Aug 092012
 
JUAN GONZALEZ RANGERS

Texas Rangers Ready for Three Game Homestand with Detroit TigersAfter taking two-of-three from the Boston Red Sox, claiming their second-straight series win, the Texas Rangers are now back home in Arlington enjoying an off-day.

As the A.L. West’s leaders by 5 1/2 over those pesky A’s of Oakland, and with a sparkling 65-45 record through their first 110 games, they have earned a much needed respite.

That being said, a day without a Texas Rangers game is similar to a summer day that doesn’t reach triple digits—it’s probably best for all parties involved—but it just doesn’t seem quite right.

So, what to do with a full day of zero Rangers baseball?

I decided to pass the time by conjuring up Texas Rangers moments of the past. Good ones, of course. You know how it goes, you spend the day digging up all the bad moments, and the next thing you know you’re sporting a vagrant-length beard, babbling about John Burkett, the GD Yankees, and C.J. Wilson—smelling so sour with bitter tears that you’re dog won’t even give you a sniff.

So, here’s a look at today in Rangers’ history as well as how the Rangers fared 110 games into the season during their playoff-run years.

Enjoy.

August 9, in Rangers’ years past

August 9, 1996:

• Texas’ Bobby Witt improved to 11-8 on the season as he out-dueled Toronto’s Paul Quantril, 5-4 in Toronto. Rangers’ closer, Mike Henneman, picked up his 24th save of the season.

The win improved the Rangers to 64-52 on the season and pushed their A.L. West lead to three games over the Seattle Mariners.

The ’96 Rangers would close out the season by going 26-20 en route to their first-ever playoff appearance.

Through their first 110 games: 61-49

August 9, 1998:

• Boston’s Jim Corsi beat the Rangers’ Todd Stottlemyre 14-8, as Stottlemyre dropped to 10-10 on the year. The Rangers’ A.L. West lead shrank to just two games as their record fell to 63-53.

The Rangers would finish out their ’98 campaign by going 24-22 on their way to their second A.L. West Division crown in the last three years.

Through their first 110 games: 59-51

August 9, 1999

Texas Rangers Ready for Three Game Homestand with Detroit Tigers

Yep. This man was one of our best pitchers in 1999. Good thing we hit eleventy-billion home runs, eh?


• The Toronto Blue Jays bludgeoned the Rangers at The Ballpark, 19-4. Perhaps the only saving grace was that the loss was witnessed by only 22,235 in attendance. That number seems small nowadays, but that’s quite a few people to witness a team that had only won one playoff game in their 27 years up to that point. Plus, it’s hot in August.

The lopsided loss dropped Mike Morgan’s record to 12-7 as the Blue Jays’ Joey Hamilton (5-6) earned the win. The Rangers record dropped to 66-45 but they still had a nice 6 1/2 game lead over the Oakland A’s. Billy Beane was just getting settled in as General Manager, as ’99 marked just his second full season at the helm.

The Rangers finished out the ’99 campaign by going 29-22, to finish at 95-67. The mark stood as their finest season until last year’s team went 96-66 on their way to a second-consecutive A.L. Pennant.

Through their first 110 games: 66-44

August 9, 2010:

Yes, hard to believe that the Rangers (as well as their playoff-starved fanbase) would have to wait 11 long years to put a halt to their nine-game playoff losing streak. The 2010 season, of course, would prove to be well worth the wait.

• Much like today, the Texas Rangers had the day off on Monday, August 9, 2010. Though idle, the Rangers held a 7 1/2 game advantage over the second-placed Oakland Athletics on this date.

Through their first 110 games: : 64-46

August 9, 2011:

• The Rangers improved to 66-51 on this date last season, the 7-6 walk-off win over the Mariners came at a crucial time in the season, as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim were just 1 1/2 games behind Texas in the standings…I’m sure few of us would have believed that last season we’d win the A.L. West by 10 games.

Rangers’ closer Neftali Feliz (2-3) earned the victory, thanks to Josh Hamilton’s walk-off single that scored Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the ninth. Hamilton’s heroics came with two-on and no one out off of Mariner’s reliever Aaron Laffey.

Through their first 110 games: : 61-49

Up Next:

Rangers’ right-hander Scott Feldman (6-6, 4.52 ERA) looks to continue his Scooter-fied magic as he opposes Detroit’s heterochromatic-hurler, righty Max Scherzer (10-6, 4.72 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM (CST).

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Jul 262012
 
greinke_brewers

Rangers Trade Market Update: Zack GreinkeJust days away from the trade deadline…rumors continue to swirl around the Rangers.  Below is a compilation of what’s being said regarding Zack Greinke – so that you don’t have to wander aimlessly around the internets and accidentally stumble across something dirty…

If you missed our initial Profile of Greinke, check it out.

Zack Greinke

  • Josh Cohen (Bleacher Report):

All indications point to Texas reloading its rotation through a trade. The team’s website reports the Rangers want to add a “difference-maker” to the rotation, with Greinke and Hamels leading their wish list. Texas has coveted prospects in Jurickson Profar and Mike Olt, and it would not hesitate to move them for a pitcher like Greinke.

  • Timothy Rapp (Bleacher Report):

The Rangers are already (arguably) the best team in baseball. With Greinke, I think that argument would have to be put to rest. And perhaps finally—after two seasons coming up just short—the Rangers would finally get a World Series title for a team in its prime.

  • Tom Haudricourt (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

The Rangers’ primary target was Hamels, and now that he is off the market they will have even more interest in Greinke. Their top prospect is shortstop Jurickson Profar, whom the Brewers would love to have, but Texas considers him an untouchable. Third baseman Mike Olt is another coveted prospect, but the Brewers have a three-year commitment to Ramirez, who would have to be moved to make room. The Brewers would be very interested in obtaining left-hander Martin Perez, the Rangers’ top pitching prospect, and also have scouted right-hander Justin Grimm.

  • Phil Rogers (Chicago Tribune)

Zack Greinke needs important innings to pitch, and the Texas Rangers need a splash. Given the track record that Nolan Ryan and Jon Daniels have of getting their men, it will be a surprise if Greinke isn’t traded to the Rangers. The Brewers not only scouted a start by Rangers’ prospect Martin Perezon Tuesday against Boston but also had a scout watchingNeftali Feliz in a minor-league rehab appearance.

  • Austin Lyon (Orlando Sentinel)

Texas executed a similar trade in 2010 when it acquired Cliff Lee from Seattle and that move helped the Rangers reach the World Series. With a loaded farm system, Texas has more than enough pieces to make an attractive offer to Milwaukee, which appears poised to start rebuilding. With the Angels and suddenly surging Athletics right on the Rangers’ heels, it’s imperative they make a move for the stretch run and I believe they’ll add Greinke.

Greinke seems to be the hot topic right now and more teams are jumping into the mix (White Sox and Nationals to go with standard Braves, Red Sox, Angels & Rangers).  How serious are these other teams?  Who knows, but we do know that the Rangers have the young talent to best any of them if necessary – let’s just hope it doesn’t come to that.  Keep in mind that Greinke is just a rental, but don’t forget that he could put this team over the top…

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Jul 122012
 
jairo_beras_jpeg_480x290_crop-,0_upscale_q95

Texas Rangers Ready for Second Half—News and Notes

You’re not fooling anyone, JD. We all know you’re a ninja.

As it turns out, the All-Star Break was about as much fun as taking three days off from work, just so you can help a friend move.

And your friend lives in Kansas City…well that’s what you get for telling him you own a truck.

After the National League torqued the A.L. 8-0, I feel safe in saying that we are all ready for the second half to commence.

And commence, it will, as the Texas Rangers are headed to the Pacific Northwest for a three game series against fellow A.L. West combatants, the Seattle Mariners.

The Mariners, at 36-51, have a worse record than the Rangers (52-34) even if you’re dyslexic…just look at their record first or that makes less sense than Verlander getting thwacked last Tuesday.

Since the initial road trip of the second half features a call to the West Coast, the start time makes it seem as if it’s far further away than one full day.

Alas, tomorrow night, at 9:10 (CT), recently reactivated Derek Holland (5-4, 5.05 ERA) will make his second start since his month-long stay on the disabled list. He’ll oppose former Ranger Kevin Millwood (3-6, 3.69 ERA). Millwood has been lights-out against the Rangers this year, going 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA in three starts.

Jeez Millwood, you mad?

Holland, against Seattle, well, he’s had some problems

Here’s a look at some Rangers news and notes, as their four-day break nears a close.

Ranger Injury Updates

Both Alexi Ogando (strained right groin muscle) and Neftali Feliz (sprained right elbow) are set to have a minor league rehabilitation assignment in the near future.

Ogando, sidelined since June 10, will conduct his rehab assignment this Thursday with Triple-A Round Rock. He’s penciled in for a two-inning outing.

Feliz, out since May 18, is scheduled to throw live batting practice this Thursday at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. If that outing goes as planned, he’ll be cleared to pitch two innings with Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday.

As noted by Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan, it appears as though Feliz will be stretched out to remain in the Rangers rotation upon his return.

Reliever Koji Uehara is scheduled to pitch an inning for Round Rock this Saturday, and should his lat injury not limit him, he could be set to rejoin the bullpen as early as next week.

Mark Lowe, sidelined with a rib cage strain, is expected to resume a throwing program this weekend in Seattle.

Colby Lewis should be reactivated for a start against Oakland next Wednesday.

Rangers’ deal with IFA (International Free Agent) Jairo Beras holds up

As if we needed any further notice that Rangers’ GM Jon Daniels is a true ninja…

Per Joey Matschulat of Baseball Time In Arlington, Major League Baseball has decided to uphold the $4.5 million bonus the Rangers signed Beras to.

There was controversy surrounding Beras’ age, almost from the onset of the deal. Initially, Beras provided the powers that be with a birth certificate that stated he was born in 1995. Had that been the case, the Rangers’ deal would have been revoked as Beras would have been too young to sign a professional contract.

C’mon, you should know by now that what fools MLB can’t pull the wool over JD…

Long story short—please read Matschulat’s fine article for all the details—the Rangers felt that Beras was actually born in 1994, MLB agreed, and thus the deal was upheld due to his now being old enough to sign said deal.

Beras is being punished by a one-year suspension, however.

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Jun 262012
 
Yashi

Mystery Behind Perez Promotion Unveiled as Colby Lewis Placed on DLAnd just like that, 60% of the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation is now on the disabled list. Per Fort Worth Star-Telegrams’s Jeff Wilson, Colby Lewis will join Derek Holland and Neftali Feilz on the DL, with right forearm tendonitis.

This is especially alarming since left-hander Matt Harrison was lifted early from his last start as a precautionary measure because the 10-game winner was suffering from lower back stiffness. It doesn’t appear that Harrison’s back will require him to miss a start.

Earlier this morning word had surfaced that top-ranked pitching prospect, Martin Perez, had been called-up and told to report to the Texas Rangers for tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Until news of the Colby Lewis injury surfaced, the Perez promotion was seen as mysterious, since it was unknown who the Rangers would move to make room for the 21-year-old left-hander.

Scott Feldman will get his wish and return to the Rangers rotation for a spot start this Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

There has been no new timetable set for the return of the Rangers’ first DL casualty, Neftali Feliz, but Derek Holland has thrown a side-session and is presumably on track for a return to the Rangers rotation shortly after next month’s All-Star Break.

Currently, the Texas Rangers’ rotation consists of Yu Darvish (who will pitch tonight), Roy Oswalt (scheduled for tomorrow night), Scott Feldman, and Matt Harrison (barring any back issues). Justin Grimm was scheduled to start this Saturday, but Martin Perez could the get the nod instead. As of now, that decision is up in the air.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman—who went five innings in relief last night—is also a possible candidate for a spot-start this weekend.

This is the first time that Colby Lewis has required time on the DL in his two-plus big league seasons since returning from Japan.

It is unknown whether the injury stems from Lewis’ start last Saturday, where he took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs on 12 hits over four innings of work. That start was his shortest of the season.

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Jun 212012
 

The Rangers beat the Padres & Baseball Do beat something MALICIOUSWe are MALWARE free!

Ok, really not convinced there was ever a serious problem with the site, but there was definitely some “malicious code” on the site and it has now been completely removed.  In addition, we’ve taken the necessary steps to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.  What a beating…

BaseballDo.com is once again a safe place for you to cyber-hang!

Lot’s of speculation if the infection that we had here on baseballdo.com could have been the same one that attacked our beloved Josh Hamilton over the weekend.  Biological investigation pending…

Due to all of these issues, we had to remove the Forums – could be temporary, could be permanent.  Let us know if you have an opinion on that.

Rangers Sweep the San Diego Fathers

The Rangers beat the Padres & Baseball Do beat something MALICIOUSRangers completed the sweep of the Padres last night behind a strong performance from Yu Darvish.  Darvish gave up 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks over 8 innings, while striking out 8.  Both of the Padres’ runs were driven in by the pitcher, Anthony Bass, in the second inning.  After that little hiccup, Darvish was lights out before handing over the reigns to Joe Nathan who secured his 15th save of the season.  Darvish, who is now tied for the AL lead in Wins,  improves to 9-4 with a 3.45 ERA on the season.

“The first two innings, it looked like he was trying to find his rhythm,” Washington said. “From that point on, he wasn’t going to be denied. His breaking ball came, his cutter came, he moved the ball around the zone pretty good. He did a great job.”

Darvish also got his first MLB hit in the game, a broken bat single to right.

Rangers shuffle rotation

Roy Oswalt will make his Rangers debut tomorrow night at the Ballpark against the Rockies, replacing Scott Feldman in the rotation.

“He’s ready to go,” manager Ron Washington said. “The reports we got say he’s ready to go. That’s what we brought him for, to bring him to the big leagues, and he’s ready, so we made the decision to do it. We challenge him now.”

Scott Feldman slides back into the bullpen, a move that he’s none too happy with.

“Basically, telling me that I’m not in the plans for the second time this year, spring training and then now, that’s fine, if I’m not in their plans,” Feldman said. “But it doesn’t mean I have to be happy about it.”

Look, Scooter didn’t really do much to prove that he deserved more opportunities and while he’s clearly not happy with the move back to the pen, it’s an important role for the TEAM.  His unhappiness is nothing to be worried about, and if anything shows that he’s a competitor that wants to be in the rotation.  If he get’s another opportunity, somewhere down the line with the Rangers or another team, hopefully he’ll show better.

The Rangers’ rotation, starting Friday, is Oswalt, Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison, Grimm and Yu Darvish.

Dutch and Feliz both continue to make good progress in rehab, both throwing off the mound yesterday.  Holland is hoping to return to the rotation on July 1st and Neftali is hoping for mid-July.  Barring any more injuries, Grimm would more than likely go back to the minors and Feliz will go to the pen in a set-up/7th inning role.

 Field Trip is quickly approaching…

If you haven’t already purchased your ticket to the Baseball Do First Annual Field Trip, jump on it.  It’s a great deal, and should be a great time!  We still have some spots available!

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Jun 032012
 

Baseball Do Podcast   Episode 15   Current State of the Rangers & the Impact of Roy OswaltIt’s been a while…

We promise to be better…if you just listen.

We break down the current state of the Rangers, break down the Roy Oswalt signing and come up with a new “activity” for the Field Trip.

Podcast will be available on iTunes in the next 24 hours.

Also, the Forums are LIVE.  What are you waiting for?  Sign up for an account and start talking Rangers (or zombies or football or anything else for that matter)!

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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 182012
 

Texas Rangers and Houston Astros engage in 12th Lone Star Series: Who will win first leg of the Silver Boot?A popular Nancy Sinatra song from 1966 speaks of the wonders of boots that are made for walking. After broaching her brogan’s business it’s a letdown to learn that walking—rather than knocking—was all those bad boys were up to way back when.

The Silver Boot is far less ambiguous. It’s the annual award handed out to the winner of the interleague series between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

This boot exists for one reason, and one reason only:

For kicking the shi@ out of the Houston Astros.
Texas Rangers and Houston Astros engage in 12th Lone Star Series: Who will win first leg of the Silver Boot?

The Texas Rangers travel to Houston today to start a three-game series. Normally, I’d breakdown how each team matches up against the other. However, I’m going to skip that because I couldn’t find any information on the Astros. Turns out MLB.com only lists statistics for major leaguer ball players Bing!

Aw hell, it’s pretty much just Bud Norris, and then the rest will bore us. You can use that if you want to.

Here are some interesting tidbits about the Lone Star Series:

• Despite having 12 opportunities to pitch against the Rangers during his two seasons in Houston, Roger Clemens was always too frightened to toe the rubber against Texas.
• The future demise of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim occurred the very moment that Gary Matthews Jr. made his circus grab against the Astros on July 1, 2006. Had it not been for that spectacular catch, the Halos wouldn’t have started their string of cash whipping outfielders past their prime. See: Wells, Vernon (yes it was a trade but they’re stuck with that contract). Abreu, Bobby. Hunter, Torii. Etc, ad infinitum.
• The Lone Star Series started in 2001, but the Rangers and Astros first played each other in 1997, one year after both the Astros and Rangers retired Nolan Ryan’s number 34.
• The Texas Rangers and Astros have split three Lone Star Series. The Rangers won all three as they outscored the Astros overall.
• The Rangers have won the boot 73% of the time, including the last five years straight.
• The Silver Boot was originally made out of 14-karat solid gold, but Tom Hicks pawned it in 2009.

Texas Rangers and Houston Astros engage in 12th Lone Star Series: Who will win first leg of the Silver Boot?

Yep, Tom Hicks pawned the Gold Boot here in 2009. What a jerk.

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 PM, Houston time, which is exactly like DFW time yet smoggier and infinitely more humid.

Neftali Feliz (3-1, 3.32 ERA) will oppose Wandy Rodriguez (3-1, 1.99 ERA).

Go Rangers!

Texas Rangers and Houston Astros engage in 12th Lone Star Series: Who will win first leg of the Silver Boot?

Walking Boots? No thanks. Knocking Boots? Yes, please.

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May 142012
 

Rangers Cruz Past Rival Angels in Rubber Match

Monday Morning FastballsAfter falling to the Angels on Saturday, the Rangers came out and made a bold statement on Sunday night against Angels Ace Jered Weaver in a nationally televised game.  In the first 3 of 19 the two teams will play this season, the Rangers established where the balance of power stood in the American League West.

“It’s important to win games against the teams in your division, there’s no doubt about it,” said Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (2 for 4, 1 RBI in the game). “The most important thing is to win games and to win series and we’re able to get another series under our belt. To be honest with you, I’m not really worried about them. I’m worried about us and what we need to do to win games.”

The Angels sent their Ace to the mound, a day after Rangers fans were treated to seeing C.J. Wilson start his second consecutive game of the series.  Weaver only lasted 3 1/3 innings, giving up 8 earned runs on 10 hits and a walk.

“Those guys are good over there, man, and if you fall behind, let them get in hitters’ counts, they’re going to put damage on you,” Weaver said. “Obviously, they’ve been doing it to a lot of people. You have to be on your ‘A’ game against these guys. They don’t give you a chance to breathe. You have to be pretty fine with all your pitches, and that wasn’t the case tonight.”

While all runs are created equal, the big blow came off the bat of Nelson Cruz who, with the game tied at 2, delivered a two out Grand Slam in the bottom of the 3rd to cap off an inning in which the Rangers scored all of their runs (5 in total) with two outs.

Monday Morning Fastballs

“I said before that I felt like my swing was there, just not the results,” Cruz said. “I thought it would come. It’s good to see it.”

Monday Morning FastballsCruz wasn’t alone in his plight to sink the Angels pitching staff.  Every Rangers starter, with the exception of David Murphy, got a hit with Kinsler, Andrus, Hamilton, Cruz, Napoli & Moreland all contributing multi-hit games.  Even the hitless Murph made a very big contribution last night, working a walk after being down 0-2 to Jered Weaver in the 3rd, which loaded the bases and kept the inning alive for Cruz.  While Cruz was the only one that left the yard, the extra base power was there all night as the lineup combined for seven doubles.

“It’s a fun lineup to be a part of,” Josh Hamilton said. “Every night somebody steps up. Either all of us, or bottom of the lineup or top of the lineup. It flip-flops or varies, which is a good thing to be able to say as a team. It’s just fun to be a part of.”

Rangers starter Neftali Feliz, very appreciative of the big lead, pitched well through six innings of work, only giving up 2 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 5.  The two runs came on a home run by Mark Trumbo who started in right field for the Angels – dude has massive power.

Rangers relief gave up four more runs, with three of those being surrendered by Mark Lowe in his 2/3 innings of work.  Lowe, who had performed pretty well so far this season, set himself back last night in terms of the trust that Rangers fans have in him.  The other run was given in up in the 9th by Joe Nathan via a Kendrys Morales solo shot.  Nathan was getting work in due to the time since he last pitched, not because it was a save situation.

Two other worthy highlights of the night:

  • Elvis Andrus defensive GEM – with the Angels threatening to make it a ballgame in the seventh inning, having already scored 3 and now with the bases loaded, Elvis made a tremendous play to end the inning.  I couldn’t find video of the play, but I’m sure most of you saw it.  He ranged far to his left behind the second base bag, gloved a ball and flipped the ball from his glove to Ian who was covering second, just in time to get the force.  Words don’t do it justice….
  • When Jered Weaver was pulled from the game in the middle of the fourth inning, he showed his fun side by singing along with the “Hit the Road Jack” music being played at the Ballpark.  Goofy, and as many tweeted last night, made him seem a little less douchey.  Video below…

Final words from our friend Jered Weaver:

“You have to be pretty good coming into this place,” Weaver said. “These guys are pretty good at home. That’s been proven. They’ve got a good ballclub over there, man. And if you dig yourself a hole before you get out there, that’s pretty much a game won for them already.”

Quick Hits

  • The Rangers begin their series against Kansas City tonight at the Ballpark.  Scott Feldman gets a spot start against Bruce Chen in the first of the short two game series.
  • We completed our Twitter Ticket giveaway yesterday, and the winner was Larry Bannister.  Thanks to everyone who participated and we’ll try to keep more fun giveaways coming the future.
  • The Baseball Do Field Trip is only a little over 6 weeks away.  What are you waiting for…?  Good food, Rangers baseball and Reckless Kelly!

Personal shout out – Happy Birthday Dad!

 

Jered Weaver Ballpark Karaoke:

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Apr 262012
 

Thursday Morning ChangeupsRobbie Ross leads the Major Leagues in wins…

The Rangers have won 6 straight series to open a season for the first time in franchise history…

The Rangers haven’t lost a 3 game series in Arlington since July1st-3rd of 2011 against the Marlins…

“We’re doing everything well,” Washington said. “We’re swinging the bats, playing the game the way it’s supposed to be played, pitching well, running the bases, playing defense. We’re playing a complete game. We’re just playing the best game we can possibly play that night. If you do that you’ll have fun, and we’re having a lot of fun right now.”

The Rangers beat the Yankees last night 7-3, in a game in which Ron Washington elected to utilize his bullpen from beginning to end by giving the spot start to Scott Feldman who was followed by Robbie Ross, Neftali Feliz, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan.  All pitched relatively effectively with Feldman giving up 2 runs and Feliz giving up a solo shot Raul Ibanez in the 7th.  Whether you are a fan of the approach or not…it worked.

“We didn’t look at it as a bullpen game,” designated hitter Michael Young said. “Scott Feldman is a legitimate big league starter and a huge part of our team.”

The Rangers bullpen, continuing to exert it’s dominance early in the season, has a 2.03 ERA through the club’s first 19 games.

  • Joe Nathan – 3.72 ERA & 1.14 WHIP over 9.2 IP w/ 5 saves
  • Mike Adams – 1.00 ERA & 0.78 WHIP over 9 IP w/ 1 save
  • Alexi Ogando – 1.00 ERA & 0.44 WHIP over 9 IP w/ 1 save
  • Robbie Ross – 2.25 ERA & 0.88 WHIP over 8 IP w/ 4 wins
  • Mark Lowe – 0.00 ERA & 0.50 WHIP over 4 IP
  • Koji Uehara – 3.60 ERA & 0.80 WHIP over 5 IP
“We have a very good bullpen,” Washington said. “Ross has been tremendous, and tonight he did exactly what we needed done — he set it up for the rest of the guys.”

Just another strength of this team…the best team in MLB.

Quick hits:

  • Thursday Morning ChangeupsNeftali Feliz got an inning of work last night, but should benefit from the added rest as it was his spot in the rotation that was skipped.  His next start will come Tuesday against Toronto.  Looking back to 2011, Alexi Ogando never got a similar early season rest, and his mid-season fade is a big part of the change in approach with Feliz.

“We really didn’t have a plan for Ogando, we just let him fly,” Washington said. “We learned from that.”

“Of course having the extra day is going to help me,” Feliz said. “You never know. It’s a long season. You never know how hard I’m going to be throwing and how many innings I’m going to work. I think it’s going to help me out in the end.”

  • Harrison, Lewis & Holland will get the starts against the Rays this weekend.
  • Speaking of the Rays…anyone go into this week more concerned with the three games with them than the three games with the Yanks?  I did.  Rangers fans need to be just as loud, rowdy and supportive for these three games as they were for the hated Yanks…

“Obviously we have a ton of respect for them,” Rangers infielder Michael Young said. “This is the American League, every team is going to be tough. We just have to focus on keep getting better every day. Right now our pitching is what’s gotten us off to such a good start. They just keep us in the game every night.”

  • The Elvis Andrus errorless streak is at 50 now, which is the third longest in club history for a shortstop.  The franchise record is 60, held by Wayne Tolleson who did it in a back-up role during the mid-80′s.

Thursday Morning Changeups“I haven’t said a word to Elvis since Spring Training,” Washington said. “If I haven’t said a word to him, that means he’s doing OK. He’s doing the same things, he’s just doing it with maturity and experience. That breeds consistency.”

  • Interesting tidbit from T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com), Yu Darvish’s 8 1/3 scoreless innings on Tuesday was the longest scoreless start by a Rangers pitcher against the Yankees since Bob Tewksbury threw six against them on July 7, 1995, in Arlington.

Enjoy the day off…

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