Jun 162012
 
For Grimm, the future is anything but.

Grimm Reaps Win in Debut as Boomstick Helps Rangers Bag Silver Boot

For Grimm, the future is anything but.

Rookie right-hander Justin Grimm did something during his major league debut that one particular Texas pitcher hasn’t pulled off since 2011.

He earned a win.

Before yet another sellout crowd at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Grimm (1-0, 4.50 ERA) was cool, calm and collected…even after surrendering a first inning solo shot to Houston’s shortstop, Jed Lawrie.

Grimm would be touched up for two more Houston runs in the top of the fifth inning thanks to a Justin Maxwell RBI double and a Jordan Schafer single.

In between the one-run first and two-run fifth, Maxwell struck out five-straight Astros, and finished his day with six innings pitched, seven strikeouts, zero walks and three earned runs.

Not bad for a 22-year-old that had never pitched above Double-A.

And to think that when Grimm threw his final pitch in the sixth inning, he was in line to take the loss, as the Texas Rangers were down 3-0.

The three-run deficit wouldn’t last long.

Moments after Grimm used his 88th and final pitch to record the final out of a 1-2-3 sixth, the Texas Rangers offense suddenly sprang to life.

Better late than never.

After being blanked in their first five frames the Rangers finally solved the Lucas Harrell puzzle. Harrell had surrendered just two hits heading into the sixth. Before he could register the sixth inning’s second out, the Rangers had exploded for five hits and just as many runs, highlighted by a one-out, three-run homer by Nelson Cruz.

¡Gracias, Señor Boomstick!

I’m willing to bet Justin Grimm enjoyed the backing of the most potent offense in Major League Baseball. Here’s hoping the powers that be will grant the kid another big league start in the near future.

Numbers of Note and Notes on Numbers:

33%

• Percentage of the Houston Astros’ total hits that Jordan Schafer recorded from the leadoff spot yesterday. Schafer, Houston’s center fielder, went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base.

Lucas Harrell

• 2 and 0…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed through his first five innings of work.
• 5 and 5…number of hits and runs Harrell allowed in the sixth inning; he recorded just one out before being replaced by Fernando Rodriguez.

The Five-run Inning

• A five-run fifth inning on Friday fueled the Rangers’ to victory in game 1.
• Likewise, it was a five-run outburst—this time in the sixth inning—that was Houston’s downfall yesterday.

June 3rd

• The last time Cruz had hit a home run before yesterday’s go-ahead, three-run shot in the bottom of the sixth inning.
• Nelson’s big blast was just his second in the month of June.

Silver Boot

• Yesterday’s 8-3 win guaranteed that the Silver Boot is the property of the Texas Rangers forever…this is the last Lone Star Series as the Astros will move into the AL West in 2013.

16

• Run differential between the Rangers and Astros through their first five games. Texas has outscored Houston 29-13.

13

• Number of consecutive at-bats Ian Kinsler had gone without a hit until he singled in the bottom of the sixth inning yesterday.

71.4%

• Justin Grimm’s winning percentage over his minor league career—spanning 38 starts…Grimm’s won 100% of his major league starts.

3rd Straight

• The Texas Rangers secured their third consecutive series win, and will go for their first sweep since late last month tomorrow in the Lone Star Series finale.

Up Next:

Anyone know a good real estate agent? Because the Silver Boot will be looking to buy some land in the DFW Metroplex—it won’t be heading back to Houston.

The Texas Rangers (39-27) will close out their three-game series with the Houston Astros (27-38) today, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:05 PM (CT).

RHP Colby Lewis (5-5, 3.13 ERA) will look for his second-straight win against the Houston Astro’s rookie LHP Dallas Keuchel (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who will be making his big league debut.

Make sure to check back here for the Baseball Do series finale preview!

Grimm Reaps Win in Debut as Boomstick Helps Rangers Bag Silver Boot

Happy Father's Day Dad! You've still got a full head of thick...lettuce. You're the best! Love, Tim (Howell)

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Jun 152012
 
YuLyles

Yu Darvish Looks to Lead the Charge in the Final Leg of the Silver Boot SeriesThis is the final leg of the somewhat legendary Lone Star Series—the winners of which receive the magnificently mediocre Silver Boot.

The Texas Rangers want that boot. The Texas Rangers deserve that boot. In order to get it, they’ll have to take two-of-three from the lowly Astros this weekend.

It might not be pretty.

No, not the series…I feel confident the Rangers are going to shellack the Astros, I mean the actual removal of the Silver Boot from the Astros’ a**—where the Rangers stomped Houston until it stuck last month. The excavation, if you will, might not be too pretty.

Tonight, it will be The Yu versus The Who? as Texas looks to lay claim to the Silver Boot and the Lone Star Series for one final time.

A look at The Yu
RH Yu Darvish (7-4, 3.72 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 9.5 K/9)

Darvish has never faced the Houston Astros. I think he’s going to enjoy it. After all, The Yu has yet to lose at home during his MLB career. He’s 5-0 with a 3.38 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Right-handed batters are hitting just .210 against Darvish with lefties batting .254. Darvish is coming off of the worst start of his big league career as he took the loss in Oakland after surrendering 6 earned runs on 6 hits with 6 walks. Yes, those three consecutive sixes were placed there intentionally to further illustrate the devilishly bad time Darvish had in Oaktown.

He was given two extra days of rest and will be looking to right his own ship tonight on seven days of rest.

Checking out The Who?
RH Jordan Lyles 1-2, 5.40 ERA, 1.53 WHIP, 5.7 K/9)

21-year-old Jordan Lyles will be making just his seventh start of the season tonight. Lyles has already faced the Rangers once before and I’m pretty confident he’s not much looking forward to doing it again.

The Rangers’s slash line against the right-hander is: .391/.464/.565. The Rangers hit Lyles so well last month in Houston that in order to conserve space, I’m going to limit the list of Rangers that hit him well to just those batting over .500 against him…Josh Hamilton*(.571 HR), Colby Lewis**(.667 2 RBI), and David Murhpy (.500 HR).

*Josh Hamilton will not be in tonight’s starting lineup due to an intestinal virus. I’m sure that’s fine with Lyles.

**Yes, that’s right, Colby Lewis, the pitcher. Colyashi went Sgt. Kabuki-man all over Lyle’s ass…no word on if manager Ron Washington plans on sliding Lewis into the DH slot tonight…

Much like Darvish’s dreadful previous start, Lyles had his worst outing of his young major league career last time out. Against the White Sox he surrendered 7 hits, recorded no strikeouts, walked three and lasted just 4 1/3 innings, the shortest start in his career.

As previously mentioned, The Yu has not lost at home, and, that, coupled with the fact that Lyles has never won away from home, seems to favor the Rangers’ odds tonight. Lyles is particularly susceptible to left-handed batters, as they hit .333 off of him on the year. Righties are hitting .256 against the former first round selection from 2008 (38th overall selection).

Keys to a Rangers Victory:

Offensively, just jump on Lyles like last time. That should do it. The real question for the Rangers tonight surrounds Yu Darvish. Will it be “good Yu” or “bad Yu”? And how will he respond to seven days off and his second go-round with Houston?

My hunch is that Darvish will do just fine.

Prediction time:

Darvish strikes out seven, and walks just one. Leonys Martin is an apt temporary replacement for Josh Hamilton and the Rangers roll 7-1—inching that much closer to claiming final dibs on the silver boot.

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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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