Tagged: H Blalock

Rangers in a 4-game skid

With last night’s shut-out loss (5-0), the Rangers have now lost 4 games in a row. They’re tired, and they don’t have anything to play for anymore. I don’t know if they can pull out of this funk before the end of the season.

Derek Holland
Derek Holland got the start last night, and he actually did a pretty impressive job. He pitched 6 1/3 innings and gave up 8 hits (but no walks) and 4 earned runs. He seemed to be confident, and he definitely had his stuff, but he couldn’t get any run support. He had a perfect game going through the 3rd inning, then ran into a bit of trouble in the 4th inning. But he battled through it and came back out to take the mound in the 5th and 6th innings.

Last night was Derek’s last outing of his rookie year, and I feel bad for him because he didn’t get a win. He deserved a few more wins this season, but there were a couple of times throughout the season when he just couldn’t get the run support from our offense. He definitely pitched better in this outing than Kevin Millwood did in his last outing, when Millie got the win because of an 11-run inning by the Rangers’ offense last week. And what about poor Brandon McCarthy, who pitched 7 2/3 shut out innings last week before the bullpen gave away the game? {Sigh}
Julio Borbon
Five different Angels’ pitchers combined to hold the Rangers to just one hit over their 9 innings. The hit came from Julio Borbon, our lead-off hitter, in his very first at-bat. It looked like a good omen when Julio got that hit his first time up, but it turned out to be just a fluke. And Julio was quickly erased as he got caught trying to steal 2nd base. I don’t know what happened with that attempt, because he’s usually really good at stealing, but he was thrown out by Angels’ catcher Mike Napoli several feet away from the bag.

Ian Kinsler
The Angels’ pitchers combined to give up 5 (!) walks in last night’s game, but the Rangers couldn’t make anything happen. Ian Kinsler was walked 3 times, and Julio Borbon and Craig Gentry were each walked once. The only Angels’ pitcher not to give up a walk was the former Ranger Darren Oliver. I always liked him, and he’s still got great stuff, even though he’s about to turn 39 and he’s nearing the end of his career.
David Murphy
David Murphy made a great catch in the bottom of the 1st inning, when Chone Figgins hit a long fly ball to left field. The ball would have hit off the top of the wall for a home run if David had’t slammed into the wall with his arm outstretched to snag it. You could tell that it hurt, and he had to take a few moments to recover, but I don’t think he did any lasting damage. That catch reminded Tom Greive of earlier in the season, when Murphy hit the netting in front of the big screen in left field at the Ballpark in Arlington, and the camera got that amazing shot of him bouncing off the netting. I had forgotten about that! 🙂

Hank Blalock
Hank Blalock had to leave the game in the 4th inning with a mild concussion. Erick Aybar laid down a bunt, and in trying to tag the runner out, Blalock lunged for Aybar just as Derek Holland accidentally kicked/kneed Hank in the head while trying to get to 1st base to cover. Andruw Jones replaced Blalock at 1st base, with CD still out with the sore hammy.
Craig Gentry
Also in the 4th inning, Craig Gentry showed his amazing arm strength by throwing out Erick Aybar at third base after a sacrifice fly by Vladimir Guerrero. Vlad hit one deep to center field, and Gentry threw an accurate one-hopper to Michael Young at 3rd base, who laid down the tag with plenty of time to spare. Even the Angels’ announcers remarked about what an amazing throw it was!

Game Notes:

Marlon Byrd

*Marlon Byrd didn’t start last night’s game, but he said he is not finished for the year. He is definitely going to try to play again sometime in the next 4 games.
Chris David (my husband)
*Chris Davis was out of the starting lineup for the 2nd time in a row last night due to a sore hamstring, but he said that he hopes to be well enough to play in today’s game. Yay!! I was getting worried that maybe I had seen the last of CD this year, and I wasn’t ready for that yet! Plus, Andruw Jones scares me at 1st base. I know he won a bunch of Gold Gloves, but that was as a center fielder! Playing in the outfield is waaaay different from playing in the infield!

Kevin Millwood
Today’s pitching matchup: Kevin Millwood (12-10) against John Lackey (11-8). Like I said earlier, Millie’s last outing was a disappointment, but he was saved by the Rangers’ offense. His previous start before that was masterful, but that was after 10 days rest and lots of extra bullpen work. So I’m not too hopeful about Millwood’s start today. BUT… John Lackey has a big mouth, and I don’t think the Rangers like him too much. If they can fuel that anger into a productive game, they might be onto something. Lackey has also struggled in his last 2 starts, and he’s given up 10 earned runs in his last 11 innings. I think they have a good chance today. Please, they have to break this losing streak before the end of the season!