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.
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 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…
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 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!!
Things of note:
*Josh Hamilton, with 2 hits and an amazing catch in the outfield.
*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.
*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’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.
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.
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:
Chris Davis, my husband
Days since CD has been in the majors: 47