. If Ron were to allow that, I’d vote for Hunter, McCarthy, Harrison, and Holland. But there’s not much of a chance of that happening. And I don’t know too much about Harrison, but I think the remaining 3 starting spots should go to one of those 4 guys.
Dustin Nippert
Dustin Nippert did a great job as a starter, but he’s also been good in long relief, and we need somebody that we can count on to give us a good 3-4 innings of relief if needed. He’s also been great in spot-start appearances. Maybe he could be used to spell Millwood in a few starts next season.
Neftali Feliz
I feel like Neftali Feliz has a little more work to do before he gets into the rotation. He needs to work on his consistency before they think about using him as a starter. When he initially was called up at the first of August, he was absolutely phenomenal… for about a month. Then he cracked wide open.

Before September 8, he had an ERA under 1. (!) But since September 8, he’s averaged giving up a walk and a hit per inning. That’s not good. You need to be able to depend on your relievers to shut down games. There was no way that he could have continued at the breakneck pace he was going in his first month in the Bigs. So, as much as I enjoyed watching those performances, I don’t expect to see that absolutely dominant Neftali every time he takes the mound. I mean, for heaven’s sake, he struck out 28 batters in his first 22 innings pitched! Who could keep that up?? But he at least needs to be dependable. If he practices a bunch in the off-season, I would love to see him as a 6th/7th inning guy.

Derek Holland
I think that Derek Holland should have spent this season working through his issues in AAA instead of at the big league level. But nobody asked me. And with Matt Harrison, Brandon McCarthy, Eric Hurley, and Joaquin Benoit all going on the 60-day DL this season, we needed pitching at the big league level. I definitely think that he learned a lot this year, and he will undoubtedly be better next year, but I just wish he could have gained that experience at the AAA level instead of coming up before he was ready. Anyway, I think Derek Holland could be a great addition to our rotation next year (after being in our starting rotation for most of this year), but I would like to see him start off the season at AAA.
Tommy Hunter
As I’ve said several times this year, Tommy Hunter is a hoss. Tommy was very stable and dependable in his stint this year as a starter. He had a few outings last year that didn’t go too well for him, but I think they definitely taught him a lot; especially after his strong showing this year! He has been nicknamed Tommy “Big Game” Hunter, as well as “Big Thunder.” Okay, the boy is big. He’s 6’3′” and listed at 255 lbs. That’s not that big, though. They should leave him alone! Brandon McCarthy and Dustin Nippert are 6’7″ and 6’8″ respectively, but they’re skinny. Especially McCarthy; it looks like a stiff breeze would blow him over.
Brandon McCarthy
One thing Brandon McCarthy will have to work on is staying healthy. During last year’s off-season, he apparently put on 25 lbs to stay stronger and more durable. But it didn’t seem to work, because he spent 3 months on the DL during this year’s season with a stress fracture in his right scapula. If he can stay healthy, he can really do some great things for the Rangers next year, whether that’s in a starting role or as a reliever.
Matt Harrison
I haven’t seen much of Matt Harrison this year. He had some starts for the Rangers in April, May, and June, but I didn’t truly become obsessed with the Rangers until July. He had 4 wins, 5 losses, and 2 no-decisions for a total of 11 games pitched in those 2 1/2 months of work, with a 6.11 ERA. Not too impressive. But in 2008, he had 9 wins and only 3 losses in 15 games pitched. I’m really excited to see what he can do next year for the Rangers.
Guillermo Moscoso
Guillermo Moscoso spent a lot of his time this season shuttling back and forth between Arlington and Oklahoma City. The time he spent in Arlington, however, was in relief instead of as a starter. He got into 10 big league games this year (14 innings), with an impressive 3.21 ERA. I thought that he did a good job in his work for the Rangers, and I think he deserves a chance to prove himself as a starter.

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.

Before Sunday’s game

What happened yesterday and it still makes me sick to my stomach. I had trouble sleeping last night because I kept going over and over it in my mind. And I was there to witness it. Ugh. During the last home game of the season. Fan Appreciation Day my @$$. As a fan, I did NOT appreciate that epic collapse.
Let me start from the beginning, because it’s much happier. And I’m not talking about the beginning of the game, because yesterday’s festivities started an hour and a half before the first pitch.
Elizabeth was supposed to go to the game with me, but some things came up and she wasn’t able to go. So I called all around and couldn’t find someone to go with me. I finally decided to call my friend Rachel, even though I knew she had season tickets, just to get some ideas of who else I could call. But as it turns out, Rachel didn’t have a full season ticket plan… she just had a mini-plan! I misunderstood! So Rachel was able to go, which made me very excited, because Rachel has been one of my best friends since we were 8 years old, and she loves baseball as much as I do! Yay!
It was Fan Appreciation Day at the Ballpark, which meant that from 12:30 until 12:50, the Rangers players were at the gates greeting fans and thanking them. And… JOSH HAMILTON WAS AT OUR GATE!!!

{sigh} Josh Hamilton
So was C.J. Wilson, although he ended up making me very mad in the 8th inning. I couldn’t get Josh Hamilton’s autograph, because he had like 3 guards around him shoo-ing people away, but I got the autographs of C.J. Wilson, Doug Mathis (pitcher), Pedro Strop (pitcher), and Jackie Moore (bench coach). I really wanted to see either Chris Davis or Pudge, because I’ve never met them before (and I have met C.J. and Josh), but hey, I’ll take what I can get! Mike Maddux (pitching coach) and Guillermo Moscoso (pitcher) were also there, but I already have their autographs.

C.J. Wilson
Then we walked around to another gate, and I saw some more players. I couldn’t get their autographs, unfortunately, but I got to see Neftali Feliz, Esteban German, David Murphy, and Omar Vizquel. And I got a great picture of Omar!

Neftali Feliz (center) and Esteban German (behind guard)

David Murphy (it’s dark, but that’s him, I swear!

Omar Vizquel

Pathetic loss in Anaheim

Wow. What can you say to that? The game started at 2:35 Central Time, and I was at work, so I listened to the game through my computer. And I’m glad that I didn’t have to watch it on t.v., because it sounded like it was just pitiful. We ended up losing 12-3.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman took the ball for the Rangers yesterday, and this is usually a very good thing. He went into yesterday’s game with a record of 17-5. He won 12 games on the road for the Rangers this year, becoming a so-called “road warrior.” His last start (against the Angels at home on Saturday, September 19) broke the Rangers’ 5-game losing streak. But the start before that (against the A’s in Arlington on September 14), he showed that he could self-destruct on the mound when he allowed 6 runs over the 6th and 7th innings.

But yesterday, Scooter was having trouble from the start. The first inkling of trouble showed up in the 2nd inning, when he walked two batters with 2 outs, but he got away with it. He wasn’t as lucky in the 3rd inning.

The Rangers were leading 2-0 going into the bottom of the 3rd inning. But by the time Scooter got out of the inning, the A’s were leading 4-2, thanks to a combination of 3 walks and 3 singles given up by Feldman. He gave up 3 more runs in the 4th inning before Ron finally took him out. {Sigh}

Jason Grilli
The Rangers put in 6 relief pitchers yesterday, but I guess that can happen when your starter only goes 3 1/3 innings. Dustin Nippert, Pedro Strop, Willie Eyre, and Guillermo Moscoso all pitched scoreless in their relief outings, but Jason Grilli and Warner Madrigal combined to give up 5 additional runs to the A’s (3 by Grilli, 2 by Madrigal). I don’t know what Grilli’s deal has been since he got back from the DL. And Madrigal is a bit of a question mark as well, because he is fantastic in AAA, but not so good in the Bigs.
Game notes:
Ian Kinsler
*Ian Kinsler stole his 30th base of the season in this game, and if he hits one more home run, he’ll hit the “30-30” mark for the season.
Craig Gentry
*Craig Gentry got his first big league start in this game, but he only got 2 at-bats. Wash pulled him in favor of Nelson Cruz in the 6th inning. Nelly also got 2 at-bats, but neither one got a hit. So poor Craig Gentry still has a .000 batting average in the Bigs, and he has yet to get his 1st big league hit. I really hope he can get a hit before the end of the season! Maybe Wash will give him more playing time after we’re mathematically eliminated.
Taylor Teagarden
*Taylor Teagarden was the starting catcher in this game, and a lot of fans are blaming him for Feldman’s meltdown. I think that’s a bit extreme, but Scooter appears to throw well to Pudge, so it is a bit of a mystery as to why Wash decided to start Taylor yesterday instead of the veteran. But Pudge is starting to get old now, so I guess he needs more rest. Just not when Feldman’s on the mound any more, m’kay?
Josh Hamilton
*Josh Hamilton is expected to rejoin the Rangers’ lineup against Tampa Bay this weekend, either tonight or tomorrow night. Yay, Josh! Michael Young isn’t quite ready to come back yet, although he does hope to get into a game before the end of the season. It just won’t be against the Rays this weekend.
Derek Holland
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Derek Holland (7-12) against the Rays’ James Shields (10-11). Dutch will be trying to break a 5-game losing streak, and he’s been having a real problem with giving up home runs this season. He gave up 3 more home runs in his last start, and he has now given up 25 homers total on the season, higher than any other rookie in Rangers’ history. Shields is apparently a really good pitcher, even though his win-loss record doesn’t really reflect it. He just hasn’t been getting the run support he needs from the Rays this season.

I hate to say it, because I’m always supposed to expect a win from my team, but this pitching matchup definitely favors Shields. I still think the Rangers have a good shot at winning, especially since we swept the Rays the last time they came to Arlington, but if they do win, it most likely won’t be because of Derek Holland. It will be because they had hot bats, or were aggressive running the bases, or because of Josh Hamilton, or something else.