Tagged: Victor Martinez

Big Announcements

Announcement #1
Today it was finally revealeed that Josh Hamilton is the 2010 recipient of the AL MVP award.

It was expected, but you never know. I though Ron Washington was certain to win AL Manager of the Year, but I was wrong.

Don’t get me wrong; Gardy is a great manager. But with the Rangers getting to the post-season for the 1st time in 11 years, then finally getting past the 1st round of the playoffs for the 1st time EVER, and then actually getting to the World Series… it seemed to me that Wash was the obvious choice.

Gardy is a perennial MOY candidate, and he certainly deserved MOY honors after his last 6 years. But for this year, Wash had the best year.

Okay, I’ll get off my soap box now. We’re supposed to be talking about Josh Hamilton! Congratulations Josh!!!

He was wonderful this year, but there was talk that he might miss out on MVP because he missed a month right at the end of the season.

Thankfully, the Rangers made it to the WS, and Josh got a chance to remind everyone of how good he is. Hamilton’s MVP award means that Rangers’ players have won 2 out of the 4 big awards this year: MVP and Rookie of the Year.

I’ve already mentioned that Ron Gardenhire was named Manager of the Year for the American League, and Felix Hernandez was named as the Cy Young award winner for 2010.

In the National League, Joey Votto got the MVP, Roy Halladay got the Cy Young, Buster Posey got Rookie of the Year, and Bud Black got Manager of the Year.

Announcement #2
The other big announcement made today regards the Rangers new hitting coach: Thad Bosley.

Five guys were interviewed, including Scott Coolbaugh, Johnny Narron, Ty Van Burkleo, and Luis Ortiz in addition to Bosley. Bosley was one of the finalists last year before the Rangers selected Clint Hurdle.

Bosley was the hitting coach for the Oakland A’s from 1999-2002. Before that, he played in the Majors for 14 seasons, including one season with the Rangers (1989-90).

Random other stuff
The Rangers have several holes they need to fill this off-season, just like every other Major League baseball team.

The main things are:
1) Sign Cliff Lee or another top-of-the-rotation starter
2) Extend Ron Washington (done)
3) Find a big-name catcher
4) Re-sign Vlad or find another big bat to add to the lineup
5) Find another hitting coach (done)
6) find a righty to share 1st base with/back up Moreland

Two of those six have already been taken care of, and the Cliff Lee situation will probably be up in the air for quite a while.

I would personally like to see Bengie Molina and Matt Treanor sharing the backstop duties for the Rangers next year, but Bengie is looking at possibly retiring.

The Rangers were thought to be going hard after Victor Martinez of the Red Sox, but it was released earlier today that he is close to a deal with Detroit. John Buck was another big name on the market, but he was signed by the Florida Marlins 5 days ago.

I’m not really sure what other front-line catchers are still up for grabs, bit it’s sad to see the Rangers lose out on V-Mart.

Tomorrow is the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their free agents. The Rangers have 4 free agents: Frank Francisco, Vladimir Guerrero, Cliff Lee, and Bengie Molina.

Cliff Lee is a given, because he will net 2 draft picks if he signs elsewhere, and if he accepts arbitration (which he won’t), it would only be for a 1-year contract. He wants a multi-year deal with a no-trade clause.

The only question I have is: if we end up signing Cliff Lee to a multi-year deal, do we still get the 2 draft picks? Hmm…

They might offer arbitration to Vlad, because they want him back, but only for a 1-year contract. He wants a multi-year deal, so he may not accept. But if he does accept, the Rangers may have to pay him significantly more than the $6.5 mil he earned this year.

I don’t know about Frankie Frank. I really wish they would just get rid of him, but for some crazy reason, the Rangers’ higher-ups seem to love him.

Bengie is unknown, because as I said earlier, he may want to retire.

Okay, I’m tired now. That’s all I got. Have a happy Thanksgiving!!!

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We won the series against the BoSox!!

This last game was a nail-biter, but we pulled it off. The final score was 4-3, and especially after the game on Friday (when the Sox overtook us when we were leading by 4-2 and Frank Francisco blew the save), I was super nervous. But the Rangers eeked out a win, and they took the series!! This was a huge thing, to win the series against Boston, because they’re such a formidable team. AND… we’ve now leapfrogged Boston and we’re leading by 1/2 a game in the AL Wild Card race. Which really doesn’t mean much at this point, considering that there are still 7 weeks left of regular season play, but now maybe people will start taking us seriously. We’d still like to win the AL West, and it’s very possible, but all our boys can do is play their best and see what shakes out. The Rangers are now 16 games over .500, and that’s the first time we’ve been that far ahead all season.

 
Dustin Nippert
Sunday afternoon’s game was the 1st day game in Arlington in months, and all of us Texans know that August in Texas is miserable. The heat had to be a factor, but it didn’t seem to bother the Rangers. Dustin Nippert pitched 6 innings, and when Nippert left the mound after pitching the top of the 6th inning, the Rangers were leading 3-2. Then the Rangers scored another run in the bottom of the 6th, bringing the score to 4-2. Look familiar at all?
C.J. Wilson
Wash brought in Doug Mathis to pitch the 7th inning (where the heck has he been?), and Mathis gave up another run, bring the score to 4-3. Let the nail-biting commence. All of the Ranger fans were hoping for a rally by the Rangers by that point, so that we could add a few more insurance runs to the score. But the Rangers weren’t able to add any runs to the scoreboard in the bottom of the 7th. C.J. Wilson came in to pitch the 8th inning, and he actually didn’t self-destruct! Yay!! But we knew Franky Francisco would be coming out to pitch the 9th inning, so we were REALLY hoping for some more runs in the bottom of the 8th. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be. All right, here we go!

Frank Francisco

And Frankie was stellar. He needed only 10 pitches to retire the 3 Red Sox batters in the top of the 9th. But, of course, Frankie likes to take a lot of time between pitches, so it added to the drama. He knew that he had to perform really well after his crash-and-burn on Friday night, and he certainly didn’t disappoint! To get the final out, he struck out Victor Martinez, the batter who hit the 2-run double off Frankie on Friday to give the Red Sox the lead.
Tommy Hunter
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Tommy Hunter (5-2) against the Twins’ Francisco Liriano (5-11). I’ve actually heard of Francisco Liriano, so that scares me a little bit. He’s supposed to be pretty good, right? But he’s lost 11 games this year. That can’t be too good. Maybe the Twins’ bats just aren’t backing him up. I don’t know. Anyway, Liriano just got his first victory since late June in his last start, and is said to feel “tranquilo.” Uh-oh. He has more experience than Hunter, because he’s been in the Bigs since 2005, and he’s obviously pitched a lot of games this year. Our battery tonight will consist of Hunter and new catcher Kevin Richardson, who caught Hunter while they were in the minors. This will be Hunter’s first outing against the Twins. But, as I said last time Tommy got a start, that boy is a hoss. He can get us the win.

I got a really cool Rangers ticket coupon deal for $40, and it came with 6 free tickets, 8 buy one get one free tickets, 3 50% off tickets, and some other cool stuff. There’s no way I’ll be able to use all the coupons, but I can try! 🙂 And the seats are in the Corner Box section, which is my favorite! The only problem is that I can only redeem the coupons in person or through the mail. So Daddy and I are going to go to the game tonight, and we’re just gonna show up at the Box Office and hope they have some good seats left. But they probably will, because it’s a Monday night, and we’re playing the Minnesots Twins, who aren’t really a team you’d expect a lot of fans to want to go to. I mean, if we were playing a team in our division, or the Red Sox or the Yankees, I’d be worried about getting seats. I’m excited to see Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer though! I’m going to redeem all of my coupons tonight, because I’ve already mapped out which games I want to go to and how many tickets I’ll need. And then I’ll have the tickets ahead of time, and I won’t have to keep going back to the Box Office.

My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis
Days since CD has been in the majors: 43
 
Originally published August 17, 2009

Rangers win in 2nd game against Red Sox!

Oh, this was a great game! We won the game 7-2. It was dominated by our young players Derek Holland, Neftali Feliz, Julio Borbon, and Elvis Andrus. Borbon is 23, Holland is 22, Feliz is 21, and Andrus is 20. (!)

Derek Holland
Derek Holland was our starting pitcher, and he lasted 6 2/3 innings. Holland has earned a win in 3 of his last 4 outings. He allowed two home runs last night, but they were both solo shots, and they were the only 2 runs the BoSox scored all night. Darren O’Day got the final out in the 7th inning, and then Neftali Feliz came in to pitch the 8th and 9th innings.

Neftali Feliz

Feliz gave up a single to the very first batter he faced, Victor Martinez, but then he was able to retire the next six batters he faced, including 3 strikeouts, to close out the game. It was Neftali’s first home start, and I’m sure that the sold-out crowd was quite impressed. In his 5 big league outings, Feliz has now struck out 16 of 29 batters faced. That’s more than half!

Elvis Andrus
With our young pitchers keeping the Sox’ offense to a minimum, our young position players provided most of the Rangers’ offense. The Rangers combined for 8 stolen bases last night! (Eight!) Ian Kinsler had one stolen base, Elvis Andrus stole a very impressive 3 bases, and Julio Borbon stole a staggering 4 bases. Just the fact that Andrus and Borbon were able to get on base in order to steal a combined 7 bases is pretty stinkin’ awesome.
Julio Borbon
Borbon had a fabulous night last night with his 4 hits and 4 stolen bases. He was 4-for-5 with 2 runs and 2 RBIs. This was only his 6th game in the big leagues! Man, that kid has some serious potential! Unfortunately, when Nelson Cruz comes off of the DL in a few days, Julio may have to go back down to AAA. I don’t know, though; with as good as Borbon is doing lately, Nelly may find himself chillin’ down in AAA for a little while.

Ian Kinsler
Ian Kinsler had a pretty dramatic 1st game back from the DL too. In his first at-bat, he hit a home run. Pretty nice! He also had one of the stolen bases last night, as I mentioned before. And there was a heart-stopping moment in the bottom of the 8th inning when Ian was drilled by a pitch… in the HEAD! It definitely didn’t look intentional, but it definitely did look scary. Ian writhed around in the dirt for awhile, but then he popped up looking none too pleased with pitcher Fernando Cabrera. He had some heated words for Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek, but then he took his base without further incident. They had been piching inside to Ian all night, and apparently one just got away from Cabrera. They interviewed Kinsler before today’s game, and he said that he spoke to Varitek after the game last night, and that they had put all of their problems behind them. And luckily, Kins wasn’t hurt. Thank goodness!!

Dustin Nippert

Today’s pitching matchup: Our Dustin Nippert (3-1) against Red Sox rookie Junichi Tazawa (1-1). Both pitchers are pretty green, but I have faith in Nippert, especially considering what he’s been able to do for the Rangers this year. He’s been absolutely stellar when having to pinch start or in long relief. Even though his last outing didn’t go too well, I’m not willing to write off this kid after one “bad” outing. His last outing wasn’t even very bad! His biggest problem was one bad inning and the fact that the Rangers’ offense couldn’t score to back him up! Considering that the Rangers really want to win this game and take the series win against the BoSox today, securing a 1/2 game lead in the Wild Card race, I think we’ve got this one. Hopefully!

My daily Chris Davis fix:
Chris Davis (my husband)
 
Days since CD has been in the majors: 42
We miss you Chris!!!
 

Heartbreaker versus BoSox

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

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

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

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

 
My daily Chris Davis fix:
my husband, Chris Davis

Days since CD has been in the majors: 41