Tagged: Tom Grieve

Just Say No

A few days ago, I started hearing rumblings about the Rangers and Manny Ramirez. Uh oh…

Last year, the same rumors began to circulate after Manny was put on waivers in late August. I prayed fervently that Manny would stay away. And he went to the Chicago White Sox, so the Rangers escaped unscathed.

I can only wait and hope the same thing happens again this year.

With the signing of Adrian Beltre, something like this was bound to happen. With Michael Young moving to DH/1B, Vladdy was practically guaranteed not to re-sign with the Rangers. Vladdy wants to play every day, and that’s not gonna happen on the Rangers in the near future.

So the Rangers are looking for a big right-handed bat to come off the bench late in games. (They want him to be right-handed because Mitch Moreland is a lefty, and Moreland would be riding the bench if Michael Young was in the game at 1B.)

Jim Thome was a possibility, but he’s a lefty. And he also decided to re-sign with the Twins for 2011, so he’s no longer an option.

There aren’t too many veteran righties left on the market at this point. It’s pretty much down to Vladdy and Manny. And we already know that Vladdy wants a more active role.

{Sigh}

I’m not saying that I won’t root for the Rangers if Manny is playing here, or even that I won’t root for him when he’s up to bat, but I’d rather have someone else.

I used to like Manny. I remember when the Red Sox has their heyday in the early 2000’s (culminating with their World Series win in 2004), and I loved to watch Manny alongside Johnny Damon and Big Papi.

But soon after, I started hearing lots of negative things about Manny. He publicly discussed his displeasure with the BoSox and requested a trade. It was suggested that he was not a team player.

Then during a game in 2008, Manny was shown slapping teammate Kevin Youkilis during a spat in the dugout. He had another altercation with the Red Sox’s traveling secretary, with Ramirez allegedly pushing him to the ground.

He also stopped hustling on the field, and Red Sox fans assumed it was because of his desire to be traded. But it may have had something to do with sore knees. Who knows?

Manny spent most of the next 3 years with the Dodgers, which just caused me to like him even less. I hate the Dodgers. They’re my least favorite NL team, and their my 2nd most hated team in all of baseball (behind the Yankees, of course).

During the 2009 season, Manny was suspended for 50 games because he voilated a drug test. He tested positive for HCG, which is a female pregnancy hormone thought to help reset an athlete’s body after a steroid cycle.

Later in the 2009 season, it was released that Manny had also failed a drug test in 2003.

The Dodgers put him on waivers in late August, and on August 30 of 2010, Manny was claimed by the Chicago White Sox. His performance for them was decidedly lackluster during his 24 games. Now he’s a free agent, and the threat of Manny looms on the horizon.

TR Sullivan reported today that the Rangers, Angels, and Rays are all in the mix for Manny. MLBtraderumors.com agrees, they report that the Rays are also discussing a deal with Johnny Damon. So if the Rays get Damon, does that mean they’ll quit pursuing Manny? {Gulp}

Manny is reportedly very focused on baseball, and he’s had some amazing stats. But if he’s been taking steroids for at least the last 7 years, his accomplishments are greatly diminished.

With all of the stunts he’s pulled in the last decade, I’d just rather not have him in Texas. Period.

In other news, John Rhadigan has been named to replace Josh Lewin as the play-by-play announcer on television. I think I like this, but I won’t be able to give a definitive diagnosis until after I hear him call a few games.

You know who I would love to see calling games on tv? Steve Busby. I love when they bring him in to talk pitching. But he probably would need to be the color guy as opposed to the play-by-play guy.

I love Tom Grieve; he’s a very nice guy and he’s Mr. Ranger. But I would prefer Busby over Greive any day. Can’t you just imagine Buzz and Rhads together?

Well of course you can, because you’ve seen them do pre- and post-game shows together. It would be awesome, I’m telling you.

Maybe some day.

This weekend is the first 2-day Rangers’ Fan Fest, and I’m excited/nervous. It’s at the Arlington Convention Center this year, which is definitely different from having it at the Ballpark. But last year it didn’t get above freezing all day at Fan Fest, and spending most of the day outside was not easy.

So at least we won’t be cold this year. But I’m dreading all the running back and forth. I’ve seen the layout, and it looks like I’m going to be running around or standing in line all day tomorrow. All by myself, because I couldn’t find anyone to go with me. Great.

A crushed pelvis + arthritis + a long time on my feet = lots of pain for Katie. And since it’s a 2-day thing, if I get up on Sunday morning incredibly sore and beat up, I’m screwed. But it’s a new experience, so we’ll see how it goes. Maybe I’ll bring my cane.

I just need to remember that if I don’t get somebody’s autograph, it’s not the end of the world. I’ll get it later. I shouldn’t push myself too hard, but just try to have fun! Woo hoo!!!

Oh, I just remembered that I hadn’t told you about the autographs I got last weekend. The Rangers Winter Caravan made a stop at the Dr. Pepper Ballpark in Frisco (I LOVE that place!), and there were a lot of guys signing autographs.

For myself: David Murphy, Dave Anderson, Steve Buechele, and Mitch Moreland
For my step-dad Larry: Derek Holland (smeared everywhere unfortunately) and Chuck Greenberg
For my dad: Steve Buechele, Tommy Hunter, and Mitch Moreland

My step-sister Faith went with me, and we had a BLAST! So hopefully this weekend will be more of the same!

Pitchers and catchers report in: 26 days

…and it all comes full circle

David Murphy
Last night, I went to an autograph session at the Academy store in West Plano. Josh Hamilton was there, so I took off work early and made a beeline for Plano. David Murphy was there too, but he only stayed for a few minutes, because he was really sick. That was okay with me, because I already have a David Murphy autographed baseball.
Josh Hamilton
Each fan could get Josh to sign one thing, so I had him sign a copy of his book (which I made Daddy go buy yesterday while I was at work), and dad had him sign a baseball. I wanted a Josh Hamilton baseball too, but Daddy made a point of specifically telling me, “Uh-uh, you can’t have my baseball, I’m keeping this one.” “Okay, Daddy, you keep your baseball. I’ve got the book,” I said, secretly disappointed. But there was no way I could blame him. I mean it’s Josh Hamilton!

Jim Sundberg, aka “Sunny”

I went over to the other table to get autographs from Jim Sundberg (Rangers’ Hall of Fame catcher), Jon Daniels (GM), and Tom Greive (former player and manager, current TV announcer). As I walked past JD, he nodded at me and said hi, so I took the opportunity to tell him, “I’m going to be working for you someday. Just FYI.” He didn’t seem surprised, he just said, “Oh really? What do you do?” I said, “I have an English degree, so I can write, edit, do press releases, or whatever you want. I have a Rangers blog.” TR Sullivan was there, and he chimed in, “Yeah, this is that girl that I wrote the article about on Christmas.” JD didn’t remember what he was talking about, so he asked TR to send him the link.

TR Sullivan

Later, as I was talking to TR, he asked me, “Are you going to the Mid-Winter Awards Banquet in a couple of weeks?” I told him that I had really wanted to, but the tickets were too expensive. So he said, “I want you to come as my guest.” My jaw dropped open. “Really?!”

“Yeah,” he said. “I’ll contact you and we’ll work out the details.” At this point, my dad shook TR’s hand, because if he hadn’t invited me, I probably would have talked my dad into paying for us both to go. He saved my dad $120!! Richard Durrett from ESPN.com was standing next to us, and he said “Oh, man, you’ll have to sit at the press table though.” “No, that’s GOOD!” I said. ‘That’s what I want to do: write about the Texas Rangers! So this is perfect!” Then TR said, “Oh yeah, I have to present Michael Young with the MVP award, so we have to figure out what to say to him.” Umm… wow!

Jon Daniels

I saw that Jon Daniels was just sitting at his table, so I went over to ask him some questions. He was very nice, and I felt special that I got to do a little 5-minute “interview” with him.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia, aka “Salty”
I asked him first about whether they were looking to acquire another catcher because of the uncertainty with Salty’s health since his surgery. “It’ll all depend on how Salty’s doing in Spring Training. We’ll just have to wait and see how he’s doing. If he’s having trouble, we can pick up somebody then,” he said. Fair enough.
Ben Sheets
Then I asked him why the Rangers are so interested in adding another starting pitcher, considering the pitching depth that the Rangers have right now. “You can never have enough pitching,” he said. “You want too much pitching in April because you never know what’s going to happen in September.” True, Jon. Very true.
Tom Hicks, current owner
Then I asked a question that caused Daniels to clam up: “Do we even have any money left in the budget to get a veteran starting pitcher?” As soon as I asked this question, he lost the open, honest look on his face and became carefully composed. It was as if he was guarding his answer and he wanted to make sure he didn’t say too much. “Well… we’ll do alright…” he started. I immediately started backtracking. “I understand you don’t want to give away exactly how much you have to spend, so that’s okay, you don’t have to answer that.” But that led me to think about the ownership situation.
 
Chuck Greenberg
Chuck Greenberg.jpg“Tomorrow is the deadline for the exclusive negotiating period between Tom Hicks and Chuck Greenberg,” I said. “What do you think is going to happen?” But his guard was already up from the previous question. “I don’t know,” he said. “What do YOU think is going to happen?” he asked. Dead end. Then I got off on a tangent of talking about how I’m Chuck Greenberg’s friend on Facebook, and that he was very nice to me and he sent me an email and everything. I’m easily distracted; what can I say? 🙂
Vladimir Guerrero

My last question was, “Why Vlad Guerrero over Jermaine Dye? Any particular reason?” His response was “Well, we had to pick one of them. We couldn’t have both. And Vlad’s 35, but he passed the physical, and I think he’ll be a great DH for us.”

So it was a pretty great evening! But that wasn’t all! Last night, while we were waiting for Josh to sign the autographs, Daddy and I entered a raffle for several different Rangers’-related prizes, then I didn’t think twice about it. I never win anything. But this morning, when I got to work, I had a voicemail from somebody who worked at Academy. I called her back and I said, “Hi, I’m Katie Brownfield. Did I win something?” “Yes, you did,” she said. “You won a Josh Hamilton autographed baseball!”

And it all comes full circle!

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!

Game 3 win in Anaheim!

Yay! We won! But man, that game was a real gut-wrencher. The score was back and forth and back and forth! Okay, folks, this one’s gonna take awhile, so sit back and relax!

Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter did a great job through 4 innings. He retired the first 10 batters he faced! The Rangers scored 2 runs in the top of the first inning, so they were leading 2-0 before the A’s even got a chance to bat last night! Tommy Hunter took the mound in the bottom of the 4th inning with a 4-0 lead, and I’m sure he felt pretty confident in his stuff. In the preceeding half inning (the top of the 4th), Hank Blalock hit a 2-run homer to vault the Rangers’ lead to 4 runs, and Tommy must have felt likt he was on top of the world. But he would soon come crashing down.

Before Tommy could get out of the bottom of the 4th inning, the A’s got 3 singles and 3 doubles in 7 at-bats to take the lead 5-4. Five runs in a single inning without a home run??? I was stunned. It wasn’t like Tommy was doing a bad job, it was just almost as if the batters knew what he was going to do before he did it. After the game, Tommy said that he was throwing a lot of fastballs in that inning, and that he didn’t vary his pitches enough. Well, duh! If you’re throwing fastballs and they’re getting hits, try something else! Sheesh!

Elvis Andrus
But the Rangers struck back in the top of the 5th inning. With 2 outs and nobody on base, Elvis Andrus hit a line shot to the A’s shortstop Cliff Pennington, and Pennington couldn’t come up with it. It was called an error by Pennington, but I agree with Tom Grieve that it should have been scored a base hit.
Marlon Byrd
Anyway, Andrus’ single was followed up with a walk by David Murphy, a double steal, and a 2-RBI double by Marlon Byrd to allow the Rangers to take the lead again, 6-5.
Nelson Cruz
Next Hank Blalock drove in Marlon Byrd with a double, and then Nelson Cruz hit an RBI single after that to plate Hank. 8-5 Rangers.
The A’s lead off the bottom of the 5th with a solo homer by Eric Patterson to bring the score to 8-6, but that was all they were able to accomplish in the inning.
David Murphy
In the top of the 6th inning, with 2 outs, David Murphy hit an RBI single to score Julio Borbon and bring the Rangers’ lead back to 3 runs, 9-6. It was the last time the Rangers would score in the game, but thankfully, it was enough.
Tommy Hunter battled through 5 2/3 innings before being replaced by Dustin Nippert, who got the final out of the 6th inning. When Tommy left the mound, the Rangers were leading 9-7, and Hunter was eligible to get the win.
Darren O’Day
Darren O’Day came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th inning, and maybe Wash went with O’Day instead of sticking with Nippert because of O’Day’s recent media coverage. And maybe Darren was right when he said he didn’t want to talk about his pitching success for fear of jinxing it. Because the first batter O’Day faced, Eric Patterson, singled on a line drive to center field. Then Rajai Davis doubled to plate Patterson. That made the score 9-8. A little too close for comfort.
CJ Wilson
Ron decided to go ahead and bring in C.J. Wilson to get the last 2 outs of the 7th inning. I called my dad and said, “I’m not used to this. I’m used to screaming ‘Dammit, C.J.!’ at the t.v., not ‘Dammit, Darren!’ And now they’re bringing in C.J. to try and stop the bleeding caused by O’Day’s mistakes. Weird.” So I just crossed my fingers and hoped C.J. could get it under control.
And he did. It was masterful. C.J. got us out of the 7th inning, and then he went back out to pitch the 8th inning. He gave up one hit and one walk in his 1 2/3 innings pitched, and neither of them came in to score!
With 2 outs and 2 on in the bottom of the 8th, Hank saved the game with his glove by pouncing on a sharply hit ground ball to right and clamboring to first base to get the final out of the inning.
Frank Francisco
Wash brought in Frankie Frank to pitch the 9th inning, and that passed without much fanfare. Frankie got 2 strike-outs to end the game with the Rangers still on top 9-8.

Game notes:
Hank Blalock

*Hank Blalock had a 4 RBI game last night, and he is responsible for all of the Rangers’ home runs in their last 7 games (2 homers). Hank has started the last 5 games for the Rangers, and in that time, they have scored 28 runs combined. In the 5 games before Hank came back to the lineup, the Rangers scored 1 run total. I’d say he’s been a good addition to the lineup. Just when I think he’s done for/washed up/run out of gas, Hank comes back and does something amazing. Every time.
*the Angels lost their game to the NY Yankees yesterday, so we gained a game on them. We’re now 6 1/2 back in the AL West. Which still sounds far, but it’s better than 7 1/2 back, and we still have 4 games head-to-head against the Angels.
Scott Feldman
Today’s pitching matchup: Scott Feldman (17-5) against Brett Anderson (10-10). Scooter is like the Rangers’ secret weapon, and we’re all but guaranteed a win when he takes the mound. Especially when we’re on the road. But Anderson has been hot lately. He’s a 21-year-old rookie who’s won his last 3 starts, with great command of his pitches. Hopefully the Rangers will keep their momentum from yesterday to produce some runs today. It would be nice to take 3 out of 4 in Anaheim, especially since last time we played 4 in Anaheim (in August), we lost 3 or 4.

Game 1 win in Oakland

I was worried about last night’s game for several reasons: 1) the last time we played 4 games in Oakland (about a month ago), we lost the first 3 of the 4 games, 2) Oakland just swept us in Arlington last week, 3) the Rangers have been playing horribly of late (lost 7 of the last 9 games), 4) the Rangers’ winning percentage on the road is only about .500, 5) the A’s had won their last 7 games, and 6) Kevin Millwood was getting the start. But they surprised me, not just by winning the game, but by completely dominating! The final score was 10-3.
Kevin Millwood
Kevin Millwood actually lasted 7 innings, which he hasn’t done since June 21st. And he did a really good job! He had a shutout going until the bottom of the 6th, and he only have up 3 hits and 1 walk in the outing. He did hit 2 batters, but that was just because hit ‘cutter’ cut too much. Those 9 days of rest and extra work with Mike Maddux must have really helped, because I was really impressed! He didn’t look tired, and he didn’t have to battle. I was nervous because I knew that Kevin Millwood’s $12 million option for next year would vest after 4 1/3 more innings, and I was afraid we would be stuck with a pitcher who couldn’t pitch any more. But he proved us all wrong! Great Job, Millie!
The Rangers jumped out to a lead early, leading 1-0 after the first inning, 4-0 after the second inning, and 6-0 after the 4th inning! And they did it by playing small ball, as opposed to via the home run. The Rangers didn’t hit a single home run last night, yet they scored 10 runs! Instead of talking about all the hits, it’s probably easier to talk about the guys who DIDN’T get hits.
Ian Kinsler
Ian Kinsler and Taylor Teagarden were the only 2 guys with significant playing time who didn’t get hits. Kinsler had 5 total at-bats, at he either flied out or popped out 4 of those times. I’m getting to where every time he comes up to the plate, I expect him to pop it up and get an out. For the past few weeks, I’ve actually really been surprised when he managed to get on base. Seriously, Rudy, we’ve got to do something about his swing. Now if we can just convince Kinsler that he needs help…
Taylor Teagarden
Taylor is having a bit of trouble offensively, but I’m okay with that because 1) he apparently works really well with Millwood, 2) he caught Adam Kennedy trying to steal 2nd base in the bottom of the 2nd inning, and 3) he laid down a beautiful sacrifice bunt in the top of the 2nd inning to get 2 men in scoring position. They both scored on the following play.
Craig Gentry
Craig Gentry got one at-bat in the 9th inning last night, after Wash put him in to replace Marlon Byrd in the 8th. Last night was only Craig’s 2nd big league at-bat; he hit into a force-out the first time. So he has yet to get his first big league hit. And last night, with 2 outs in the top of the 9th inning, bases loaded, he stepped up to the plate. And struck out swinging. Poor guy! Don’t worry, you’ll get your first big league hit soon enough!
Darren O’Day
When Millwood came out of the game after 7 innings, Darren O’Day came in to pitch the 8th inning. And he did a fabulous job, like usual. Seriously, we really need to keep him next year. Do you hear me, JD? He is by far the most dependable of our relievers. He’s not flashy or anything, he just goes out there and quietly takes care of business. And the side-arm thing is cool.

Eddie Guardado
But instead of Wash leaving in O’Day to finish out the game in the 9th inning last night, he brought in Eddie Guardado. I mean, sure, Eddie needs to get some work in too, and we were leading by 9 runs, so we had a good cushion to work with. Which we ended up needing, because Eddie gave up a 2-run homer to the rookie Matt Carson. It was actually Carson’s first big league home run. Now, don’t get me wrong; I love Eddie Guardado. He is a respected veteran and he seems to have a great sense of humor. But I think he’s gotten past the days when he was reliable “Everyday Eddie,” and he just may have lost his stuff.
Game notes:
Josh Hamilton
*Michael Young and Josh Hamilton have still not made an appearance in the lineup in quite a while. I heard a rumor somewhere yesterday that Hamilton was hoping to be in the lineup tonight, but I’m not sure how credible that is. I honestly don’t remember where I heard it. But before I heard that tidbit about Hamilton, it had been my impression that Hamilton had pretty much given up on playing for the rest of the season.
Julio Borbon
*Julio Borbon went 3-for-5 with a walk, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. He also had another stolen base, making him 16-for-17. I can’t wait to see what he does in his first full season as a lead-off hitter!
*The Rangers scored more runs last night than they did in their last 7 games combined. Wow. I guess that’s what a string of shut-outs will do to you.

David Murphy
*David Murphy went 3-for-4 with 2 walks, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored. When Josh & Tom interviewed Murph after the game, the first thing he did was give credit to Kevin Millwood for a great game pitched. Aww!

*The Rangers appear to be playing much better now that the playoff pressure is gone. Which is understandable, since we have such a young team without much playoff experience. But a team that doesn’t do well under pressure can’t make it to the playoffs. I don’t really care at this point; it’s just good to see the Rangers playing good baseball again. We can try for the playoffs next year.

Chris Davis
*Chris Davis went 2-for-4 with a walk, including a 2-RBI triple with 2 outs in the 7th! It was his first triple of the year, which makes sense, because triples rarely happen in baseball.
Hank Blalock
*Hank Blalock impressed me again, going 3-for-5 with 2 RBIs and a run scored. Every time I think Hank has completely run out of gas, he steps it up and shows he can still play with the big boys. He still makes his share of errors/bobbles at first base, and he goes through hot and cold streaks at the plate, but he can still come through in a clutch situation. I can remember last year when it seemed like every time Hank came to the plate, he was swinging for the fences. But now, he seems content to get base hits just to keep us in the game. Which is exactly what we need.
Brandon McCarthy
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Brandon McCarthy (7-3) against the A’s Trevor Cahill (9-12). Just looking at the win-loss records, this looks like a lock. But in BMac’s last outing, he only lasted 3 innings, and he gave up 4 runs (3 earned). That was the 2nd game against the A’s in Arlington last week; the 6-1 debacle that I witnessed first hand. He had proved to be solid in his first 2 starts off the DL, but he unfortunately fell apart in that third start. Cahill’s last start was also last week against the Rangers, in which he gave up only one hit over 7 shut-out innings. This will be his 4th start against the Rangers, and he is 2-1 with a 2.70 ERA and a .192 opponent’s batting average in those games. This one will be tricky.

Funny DMN comment

I was reading a post on the Dallas Morning News’ Rangers’ Blog today, and they were calling for people’s predictions during the Rangers’ upcoming series with the Minnesota Twins. A commenter named “Aardvark” posted the following comment, and I thought it was absolutely hilarious! You guys probably have no idea what all of this is about, because I only have a couple of readers anyway, and you guys don’t know about sports, but just in case:

Posted by Aardvark @ 1:58 PM Fri, Aug 28, 2009

The Rangers will win 2 out of 3.

Kinsler will have two home runs in the series and 12 pop-outs to the infield.

Pudge will pull a muscle crossing himself too quickly.

Joe Mauer will defy all odds and get 19 hits in just 13 at bats.

The home plate umpire will have to ask for help when he fails to see a pitch from Feliz.

Josh Lewin will relate Nick Punto to the Seinfeld episode about the Punto Mayo store.

Marlon Byrd will have to receive CPR after crashing into the center field wall and nearly suffocating after becoming entangled in the baggie.

Scott Feldman will just miss being hit in the face by a hard liner, saved only by the fact that he has no chin.

A beaned batter will charge the mound against Tommy Hunter and learn the definition of “Junior Olympic judo champion”.

Tom Grieve will once again get in trouble when he stumbles on the pronunciation of Jeff Manship’s name.

And speaking of Jeff Manship, his new bar will draw a totally different crowd than planned when he names it Manship Twinkie.

Oh my gosh, I literally laughed out loud several times when I read this at work today! I’m sure the lady who shares my office was thinking “What in the world is so funny?”

seriously?

Last night, the Rangers game was the first game in a series of 3 games against the Cleveland Indians. And it was a very uninteresting game. Not because we lost the game, which we did, but because nothing really happened. The Indians scored all 5 of their runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning, and there were no runs scored by either team during the rest of the game. So, pretty much, there was a single half-inning of excitement. That was it.

Dustin Nippert
Dustin Nippert got his first start as an official member of the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation tonight, and he actually did a pretty good job. He had that one bad half-inning, but he ended up lasting a total of 6 innings with 10 strike-outs. Giving up 5 runs in a game is never good for a starting pitcher, but if the Rangers had been able to score 6 runs or more, this would have been called a stellar outing for Nippert. It seems like every time that we think the Rangers’ bats are waking up, they do something like this. Seriously?

So, in summary: both pitchers did a pretty good job, both offenses did a pretty bad job, Cleveland had 1 good inning. And that was about it.

What is it with the Rangers not being able to beat the bad teams? It’s like they only bring out their A game for the good teams. We should have creamed the Oakland A’s, but we lost the series. We should have stomped the Cleveland Indians, especially since they don’t have Cliff Lee anymore, but we couldn’t even score once last night. Yet when we went up against the Angels, who have a better record than us, we won 2 out of 3 games. We’re playing the Boston Red Sox this weekend, and I’m betting we’ll win that series too, because the Rangers always seem to step up their performance against the scary teams. They need to realize that every single game is important. Especially now, with only 50-something games left before the post-season. Maybe the Rangers don’t understand what they need to do in order to be contenders this year. I mean, we haven’t made it to the post-season since the 90’s, so maybe they forgot. {Sigh}

Tommy Hunter

Tonight’s pitching matchup: Our Tommy Hunter (4-2) against Cleveland’s Fausto Carmona (2-6). By the win-loss record alone, it looks like Tommy’s got this one sewn up. But this is Carmona’s 4th year of experience in the Bigs, whereas it’s Tommy’s first year. Although, to be fair, Carmona hasn’t spent 4 full years in the Bigs. The Indians sent Carmona back to AAA earlier this season, but after trading star pitcher Cliff Lee at the trade deadline, they called Carmona back up to take Lee’s spot in the rotation. Tommy’s also shown several times this year that he’s pretty darn good at bein’ a hoss. [Translation (for those of you who don’t live in the South): hoss=badass] I think Tommy can pull this one out. Well, at least I hope he can!

Tonight, Evan Grant and Inside Corner are hosting a “Rangers Watching Party” at Pappasito’s restaurant in Dallas. And Rusty Greer is supposed to come! He’s one of my favorite players from when I first got into baseball, when I was in middle school. He played with the Rangers for a long time, and he’s now in the Rangers’ Hall of Fame. I was excited when Evan told us about this on Monday, thinking it would be an exclusive thing. But yesterday, I saw it widely advertised on Evan’s website. And then the Rangers’ t.v. announcers, Josh Lewin and Tom Greive, talked about it on the broadcast last night. So now everybody and their dog is going to be there. I thought that my dad was as excited as I was, but I think he’s gonna bail on me because he thinks too many people are coming. And he’s probably right. So now, if I go, I’ll have to go by myself. Daddy said, “Hey, maybe you can meet a guy there!” Thanks, Dad.

My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 38