Tagged: loss

Game 2 loss in Seattle

Tommy Hunter took the mound for the Rangers yesterday, and even though he did much better in this outing than in his last outing, he got the loss. Poor guy.

Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter kept the Mariners scoreless through his first 3 innings, but he gave up 1 run each in the 4th and 5th innings, which was all the Mariners needed to get the win. Tommy gave up 2 runs on 9 hits in his 4 1/3 innings of work against the Mariners yesterday, but he unfortunately didn’t get very much run support from the Rangers’ offense, with just one run in 9 innings by the Rangers.

The Mariners took the lead in the bottom of the 4th inning with a solo homer by Ken Griffey, Jr. It was Griffey’s 19th home run of the year (his second off Tommy Hunter this year), for a major league total of 630.

Ichiro Suzuki
Then, in the bottom of the 5th inning, Tommy got into a bit of a pickle by giving up a lead-off double to Josh Wilson. Then Ichiro hit a single to put runners at the corners wit no outs.Then Franklin Gutierrez got an RBI single to left field, scoring Wilson and putting the Mariners up 2-0.
Jason Grilli
Jason Grilli came in next with the difficult job of getting 2 outs with the bases loaded, and he pulled it off without letting any more runs score! He struck out Adrian Beltre swinging and got the next batter to fly out to center field, ending the inning. Way to go, Grilli!
Neftali Feliz
Neftali Feliz came in to pitch an inning of scoreless relief in the 6th inning, and he did a good job in what was most likely his last outing of this year. He gave up one walk and he hit a batter, but he was able to get out of the innng without any damage.

Elvis Andrus
In the top of the 7th inning, Elvis Andrus got an RBI double for the 2nd night in a row to put the Rangers on the board. Chris Davis started off the inning by getting a double, and then Andruw Jones came up behind him and worked a walk. Elvis Andrus hit a fly ball to right field that should have tied the game at 2, but it bounced out, making it a ground-rule double and forcing Andruw Jones to stop at 3rd base with no outs. The Rangers had 2 runners in scoring position with no outs, but they weren’t able to get anyone else home.
Darren O’Day
Darren O’Day and C.J. Wilson each pitched an inning of scoreless relief, but the Rangers weren’t able to do anything else offensively, and the Rangers ended up losing the game 2-1. Darren O’Day is ending this season with an ERA of 1.99, doing a fabulous job for much of 2009. I really hope we can bring him back next year!

Scott Feldman
Today’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (17-7) against “King” Felix Hernandez (18-5). This game will be the Battle of the Aces. King Felix is really scary, so it will be interesting to see how Scooter and the Rangers do against him. Feldman’s name was mentioned in Cy Young contention a few times this year, but with his performances of late, he is no longer in serious contention. King Felix is still a front-runner for the Cy Young, though, so hopefully the Rangers can do something against him. Scott is 2-0 against the Mariners this year, and if he Rangers can win this game, they will end the season with 88 wins. That just sounds better than 87 (probably because it IS better).

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!

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.

Different type of loss

The Rangers officially played their way out of the AL West playoff race last night with an 11-0 loss to the Angels. It wasn’t the kind of loss that made me sick to my stomach, though. They didn’t lead the entire game and then lose it in the las 2 innings, like on Sunday. No, in this game, they were pretty much pummeled the entire time. I’ll do a more comprehensive summary of the highlights (and lowlights) from this season later, but for now, let’s get on with the game summary.

Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter took the mound for the Rangers last night, and I was feeling pretty confident with him there. Besides Scott Feldman (who has had some issues lately), Tommy has been our most reliable starter. But he’d been showing a little bit of inconsistency lately. In his last start (in Anaheim), he retired the first 10 batters he faced, but then he squandered a 4-0 lead in the 5th inning. We ended up winning the game 9-8, but it was a close one. I figured Tommy could write off that last outing as a close call, and then he would just get back to business.

But man, Tommy completely folded yesterday. He had to come out of the game after giving up 7 runs (6 earned) in just 2 1/3 innings! He gave the Angels 7 hits and 2 walks during his short tenure on the mound. It is the only time in his 18 starts this season that he has failed to go at least 5 innings.

Mike Maddux (left), with Omar Vizquel
I can’t decide who to blame for last night’s debacle. Perhaps if the Rangers’ defense had been up to par last night, Tommy would have looked better. Pitching and defense go hand-in-hand. Mike Maddux has been preaching “Pitch to contact” all season, and if the Rangers are doing their job defensively, they can usually grab those batted balls for an out. Tommy was getting the Angels to hit a lot of ground balls, but they kept finding the holes in our defense.

However, “pitch to contact” only works if you can get the other team to hit weak grounders, and none of those hits last night were weak. The Angels made good contact. So it was probably a deadly combination of Tommy not having his stuff and the Rangers’ defense looking like it was stuck in molasses. It was definitely a comedy of errors last night.

The Rangers were charged with 3 errors last night, and all of them were fielding errors: one to Ian Kinsler, one to David Murphy, and one to Marlon Byrd.

Ian Kinsler
Ian Kinsler looked lackluster, both in the field and at the plate. His error happened early, in the 1st inning, when he missed catching a routine pop-up, but luckily he was able to recover and throw out the runner heading to 2nd base. He had 2 of the team’s 7 hits, but he just seemed distant.
 
Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd hustled, like he always does, and he had a couple of “almost-catches.” He leapt at the wall and almost robbed Kendry Morales of a 2-run homer in the 1st inning, but the ball missed his glove. It looked like he hurt himself slamming into that wall, but hopefully not too badly. Then, in the bottom of the 6th, he bobbled a ball hit by Vlad Guerrero, and he got an error for that one. But he was really trying the entire game, and he was obviously so frustrated with his performance. He was genuinely angry after striking out to end the top of the 6th inning. He was yelling at himself and shaking his head and calling himself “stupid,” along with some other choice words that I can’t repeat in this forum.
Julio Borbon
Julio Borbon chased a couple of balls around in the left field corner, making him look like an idiot. Which he obviously isn’t. The ball just kept rolling away from him. I don’t really know if Borbon’s supposedly “weak” defensive skills had anything to do with those plays, or if nobody would have been able to get to them. Wash has been hesitant to play Borbon in the field, opting to mostly DH him during his time in the Bigs, due to his lack of skill in the outfield. Borbon has reportedly been working with the Rangers’ coaches on his defense,and he will continue to work on that in the off-season.
The Angles scored 3 in the first inning, 1 in the second, 3 in the third, 1 in the fourth, and 3 in the sixth to get their 11 runs. And the Rangers didn’t score at all.
Michael Young
Michael Young had a very noble effort though. Rejoining the starting lineup for only the 2nd time since September 1, Michael surprised everyone by getting 2 hits in his 3 at-bats, including a double in his very first trip to the plate. Normally, when a player has to  miss time because of an injury, he gets the chance to make a couple of rehab starts in the minor leagues before re-entering the lineup in the Bigs. But since the minor league baseball season ends before the major league season, Michael didn’t have that chance. It took Josh Hamilton 7 at-bats before he got a hit after his most recent comeback. But Michael produced in his first opportunity! Yay Mikey!
Game Notes:
*Our boys had to watch the Angels celebrate as they clinched the AL West title, which had to be difficult. I know they were frustrated with their performance last night. But the Angels worked hard for it and they won it. That’s it.
*I’m hoping that the Rangers will relax and just play baseball now that they’re eliminated from the West. They are technically still in the Wild Card race, but the only way they can win that is for the BoSox to lose all of their remaining games and for us to win all of our remaining games.
Scott Feldman
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (17-6) against “Ranger Killer” Scott Kazmir (9-9). Kazmir dominated against the Rangers while he was with the Tampa Bay Rays, and he seems to have gotten even better for the Angels. During his last start against Texas, on September 18, he shut us out. That was a game I went to, when Kazmir was matched up against Tommy Hunter, and our guys were at the tail end of their 5-game skid. And the Rangers just could not score. Scooter has had some trouble of late. In his last outing, he gave up 7 runs in 3 1/3 innings against the Athletics. BUT… he’s 3-0 with a 3.28 ERA in his starts against the Angels this year, and he’s the only pitcher in the Bigs to have 3 wins against the Angels this year.

Can I write this without throwing up?

Brandon McCarthy

Okay, so now for the game. Brandon McCarthy was our starting pitcher yesterday, and I was a little nervous to have him take the mound. In his first two starts since spending 3 months on the DL (Sept 1 & Sept 8), he did a spectacular job. He went 6 1/3 innings in each start and got a pair of W’s. But in his 2 starts after that (Sept 15 & 22), he went 3 innings in the first outing and only 5 1/3 in the second outing, and he got two losses. So naturally, I was apprehensive.
Chris Davis (my husband)
But Brandon returned to his resplendent nature, going 7 2/3 (!) scoreless innings. The Rangers were leading 5-0 at this point. Then, with two outs in the 8th inning, one of the Rays reached base on a fielding error by Chris Davis, who was playing 3rd base. That seemed to be the real turning point for the game, although what continued to happen in the 8th and 9th inning was not CD’s fault. And I’m not just saying that because I think he’s cute. You’ll see why. Anyway, the Rays’ singled next, so there were runners on 1st and 3rd with 2 outs.
Darren O’Day
Then Wash decided to pull McCarthy in favor or Darren O’Day. And O’Day couldn’t get an out. He walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. Then he gave up a single, allowing 2 men to score, and the game wasn’t a shutout any more. All Darren had to do was get one out, and instead, he gave up 2 runs. 5-2 Rangers. So Wash decided to call on C.J. Wilson to get the final out.
CJ Wilson
Unfortunately, C.J. couldn’t stop the bleeding either. He also couldn’t get that last out. C.J. allowed the first batter he saw to get an RBI single, scoring another run and bringing the score to 5-3 Rangers. Then C.J. hit the next batter to load up the bases. And Wash finally got his fill of C.J.

Frank Francisco

He decided to try his closer, Frankie Francisco. And Frankie struck out a batter, finally ending the inning with the Rangers still on top 5-3. I mean, as Wash always says, “He’s our closer.” Bottom line. He’s the guy we depend on to close down the opposition so that the Rangers can get a win. Oh, if only he could have done that for us last night!
Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd added another run in the bottom of the 8th inning with a solo home run, which was his 20th of the year. Yay Marlon! That gave the Rangers what we thought was a bit of breathing room, making it 6-3 Rangers.

But then Frankie Frank came back out to pitch the 9th inning. And he promptly walked the first batter he faced. Then he struck out the next guy. Okay, no problem, now we can end this game with a double play ball.

Except we didn’t get a double play next. The next batter singled, and there were runners on 1st and 2nd with one out. Okay, it’s still manageable, nobody has scored yet. Then the Rays got an RBI single to score another run. 6-4. And yet Ron still left Frankie in there.

Frankie walked the next guy, then allowed a single on a grounder to right field, scoring 2 more runs. And we were tied up 6-6.

Neftali Feliz

Then Ron finally decided to pull Frankie Frank. I could see Neftali Feliz warming in the bullpen, and I was not too confident about him coming in. For the last few weeks, he’s struggled with his command. But Nefti came through. He got two outs to finally end the top of the 9th. But the very first batter laid down a Suicide Squeeze bunt to score Evan Longoria and give the Rays a 7-6 lead.
Julio Borbon
It’s okay, we still have the bottom of the 9th to tie it up or get the win. Except they couldn’t get anything done. Chris Davis worked a walk with 2 outs, but then Julio Borbon (pinch-hitting for Taylor Teagarden) hit a fly ball to center field to end the game. That was it.

A lot of people talked about what Wash should or shouldn’t have done to prevent the loss, but as I always say, “Hindsight’s 20/20.” It’s easy for us to play Monday Morning Quarterback when the game is already over. Wash couldn’t have known what the outcome would be, he just did what he thought was best in that instant.

Omar Vizquel
Some people said he should have put Omar Vizquel at 3rd base for the 8th inning, because he’s a 13-time Gold Glove winner, and then Chris Davis wouldn’t have made that error and we could have gotten out of the 8th inning. But the bottom line is that Chris Davis is a good 3rd baseman, and he rarely makes errors, so there was no way to know that would happen.

Some people think Wash should have pulled Frankie after he got the final out in the 8th inning, and he should have put Neftali Feliz for the whole 9th inning. But how could Wash know Frankie would have trouble with his control? He’s our closer, that’s his job. Like I said, Nefti’s had problems with control too. There was no way to know.

Andruw Jones
Some people thought Wash should have pinch-hit for Andruw Jones, who was the first guy up to bat to lead off the bottom of the 9th. I’m personally not a big Andruw Jones fan, because he hasn’t contributed very much during the second half of this season, but Wash had confidence in him. Unfortunately, Wash’s confidence didn’t bring the rangers a hit, and Andruw flied out. But who’s to say that pulling a sore Josh Hamilton off the bench would have been a better move?

Josh Hamilton

Or some said he should have used another pinch-hitter besides Julio Borbon after Chris Davis. But Julio is usually very good at getting on base, so I see why he did it. Now, I personally would probably have pinch-hit Borbon for Andruw Jones, because he’s used to being our lead-off guy. Then I probably would have used Josh Hamilton or Michael Young (who Wash said was available to pinch-hit yesterday) to pinch-hit for Teagarden. But like I said, I don’t know if that would have worked. That’s why I’m not the Manager; I’m not good at stuff like that. So I trust Wash. Back off, people!
Game notes:
*The Angels won yesterday, so their Magic Number is now at 2. That means that if the Angels win 2 of their last 7 games or if the Rangers lose 2 of their last 7 games, the Angels win the division. Our next 4 games are against each other, so the only way the Rangers can stay in this thing is for the Rangers to sweep the next 4 games with the Angels, then the Angels would have to lose 2 out of their remaining 3 games (against a red-hot Oakland) and the Rangers would have to win 2 out of their remaining 3 games in Seattle. Not too likely. {Sigh}

*If they had lost this one after a close game that was hard-fought till the end, I would have been disappointed, but not nearly as heartbroken. To be cruising along with a 5-run shutout, and the lose it because of a run of bad luck by 3 relief pitchers, it just makes me stomach hurt.

Tommy Hunter
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Tommy Hunter (9-4) against the Angels’ Ervin Santana (7-8). Oh yikes, that’s kinda scary. But I have a lot of confidence in Tommy. Like I’ve said before, he’s a hoss. He doesn’t seem to get too intimidated when going up against big-name pitchers. And Santana doesn’t seem to be doing very well this year. The last time he pitched against the Rangers, on July 8 in Anaheim, he lost, giving up five earned runs in four innings. Over his 15 career starts against Texas, he is 7-6, with a 6.67 ERA. And he’s only 7-8 for the year. With the Rangers’ adrenaline because they’ll be playing their series rivals (and the team that stands between them and the playoffs), I think they can pull off a win.

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.

Game 2 loss in Anaheim

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy went to the mound for the Rangers’ last night, and he did a pretty good job. He wasn’t ‘masterful’ or anything; he had some problems locating his pitches, but he did a reasonable job. The main things that lead to our insulting 9-1 loss were 1) a missed ball by Nelson Cruz immediately followed by an error by Ian Kinsler, and 2) Willie Eyre.
Nelson Cruz
With one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Brandon McCarthy walked Jack Cust. Then, with two outs, Daric Barton hit a hard line drive to right field. Nelson Cruz tried to drive for the ball, but he missed, and it went behind him into the outfield. As Cust rounded third base and attempted to score, the cutoff man, Ian Kinsler, threw the ball high over catcher Pudge Rodriguez’s head and the ball went skipping towards the backstop. Brandon McCarthy tracked down the ball and tried to throw Daric Barton out at home, but the ball was wide, allowing Daric Barton to score.
Ian Kinsler
The play was officially called a triple for Barton with a throwing error by Ian Kinsler. But Nelly shared some of the blame, because he should have either caught the ball on a hop and blocked it from rolling into the outfield or he should have made dang sure that he could catch that ball before diving. And obviously Kinsler made an error by overthrowing the plate. But Brandon McCarthy could have thrown the second runner out at home if his throw had been accurate. If those Little League mistakes hadn’t happened, the score would have been 0-0 or 1-0 A’s at the end of the 2nd inning, instead of 2-0.
But those pesky Athletics kept at it. Daric Barton got an RBI single in the bottom of the 4th inning, scoring Ryan Sweeney. 3-0 A’s.
David Murphy helped the Rangers fight back a bit when he hit an RBI double in the top of the 6th inning, scoring Elvis Andrus. 3-1.
Neftali Feliz
Ron Washington pulled Brandon McCarthy after 5 1/3 innings, and he brought in Neftali Feliz. Uh-oh. After watching Feliz absolutely dominate the first 30 or so batters that he faced after his call-up in August, I never would have guessed that I would be this apprehensive about seeing him take the ball in September. {Sigh} Feliz walked the first batter he saw, but Pudge nursed him through and we were able to get out of the 6th inning with no more runs scoring.
Willie Eyre
But then, Willie Eyre came out to pitch the bottom of the 7th. I have no problems with Willie Eyre; he usually does a pretty good job of holding things together when he comes in during the later innings. But not last night.
By the time that Wash pulled Eyre (after only 1/3 of an inning) and put in Doug Mathis, the Rangers were losing 8-1. Yep, that’s right, he gave up a total of 5 runs on 6 hits. I’d call that a pretty epic blowout, wouldn’t you?
Then, to add insult to injury, Pudge had 2 passed balls and Guillermo Moscoso had 2 wild pitches to account for another run in the bottom of the 8th inning. 9-1 A’s. Just great.
Josh Hamilton
Game notes:
*I really hope that Josh Hamilton can come back to the lineup soon. He’s supposed to be close. We really need team leader Michael Young, but the consensus seems to be that he’ll stay out a while longer. 😦
*The Rangers didn’t lose any ground last night to the Red Sox or to the Angels, since both of those teams lost yesterday too.
Tommy Hunter
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Tommy Hunter (8-4) against the A’s Clay Mortensen (2-2). I have full confidence that Tommy can go out there and do a fabulous job tonight. Tommy’s coming off a loss in his last start, which was Friday night’s game against the Angels. I didn’t think that was Tommy’s fault as much as it was the Rangers fault for not getting any runs, since we lost 2-0. That was our 4th shut-out in 5 games. It wasn’t pretty. Mortensen’s a rookie too, just like Tommy, and his stuff doesn’t appear to be too shabby either, so we’ll have to see what he’s got.