Tagged: Jason Jennings

Loss against Yankees

Well, I guess it’s really good that we won the first game in this series, even though it was an ugly win. Because we lost the second game. But it wasn’t necessarily an ugly loss; it was just boring. The Rangers just weren’t able to do much against the Yankees’ veteran pitcher Andy Pettitte. The final score was 9-2.
Derek Holland

Derek Holland had a decent start, but it was by no means spectacular. It didn’t really seem like he lacked confidence, he just didn’t have the best stuff. He battled, and he did a pretty good job, except for a 3-run homer to Jorge Posada in the 2nd inning. He gave up another home run last night in the 4th inning – a solo shot to former Ranger Jerry Hairston, Jr.
 
I guess when you take into account that 1) Dutch gives up a fair amount of home runs, 2) the Yankees lead the majors in home runs, and 3) more home runs have been hit in Yankee Stadium this year than in any other park in the majors, it doesn’t really add up to a successful night for the Rangers.
David Murphy
Even though the Yankees lead 4-0 after the 4th inning, the Rangers looked like they were getting ready to fight back. David Murphy drove in both of the Rangers runs, with an RBI double in the 5th and a solo home run in the top of the 7th, to cut the Yankees’ lead to 4-2. Murph wasn’t even in the original lineup last night, but when Marlon Byrd had to go to the hospital with kidney stones, he stepped in. Great job! I’m guessing that Murph will be back in the game today, because Marlon is still having pain. Anyway, Murphy was on a roll helping to get the Rangers back in the game. But then came the bottom of the 7th and Jason Jennings.
 
Jason Jennings
Dutch started the 7th inning, but left after giving up a double to Robinson Cano and walking Jerry Hairston, Jr. He wasn’t able to get any outs So JJ came in with 2 men on base and no outs, and Wash was hoping JJ would be able to shut down the Yankees. Yeah, that didn’t exactly happen.

Melky Cabrera hit a sacrifice bunt, but due to a fielding error by Jennings, he was able to reach base safely. So now, instead of a man on 1st and 2nd and no outs, they had the bases loaded with no outs. Lovely.

Then Derek Jeter singled, scoring Cano and Hairston. 6-2 Yankees. Great. Then Nick Swisher doubled, driving in Melky Cabrera. 7-2 Yankees. Fantastic. Then Mark Teixeira singled to score Jeter and Swisher. 9-2 Yankees. Freakin’ A, are you kidding me??

Doug Mathis
The Yankees scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 7th before A-Rod hit into a double play to finally put a damper on the rally. When the 8th inning came around, Doug Mathis took the mound to pitch for the Rangers instead of JJ.
 
Pedro Strop
And today, I read on several blogs that the Rangers DFA’d Jennings (Designated For Assignment – meaning they’ve removed him from the 40-man roster), and they brought up 24-year-old minor league pitcher Pedro Strop to take his place. Coincidence? I think not. JJ hasn’t been doing too well in his last few outings, but this seems a little severe. In the next 10 days, the Rangers will have to decide whether they want to 1) place JJ on waivers, 2) trade him, or 3) release him.
Dustin Nippert
Today’s pitching matchup: Dustin Nippert (4-2) against the Yankees’ A.J. Burnett (10-7). I know the Rangers would love to come back and win this game, since it would mean that they win the series. And Dustin Nippert has done a pretty fabulous job for us this season, so we’ve definitely got a shot. But I predicted that we would only win one game in this series, and we already won the first game, so I won’t be too disappointed if we lose.
 
Terminology: Games like these are often called a “rubber games,” or the “rubber match” of the series. That means they’re a tie-breaker. I wiki’d “rubber match,” and apparently the term comes from some English game called “bowls,” which is supposedly kind of like bocce ball. Whatever. Anyway, the third game of a series is called a “rubber game” when the the first two games were split (meaning one game was won by each team), and the third game determines who wins the series.
 
Originally published August 26, 2009

Game 2 loss against Twins

One of the very few downsides to a team that’s doing as well as the Rangers are doing right now is that when they actually do lose, it seems like it hurts more. I guess it’s because we’re not as used to losing this year. But when the Rangers lose a game, it’s like, “What?? They lost?”

Even though the Rangers weren’t able to notch another W, last night was still triumphant because of the return of Pudge. I’m still glowing about that. The news had apparently already spread, and there were fans with “Welcome Home Pudge” posters all over the place. Even though he didn’t play last night (he just sat in the dugout), the whole place looked to be buzzing with energy. It’s really sad that the Rangers couldn’t pull this one out. They are now tied with Boston for the AL Wild Card. The final score was 9-6.

 
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman definitely didn’t have his best stuff, but he seemed to be doing pretty well with the stuff he did have for awhile. The Rangers leapt out to an early 5-0 lead after the bottom of the 3rd inning, helped in part by a 3-run homer by Ian Kinsler. Joe Mauer hit a solo home run in the top of the 4th, making it 5-1, but the game didn’t really start to unravel until the 6th inning. By the time Scooter left the mound, after getting the first 2 outs of the 6th inning, the Twins has evened up the score 5-5.
Wash finally got Feldman out of there and brought in Jason Jennings from the bullpen. And JJ promptly loaded the bases before getting the final out of the inning.
Omar Vizquel
The bottom of the 6th was pretty interesting, and the Rangers briefly re-took the lead (6-5) on a boneheaded move by Twins reliever Philip Humber. Omar Vizquel and Julio Borbon were both able to get on base with singles, and then Michael Young hit a soft ground ball back to the pitcher. And as Omar was heading into 3rd base, the pitcher tossed the ball to the man he assumed would be covering 3rd to try to get Omar out, or at least to hold Omar at 3rd base. But there was no one there. The ball went rolling away, and Omar was able to score.
 
mmm, Joe Mauer 🙂
Then Joe Mauer came up to the plate in the top of the 7th and hit another solo home run to tie the score up again (6-6). That guy is just unbelievable! Mauer went 3-for-5 last night, with an RBI single in addition to his 2 home runs in the game, bringing his RBIs up to 3 for last night (77 total this season). Seriously, his batting average for this season is .383!! Will you marry me?? I have a feeling that this guy will be breaking some of Pudge’s records in the near future.
 
Jason Jennings
After Mauer’s 2nd home run, JJ gave up a single, then got 2 outs, and then he gave up a 2-run homer to Delmon Young, bringing the score to 8-6. Doh!
 
And the Twins added another run in the top of the 8th, just to add insult to injury.
 
Well, I predicted yesterday that the Rangers would take 3 out of 4 games in this series, and we’ve already got our loss, so I guess we’ll be winning the next 2 games!
 
Things of note:
Hank Blalock
*Hank Blalock took a walk last night for the first time since July 10! Maybe Hank read my blog yesterday! He also had a triple in the game. It was so funny to watch Elvis Andrus in the dugout as Hank got that triple; he was grinning as wide as he could and jumping up and down just like a little kid! Classic!
 
Julio Borbon
*Julio Borbon had another 3 stolen bases last night, which accounted for half of the Rangers’ steals over the course of the evening. I guess Joe Mauer isn’t so great after all, huh? 🙂
 
Chris Davis
*Chris Davis reportedly has a hamstring injury. It’s not supposed to be serious, but he was out of the lineup in AAA on Monday, and he was the DH in last night’s AAA game. Could this be keeping the Rangers from bringing him back up? I know he’ll be here by September 1 at the latest, but I’d like to see him here sooner than that!
  
 
 
Kevin Millwood                                                                                                                        Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Kevin Millwood (9-7) against the Twins’ Scott Baker (10-7). Well, Kevin Millwood’s supposed to be our ace, and the incomparable Pudge Rodriguez will be his battery mate tonight, so I don’t really see how we could lose. 🙂 Plus, like I said earlier, I predicted that we would take 3 out of 4, so we have to win!
My daily Chris Davis fix:
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Days since CD has been in the majors: 45
 
Originally published August 19, 2009

Rangers head to Tampa Bay on a high note

Yay! The Rangers were able to get the win against the Minnesota Twins last night, meaning that they split the series. They’re about to start a 10-day, 9-game road trip (to Tampa Bay, New York, and Minnesota), and it’s good that they can start this road trip on a high from the W.

Derek Holland
And who was it that pulled out the win for us again last night? That’s right, it was Derek Holland. Well, really, it was the whole team. They seemed pretty quiet and subdued the previous 2 nights, during their losses to the Twins. Maybe they were intimidated by Pudge or something. But last night, they were confident and happy. We didn’t just beat the Twins last night; we crushed them with a score of 11-1.
 
Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd started off the barrage of runs by the Rangers by hitting a solo home run during his first time up to bat, in the 2nd inning. Then, during his 2nd at-bat of the night, he got a 2-run homer. That’s right, Byrd went deep twice in last night’s game, during his first 2 trips to the plate. And in between Marlon’s 2 home runs, Julio Borbon drove out his first jack of the year (a solo shot), bringing the score to 4-0.
 
Just like the previous 2 nights, the Rangers were shutting out the Twins early in the game. Minnesota got a solo home run to lead off the 5th inning, bring the score to 4-1, but Derek Holland was able to shut them down after that. And just like the previous 2 nights, the 6th inning was a big run-scoring inning. Except this time, the runs were scored in the bottom of the 6th instead of the top of the 6th.

The familiar pattern started to emerge again last night when Dutch started struggling in the top of the 6th. But this time, when Wash yanked his starting pitcher with the bases loaded and only one out, he decided to put in…

NEFTALI FELIZ!!
 
YAY!!! Seriously, they need to paint an “S” on his chest and tie a cape around his neck. Has he done anything yet that isn’t amazing?? Feliz threw 2 pitches in the 6th inning before inticing the batter to hit a line shot up the 3rd base line to Michael Young, who then fired the ball to Hank Blalock for an inning-ending double play. And BAM, just like that, he was out of the inning! He came back out to pitch the 7th inning, followed by Willie Eyre in the 8th and Jason Jennings in the 9th, and none of those guys allowed any more runs by Minnesota.
 
Nelson Cruz
Nelson Cruz lead off the bottom of the 6th inning with a home run, which had to help his confidence level. Then Taylor Teagarden worked a walk, followed up by 3 back-to-back doubles (by Elvis Andrus, Julio Borbon, and Michael Young), which scored one run each. Josh Hamilton singled, moving Michael Young to 3rd base, and Marlon hit a sac fly to bring Michael home. That’s 5 runs in the 6th inning! By the RANGERS!! WOO HOO!!
Josh Hamilton
Things of note:
*Josh Hamilton, with 2 hits and an amazing catch in the outfield.
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*2 home runs by Marlon Byrd, as well as a spectacular diving catch of his own, 4 RBIs and a walk. Even with all of the amazing things done by every single Ranger in this game, I would still probably have to call Marlon the MVP of this game.
Hank Blalock
*An unassisted double play by Hank Blalock.
 
*All 9 Rangers in the lineup last night got a hit
 
*Derek Holland + Neftali Feliz = oodles of Rangers’ fan love
Julio Borbon
*Julio Borbon’s first home run of his major league career
 
*Nelson Cruz hitting a home run in his first game back from the DL, as well as getting a bunch of fly ball outs in right field.
*The Boston Red Sox won last night, so we’re still 1 game back in the Wild Card race, BUT the Angels lost, so we moved up to 5 1/2 games back in the AL West. Tampa Bay also lost last night, so they’re 3 games behind us in the Wild Card race. And we’re heading out to play Tampa Bay tonight, so we have a chance to gain some ground against them. 
Scott Kazmir
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Dustin Nippert (4-1) against Scott Kazmir (7-7). Oh man, Scott Kazmir, my stomach just dropped about 3 feet. He’s really good. I think I’m sufficiently scared. He’s pitched for the Rays since 2004, but his stats don’t look as good this year. So maybe there’s not as much to be scared of as I thought. His career ERA is a respectable 3.94, but this season it’s an unimpressive 6.36. And he doesn’t have a winning record this year; in fact, he just brought his win-loss record back to even with his last start.
Dustin Nippert
And we all know how much I love Dustin Nippert. He impressed the hell out of me with his 2 spot-starts and his emergency long-relief outing earlier this season. I had been calling for the Rangers to get rid of Vicente Padilla and to put Nippert in his spot for weeks, and they finally listened! So I have plenty of confidence in Nippert, but the Rangers don’t do too well on the road, and they are facing Scott Kazmir tonight. Scary, remember? So they could choke. But I really hope they don’t!
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
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Days since CD has been in the majors: 47
 

Game 1 against Minnesota Twins

Joe Mauer

As I said I would, I went to the Rangers game last night. And we won, 8-5! YAY! It was the first time the Rangers had scored 8 runs in a game withiout a home run since June of 2006. Joe Mauer did some great things for the Twins, getting a solo home run of his own, along with a single, a double, and a stolen base. Plus, he’s pretty easy on the eyes. 🙂 But their one good player couldn’t compete with our team full of good players.

Tommy Hunter
The Rangers scored 7 runs against Twins’ pitcher Francisco Liriano in the 1st and 2nd innings combined (3 in the 1st inning and 4 in the 2nd inning). Tommy Hunter wasn’t too great, but he did a decent job. Thank goodness the Rangers bats were alive and kicking! Tommy had some trouble settling down during the first 2 innings, and he gave up one run in each of those innings, making the score 7-2. But then Tommy was able to get things under control, and when he left the game, the score was still 7-2 Rangers.
 
Francisco Liriano
I can’t believe the Rangers chased Liriano from the game after only 2 innings of work. He has since gone on the disabled list with a “tired arm.” HA! Sorry, thay’s not nice. I really don’t wish him any ill will, it just struck me as a little bit funny. Justin Morneau had to come out after the 4th inning with dizziness. Yeesh, I hope he’s okay too! That kind of sucks for the Twins!
Darren O’Day
Tommy came out of the game after 5 2/3 innings with 2 men on base, and Darren O’Day took the mound. And I don’t know what the problem was, but the poor boy had trouble getting the ball over the plate! He walked another batter to load the bases, then he walked in a run!! After that, he gave up a 2-run single, bringing the score to 7-5.
 
Neftali Feliz
So Wash had to pull O’Day and bring in Neftali Feliz, who was able to get a ground-out to end the inning. Feliz stayed in to pitch the 7th inning too, and he had another perfect inning, although his velociy was a bit slower than usual. It was pretty funny at the game; everyone would watch Feliz throw to the plate, then turn their heads to the ribbon scoreboard to see how fast the pitch was! Hysterical! The highest speed I saw after a pitch was 95 mph, but the Rangers website says Feliz hit 97 mph. I just must have missed it.
 
Jason Jennings and C.J. Wilson combined to pitch the 8th inning, and Frank Francisco came on to close out the game in the 9th.
 
Random notes:
Ian Kinsler
*Ian Kinsler was hit by another pitch last night. What the hell??
 
 
Hank Blalock.jpg*When I referenced our “team full of good players” above, the 2 guys that I wasn’t talking about were Hank Blalock and Andruw Jones. Hank was the only Ranger last night that didn’t get a hit. Hank has had 120 at-bats since the All-Star Break (or somewhere around there), and you know how many times he’s walked? Zero. Big fat goose egg. He needs to be more patient at the plate, and quit swinging for the fences all the time! He’s batting .239, which seems pretty decent, but when you consider that he hasn’t had a batting average that low since 2002, the situation starts to look a little more dire. Seriously, when do they finally realize that Hank is doing diddly-squat and that they need to bring Chris Davis back up?? I love you, Chris!! I miss your awesome-ness!
Andruw Jones
And Andruw Jones seems like a really great guy, but he’s having a pretty craptastic year. True, he did have that one 3-home-run game this year. But overall, he’s batting .222. When a guy comes to the plate and I have next to no faith that he’ll get a hit, that’s sad. And batting Blalock and Jones next to each other in the lineup is really bad, Wash. Seriously.
 
Kevin Richardson
*Kevin Richardson made his major league debut last night, and he went 2-for-4 with a run scored! Nice!
*The Rangers are now 17 games over .500
 
Scott Feldman
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (12-4) against the Twins’ Carl Pavano (10-9). Pavano was traded to the Twins from the Cleveland Indians on August 8, and he is currently 1-1 as a Twin. He is 0-1 against the Rangers this year. He lasted just one inning in that game, facing 12 batters and giving up 9 (!) earned runs during the outing. What can I say? Scooter’s got more wins. After watching the Rangers win last night, I think we’ve got it. Although, in this 4 game series, I predict that the Rangers will lose 1 and win 3. And we already got one win last night. So we’ll have to see.
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
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Days since CD has been in the majors: 44

Heartbreaker versus BoSox

Oh man, this one hurt. You remember the first game in Oakland where we lost it in the bottom of the 9th? Yeah, it’s like that.

Kevin Millwood
Kevin Millwood started off the night by throwing 5 2/3 scoreless innings, but the Sox really wore out his arm in the process. He just had to throw too many pitches. Millie came out of the game immediately after walking Mike Lowell in the 6th inning, with the score in the Rangers’ favor at 2-0. [Back in the 1st inning, Omar Vizquel got a lead-off walk, and Michael Young came up behind him to hit a dinger, giving the Rangers their 2 runs.] Millie had already gotten the first 2 outs of the inning, but he knew he just couldn’t get that third out.

David Ortiz
So Wash took Millwood out and brought Eddie Guardado in from the ‘pen to face David Ortiz with a man on 1st base. Eddie and Big Papi are really good friends off the field, going back to when they both played for the Minnesota Twins from 1997-2002. And unfortunately, as Papi is known to do, he hit one out of the park, tying up the score at 2-2.
That was the first sign of trouble.
 
Marlon Byrd
It didn’t seem like the Rangers had too much to worry about, though. In the bottom of the 6th, Marlon Byrd hit a double that was immediately followed up by a single from Andruw Jones, allowing Marlon to score. And so the Rangers took the lead again, 3-2. They also manufactured another run in the 7th, taking full advantage of Taylor Teagarden’s walk. Elvis Andrus bunted Taylor to 2nd base, then Omar Vizquel singled to allow Taylor to get to 3rd base. Next Michael Young got a pop fly, allowing Teagarden to score. So the Rangers went into the top of the 9th inning leading the Red Sox 4-2. Two runs is a pretty comfortable lead, right?
Wrong.
Franky Francisco
Frank Francisco, our closer, came in to pitch the 9th inning. This gave me no reason to worry, since Frankie Frank normally does a solid job in these situations. I mean, that’s why he’s our closer, right? Because he can come in during a close game and keep the other team from scoring. Oh, Frankie! What am I gonna do with you, m’boy? First David Ortiz hit a double, then Jason Varitek got a single, moving Papi to 3rd base. Next Jacoby Ellsbury got a single, allowing Ortiz to score and moving Varitek to 2nd. That brought the score to 4-3.
 
Clay Buchholtz
They brought in rookie pitcher Clay Buchholtz as a pinch runner to replace Varitek on 2nd base, and Frankie struck out the next batter. Okay, good, one out. Then Dustin Pedroia came to the plate and bounced a double to left fielder David Murphy. Luckily Murph is a superb ballplayer, and Clay Buchholtz doesn’t have much experience with running the bases. Murphy was able to hit the cut-off man, Michael Young, with no problem, and Michael whipped around to fire the ball to Taylor Teagarden at home plate. And Clay Buchholtz was tagged out a home!! What a beautiful play! Now there were 2 outs in the inning. If Frankie had been able to get the next batter out, then we still could have won the game right there.
No such luck.
Jacoby Ellsbury
Victor Martinez came up to bat next, and he hit a double, allowing both Ellsbury and Pedroia to score. So now the score was 5-4 in favor of the Sox. If it had ended there, we might have been able to come back in the bottom of the 9th to tie it up.
But it didn’t end there.
 
Jason Jennings
Next Jason Bay singled, scoring Victor Martinez. 6-4 Sox. Freakin’ A, have they batted around in this inning yet?? Will the runs ever stop?? Then J.D. Drew came to the plate, and he knocked one out of the park, bringing the score to 8-4. After Drew’s homer, Wash finally took Frankie out of the game and brought in Jason Jennings to get the final out. So the Rangers went into the bottom of the 9th inning knowing that they would have to score at least 4 runs to have a chance at winning the game. And that was just too big a defecit for the Rangers to overcome. So we lost the game 8-4. Sad day.
 

I’m not going to talk about “tomorrow’s pitching matchup” because I’m a little late getting this summary out and they’ve already played the next game. I won’t keep you in suspense… we won!!! But it’s too late to post that game summary too. It’s already 1 am, and I need to go to bed. Tomorrow’s game is a 1:05 p.m. start time, so I’ll try to get the next game summary out tomorrow morning (well, I guess technically it would be this morning, since it’s after midnight). Anyway, I’m off to bed, so I’ll leave you with a little CD to lift your spirits…

 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis

Days since CD has been in the majors: 41

game summary 7/29/09

I decided that I needed to quit being a baby and go ahead and give you a recap of last night’s game. Do I love baseball any less just because the Rangers happened to get a L instead of a W last night? No, the answer is: I still love baseball exactly the same, so I’m gonna suck it up and give you the review you deserve. I am NOT a fair weather fan. So here we go.

Justin Verlander
You know how I talked about the scariness of Justin Verlander yesterday? Yeah, well, the combination of Verlander and a Tigers’ offense that was sick of losing the last couple of days was more than the Rangers could bear.
Scott Feldman

Curtis Granderson pulled the same move on Scott Feldman last night that he pulled against Tommy Hunter during the first game of the series: he homered during his first at bat. But this didn’t necessarily have to spell disaster for the Rangers; they came back to win that first game against Detroit. But unfortunately, Scott didn’t have very good control of his pitches last night, and he walked the bases loaded before the end of the first inning. Feldman ended up getting out of that first inning without any more runs scoring, but he threw 37 pitches in the first inning alone. To put that in perspective, Tom Grieve explained that if Scott’s pitch count was 37 after two innings, we would consider that a little high. I got the feeling after the first inning that Scott wouldn’t be pitching for too long.

Guillermo Moscoso
And I was right. They pulled Scott after just 2 1/3 innings, but by then, he had already given up 6 runs. Guillermo Moscoso, who was just pulled up from AAA, came in to pitch 3 1/3 innings of relief, giving up another 3 runs to the Tigers. Andruw Jones hit a solo home run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and the Rangers started a mini-rally in the bottom of the 5th inning, scoring 3 runs and cutting Detroit’s lead in half. But the Rangers’ bats just couldn’t keep up with the Tigers’ bats.
Andruw Jones
Andruw Jones ended up hitting two solo home runs last night, with his second one coming in the 9th inning, but Curtis Granderson ended up with two home runs of his own. And Granderson’s second homer wasn’t a solo; there was one on base. So poor Andruw Jones hit 2 home runs in one night and was still overshadowed. I guess he’ll have to have another 3 home run game to get any recognition.
Curtis Granderson

Tonight’s tentative pitching matchup: Derek Holland against Garrett Olson. Actually, the Mariners’ starter is more of a question mark, since it’s Erik Bedard’s turn to start, and he’s on the disabled list. Olson just seems like the best guess for now. And I really hope that the Rangers don’t start Derek Holland tonight, especially after how long the bullpen had to pitch in last night’s game. We all know that Derek is still trying to work on his stamina as a starter, and he usually can only last about 4 innings. But our bullpen had to pitch 6 2/3 innings last night! Luckily only 2 of our bullpen pitchers threw more than 20 pitches, making them ineligible to pitch in relief tonight. Darren O’Day threw only 12 pitches and Jason Jennings only threw 18, so they’re still relatively fresh for tonight if they’re needed. And we have a pretty deep bullpen, in addition to a well-stocked farm system. But please, for goodness sake, start Nippert! Our bullpen has been doing great lately, but don’t try to push them too hard!

who knows?

With the starting pitchers unknown on both sides, it’s more difficult to predict which side will walk away with the win tonight, but I’m still fairly confident betting on my Rangers. After last night, they’re humiliated! Nobody likes losing, but at least if the loss comes after a close game you can hold your head up high. But last night the Rangers just got decimated. You could see the frustration and the desperation on the players’ faces. They hated having to lose like that. And I know that tonight, they will NOT let that happen again. Their egos can only take so much!

My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 25
 

oh $h!t

Well, everything started off fine. We were leading 3-0 after the top of the 4th. The Royals got 1 run in the bottom of the 4th, but we were still leading 3-1.

Derek Holland

Then came the bottom of the 5th, when Derek Holland gave up another 3 runs to the Royals. They yanked Derek Holland after 4.2 innings and brought in Jason Grilli to try to stop the bleeding, but to no avail. By the time the 5th inning was over, the Rangers were losing 4-3. Grilli came back to pitch in the 6th inning, and he did a good job of shutting down the Royals. Then Jason Jennings came in to pitch for us in the 7th inning, and he gave up 2 more runs to make it 6-3. Willie Eyre took over in the bottom of the 8th, in his first outing since his fight with the flu, and he did a good job too. But the damage was already done. So ends our winning streak.

Notables in this game:
1) Due to the nasty flu going around the clubhouse, Ron Washington had a kind of piecemeal line-up tonight. Absent were David Murphy, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and Elvis Andrus tonight.

2) Michael Young came up with 3 hits tonight, the first of which was a solo home run in the top of the first inning. Good job Mikey!

Michael Young

3) Omar Vizquel made a gorgeous play at short-stop, which actually resulted in the Royals’ manager being ejected from the game. Omar went after a line drive between 2nd and 3rd, caught it barehanded, and launched it to Hank Blalock at 1st with barely a pause. The batter was really hustling on his way to first, and he almost beat the throw, but on the replay it was clear that Omar got the ball to Hank before the runner’s foot hit the bag. The Royals’ manager, of course, went out to argue the call with the 1st base umpire, as is customary for a close play. But things must have gotten pretty heated in the argument, because pretty soon, the ump ejected him from the game.

Omar Vizquel

In watching the Rangers’ post-game show on FSN Southwest, one of the viewers tweeted the following question: “What will Washington do with Holland after 2 subpar starts? Keep him in the rotation or move him back to the bullpen?”

Hmm, that’s a good question. And Steve Busby’s answer sounded pretty similar to what I opined yesterday about Derek Holland: There are 3 options. 1) Wash could keep Holland in the starting rotation in the majors, 2) move him to the bullpen in the majors, or 3) send him down to AAA to get some work as a starter. Buzz and I both agree that Derek Holland will be a great starting pitcher sometime in the near future. But we’re not really going to be able to depend on Holland to start for us every 5th day in the majors, so the 1st of those 3 options is pretty much ruled out. Maybe we can use him for spot-starts as we keep him in the bullpen, but the kid really needs to practice and get chances to succeed. Of course, Ron Washington could decide to keep him in the starting rotation and hope for the best. Who knows? It’s not a question with a cut-and-dried answer.

Tomorrow’s pitching lineup: Our ace Kevin Millwood, who has been doing an amazing job, against Sir Sidney Ponson, who hasn’t been doing too well of late. Ponson has 1 win and 6 losses so far this season. And yes, I did say “Sir” Sidney; he was knighted in his home country of Aruba in 2003. Interestingly enough, Ponson was a Ranger at the beginning of last season, and I met him on Photo Day last year. He was kinda weird. Just my impression. 🙂

Kevin Millwood
I’m totally confident that the Rangers can come back tomorrow to take the series. The Royals were getting desperate after 10 losses in a row, but after their single win tonight I think they’ll lose that fervor. And we can take them tomorrow; there’s no doubt in my mind.
Sir Sidney Ponson
Originally published July 25, 2009