May 312012
 

Like the “Do the Wash” shirt?

You can get one just like it on eBay from our sponsor, Ink’N'Stitch.  Just go to eBay and search for “Do the Wash”!

They have some other awesome Rangers shirts up for sale on eBay as well, search:

  • “Napoli ever after”
  • “Mike Napoli Dirtbag”
  • “Ron Washington Baseball Do”
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May 312012
 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

 

I’m going to spare you the harrowing details.

You could have equipped a Roman gladiator with a shield camera and you wouldn’t have captured half the gore and bloodshed witnessed in tonight’s 21-8, two-possession, one-sided, testicle-shattering loss by the Texas Rangers.

A  loss that came at the hands of the freaking Seattle Mariners.  Yep, those Mariners.

And to think it all started off so innocently.

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Derek Holland looked sharp in the first inning, striking out two of three on just 10 pitches.

Sadly, the first inning would be the last time Holland would get three outs. The second inning, or, as it will be remembered from this point forward: “The GD Mother F****** second inning” would rear its ugly head all too soon.

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

It started off with a Jesus Montero single. No biggie, he's going to be a fine big league hitter.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

That wasn't Justin Smoak that ripped a double to left field was it?

 

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well, there's no way Miguel Olivo is going to drive in those two runners!

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well I'll be g** damn**, Olivo just drove in those two runners!

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Sure, Brendan Ryan is going to get a hit every now and then. Dustin Ackley is an easy out...

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Are you fu***** kidding me? After Ackley homers Chone gets a hit? I'm pretty sure I struck him out once in a slow-pitch softball tournament.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Well there's no way Seagar is going to hit! Hahaha! He's like 0-for-May.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Okay, Dutch. Calm down. Breath. As long as Jesus Montero doesn't take you to downtown Dong city, you'll be fine.

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

Mother f****** p**** o* shi* how the f*** did that f***** s*** just f****** happen?!?!?

 

The Horrifying Transformation of Derek Holland, A Visual Examination of Total Disintegration

And after two consecutive walks to Justin Smoak and Alex Liddi, the Kafka-esque metamorphosis is complete. Welcome back, Chan, you Ho.

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May 302012
 

A popular expression to help one get over the occasional dire dealings of daily life goes as follows:

“Well, it’s better than a swift kick in the pants…”

I’m not so sure if that one makes me feel any better after the Texas Rangers were out-hit, outplayed and outpitched by the lowly Seattle Mariners last night.

After all, isn’t a 10-3 thrashing exactly the same thing as a roundhouse in the royal rubies?
Rangers look to Derek Holland to erase bad taste from Terrible Tuesday
Seemed that way to me.

It’s cool, there’s always a silver lining…yep, even when your favorite baseball team picks up a sledgehammer to play piñata with your privates…

• Mike Adams surrendered 3 runs and recorded no outs. His Zero innings pitched means, of course, that it never really happened.

• Elvis Andrus is still on fire—as only he and Craig Gentry recorded more than one-hit against Jason Vargas, Seattle’s apparently sullen and sleep-deprived lefty.

• Josh Hamilton hit his 21st home run of the season…remember last season he hit only 25 all year, and during his 2010 MVP campaign managed “just” 32…

• 21 home runs in 50 games is astounding, but to add additional weight, consider this:

• In 1993, on his way to 46 HRs, Juan Gonzalez managed just 16 dingers through his first 50 games.

• In 2002, A-Rod ended up hitting 57 long balls. Of those 57, only 15 were hit through his first 50 games.

• The year was 1999, and we partied, by god, like it was, indeed, 1999—the great Rafael Palmeiro wound up hitting 47 taters…he had just 14 through the team’s first 50 games.

Okay, if those tidbits didn’t help lighten the gloom, you can always fall back on this one:

Blame Roy Oswalt:

The Texas Rangers are now 0-1 since signing the Wizard of Os.

Still no help? Well, I’ve got nothing for you pal. Except for this: The Seattle Mariners have already used up all of this month’s run supply and have none left for tonight.

Poor Seattle, you don’t get roll-over runs

Get ready, it’s a mustache-less Derek Holland taking on Cliff Lee-deal giveaway, Blake Beavan.

Holland did so well without his cracker mullet that minus his lip mistake we might expect even greater things. Fewer creeped out kids, regardless.

Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 8.3 K/9) versus Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.7 K/9) will take place tonight with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 at the recently rain-swept Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Go Rangers!

Rangers look to Derek Holland to erase bad taste from Terrible Tuesday

Yes, you can rub my Nads all over your body.


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May 302012
 

A night worth forgetting…

Wednesday Morning CurveballsLet’s face it, last night performance was ugly, but it’s part of the 162 game marathon that is a major league baseball season.  Every team is going to have nights like the Rangers had last night – defensive miscues, offensive woes and troubles on the mound.  What separates the great teams from average or even poor teams, is how they bounce back.  Does a performance like last night’s spark a cry for redemption and improvement or do they flounder in their own sorriness and get stuck in a rut?  This team has too much great leadership and camaraderie to get stuck in a rut.

The Bright Spots:

  • Josh Hamilton hit his 21st home run of the season last night.  Hamilton sits 5 ahead of his closest competition in all of baseball, Adam Jones, Adam Dunn and Edwin Encarnacion.  His 3 RBI on the night put him at 56, which is 13 ahead of the current runner-up in MLB, Andre Ethier.
  • Elvis Andrus continues to rake, going 2-4 with a double and 2 runs scored last night, raising his batting average on the season to .308.
  • Craig Gentry is knocking on the door to .300 after going 2-3 last night, he currently sits at .299.  Gentry also stole his 7th base of the season last night.  As you would expect, his splits on the 2012 season favor situations against left-handed pitchers (.333/.417/.429), but at least his performance against righties hasn’t been debilitating (.257/.316/.343).

The Not-So-Bright Spots

  • On a night when Scooter Feldman’s fate was sealed as returning to the bullpen, albeit to a role that is vital for this team, his performance on the mound wasn’t great.  He gave up 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 3 walks over 4 2/3 innings.  He gave up 2 unearned runs as well on a throwing error by Adrian Beltre.
  • Mike Adams pitched poorly.
  • Alexi Ogando looked horrible.
  • Ian Kinsler went 0-5, leaving 5 runners stranded, and took plenty of heat from the Twitter world.
  • Napoli, Cruz and Young went a combined 0-8.

Enough about that…they will bounce back.

Wednesday Morning Curveballs

Rangers Sign Roy Oswalt

The Rangers agreed to terms with free agent pitcher Roy Oswalt yesterday, a signing that has been a discussion topic for Rangers fans since the winter.  With the recent injury to Neftali Feliz, the signing made sense at this point, and at $5M presenting relatively low risk.

Oswalt will start this Saturday for Round Rock, and the plan is for him to make 4-5 minor league starts before being called up and inserted in the major league rotation.

“I think if you look at our ballclub, my relationship with him, Jackie Moore, Mike Maddux, some of our players, there is a familiarity there,” Nolan Ryan said. “He’s pitched here and there’s a close proximity to his home. Plus the fact we’re in the position we’re in all worked in our favor. The fact that he’s healthy, once he gets innings in, he’ll fit into our rotation and be able to pitch deep into the game.”

The dominoes that fall from the signing will more than likely look like this:

  • Scott Feldman will return to a long relief role in the bullpen.
  • Neftali Feliz will return to the bullpen upon his healthy return.  While I hate to see Neftali make this move, it’s the best move for the team assuming Oswalt is pitching well and there are no other injuries that impact the rotation.  Feliz still has absolutely FILTHY stuff and can be an impact arm in the bullpen with Ogando, Ross, Adams & Nathan.
  • Tateyama will have to return to the minors to make room for Oswalt.
  • The next move is not as clear, but when Feliz returns, the Rangers will have to make room.  My guess would be that they demote or attempt to trade Mark Lowe or Koji Uehara, but we are a month or more away from that point, so the front office has some time to let the chips fall where they may.

Lot’s of good arguments on both sides of the Oswalt signing.  I’m on board with the signing given the relatively low risk that  the Rangers are exposed to with regards to the contract.  Just a few tidbits here that I wanted to share…nothing earth shattering:

  • Oswalt has been a National League pitcher his entire career, but has made 2-4 starts per season against American League opponents given inter-league play.  His record against American League teams in his career is 11-11 with a 3.70 ERA.
  • He has finished in the top 6 of NL Cy Young voting 6 times in his career, with the most recent being a 6th place finish in 2010, the season in which he was dealt from Houston to Philadelphia.
  • Oswalt has pitched in the post-season during 4 seasons of his career – 2004 and 2005 with the Astros and the last two seasons with the Phillies.  Across his 11 post-season starts, Oswalt has compiled a record of 5-2 with a 3.73 ERA, with his most impressive series coming against the Giants in 2010, where he had a 1.84 ERA over 14 1/3 innings of work with a 4.67 SO/BB ratio.
  • Oswalt wanted to be here…let’s not forget this.  Texas has long been a destination to avoid for starting pitchers.  Granted, Oswalt has something to prove, but he did have value and was desired by some other teams (Red Sox and Dodgers to name two), but he wanted to be here.  That alone has to make Rangers fans feel good.

Quick Hits

  • Rangers send Derek Holland (4-3, 4.05 ERA) to the mound tonight to lead the charge back into the win column.  The Mariners will counter with former Ranger (and a key to that magical 2010 season) Blake Beavan (2-4, 4.38 ERA).
  • From Christian Corona (MLB.com), “Since blowing his only save of the year in a 4-3 loss to the Mariners on April 11, Joe Nathan has held opponents scoreless in 17 of his past 18 appearances. Opposing batters are hitting .194 against him during that span as Nathan has posted a 0.51 ERA, fourth-lowest in the Majors. Until a Michael Saunders single Tuesday, opposing batters had not recorded a hit in their past 21 at-bats against Nathan.”
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May 292012
 

Texas Rangers, Scott Feldman, can breath easy—Wizard of Os is on the wayThe Texas Rangers have signed former Philadelphia Phillies and Houston Astros right-hander Roy Oswalt for a reported amount in the $5.5 million dollar range.

What with a rash of recent injuries to multiple team’s top-of-the-rotation studs—Roy Halladay, and Jered Weaver—the signing sends a ripple through the ranks of Major League Baseball.

In other words, simply by signing the diminutive Mississippian right-hander, the Rangers have prevented chief-rivals, the Los Angeles Angels of that city that houses Disneyland and little else, from scooping him up.

Take that suckas!

The only down side to the great gift of Roy Oswalt pitching for the two-time defending AL Champions is that it can’t be opened for a few more weeks.

It’s basically a layaway gift; an excellent insurance policy should Scott Feldman continue to falter in his temporary role as Rangers’ fifth starter.

For the Texas Rangers (31-18) to win their fifth-straight game tonight it will be all about how Feldman fares in his third start of the season—his second consecutive start against the AL West’s bottom dwelling Seattle Mariners (21-30).

Even though “Scooter” lacked command against the Mariners a week ago, he still pitched well enough to earn the win, save for one ill-fated pitch.

Feldman grooved a sinker to Alex Liddi with the bases loaded and the young Italian prospect didn’t miss it. After the grand slam, the day was done for the Hawaiian-born right-hander.

In life, rare are the occasions when we’re afforded second chances; and tonight Feldman will get a shot at hardball atonement.

Alex Liddi is batting .800 (4-for-5) versus Feldman, with a double, and 4 RBI thanks to that bases-loaded four-bagger. Justin Smoak (.400, 1 HR), John Jasso (.500) and Ichiro Suzuki (.286) are also hurdles that Feldman must jump for a successful second stab at Seattle.

But you know what? Even if Feldman fails to harness his control and leaves a sinker hanging once again, denizens of Rangers Nation can all rest assured that help is on the way.

Thank you Jon Daniels, Nolan Ryan et al!

Roy Oswalt, the 34-year-old major league veteran of 11 seasons was plucked from free agent purgatory this afternoon and should be ready to pitch in his first big league game of 2012 in the next four weeks.

The immediate impact of the “Wizard of Os” following his yellow brick (cold hard cash-tinged) road down to Arlington is multi-faceted.

Oswalt in the Rangers rotation means:

• Neftali Feliz will not be rushed back; he can take his time getting his elbow back up to snuff.

• Scott Feldman can go back to being the spot-starter/long man; a role that he has excelled at over the last couple of seasons.

• Should Feliz return to 100% and there are no unforeseen injuries in the rotation, the Rangers may choose to place Feliz in the bullpen for the playoff run, similar to how they handled Alexi Ogando last season.

• A healthy Oswalt is a true number one, which gives the Rangers the ace they’ve so coveted since Cliff Lee’s departure via free agency following the 2010 season.

• In short, with the addition of Roy Oswalt, the Rangers have unprecedented pitching depth to match their deep and versatile lineup.

Game two of this three-game series between the Texas Rangers and the Seattle Mariners is scheduled for a 7:05 first pitch.

Scott Feldman (0-2, 4.68 ERA 1.40 WHIP, 3.7 K/9) opposes Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.58, 1.02 WHIP, 6 K/9)

Go Rangers!

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May 282012
 

Surging Rangers Offense looks to stay Hot against Seattle Mariners, Kevin MillwoodBefore the Toronto Blue Jays came to town, the Texas Rangers (30-18) were mired in an offensive funk that saw them averaging less than four runs per game—paving the way to losses in six of their previous ten games.

The Jays had beaten the Rangers in two out of three this season and had dominated Texas both last season and the season prior—and with Brandon Morrow set to toe-the-rubber in game one last Friday, things looked bleak.

However, Texas’ slumbering offense came alive immediately—plating seven in the first inning—setting the tone for domination and initiating the sweep.

And just like that, the offensive woes fell to the wayside thanks to an attack that averaged 11.33 runs per game during the Jays series.

Here’s hoping the Rangers bats can stay hot as they welcome their familiar foe, the Seattle Mariners for a three game set in Arlington.

Kevin Millwood (3-3, 3.72 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 6 K/9) vs. Matt Harrison (5-3, 4.72 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 5.9 K/9)

Millwood

In former Texas Ranger Kevin Millwood’s last start, he pitched six scoreless innings against the Rangers, picking up the win 5-3. Millwood is in a zone that he hasn’t seen since last century (1999)—he hasn’t allowed a run in 17 consecutive innings.

Millwood is a veteran that relies not on raw stuff, but on location. A similar comparison in style would be that of Colby Lewis (with much lower K/9 and HR/9 rates).

Against the current crew of Rangers, Millwood has a .253 BA against. Adrian Beltre has 3 career home runs with 5 RBI off of him. Mike Napoli (.375, 1 HR, 4 RBI) and, of course, Josh Hamilton (.400, 1 HR, 3 RBI) have both been tough outs for Millwood throughout his career.

Matt Harrison

“Harri” had seen his ERA rise from 3.68 to 5.21 before he picked up the win against the Mariners in Seattle, 3-1, last week. Harri was sharp, going 7 innings, striking out 6, walking 2 and scattering 8 hits.

If you’ll recall, after that first inning against the M’s it sure didn’t look like we’d be getting 7 quality innings from the big left-hander.

Thanks to some outstanding defense from Hamilton, Harri was able to get out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning—while surrendering just the one run. From that point forward, he was in cruise control.

The Mariners have only managed a .182 BA against Harrison. Ichiro Suzuki has had the most at bats against him, and has collected 9 hits with a team-leading 2 RBI. Alex Liddi (.500) and Brendan Ryan (.667) see the ball well against the Durham, North Carolina native, but it’s a small sample size for them.

Much like the North Texas weather, here are four Rangers that are heating up:

•Nelson Cruz—8 RBI in one week much less one game will certainly warrant your inclusion in the hot list.

•Josh Hamilton—Much like Cruz’s big night, Hami’s walk-off, extra innings long ball is enough to realize his power stroke hasn’t gone anywhere. Plus, he’s Josh Hamilton…’nuff said.

•Mike Napoli—It’s no secret that Napoli has struggled since an April hot streak. However, his 2-for-3 yesterday afternoon (including his first home run in nearly a month) might be a sign that “Mr. NAP-O-LIII!” is starting to sizzle.

•Mitch Moreland—Mr. underrated…even after yesterday’s 0-for-3, Moreland has been torrid at the dish. In the Jays series he was 6-for-13 (.462) with 4 RBI and one big fly.

Hot Mariners to watch:

N/A—C’mon, they just got swept by the Angels for crying out loud.

The Rangers can win if:

• They can get on base early against Millwood. Millwood was dominate at times in his last outing, and he leads the league with the lowest HR/9 rate, averaging just 0.3/9. In other words, the Rangers can’t rely on the long ball to touch up Millwood.

Prediction time:

I just can’t see Millwood keeping the Rangers bats at bay twice in less than a week. Rangers win 7-4, and Millwood’s scoreless innings streak is snapped at 18.

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May 272012
 

Yu Darvish and Texas Rangers Seek Sweep of Struggling Blue BirdsThe Texas Rangers (29-18) have already locked-in the series win over the Toronto Blue Jays (24-23) regardless of this afternoon’s outcome.

The previous two games have already cured much of what has ailed Rangers Nation. You’ve got the dominant start from Derek Holland, a day of domination from Nelson Cruz, and a Hami homer of normal proportion.

Then, of course, the walk-off Hami homer; the type best told over a roaring campfire; a 400-foot cautionary tale to any pitcher who dares throw a strike in Hamilton’s legendary wheelhouse.

Then, the back-to-back-to-back long ball attack from the 7-8-9 hole hitters. And, lastly, a collective Rangers offensive assault that has averaged 11.5 runs per game in thus far in the Jays series, when it had averaged less than 4 runs per game the prior 10!

How could things get any better?

A sweep.

What could be better than sending the “oots” back north of the border with the wrong end of a broom crammed in their blue bird bootays?

And who better to complete the task than Yu Darvish…

Yu Darivsh (6-2, 3.05 ERA 1.41 WHIP, 10.1 K/9

This will be the second time Darvish has faced the Blue Jays.

He was outstanding against the Jays last month in Toronto as he pitched 7 innings, striking out 9 while surrendering just four hits around two walks. The Rangers won 4-1.

Darvish’s last start was the worst of his major league career. In his second tour of duty against the lowly Mariners, he lasted just 4 innings, while walking 6 to see his ERA swell from 2.60 to 3.05.

Darvish’s electric was stuff was there, his fastball command was not.

In his initial start against the Jays, only Edward Encarnacion managed more than one hit off of him. Encarnacion was 2-for-2 with a solo home run. Colby Rasmus and Eric Thames were both 1-for-3 off of The Yu, while the rest of the team went 0-14 with 7 Ks.

Kyle Drabek (4-4, 3.27 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.1 K/9

Drabek, once again, has the dubious task of matching up against The Yu. Drabek took the loss last time. He didn’t pitch poorly; as he scattered 5 hits over his 6 innings of work, walking two and striking out 8.

Drabek, like Darvish, flashes excellent pure stuff but gets into trouble when his command isn’t sharp. This is evident in his last start against Tampa Bay, when he went 6 innings, walked 6 but surrendered just 3 hits.

Elvis Andrus is 3-for-6 versus Drabek lifetime, and Adrian Beltre has touched him up to the tune of a .333 batting average.

Yorvit Torrealba has only one hit against Drabek over his career, but it was long ball, and Torrealbahas hit two home runs in his last two games…should be an interesting matchup.

The Rangers can complete the sweep if:

They continue to strike fast and furiously. Yesterday it was all Rangers in the first inning once again as they pounced on Henderson Alvarez for two quick runs.

They need to capitalize on Drabek’s tendency to go deep in counts by getting on base anyway possible. If they can do that, and the offense stays hot, the Rangers can pull of the sweep.

Prediction time:

The most important thing for Kyle Drabek to do today is go deep in the game; if the beleaguered Blue Jays bullpen has to be summoned too soon, we may just see backup catcher Jeff Mathis on the hill again.

And that would be fine with me.

I think The Yu is going to be sharp in the summer-like heat and will go six innings with 7 Ks to earn the win while seeing his ERA dip back into the twos where it belongs.

Rangers win 6-2.

Go Rangers!

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May 272012
 

Texas Rangers Bruise the Jays Blue on Hamiltons Walk off Home Run Sometimes, even without RISP, there can be a reward.

After going 2-for-16 (.125) with runners in scoring position, while leaving as many runners on base as innings played (13); and then failing to plate the winning run after getting it on base with the leadoff batter in four consecutive innings

The Texas Rangers—thanks to Josh Hamilton—weren’t going to let this 13-inning affair end with a loss. And just like that Hamilton hit his 20th home run, and his third career walk-off home run.

You know, Josh, you’re spoiling the hell out of us Rangers fans. But, hey, after that whole “1972—2009″ stretch of Rangers’ mediocrity—with a few one-and-done playoff teams sprinkled in—we deserve a little pampering.

Aside from the obvious Hambone-heroics here’s a glance at some other highlights from, literally, the longest Texas Rangers game of the year:

• With two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning, and the Rangers trailing 4-2, Nelson Cruz, Yorvit Torrealba and Mitch Moreland (the 7, 8, and 9-hole hitters) each hit solo home runs to give the Rangers a 5-4 lead…

• Mitch Moreland is now hitting above .300 for the first time this season…his home run was his fourth in the last 10 games, and he is hitting .458, with 8 RBI over that span.

Nelson Cruz has hit as many homeruns (2) in the last two games as he had in the entire month of April.

• The Texas Rangers are now at their high-water mark, 11 games above .500, for the first time since May 13th.

•The Rangers are 3-1 in extra innings this season.

The Texas Rangers will go for the sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM .

Yu Darvish (6-2, 3.05 ERA, 1.41 WHIP, 10.1 K/9) will oppose Kyle Drabek (4-4, 3.27 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 7.1 K/9).

Make sure to check back here for the pregame preview a la BaseballDo, foo!

Go Rangers!

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May 262012
 

Texas Rangers and Colbyashi look to clip the Blue Birds, Even Season Series

The futility of the Texas Rangers against the Toronto Blue Jays was largely squelched by the feel-good salve of an honest to goodness ass-kicking, 14-3, last night.

It was Derek Holland (7.1 IP, 9 Ks) and Nelson Cruz (4-for-5 8 RBI, grand slam) that provided most of the damage with a home run by Josh Hamilton sprinkled in for good measure.

This afternoon, it will be Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.30 ERA) toeing the rubber for the Rangers against young right-hander Henderson Alvarez (3-3, 3.30 ERA) for the blue birds.

Lewis vs. the Jays

• Lewis is coming off of an excellent start against the Astros last weekend, as he worked 8 innings, scattering 4 hits and striking out 6.
• This will be Lewis’ first start of the season against the Blue Jays.
• Of current Blue Jays, long-time Ranger killers Rajai Davis (.375) and Jose Bautista (.375, 2 HRs) tend to tee off on Colbyashi.
• J.P. Arrencibia has had only two at bats against the big man from Bakersfield, but his one knock was of the four-bag variety.

For Lewis to get the win today, he’ll have to command his fastball by hitting his spots and keeping it down in the zone. With the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington’s infamous “Jetstream” in full effect, Lewis won’t be afforded many mistakes; a hanging slider might go 400 feet.

Henderson Alvarez

• The 22-year-old Venezuelan right-hander is making just his 20th major league start this afternoon, and has never faced the Texas Rangers.
• Much like Morrow, Alvarez was roughed-up by the Tampa Bay Rays last month, surrendering 6 earned runs on 6 hits.
• Unlike Morrow, Alvarez was knocked around by the Mets last week, as he watched his ERA swell from 2.62 to 3.30 after allowing 6 earned runs on 9 hits over his 5 innings pitched.
• Over his 9 pervious starts this season, Alvarez has allowed an average of 6.5 hits per start, and more than 8 hits per game over his last three starts.

The Rangers can win if:

• They can set the tone today much like last night. Ian Kinsler helped pave the way for a big day from Nelson Cruz, as his 14 pitch leadoff at bat was the early nail in the coffin that sealed Brandon Morrow’s fate.
• Colby Lewis can keep the ball off of Randoll Mill Road. Even though the Rangers whipped up on the Jays last night, Toronto is still a solid team capable of putting runs on the board in a hurry.

Prediction time:

• I’m going to go out on a limb and say that Nelson Cruz will NOT knock in 8 runs again this afternoon…but it will be exciting to see if Boomstick’s big night carries over to today.
• Rangers win 5-3 as Colbyashi surrenders a couple of solo shots, but ultimately pitches well enough to go six innings and earn his 5th victory of the season.

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May 262012
 

Nelson Cruz Goes Nuclear, Boomstick Butt Kicks Blue Jays with 8 RBI

Cruz is heating up.

“…A friend who was troubled and weary he knew,
Who’d be glad of a lift and who needed it, too;
On him he would call and see what he could do
Tomorrow.”
Edgar Albert Guest, Tomorrow.

That succinctly summarizes what the Texas Rangers offense was able to do to Morrow—Brandon, that is—during last night’s 14-3 Blue Jays beatdown…not feeling it?

All right, how about:

“…An offense that was troubled and weary Nellie knew,
His team would be glad of a lift and needed it, too;
On his boomstick he would call and see what he could do
To Brandon Morrow.”

Hell yes!

And now for the fun, non-poetic, Rangers kicking-ass, feel-good stuff:

The Sorrow of Brandon Morrow (sorry, couldn’t resist)

•Morrow threw 14 pitches to leadoff batter Ian Kinsler, before losing him to a walk.
•He would only throw 30 more pitches before exiting the game, down 6-0. Surrendering an average of one run every five pitches thrown.
• Morrow’s ERA entering last night’s Texas Rangers slugfest was 2.63. Now it’s 3.47 and he needed just two-thirds of an inning to put Tiger Balm on his ERA’s bozack.
• Poor Morrow, I never new a “slump buster” could be tall, thin, bearded and—worst of all—a freaking dude.

Boom Shack-a-Lacka Shack-a-Lacka Boom Boomstick!

• Nelson Cruz’s first home run—Grand Slam style sucka Boo-ya! in 11 days was just one of his four hits on the night.
• He went 4-for-5 with 8 RBI. This tied him for the most RBI in a game this season with Josh Hamilton, who was 5-5 (with 4 home runs) on May 8th.
• Seriously? What team has two dudes knock in 8 in one game just 17 days apart? Answer: Our team!

No, Jeff, you can’t wear catcher’s gear on the mound…

• The only Blue Jays pitcher that didn’t allow at least two earned runs last night is not really a pitcher.
• Of course, Jeff Mathis isn’t much of catcher either, but that’s beside the point.
Delusional Angels skipper, Mike Scioscia, most likely viewed Mathis as a better pitcher than Mike Napoli too.

I’ve got your slump right here, pal!

• The Rangers 14 runs scored were the most they’d plated since their 13-6 win over the Los Angeles Angels of that city near Disneyland, on May 13th.
• Michael Young’s 3 runs scored last night were one more than he had scored in his previous nine games combined. His 3-for-5 night raised his average to .276—and he is now hitting over .400 against Brandon Morrow for his career.

The Dutch Oven is so HOT! right now…

• Derek Holland’s 9 strikeouts are the most he’s had this season and fell just one shy of his career high of 10.
• Holland struck out the side in the first inning and did the same in the sixth inning with the only blemish being Edward Encarnacion’s solo shot.

Timely Hitting, come and get some!

• The Rangers left 11 men on base, but hit .389 (7-for-18) with RISP.
• The Blue Jays hit .500 (1-for-2) with RISP; but who gives a shit?

Even though Koji Uehara is not currently sucking…

• There is no “Koji-has-to-suck-for-the-Rangers-to-succeed” hex. Whew! Now it’s just something silly I made up for a cheap laugh rather than a, you know, real “thing.”
Or maybe the onus has been passed on to Lowe’s anus, but who knows?

Up Next for the Rangers:

More potential Blue Jays bashing with the first pitch set for 2:05 PM today; check back here for the Colby Lewis (4-3, 3.30 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) vs. Henderson Alvarez (3-4, 3.30 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) pregame preview…

Go Rangers!

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