Tagged: Joaquin Arias

Trade deadline stuff

Remember at the end of my last post when I was excited about what trades the Rangers might make? Well, they lived up to the hype!

On Thursday, the Rangers traded AA right-handed pitchers Omar Poveda and Evan Reed to the Florida Marlins for infielder Jorge Cantu and cash. Yes!

Jorge Cantu had been linked to the Rangers and several other teams over the last week, so this move wasn’t a surprise. I was just happy to hear that the Rangers had won out!

When Ian Kinsler went on the 15-day DL (a day before Jorge Cantu arrived in Arlington), the Rangers called up Mitch Moreland from AAA to fill his roster spot. But Moreland isn’t a 2nd baseman; he’s a 1B/OF. So I just assumed that as soon as Cantu arrived, Mitch would go back to OKC.

Nope. Moreland went 2-for-4 in his major league debut, and he was pretty good at 1st base too. So the Rangers send Chris Davis back to Oklahoma instead, and they are planning on platooning Cantu and Moreland at 1st base.

On Friday, the Rangers traded AA right-handed pitchers Ryan Tatusko and Tanner Roark to the Washington Nationals for infielder Cristian Guzman and cash. Cristian Guzman is primarily a 2nd baseman, so this makes a bit of sense considering the fact the Ian Kinsler recently went on the DL.

But what are we going to do with Guzman after Kinsler comes off the DL? I read somewhere (but I don’t remember where) that after Kinsler is back, Guzman will be our utility infielder. He can also play shortstop and third.

But what about Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias? I don’t know. I’ve never really warmed up to Arias, so it wouldn’t bother me too much to see him go. I’m reluctant to lose Andres Blanco, though. He’s just shown incredible defensive skills and versatility at 3B, SS, and 2B.

Apparently, Guzman originally vetoed the trade, not wanting to uproot his family. But after realizing that he had a chance to be part of a team that is going to the post-season, he acquiesced. Smart move!

It hurts to lose Ryan Tatusko, because I liked him. At the RoughRiders’ game I went to a few weeks ago, he pitched a complete game shut-out, and it was a joy watching him pitch. But the fact that I have autographs of both Tatusko and Tanner Roark assuages my regret a bit.

On Saturday, the Rangers traded AAA catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to the Boston Red Sox for 3 minor leaguers and $350,000. One of the players hasn’t been decided yet, but the other two are RHP Roman Mendez (short-season A) and 1B Chris McGuiness (high A).

After losing all those players in the Bengie Molina, Cliff Lee, Jorge Cantu, and Cristian Guzman trades (10 players in all), it’s nice to get some more mior leaguers to restock our system. And the $350K will help us sign some of our draft picks from this year’s June draft.

It hurts a little to see Salty go, but maybe a change of scenery will help him. It didn’t seem like he was going anywhere with Texas, and the Red Sox were really interested in him. I’m just sad I didn’t get his autograph while he was here. But I got to pat him on the head!! 🙂

Since my last post:
-The Rangers won Game 3 vs. Oakland, taking 2 out of 3 and winning the series.
-The Rangers lost 2 out of 3 in Anaheim, losing the series.
-The Rangers are now 8 games ahead of the Angels and 8 1/2 games ahead of Oakland. But today is an off-day for the Rangers, so they will either gain or lose 1/2 game on Oakland and LA.
-Josh Hamilton got a cortisone shot in his knee, and he should be able to start on Tuesday in Seattle.

Overall Rangers’ record: 61-44
My Rangers’ record: 13-7
Days ’til my next game: 12
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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.

OFFICIAL 1st game of 2010!!

Wow. Opening Day yesterday was absolutely amazing!

I knew it was going to be crowded, since the game was sold out, but I was stunned at how fabulous it felt to look up into the stands and see all of the seats filled! My heart swelled with pride!

Another thing that surprised me was how supportive the Rangers’ fans were as a whole. I mean, we watched as our players endured a no-hitter through 6 1/3 innings, and we were down 0-3. It was looking pretty bleak. But as soon as the Rangers started showing signs of life, the fans backed them up, cheering so hard that my heart swelled even bigger.

We arrived at the Ballpark at 10:00 a.m., right after the gates opened. And as we were walking up to the gates, I realized I had left my digital camera in the car. Doh! So that’s why I don’t have pictures to post. I took some with my phone, but now I don’t know how to get them off my phone and on my computer. Oh well.

We collected our Opening Day magnetic schedules and several Rangers’ “It’s Time” stickers for the car window. We headed to the Majestic Grand Slam Gift Shop, and found a 3x t-shirt for Daddy that was blue with red sleeves and said “Rangers” in block letters across the front. Daddy was ecstatic, and he’s convinced that he was able to find that shirt because Chuck Greenberg ordered it specifically for him.

Then we headed down to watch the Rangers take batting practice, but I actually spent more time scanning the crowd on the field for familiar faces. Richard Durrett was interviewing Chuck Greenberg, and I saw Evan Grant wandering around. JD even stuck his head out of the dugout for a little bit. But no TR Sullivan. Hmm, where were you TR?

Daddy and I went to find our seats, and we were pretty impressed. We were in section 243, all the way in the corner of the ballpark on the 1st base side. Seriously, our seats were literally in the corner, so Daddy and I had extra leg room. Which is always good, ’cause Daddy is 6’5″ with bad knees. So he has to stretch his legs out.

We just sat for a while, then Daddy decided he was hungry and he went off to find us some hot dogs. I stayed in our seats and read my program. (Vlad was on the cover, holding 2 baseball bats that were on fire! Awesome!)

When Daddy finally got back, he told me he had seen my friend “Dustin Traig” who reads my blog. I had to think about this for a minute, then I said “Oh, do you mean Dustin Troxell?” “Yeah!” he said, “That was it!” Then I had to explain to him that Dustin wasn’t just some random person that reads my blog, but that he was in band with me in high school. I didn’t know that Dustin read my blog! Hi Dustin!!

The coolest part of the pre-game ceremony was when Sgt. Dana Bowman parachuted onto the field. He is retired now, but he was a member of the Army’s Golden Knights when he had both legs severed in a mid-air training accident 15 years ago. 9 months later, he became the first double amputee to re-enlist in the Army. He delivered the ball to Roger Staubach, who threw the first pitch of the game.

I couldn’t help feeling optimistic, even though the Rangers couldn’t seem to get anything started at first. The guy sitting next to us kept joking around and saying things like, “Okay, Little Miss Rangers’ blog, their pitcher’s got a no-hitter going. It’s not looking good.” But I’d just say, “Don’t worry about it. We’ll be alright.”

In the bottom of the 7th, Shaun Marcum walked Josh Hamilton, and I knew it was all over for the Toronto Blue Jays. Vlad followed with the first hit of the game, a single. Runners on 1st and 2nd, down 0-3, Nelson Cruz coming up to bat.

I turned to my dad and said, “Nelly is exactly who you want coming up to bat in this situation!” And he came through, hitting a 3-run homer and tying the game 3-3!

Then in the top of the 8th, the Blue Jays got another run across. But I still wasn’t too worried. I just knew the Rangers could do it!

Bottom of the 9th, down 3-4, we had to do something. And Michael Young was leading off. No problem.

Young started the rally by leading off with a double. Josh Hamilton struck out. Vlad got a single, and we had runners at the corners with 1 out. Then Nelson Cruz came up to bat, and he tied the game up for the 2nd time that afternoon (4-4) by hitting a double, scoring Young and moving Vlad to 3rd base.

The Rangers put in David Murphy to pinch-run for Vlad, and the Blue Jays intentionally walked Chris Davis to load the bases. So it was gonna fall to the bottom 2 guys in the order to get something done. When Saltalamacchia stepped into the batter’s box, I noticed Joaquin Arias warming up in the on-deck circle. Uh-oh. I prayed for Salty to take care of business.

But no need to worry. Salty hit a screamer to the base of the wall in center field, which scored Murphy from 3rd. And those 90 feet were all we needed, even though that hit would have been at least a double. The Rangers won it in walk-off fashion, 5-4. Uh-may-zing!!

The Rangers have an off day today, but they’ll be playing game 2 against the Blue Jays on Wednesday night, then they’ll finish off the series on Thursday afternoon. Next the Mariners will be coming in for Fri-Sat-Sun, and I’ll be at the game on Saturday night.

So I’ve been to 2 Rangers games in 2010, and we’ve won them both!

My Rangers’ record: 2-0
Rangers’ overall record: 1-0
Days ’til my next game: 4

Lots o stuff

Wow. Just yesterday I posted my prediction for the Opening Day rotation, but last night I checked TR Sullivan’s blog and found out that I was apparently completely off. The lefties and righties are still interspersed, like I predicted they would be, but their placement does not appear to reflect skill level. Just to recap, this is what I predicted:

Rich Harden (R)
Scott Feldman (R)
Matt Harrison (L)
Colby Lewis (R)
C.J. Wilson (L)

Here’s what Mike Maddux envisions for the 2010 rotation:

Rich Harden (R)
C.J. Wilson (L)
Scott Feldman (R)
Matt Harrison (L)
Colby Lewis (R)

Rich Harden
Both rotations list Rich Harden as the ace. Duh. But everything else is different.
Usually, the starting rotation reflects a pitcher’s skill level. You’ll often hear the terms “top-of-the-rotation pitcher” and “back-of-the-rotation pitcher” when speaking of starters, and it is generally understood that pitchers at the top of the rotation are more skilled than the pitchers at the back of the rotation.

CJ Wilson

C.J. has done an amazing job in Spring Training, and he has a lot of years of experience in professional baseball either as a starter or reliever. But he does not qualify as a No. 2 starter. For Pete’s sake, he’s been competing for a job all Spring Training! Yeah, he’s worked as a starter in the past, but those experiments all failed. Until he proves himself as a starter, he shouldn’t be our No. 2 man. He should be our No. 5 man.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman was guaranteed a starting job at the end of the 2009 season. He should be the Rangers’ No. 2 starter. Given, Feldman didn’t begin the 2009 season in the starting rotation, but he was our best pitcher last year. He had a 17-win season! Come on, people!
Colby Lewis
Colby Lewis is the Rangers’ only pitcher with a multi-year contract. He has been tearin’ it up in Japan for the last 2 years. He was guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation in 2010. And Maddux puts him as the No 5 starter??? I had him as the No. 4 starter, but only because I wanted to diversify the rotation with a lefty. As far as talent goes, he should be the No. 3 starter of this Rangers’ rotation.
Matt Harrison
Sure, Matt Harrison spent most of the 2009 season on the DL. But he was one of the Rangers’ starting pitchers on Opening Day in 2009, and he amazed in the Arizona Fall League immediately after the end of the 2009 regular season. Plus, he comes into 2010 a full 30 pounds lighter than he was in 2009. That shows dedication. But we knew Harrison was competing for a spot as a back-of-the-rotation starter, so it doesn’t really hurt my feelings that Maddux lists Harrison as his No. 4 man. I only had him at No. 3 because he’s a lefty.

So, to summarize, I think my rotation is better. But then again, Mike Maddux has a pretty stellar reputation. I mean, look at what he did for the Rangers’ pitching staff in his very first year as pitching coach: he brought the team ERA down a whole run. That’s pretty impressive! I trust his judgement, but there was so way I could let this slide without getting my 2 cents in first.

I would also like to interject here at Evan Grant’s projected starting rotation is identical to mine. Grant came up with his prediction on Monday, March 22, but I looked at it just now, and it looks exactly like mine! I guess great minds think alike! It also goes to prove that my assumptions weren’t completely baseless.

Tommy Hunter

On a related note, Tommy Hunter finally admitted today that he won’t be able to open the season as one of the Rangers’ starters. TR Sullivan predicted this first late last week, almost immediately after his injury last Thursday evening.

Anyway, today Tommy grudgingly admitted that he wouldn’t be ready by Opening Day. But he does think he’ll be ready by April 8, just 3 days later. Wishful thinking?? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

With the starting rotation pretty much figured out, Evan Grant has predicted the following 7 players for the Rangers’ bullpen: RHP Frank Francisco (closer), RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Darren O’Day, RHP Brandon McCarthy, RHP Dustin Nippert, and RHP Doug Mathis.

Jamey Newberg thinks it will be RHP Frank Francisco (closer), RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Darren O’Day, RHP Dustin Nippert, RHP Doug Mathis, and RHP Chris Ray.

As much as I admire Evan and Jamey, I think the Rangers will need more than one lefty in the bullpen. Darren Oliver is a fabulous pitcher, but I’m not sure he will be able to fill all of the club’s needs for a lefty reliever by himself.

Derek Holland

Derek Holland will almost certainly find himself starting in AAA. The Rangers will want to keep him stretched out as a starter in case he’s needed in the Bigs in 2010. Ben Snyder seems to be the only other viable lefty option, but he has been unimpressive so far in Spring Training. Maybe Jon Daniels will sort through other teams’ “trash piles” and grab another lefty reliever off waivers or the Rule 5 Draft. JD’s always got something up his sleeves. 🙂

Brandon McCarthy
While I agree that Brandon McCarthy is worthy of the big league club, he may prefer to stay a stretched out as a starter down in AAA rather than join the big league ballclub. Doug Mathis can fill the Rangers’ needs for a long reliever/spot starter. And I don’t know anything about Chris Ray, since he was only acquired by the Rangers this off-season (received in the trade for Kevin Millwood).

In other news, the Rangers have made what appears to be a bit of progress in finding a utility infielder. Hernan Iribarren, who was nabbed off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, cleared waivers with the Rangers today and was outrighted to AAA. So apparently they don’t see Iribarren making the big league club.

Also today, the Rangers announced that they had traded pitcher Edwar Ramirez (recently acquired from the Yankees and rumored to be trade bait) to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Gregorio Petit. Petit’s experience has been primarily at shortstop, which is what the Rangers have been looking for.

This search for a utility infielder has been exhausting. The Rangers will need 2 guys to do what Omar Vizquel (SS/2B/3B) and Hank Blalock (1B) did last year. First there was an almost-trade for Mike Lowell (1st/3rd baseman) in the early off-season, but he failed the physical, so that put the kibosh on those dealings. Then we got Khalil Greene, and it looked like everything was going to be just fine.

Wrong.

The Rangers had an influx of new infielders vying to win the SS/2B job, but they all seemed to be lacking. Joe Inglett, Mitch Hilligoss, Hernan Iribarren, and Erik Morrison joined Esteban German, Joaquin Arias, and Ray Olmedo in the pursuit of a utility infielder for the Rangers. But none of them were a very good fit.

Now that a month of Spring Training has passed, Matt Brown is looking like the frontrunner for the backup 1st/3rd baseman, and he has shown quite a bit of pop in his bat this Spring Training. Could Gregorio Petit be the SS/2B the Rangers have been searching for?

TR Sullivan doesn’t think so. He predicts that Petit will play SS in AAA, now that Ray Olmedo has been traded away. And apparently, the Rangers are still looking at veteran infielders Augie Ojeda (Diamondbacks), Ramon Vazquez (Pirates), Kevin Frandsen (Giants), and Willie Bloomquist (Royals).

Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler is planning to get into a Spring Training game next Monday, March 29. This will give him one week to practice in game situations before Opening Day. This sounds great. I just hope Kinsler’s ankle really is okay by Monday, and he doesn’t cause more health problems for himself that end up keeping him out of regular season games. If he does have to miss, I guess we’ll be seeing our newly minted utility infielder sooner than we thought!

 
The only other question remaining for the starting lineup? Catcher. It will be the best/healthiest two out of Salty, Taylor Teagarden, and Matt Treanor. Who knows?

I just know I’m excited for the season to start. Vlad Guerrero in a Rangers jersey!!! SqueeeeEEEEE!!!

12 days ’til Opening Day!!

It’s September 1st…

…and that means that the Rangers are expanding to a 40-man roster! I’ve read from several sources that the Rangers are definitely adding pitchers Guillermo Moscoso and Warner Madrigal, who are already on the 40-man roster. Eddie Guardado and Esteban German will also be reactivated from the 15-day DL, but they were already on the 40-man roster too. Willie Eyre (also on the 40-man) will probably be called up in a few days as well, but he was optioned to AAA last week and has to wait 10 days before being called back up.

But some other names have been mentioned that will have to be added to the 40-man roster, and I’m not sure who the Rangers are planning on dropping to make room.

Craig Gentry, an outfielder from AA Frisco, has reportedly been called up, as well as catcher Kevin Richardson from AAA Oklahoma City. And pitcher Brandon McCarthy has been on the 60-day DL (and thus not on the 40-man roster), but he’s being activated too.

So who will the Rangers drop? Thomas Diamond or Omar Poveda? They’re both AA pitchers that the Rangers have on their 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. Or Luis Mendoza? He threw a no-hitter in AAA a few weeks ago. Max Ramirez or Jarrod Saltalamacchia? I guess it’s possible that they could add Salty to the 60-day DL, which would drop him from the 40-man. Joaquin Arias? He didn’t do too well during his stint in the Bigs this year. Brandon Boggs or Greg Golson? Boggs has big league experience, so they’ll probably be calling him back up.

But why did they call up an outfielder from AA? I mean, sure, he’s a great AA player, but is he ready for the Bigs? We already had 5 outfielders on the 25-man roster, as well as 2 more on the 40-man and another one on the 15-day DL. Hmm…

YAY!!! WE WON!!!

Finally!! Yesterday, the Rangers took the last game of the 4-game series against the Oakland A’s, which they desperately needed to do. Now they can go play a series against their rivals, the Angels, on a high note. Okay, so it’s not as high as it would have been if we could have gotten a sweep of the A’s, or at least if we had split the series. But it’s definitely better that having to face your strongest opponent after losing 4 games straight to the worst team in the division. {shudder} Thank goodness that didn’t happen!

 
Okay, I’m not going to go into as much detail with this game summary, because frankly I don’t remember too much from the game. It was on during the day, so I had to listen to it on my computer while I was working. And I love baseball, but I gotta bring home that paycheck. My job is what enables me to go to so many games. And while I would absolutely LOVE to make my living writing about baseball, I’m not quite there yet. With that in mind, here we go…
 
Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter was our starting pitcher yesterday, and he’s one of our many young rookie pitchers who has been impressive this season. His last outing was unfortunately a bit of a disappointment, and he took the loss against Seattle. That was the game I missed because I was trying to persuade my mom and step-dad to let me take my step-sister to Oklahoma to see our AAA team. When I heard that we lost the game, I decided not to bother watching it, even though I Tivo’d it. Anyway, I was pretty confident that Tommy could shake off his last failed start and throw some good stuff. And he did! Tommy allowed 3 runs in 7 innings against the A’s, and the Rangers offense showed up again last night, putting 6 runs on the board to support him. With Nelson Cruz’s recent ankle sprain, the Rangers will probably need to bring up another outfielder from AAA, and that means sending down one of our 8 relief pitchers currently stocking our bullpen. Going into our series with the Angels, our bullpen really needs to be well-rested, and Tommy was able to pull that off by going 7 innings for the Rangers. Good job Tommy!
 
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, a.k.a. “Salty”
The A’s scored 2 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning, helped in part by a throwing error by Jarrod Saltalamacchia (catcher). Salty came out of the game in the 2nd inning, due to a sore shoulder, so Taylor Teagarden ended up catching the rest of the game. Great, another injury. Now we’ve got Ian Kinsler (2B) on the 15 day DL with a sore hamstring, Nelson Cruz (OF) day-to-day with an ankle sprain, and Salty with a sore shoulder. So our paltry bench went from 3 players to 2 players and it’s now done to just 1 guy. I really hope Salty’s not out too long! I’ve gotta say, Wash (that’s manager Ron Washington), it’s been great having an 8-man bullpen, but seriously, our guys are dropping like flies! We need some back-up players!

Hank Blalock

But Tommy didn’t let the A’s scoring early get into his head. And I suppose it didn’t hurt that the Rangers scored in each of the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings. Of course, since it’s the Rangers we’re talking about here, one of their 6 runs came off a home run by Hank Blalock. That’s Hank’s 21st home run this year! Seriously, what is it with the Rangers and all of their home runs?? You know what, I don’t even care. It doesn’t even matter. Nice job, boys!
C.J. Wilson
After the 7th inning, Frankie Francisco did a great job as the “set-up man” in the 8th inning, and Wash brought in C.J. Wilson to “close it out” in the 9th. And, of course, he gave up another run. Dammit, C.J.! I’ve seen C.J. do a fabulous job shutting down hitters, but lately it’s been taking him a little while to settle down on the mound before he can take care of business. Well, at least it was just the one run. We got the win, that’s all that matters, right? Right.
 
Scott Feldman
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (10-4) against the Angels’ Joe Saunders (9-6). Oh crap, Joe Saunders, he’s good! The Rangers also have to face Jered Weaver(11-3) and John Lackey(7-4) in this series with the Angels. Man, can’t we get a break? Geez. Okay, moving on. Scott just needs to buckle down, and he can take Joe Saunders. I mean, Saunders is just a guy, like anyone else. Remember, the Rangers had to face Josh Beckett and the Red Sox earlier this year, and they took care of that with no problems. It’s okay, we got this. I’m behind you, Scott!
 
 
In other news…:
Elvis Andrus
-I think Tommy Hunter looks like a cute little baby. I just wanna pinch his chubby little cheeks! 🙂 That’s kind of becoming a theme for our team, since we have so many young players. And time keeps inevitably marching on for me, as I get older and older. But I swear, they’re sooo young! We’ve got 20-year-old Elvis Andrus (SS), 21-year-old Neftali Feliz (P), 22-year-old Derek Holland (P), and just-turned-23-year-old Tommy Hunter (P). Freakin’ A, man! Geez, I’m getting old! My dad thinks I should start hanging around RoughRiders games and try to marry one of those players, before they get famous. I said “Dad, they’re like 22 years old!” And he said “So what? It’ll keep you young!” Thanks, Dad. He just wants a famous ballplayer in the family.
Omar Vizquel

-Thank you, Wash, for sending Joaquin Arias back down to AAA and bringing up Esteban German. Maybe Arias was just nervous Monday and Tuesday, but German did a solid job yesterday. It was also nice to see Omar Vizquel back on the field. His bat isn’t too dependable, but his defense is an absolute pleasure to watch! There is nothing more beautiful than a well-executed double play! Yes, I know that makes me a baseball nerd. And I don’t care.

-I’m getting anxious for poor Chris Davis. He’s been wasting away in AAA for over a month now. (Well, he’s not wasting away, he’s actually doing a really good job down there, but you know what I mean.) I understand why he went down in the first place (to work on his hitting), and I understand why he’s still down there now. With Ian Kinsler hurt, the Rangers had to bring up an infielder to play SS/2B. Chris is a utility infielder, but he plays 1B/3B, and they don’t need that right now. Michael Young (3B) and Hank Blalock (1B) are healthy. So I understand the whole situation. But I still want Chris in the Bigs. He deserves to be up here, there’s just no space for him right now. Hence the anxiety.

Michael Young
-Michael Young currently has a 13-game hitting streak. Last year, he apparently had a 16-game hitting streak. Let’s see if we can beat that one, Mikey!
 
-Just FYI, I’m going to San Antonio this weekend, so this will be my last post until Sunday or Monday. Don’t worry, I’m Tivo-ing the games, and I’ll do all the summaries when I get back.
Kasey Kiker
-I may get free tickets to see the RoughRiders (the Rangers AA team) play in Frisco on Monday night. If I get to go, I’ll do a blog entry about that too. If I get the free tickets, I’m sure my dad will go with me, and he’ll probably try to pimp me out to Kasey Kiker. He’s 21!! Nice, Dad! See below for the younger guy I actually DO have a crush on 🙂
 
 
 
 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis
Days Since CD has been in the majors: 33
We miss you Chris!

Game 2 loss against the A’s

Okay, so as I said in the previous post, the sudden loss in the bottom of the 9th inning during the first game of the series was heartbreaking. But I had hoped that would give the Rangers incentive to come out of the field and play their hearts out last night. Not so. They all just looked weary and frustrated, as if they all need a day off. Well, supposedly our AAA team, the RedHawks, are playing in Sacremento, which is only 90 miles away from Oakland. So maybe Wash could call up the entire RedHawks roster to play the A’s tonight. Lord knows they could probably beat the A’s.

Our AAA team, the Oklahoma RedHawks

The Oakland Athletics are the worst team in our division. Which really isn’t saying too much when you consider that our division is only made up of 4 teams, and it includes the Rangers, the Angels, and the Mariners. The Angels are nigh unbeatable right now, with the Rangers in 2nd and the Mariners trailing not too far behind. But the A’s have a losing record this year. That means that over all of the 100+ games they’ve played this year, they lost more games than they won. Not impressive. And the Rangers, who are supposed to be in contenders for the post-season, are gonna let them win not once, but twice? Seriously??

Gio Gonzalez
Okay, enough editorializing for now. Last night’s pitching matchup put Derek Holland against Gio Gonzalez. And after Derek Holland’s last outing, in which he threw 8 2/3 innings of near-perfect ball, I wasn’t scared. The Rangers were going to rally after the previous night’s excuse-me loss, right? Right?
Derek Holland

Wrong. Derek started off by giving up a solo home run to Kurt Suzuki, and it just got worse from there. But the whole thing definitely wasn’t Holland’s fault. There were several goofs, bloops, weird hops, brain farts, and errors. Well, officially, only one error. But the whole thing was kind of a “comedy of errors,” if you will.

Kurt Suzuki

Here’s where I go into my previously-promised rant about Joaquin Arias. What in the hell was that kid doing out there?? You’d think he was playing Little League. He was highly touted in AAA, and he did a good job for the Rangers in his short stint in the bigs last year. But dude, what the hell??

Joaquin Arias

The whole thing wasn’t Arias’ fault either. The Rangers only had 5 weak hits the entire game, and they just couldn’t put runs on the board. Michael Young said after the game, “The name of the game is scoring runs, and we didn’t.” Marlon Byrd chimed in, “We stink. … That’s my quote.” So they knew they weren’t getting anything done, but they just couldn’t do anything about it. Talk about frustrating!! The Rangers were shut out last night, with a final score of 6-0.

Vicente Padilla

Tonight’s pitching matchup: Vicente Padilla (8-5) against Chad Reineke (0-0). I don’t know; there’s no point in trying to predict the winner from the starting pitchers if the Rangers won’t play ball.

My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis, my husband
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 31