One of the very unique things about what we have as Rangers fans is the character of the team we follow. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Texas Rangers Park Place Dealerships Triple Play Game Show Spectacular and I have to believe it is unlike anything you might find elsewhere in baseball. The event itself is fantastic with all of the one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment memorabilia that gets auctioned for charity (benefitting the Texas Rangers Foundation and Big Brothers Big Sisters of North Texas) and a fantastic dinner. Add to that an entertaining game show presentation and and the ability to meet and rub elbows with the players and front office and you have something pretty special. But that's not what really sets this event apart.no comments
Well that went about as good as it could have gone. Despite losing two of three in Philadelphia and two blown saves by Neftali Feliz in the last week, the Rangers have been playing better over the last ten games, especially the starting pitching. That trend continued on Monday night as Alexi Ogando tossed a complete game shutout and the Rangers offense got two home runs and three RBI from the fresh from the disabled list Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Welcome back boys! It's time to kick this thing into high gear like Texas did in June last year when everyone finally got healthy. Now is actually a good time to get on a roll.
The Rangers had already gone about the business of turning the corner from their long stretch of bad baseball. Three wins in four games since last Monday's loss with all of them against AL West rivals will do that. The Lewis shutout Monday night just served notice that this pitching staff can be a big part of helping carry this team to victory. When the Rangers got off to a 9-1 start, it was largely due to excellent starting pitching and it is the kind of thing that becomes contagious. The next starter wants to keep it going and not be the one to drop the momentum. The difficulty the team has had finding consistent pitching out of the bullpen makes it all the more important for these starters to get on a roll. It's not hard to see what led to Colby's good results.
The Rangers lost again on Monday. While they have avoided the prolonged losing streak, they have basically been playing poorly since Josh Hamilton was injured. They were 9-1 heading into that game and are now 18-18 and in third place in the AL West. The significance of that loss may be more than you think. Perhaps 26 games is a random and meaningless place to draw a line, but over the last 26 games Texas is now 9-17. In 2010, their worst 26 game stretch saw them go 10-16. I have tried to remain patient and optimistic throughout this tough stretch, but knowing there is no longer a stretch last year that we can point to that was this bad, has me very concerned about this team. And it extends to multiple parts of the team.no comments
Back from the road and happy to be writing about a Ranger win. It has not been the greatest stretch for Texas. The bullpen had pitched poorly throughout April, but never really "hurt" the team too much (they had not lost a game in which the team led after the 6th inning). But as May opened, the bullpen finally gave way and with it a couple of games in hand slipped away. Wednesday night, however, the bullpen was not needed as C.J. Wilson went the distance for a 5-2 win.no comments
The Rangers had a mixed weekend, mostly bad. I am out of town for a few days so watching and writing will be difficult until Wednesday night Thursday morning. From the bits and pieces I gathered on MLB Network and other outlets, it looks like Saturday saw the return of the good Colby Lewis. Maybe not quite playoff Colby, but much improved in both velocity and location. This team needs that.
What Texas doesn't need is the return of the bad Matt Harrison. It looks like Sunday saw Harry be bad for a second straight start and this time not make it out of the second inning. In fact, it makes one wonder how can this even be the same guy. Two weeks ago, there was talk of Red Sox players calling Harrison's "stuff" the best on the team, now he is easily the worst in terms of results. If Sunday was anything like last week, he was trying to be too fine with his location around the edge leading to hitter's counts and hitter's results. It might be the same mental hurdle that Harrison thought he had jumped in the offseason. In any case, we need the good Harrison back, otherwise it will be Tommy Hunter in that spot in another week or two.
That's about all I have for now. Offense broke out on Saturday, but not so much on Sunday... one more chance this series against the A's on Monday. Go Rangers!no comments
The headlines will say Trevor Cahill dominated the Ranger offense and that led to the loss. The real story of this game in my mind came dow to two bad defensive plays. It is true that this offense did not score on Cahill but they had seven hits and four walks and only struck out four times. Cahill did not dominate, at least not the way he can dominate teams. Texas is not in a real good way with their bats at the moment, but they still managed to get one run across and if they do a better job defensively in this game that might have been enough to force extras or maybe they even squeak another run across in regulation if they are trailing 1-0 after seven instead of 3-0. We will never know because of these two plays...
The Rangers gave up a lot of runs in this series. In the four games versus Toronto, they allowed 27 runs, or almost seven runs per game. The Blue Jays posted 6, 10, 6 and 5 runs which makes it kind of remarkable that the Rangers won even one of the games. Luckily the offense had enough to squeak out a 7-6 victory on Wednesday, but no such luck on Thursday afternoon. Alexi Ogando was more than solid with another "quality start", allowing just two runs in his six innings and striking out a career high seven. But unfortunately, that wasn't where the score ended for the Blue Jays. Enter the bullpen...
Not all nights at the ballpark are created equal. Tuesday night was not very fun. After the top of the fourth that saw the Jays push their lead to 10-3, I had a feeling the game was going to finish the way that it did (if not get worse). It was after the Rangers batted in the fourth inning that I left my seat and spent the rest of the game walking around the park between innings and watching the game from "standing room" areas or on the television monitors on the concourse. I just couldn't stay in my seat. If I had been at home, I would have found something more interesting to watch and monitored the rest of the game via Gameday on my phone. So was there any good that came out of the Rangers second straight loss?no comments
So the Rangers sweep the Royals out of town to get the home stand to a nice 4-2 mark and in march the Blue Jays. The Jays have been struggling, losing their last two in Tampa before arriving in Arlington. And really, they did all of their damage in a concentrated four batter stretch against Colby Lewis. Colby looked perhaps the best he has looked all season through the first three innings. He scuffled in the fourth, but escaped with no damage. After a leadoff walk in the fifth, Lewis coaxed a pair of flyouts but then surrendered a two-strike single to Escobar bringing Corey Patterson to the plate. Patterson was down 0-2, but somehow popped an outside pitch, that appeared to be more than a foot high, and pulled it to right field and out of the park for a three-run homer. Another homer, a walk and another homer and the game was essentially out of reach. So what's wrong with Colby? no comments