The Rangers are 8 – 2…if you want to know why…listen to this podcast.
- Early season observations
- Top surprises from the first 10 games
- Jasen’s day job…
- Paying Josh
Jasen also threw down the gauntlet…let us hear from you!
Trailing by one run in the 8th after an RBI triple by Elvis Andrus had plated Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton hit a no-doubter to the upper deck in right field that silenced the hometown Twins once and for all and wrapped up the opening road series sweep.
“You know I don’t watch them,” Hamilton said regarding the distance of his home run. “I know it feels good and sounds good and Ron yells, ‘Yes!’ pretty loud. That’s about it. But that one felt pretty good.”
“That was awesome,” outfielder David Murphy said. “We didn’t get our offense going, but with this offense, we’re never out of it. Huge shot by Josh. As long as we have outs, we’re never out of it.”
“We played good baseball,” Washington said. “We pitched, we played defense, we ran the bases, we delivered the big hit when we needed them. Everything fell into place.”
“It’s nice to come in here and sweep these guys,” Nathan said. “I know the Twins have done pretty well against this club at this park. Today was a good win, come-from-behind win, and to hold down a one-run lead, it was nice.”
“It was a pretty fun weekend,” Ross said. “I enjoyed it. I tried not to put too much pressure on myself, just relax and try to get guys out.”
“They’re chasing us,” echoed second baseman Ian Kinsler. “It shouldn’t matter to us. We’re not chasing them. Obviously, they are some of the best teams in the American League, but we feel like it’s got to come through us. We just have to play good baseball.”
It’s Opening Day week!
Outside of baseball in October, there is no sweeter time for fans of the great game. Every team is still in the race and has hopes of being a contender. Rivalries will soon be renewed on the field…where they should be settled. The moves of the off-season will play out and the moves of the coming season will soon be hot topics.
It’s here. 2012 is finally here, and It couldn’t have gotten here soon enough for us Rangers fans. Excited about the coming season and equally as eager to put 2011 further out of our minds.
As we count-down the next five days towards Opening Day on Friday afternoon, we are going to dedicate the morning updates to the 5 Bold Baseball Do Predictions for 2012.
Coming off of a strong 2011 campaign, the 29 year old second baseman will take another big step forward in 2012, not only outpacing his peers at 2B (Cano, Pedroia, etc.), but ultimately winning the American League MVP. Leading off for a potent lineup, Kinsler will set the table with a strong OBP just as often as he cleans the table with his extra-base/home run power. A portion of the rise in Kinsler’s numbers will be attributed to the improved offensive performance of the 2-hole hitter, Elvis Andrus.
“We’re playing baseball like you want to at the right time,” manager Ron Washington said. “It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. We finished the way we wanted to finish.”
“Ross earned that spot,” Washington said. “We didn’t give it away. I’m excited about that. We don’t like to hand it out, he earned it.”
“I’m like a kid on Christmas,” Ross said. “When I got drafted, that was the best day of my life. When I got married, that was the best day of my life. Now this … it’s just amazing, I couldn’t believe it. I was sitting in there thinking it was April Fools’. It has been awesome.”
“Four years ago if you’d asked me if I was going to start opening day in the big leagues, I’d have said that was crazy,” Lewis said, adding that starting that game is a big deal for his career. “I feel very blessed. I feel blessed to have a beautiful family that backs me and supports me. That’s a big key to my success.”
“I could start Murphy on Opening Day and two days later you may not see him in the lineup,” manager Ron Washington said. “Is he going to be in there every single day? No. is Hamilton going to be in center field every single day? No. He’ll play some center field. Murphy will play a lot.”
“I just think I need to keep the focus on winning and my teammates rather than me,” Murphy said. “There is no reason to put all this pressure on myself. We have a power-packed lineup. It’s not like I’m hitting in the No. 3 hole and have to carry the load. I’m not one of the featured attractions, I just have to keep the line moving.”
2012 has begun! The Athletics and Mariners are over in Japan wrapping up the season opener as I type this. One note, the Rangers will be tied with the Angels for 2nd when this game completes. Nice article by Jim Caples (ESPN) on Ichiro’s return to Japan.
“I was up just a little bit,” Ross said. “I got behind on batter a few times. I hit my spots OK, but I think I could have attacked the guy that hit the home run better than I did. I kind of pitched around him and nit-picked a little bit.”
“He was hitting them at me, so this time I was like, ‘Oh, that’s what we worked on,’” Ross said. “It was kind of nice knowing I could stick in there with that.”
“I felt good,” said Feliz through a translator. “Everything was OK. I wasn’t trying to throw hard, just trying to keep my pitches down.”
The Rangers are expected to announce their starting rotation very soon. It’s known that Colby Lewis will start Opening Day and Neftali Feliz will take the 5th spot. If the Rangers are truly wanting to split up their left-handers, as manager Ron Washington eluded to earlier this Spring, than the rotation should look like:
“I had good building blocks yesterday and built on that,” Nathan said.
“It’s so easy on this team to be yourself and help others,” Beltre said. “There are not a lot of guys who get out of line. It makes it easy. I like to have fun. It helps me relax and enjoy the game. When I enjoy the game, I perform better. It’s tough to have fun when you’re losing. The good thing is this team wins a lot. It’s easier that way.”
Jennifer Cobb & Megan Parr from www.RangersTalkers.com join us to talk about:
Give it a listen and be sure to let us know what you think!
Also, be sure to sign up for the Field Trip if you haven’t already (spaces are limited) and stay tuned for a special giveaway in the next few days!
OK, so our balls are neither fast or in the morning today…Jasen and I both have some shoulder stiffness, so today’s lateness and brevity are both just precautionary.
Yu Darvish had a good outing yesterday in a minor league intrasquad game. He threw 85 pitches over five innings, giving up four runs to a team consisting of some of the top Rangers prospects – Leonys Martin, Mike Olt, Engel Beltre, etc. He gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out 11.
“I gave up four runs, but I was not unhappy at all with my outing,” Darvish said afterwards. “Overall, I felt very good. I thought my pitches were good, but I kind of backed up the slider a couple of times … little by little, it’s coming.”
Pitching coach Mike Maddux was pleased with the improvement that he saw from Yu.
“I thought he looked good,” Maddux said. “He’s improved each time out. His velocity was there and he spun a few [curves]. I thought his stuff was good. He feels good physically, he said he could go nine innings. That’s a good sign.”
Darvish will start again on Friday against Colorado and is scheduled to pitch six innings and around 100 pitches.
Jennifer and Megan from www.RangersTalkers.com will be joining us tonight on the podcast to talk about Robbie Ross, the Rangers situation in center field, Tailgating and Ballpark food!
The Rangers fell to the Cubs yesterday in a split-squad Spring Training game, but the real story was the performance of Matt Harrison, who in five innings allowed one hit and one run with a walk and five strikeouts.
Darvish Day III:
St. Patrick’s Day Rangers Tickets Giveaway Winner