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 162012
 
SerenityforYu

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2Everyone deserves a week off from time to time. Just ask Yu Darvish (8-4, 3.57 ERA).

After getting lit-up by the lowly Athletics in his last start, manager Ron Washington decided to give The Yu an extra two.

Seven (as in days off) might just be The Yu’s new lucky number. You give him seven and watch Yu strikeout eleven…seven-eleven, seven-eleven, seven-even-back-door-little—Jose…Altuve.

My bad, I effed up the rhyme.

It’s hard to rap when you’re happy.

Yu Darvish matched a career high with 11 strikeouts while walking just two. The win was Darvish’s eighth on the year tying him with Matt Harrison for the team lead.

The extra rest worked so well with Yu that word on the street is that Wash is going to give Scott Feldman some extra rest before his next start as well. Scooter’s next start has now been pushed back to December.

Here are some thoughts and observations from last night’s refreshing, Feldman-free 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros.

Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus
Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2
• Over their last ten games, both Andrus and Kinsler are batting .238. However, over their last three games, Elvis has begun to heat up, going 5-for-11 (.455). Kinsler’s last three games have been on the other side of the spectrum, as he has gone an ice-cold 0-for-11.

Leonys Martin

• Martin was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock earlier today to replace Josh Hamilton who was hospitalized with a viral infection. Martin (0-for-3), along with Kinsler, were the only two Rangers that didn’t get at least one hit last night.
• What’s especially intriguing about the Martin promotion is that Julio Borbon wasn’t even considered an option. Remember when he was the starting center fielder seemingly every year out of Spring Training? Borbon, it appears, is an afterthought now. The odds are that Borbon’s only value to the Rangers is as potential trade bait.
• Julio Borbon went 4-for-4 last night for the Triple-A Round Rock Express.

David Murphy!

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2

David Murphy. Good call, Wash.


• It seems to me that every time the Rangers aren’t getting the usual production from their stars, David Murphy steps up. With Hamilton out of the lineup, Murph came up big once again—last night he was 2-for-3 with 2 RBI.
• He’s hitting .546 (6-for-11) with 2 HRs over his last three games…

The Terror with Two First Names
Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2
• Joe Nathan has been simply amazing. After two strikeouts in last night’s 6-2 (non-save situation), Nathan is now sporting a 1.69 ERA with 33 Ks and just2 BBs.
• Do you remember Neftali Feliz’s approach in non-save situations? Sometimes it seemed as though his concentration and/or desire were anywhere to be found. Not so with Joe Nathan, and, to me, that’s the biggest difference between the two.
• “The Terror with Two First Names” is a pretty lame nickname and probably won’t stick, but unlike his moniker from the first two weeks of April, at least it’s printable.

Martin Perez

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2

"I was already on the 40-man roster, effers."


• Once considered the number one prospect in the Rangers organization, you have to wonder if he’s not a little pissed at being passed up by Justin Grimm for today’s start?
• Angry or not, Perez put together one of his best starts of the season last night for Round Rock, pitching seven shutout innings in their 2-0 win over Oklahoma City.

Brett Wallace’s lower half

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2

Dude's got some large leggings.


• Seriously, did you peep the trunk on that dude? Good thing my TV isn’t 3D or his wheels would’ve knocked the beer right out of my hand!
• You could easily fit a Jose Altuve inside of each thigh.
• Brett Wallace’s legs are the only thing on the planet that make Melissa McCarthy look small.

Up Next:

Rangers’ RH Justin Grimm (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his major league debut against the Houston Astro’s RH Lucas Harrell (6-4, 4.83 ERA). The first pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM (CST).

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2

Just trying to make up for the dude-leg closeups.

Astros Plead Against the Fifth...Backed by The Yu, Texas Rangers Win 6 2

Yeah, that ain't the large lady from Bridesmaids.


Be sure to check back here for the Baseball Do pregame preview!

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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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Jun 022012
 

Out with the Old and in with the Yu: Darvish and C.J. Wilson set to Battle for AL West SupremacyIt is often said that the truly great baseball players have an ability to “slow the game down.” They don’t get too far ahead of themselves, they take things pitch-by-pitch and inning-by-inning.

I feel that the same can be said of great baseball teams.

And for the Texas Rangers (31-21), currently mired in a three-game skid, perhaps this day-by-day philosophy is exactly what they need. Carpe Diem, Texas Rangers.

Even after last night’s gut-wrenching loss to the Los Angeles Angels (27-26), the Rangers are still sitting pretty atop the AL West, 4 1/2 games up.

That being said, tonight’s game can easily be viewed as the most important game of the season thus far. It’s fitting that the Rangers will turn to their team leader in wins, electric young right-hander Yu Darvish.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RH Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.45 ERA, WHIP: 1.46 K/9: 9.7 ) vs. LH C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77 ERA, WHIP: 1.11 K/9: 8.2 )

Darvish

Despite a touch of the stomach flu, Darvish pitched well enough to earn his seventh victory of the season in his last start. He held the Blue Jays to three runs on seven hits during his five innings of work. Darvish struck out three and walked three.

Against the Angels, Darvish has a 5.06 ERA despite allowing just a .158 batting average. Much of the damage in his initial meeting with the Angels in Arlington last month was due to the two home runs (Trout and Hunter) he surrendered.

Tonight’s game in Anaheim will be Darvish’s first time to pitch in the “Big A.”

Loves to face: Mark Trumbo (.000, 2 Ks), Maicer Izturis, Albert Pujols, Erik Aybar and Howie Kendrick are a combined 1-for-10 (.100 BA) against Darvish.

He has yet to face Peter Bourjos, Alberto Callaspo, John Hester, or Kendrys Morales.

Hates to face: Mike Trout. Don’t we all? Against Darvish, Trout is batting .500 with 1 HR and 2 RBI.

Torii Hunter has only managed one hit against Darvish, but it was of the long ball variety.

Wilson

C.J.’s most recent start came against the Seattle Mariners. He was able to earn his sixth win of the season despite battling a blister on his throwing hand. He surrendered just two hits over his six innings of work—complemented by five strikeouts. Wilson walked two.

Against the Texas Rangers last month, Wilson had the dubious distinction of starting two consecutive games.

Thanks to inclement weather coupled with an inability to get more than one out, Wilson lasted just 1/3 of an inning and surrendered four runs, all of which were earned. The loss dropped him to 4-3.

The very next night he pitched better, going 5 2/3 innings, striking out four while walking three.

The Texas Rangers are batting .333 against Wilson. He has a 5-5 career mark with a 3.57 ERA while pitching in Anaheim.

Loves to face: Mike Napoli (.211, 5 Ks), Ian Kinsler (.000, 2 Ks).

Hates to face: Adrain Beltre (.391, 1 HR, 4 RBI). Josh Hamilton, Michael Young, Craig Gentry, and Brandon Snyder are a combined 6-for-11 (.545) against “Ceej.”

He has never faced David Murphy or Mitch Moreland. Due to their ineffectiveness against left-handers, Wilson will probably not see them tonight either.

Keys to victory for the Rangers:

Although the Angels and Rangers are very different in terms of personnel, they are quite close in regards to talent. Tonight’s game will be largely dictated by the effectiveness of each starter.

Both teams have the ability to shorten the game due to a strong bullpen. The Angels’ newest closer, Frieri, has yet to surrender a hit over 13 innings of work this season.

The Rangers’ Joe Nathan has been nearly invincible since some early-season hiccups.

Of key importance for the Rangers will be for Yu Darvish to establish command by getting ahead in the count. This will be dictated by his fastball command. Also, the defense needs to tighten up. At times over the last few weeks it seems as though the team has lost focus—particularly in the field.

Prediction time:

It almost seems that when Darvish doesn’t have his best stuff he is more effective. Regardless, he needs to establish command early. If he can stay ahead in the count then the rest will take care of itself.

I look for the Rangers to roll tonight, stop their skid, and boost their lead back up to 5 1/2 games over the Angels in the AL West.

Rangers win 6-3.

Go Rangers!

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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 212012
 

King Felix vs. The Yu: A Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners PreviewTonight, the Texas Rangers will look to dispatch yet another potential AL West contender not named the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

And, as if fueled by the overpriced coffee that Seattle is famous for, there is quite a buzz surrounding tonight’s series opening starters.

This is what happens when The Yu comes to town. And when you pit Yu Darvish against Felix Hernandez, you’re looking at two of the most exciting right-handers in the American League if not the planet.

The King vs. The Yu is intriguing too given it’s not a particularly good matchup for either pitcher.

King Felix has struggled against the Rangers, and this is the first time Yu will have faced a team twice, and the initial visit didn’t go so well.

Normally, during a series preview, it’s extremely pertinent to, well, preview the series.

Much like a photo of Katy Perry in a bikini, with King Felix, you’re already looking at the best part of the team, so why bother going further?

King Felix vs. The Yu: A Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners Preview

On team Katy Perry, I'd gladly be the designated hitter.

The Seattle Mariners minus Hernandez are basically Katy Perry in a parka. I’m sure there are many other wonderful things about the two, but who gives a shit?

Yu Darvish vs. Seattle

In his well-chronicled debut, Darvish needed 42 pitches to get out of the first inning, and was particularly susceptible to fellow Japanese-born bats. Munenori Kawasaki (Kagoshima) was 1-3 off of Yu with an RBI, and Ichiro Suzuki (Kasugai) went a very Ichiro-like 3-4 with a double.

Hell, the Mariners lit up Darvish so well that even castaway Ranger Justin Smoak got a hit. Kyle Seagar will be the biggest out for Darvish to establish dominance tonight; the diminutive infielder went 2-3 with 3 RBI during Yu’s outing back in April.

The Seattle Mariners are batting .318 off of Darvish with 4 RBI, 4 BBs and 4 Ks.

King Felix vs.Texas

Obviously, the sample size for King Felix against the Rangers is much larger than Yu’s versus the Mariners. It’s also the only thing that Felix can claim to be bigger than anything Yu possesses.

Since Felix’s debut back in ’05, the Rangers have hit .258 with 12 homers and 45 RBI off of Seattle’s ace.

Elvis Andrus has hit him to the tune of a .349 BA with 8 RBI. David Murphy has mashed against the King, with a team-leading 10 RBI and 2 home runs, while hitting at a .310 clip.

Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler have combined for 6 home runs off of him with 10 RBI, but have also struck out 18 times against the King. Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, and the aforementioned Kinsler have batted below .200 with 31 combined strikeouts against his highness, the Mariner’s Majesty.

Of Rangers regulars, Adrian Beltre has seen Felix the fewest times. He’s batting a pedestrian .222 off of him, but has a home run and 2 RBI over his 10 plate appearances.

Prediction time:

I can guarantee that Yu Darvish will throw fewer than 42 pitches in the first inning of tonight’s game. Munenori Kawasaki had his best game of the season thus far in Yu’s first start; since then he hasn’t even been an everyday player.

Ichiro is Ichiro, so if he gets his knocks in against Darvish it should surprise no one. I’m taking Darvish to win this game, but it’s going to be a low scoring affair—mainly because the Mariners can’t hit— and the Rangers have been in a tad of a power surge. Plus, Safeco is the American League’s Petco Park in terms of being pitcher-friendly.

Here’s my imaginary line, straight-up from the fake future fool!:

Yu: 7 IP, 1 ER, 7 Ks, 2 BBs
Felix: 5 1/3 IP, 3 ER, 5 Ks, 1 BB

The Rangers will win 5-2. And even if I’m wrong and the Rangers lose, I’ve still got a sweet bikini pic of Katy Perry to (ahem) pick me up when I’m feeling down.

Go Rangers!

King Felix vs. The Yu: A Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners Preview

No dude, it's cool. Her eyes are down there too.

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May 162012
 

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Nelson vs. Yoenis Cespedes: The battle for AL West eyebrow supremacy has commenced!


The Kansas Royals series? Never happened. I’ve erased all memories of that highly forgettable series
Total Recall
-style.

And I needed no help from Kuato. Just the aid of 12-15 ice-cold beers. There’s no way in hell I’d grab that circus freak’s grubby carnie hands anyways…but if Sharon Stone—circa 1990—cares to come along for the ride, that’s cool by me.

So, the aspirin has kicked-in, the hangover meal’s fully munched and all Royals feats have been forgotten. It’s now time to create some new and improved memories, and we have the Oakland Athletics (19-18) with which to start…

Here’s a look at some points of interest as the first-place Rangers play host to the second-place Athletics (yeah, it’s weird.)

The Oakland Athletics are in 2nd place

Yeah, I had to say it twice just to make it seem more real. It’s the truth, the A’s are four games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West as of today. Sure, it’s early, and yeah this two-gamer doesn’t really matter that much, but it sure would be nice to get a quick sweep and push our lead to six.

Conversely, if the A’s stay hot and the Rangers remain tepid, we could be looking at a mere two game lead in the West. And that’s messed up.

Yoenis Cespedes

Remember him from the offseason? Yeah he was that other foreign-born badass free agent not named Yu Darvish.

Cespedes isn’t exactly on a Hamiltonian tear, but he’s not crapping the bed a la Pujols, either. His slash line sits at: .245/.319/.434.

He has managed five home runs, and leads the A’s in RBI with 21. I’m curious to see how the Cuban slugger fares in the offensive friendly confines of the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Yu Darvish

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Jeez, lucky guy scored both of his cards in the same pack!

Anytime Darvish’s name is penciled in to start, the game becomes must-see TV. Through the first 37 games, Darvish has been the Rangers’ most consistent starter.

I look forward to all of Darvish’s starts, but in this one it will be fun to watch him battle Cespedes as well as the entire A’s team. Hard to believe, but it could be Oakland and not the lowly Angels that are knocking on the Texas Rangers’ first place door in the upcoming months.

Josh Reddick

When I see his name two things pop into my mind. The first has little to with baseball, and is simply just an overwhelming temptation to place a hyphen between the two d’s in “Reddick.”

Secondly, I think of a young outfielder that is finally starting to fulfill his power potential. He’s the A’s team leader in home runs, with 9 and is just one click away from Cespedes in the RBI department with 20.

Reddick hasn’t fared well in Arlington over his career, as is indicated by his .118 BA with one double and nothing else of note offensively. Add in the fact that he’s never seen The Yu before, and those numbers might drop further.

Also, if inflicted with a Red-dick, don’t expect any sympathy from me; it’s your own damn fault—you’re supposed to test the hot tub’s temp with your finger dude! C’mon!

Tom Milone, Bartolo Colon, and a possible attack from the “B-Mac”

Tom Milone and Bartolo Colon rhyme, and journalistically that makes me happy. Tom Milone is off to a strong start this season. He’s 5-2 with a 3.92 ERA overall. At home he’s been near unhittable, going 3-0 with a 0.39 ERA while surrendering no home runs.

That would be irksome if not for the fact that Arlington is most certainly not his home.

On the road, Milone has pitched to the tune of a 2-2 record, with a 7.84 ERA while allowing five dingers…if he leaves his pitches up in the zone tonight, his home run total could double.

Bartolo Colon pitched in last night’s series ender against the Angels, so we probably won’t see the paunchy pitcher with the solid numbers.

We are in line to see Oakland’s “ace” Brand McCarthy for tomorrow afternoon’s series finale.

Remember him? Yeah, he cost us John Danks in a trade with the White Sox back in 2006. We lost our first “d” in the whole D-V-D acronym on that one-sided deal. Truth be told, I was pleased when the news came down. B-mac projected as a front-of-the-rotation starter that was more major league-ready than Danks at the time.

He did become our number one starter; too bad it was while on the disabled list. Hey the DL needs pitching too…Anyways, his fractured potential is becoming a reality as he has pitched well since Oakland acquired him via free agency in 2010.

So far this year, he’s 3-3 with a team-leading 2.56 ERA. At the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, he’s surrendered more home runs (17) than anywhere else over his career.

So kick back, relax, and tell Kuato to stop salivating on your sofa, it’s time to enjoy a potential Oakland Athletics beat-down!

Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers—a Showdown for AL West Supremacy

Grab your hand? Hell no!!!

Go Rangers!

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May 022012
 
The Texas Rangers Have Lost Consecutive Series—No need to panic

Sure, he gave up the game winner on Monday to Brett Lawrie, but hey, it's not like that was our finest game of the year or anything.

Last night, for what seemed like the first time in a decade, the Texas Rangers lost a baseball game on the very same day that the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim won.

Okay, technically, the Angels won during the wee hours of today. But hey, they won, and I’m sure they’re thrilled—it hasn’t happened that often this year.

Sure, we’re 0-2 after our first two Mayday May games. But not to worry, historically the Blue Jays have always been a tough matchup—we were 4-6 against them last year and 3-7 in 2010.

Plus, we knew Jose Bautista would heat up eventually. A-hole that he is.

It’s not all doom and gloom, Rangers fans—there are plenty of positives to be taken from the Rays/Jays-our-first-consecutive-series-losses-of-2012-thing.

Here are some thoughts from the last few games:

Craig Gentry has morphed into Josh Hamilton…

Craig Gentry is an absolute mad man. He’s faster than the mortgage bill when you’re broke and is only slowed by immovable cement structures.

He also has some pop.

That was a pretty sweet moment Monday night when Mitch Moreland and Craig Gentry went back-to-back. But, for the love of God, Gentry, take it easy in the outfield man! It’s not spring training, you’re on the big league roster for crying out loud!

Seriously dude, the freaking outfield wall had to be taken out of the game…that’s how hard you hit it! Had Hamilton hit the wall that hard, we’d still be super-gluing the pieces back together (of both the wall and Hami)!

Ron Washington gets no respect, not even on his birthday

Okay, this one was messed up. On Sunday, Ron Washington celebrated his 60th birthday. There is no better way to celebrate getting a year older than at a Texas Rangers game.

Yes, even if they lose.

I’m sure Washington wasn’t expecting a gift from anyone. He definitely wasn’t expecting Old Dutch to wrap up the game with a pretty ribbon and hand it to the Rays.

But as is a theme for the Rangers this year, even during their losses they’re still just a break or two from winning. In the 5-2 loss, the Rangers left the bases loaded after a hard lineout from Ian Kinsler in the bottom of the ninth.

The Texas Rangers are 0-5 on Wash’s birthday—with a rainout—in his six seasons with the club.

At least Washington was able to enjoy his birthday cake a little early…he was ejected in the seventh inning by home plate umpire Dan Bellino for arguing balls and strikes—replays showed that Wash was in the right.

The word “gay” used to mean happy

Yeah. Now “gay” is just a word that rhymes with teams we seem to have trouble with. What gives?

Are the Texas Rangers “homophonic?”

Yu Darvish is getting better while Albert Pujols continues to suck

I don’t have the numbers in front of me, so I’ll just make them up: Albert Pujols hasn’t hit a home run since he really was 32-years-old…in 2001…Craig Gentry has more homers than “The Poo”!

And Yu Darvish. Whoa boy! Don’t worry, I’ll speak of his greatness plenty in the future, but for now, let’s just enjoy the ride.

He’s gotten better every start—especially the last three—and the crazy thing is, the team’s he’s beaten have actually improved too! Sure, the Blue Jays aren’t quite as potent as the Tigers or Yankees, but if you need proof of how viable the crazy Canadians can be, just take a look at how our other starters fared against them this series…

Upcoming goodness to look forward to:

Koji versus old team

Here’s hoping that Koji can continue his recent string of not sucking too bad. Even better, maybe he’s turned the corner and is back to his pre-trade level, which was awesome.

Worst-case scenario, maybe we can swap him for Chris Davis or just duct tape him to an empty locker in Baltimore and “accidentally” leave him behind.

Mitch Moreland versus Chris Davis

Remember when Chris Davis was “Crush” and he was the Texas Rangers’ first baseman of the future?

Well, to jog your memory, Justin Smoak was still the hotshot prospect, and Mitch Moreland was a dude that the powers that be thought might have more value as a middle-reliever.

True story.

Hey speaking of Chris Davis, he’s been hitting the ball pretty well. Batting .333 with 5 home runs. It’s no secret that I have a huge man crush on Chris Davis, and, sadly, there is photographic proof:

The Texas Rangers Have Lost Consecutive Series—No need to panic

I hadn't been that nervous since Prom.

Anyways, it will be fun to watch how Davis hits against us and how Moreland does against the Orioles. For a franchise (Rangers) famous for creating excellent first baseman (and some not so good—cough—Jason Botts). Should be an entertaining head-to-head showdown.

Also of note, the Rangers’ right-handed bench bat, Brandon Snyder, was a former first round pick of the Baltimore Orioles. He’s also a first basemen that is versatile enough to play in the outfield, like Mitch…of course, Snyder was the only first rounder of the three, and he’s the only one not a starter; that’s the way baseball go…

Yu Darvish vs. C.J. Wilson…?

Yeah, it could happen. If the Rangers’ rotation (as well as the Angels’) stays in the same order, on Friday May 11th, it would be Yu Darvish vs. C.J. Wilson at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

Whoa. That’d be awesome! “The Young Buck vs. Mr. Playoff Suck”

Now, granted, it’s not a playoff game, so C.J. Wilson won’t be guaranteed to lose…Bing!

I’m intentionally overlooking the next series, with the Cleveland Indians

Yeah, the Cleveland Indians are the Rangers’ next opponent, right before the Orioles. I don’t know, the Indians don’t really scare me much. Maybe it’s because we’re 13-3 against them over the last two seasons combined.

Perhaps it’s because those poor suckers will have to face Yu Darvish.

Anyways, I’m looking past the Indians, in the same vane that we don’t even consider the Oakland Athletics or Seattle Mariners as serious threats, even though they are only 5, and 6 games, respectively, behind the Rangers in the AL West.

Because it’s always fun to say, the Angels are 8 games out of first place and in the cellar—right next to the rusty plumbing and high school yearbooks that you don’t look at, but are too sentimental to get rid of.

Final Diagnosis

Yeah, I know, we’re mired in a losing streak. It sucks. And even though it’s our first of the year, this team is so good it seems like we’ll win every single game.

Not possible.

We were outscored by the Jays 19-12, in the month. And yes, we’ve lost consecutive games on the road. But it’s no time to push the panic button.

Josh Hamilton will be coming back full-strength, as will Adrian Beltre.

We are going to be just fine.

The major tests have been passed—can we beat the playoff caliber teams? Absolutely. Can Yu Darvish harness his command? You’d better believe it…can we score runs without Beltre and Hamilton in our lineup? Affirmative.

Plus, the way Yu Darvish continues to improve every start, he’ll probably close out the month with consecutive perfect games.

And I believe that will be a record…and speaking of records, 17-8 ain’t so bad.

UPDATE!!! Jered Weaver just threw a no-hitter against the Twins! Yes, I checked, it does count even if thrown against Minnesota…Too bad they only gain a half game, huh? Pujols was 1-5, but I’m sure we already guessed that.

Peace out, and Go Rangers!

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Apr 302012
 

Rangers lose first series of season; Holland and Hamilton roughed up

Monday Morning FastballsIt couldn’t have set up any better last night for Ian Kinsler and all Rangers fans.  Down by 3, bases loaded with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th, Kinsler approached the plate after being at the center of manager Ron Washington’s ejection from the game in the 7th inning.  As a Rangers fan, this is what you wanted…a chance at redemption…and a chance to get a win on Wash’s birthday for the first time since he took the reins.

But as the great and hated former MLB Commissioner, Bart Giamatti, once said “it breaks your heart…it is designed to break your heart.”  Maybe that’s a bit overly dramatic, given that we’re still in late April, but the ESPN guys last night said it best, “you’d think it was mid-October by the way these Texas fans are cheering”.  The Rangers lost 2 of 3 to a good team…a team that they have eliminated from the postseason in each of the past two years.

“At least the cake tasted pretty good,” Washington said. “That’s all right … we’ll bounce back tomorrow.”

Monday Morning Fastballs

Some video of Wash’s ejection.

Derek Holland’s record fell to 2-2 after taking the loss last night, with a 5.13 ERA over his first five starts.  He pitched 7 complete, giving up 5 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks, while striking out 8.  Holland’s worst stretch last night came in the 2nd inning when gave up 3 runs to the Rays, which if you were watching seemed like limited damage given the way they were hitting the ball.  Mark Lowe and Scooter Feldman wrapped it up with a scoreless 8th and 9th.

“During the second inning, he misplaced some fastballs,” Washington said. “After that, he got a grip on that and had great secondary stuff. Just in that second inning, he got his fastball up. He’ll have to make an adjustment and we believe he will.”

“He’s going to be fine,” catcher Yorvit Torrealba said. “He’s getting behind in the count and his fastball command wasn’t there, especially tonight. His offspeed pitches were good. I’m not worried about it. He had some rough outings. He’s probably been the best pitcher we’ve had lately. He’ll be able to make adjustments.”

While Holland’s outing wasn’t inspiring, it wasn’t the biggest concern of the evening, as Josh Hamilton left the game after the 2nd inning with back stiffness.  He is currently listed as day-to-day, and expects to play tonight in Toronto.

Monday Morning Fastballs“I made contact and I hit the ball, and about the third or fourth step out of the box, I felt my mid-back spasm up on me,” Hamilton said. “I got to first and tried to stretch it out a little bit and it wouldn’t release. I came back in and stretched my back underneath, and then I went out there and realized I couldn’t really rotate like I wanted to. And I told Skip I couldn’t go.”

“I’m not worried about it because I didn’t feel anything alarming or anything like that,” Hamilton said. “It was just a little tight this morning, but nothing out of the ordinary. I just came in and got loosened up and it felt great.”

Hamilton may get a start at DH during the series with the Blue Jays, and then will benefit from a day off on Thursday before the team heads to Cleveland for three with the Indians.

Quick hits:

  • Yu Darvish (3-0, 2.42 ERA) takes the mound tonight against Doug Drabek’s son (2-1, 2.25 ERA) in Toronto.  Remember, it was the Blue Jays who were rumored to have won the negotiating rights with Yu in the days leading up to the announcement that the Rangers were the high bidder.

“It depends on the team,” Darvish said of his game-to-game adjustments. “Every team is different. The umpires are different, and the strike zone is different. It also depends on the ballpark. Every ballpark right now is a first time for me. I have to experience everything. I’m not just learning the players. I’m understanding the atmosphere and I’m able to control my emotions.”

  • Toronto is the first of three stops along a 10 game road trip that will also include Cleveland and Baltimore.
  • Josh Hamilton has a chance to take full claim of the club’s record for home runs in April tonight.  He is currently tied with four other players with 9 – one of which is Ian Kinsler who his 9 in April of 2007.
  • According to T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com), over the past 20 years, the Rangers have not gone through an entire April without calling up at least one player from the Minor Leagues.

Happy Belated Birthday to Wash (yesterday – 60) & Happy Birthday to Willie Nelson (today – 79)

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Apr 242012
 

Tuesday Morning Sliders

On a night when the Rangers were on the national stage against the biggest empire in Major League Baseball, they fell short of victory.
On a night when many Rangers fans were fighting back tears of joy as one of the greatest Rangers of all-time announced his retirement, the evening didn’t end with victorious fireworks.

On a night when our starting pitching wasn’t dominant, and our hitting couldn’t rescue it….we still went to bed with the best record in the American League.

The Rangers fell 7-4 to the hated Yankees last night, on a night that will be remembered for the end and new beginning of Pudge Rodriguez more so than what happened on the field.  Derek Holland (2-1, 4.78 ERA) took the loss, giving up all 7 runs over 6 innings of work.  Josh hit his league leading 8th home run (solo shot) and my second favorite Craig got 2 RBI, but it wasn’t enough.

“I’m pretty upset with myself,” said Holland. “I didn’t battle as well as I usually have been before. The walks really killed me. I didn’t give my defense anything to play with.”

“It was poor execution,” Holland said. “I was trying to overthrow a little bit. It was a mental thing. I didn’t hit my spots. It was just one of those nights, I guess.”

  • The vote of confidence from Face:

“The thing with Derek is, one, he knows he’s really good, which is a great thing to have if you want to be an impact big leaguer,” Young said. “When you’re talking about him, knowing him, he’s already chomping at the bit for his next start. When he looks at this start, he’ll look at things he wants to get better at. He’ll make his really good adjustments, and he’ll be ready to roll in five days. We look forward to playing behind him.”

Pudge hits:

  • Tuesday Morning SlidersT.R. Sullivan recaps the Pudge retirement ceremony here with a short video clip of Pudge firing down to second base for the last time.
  • The ceremony was very well done…kudos to the Rangers organization for making this happen.
  • While it was a great opportunity to look back on one of the all-time great careers, one of the more exciting moments came when Nolan said said the Rangers are working on an agreement with Pudge to have him work with the organization in an undetermined capacity.
  • More to come on Pudge…

Quick hits:

  • Adrian Beltre may return to the lineup tonight after his MRI returned normal results yesterday.  Beltre has some mild inflammation of his hamstring and is currently listed as day-to-day.
  • Two former Nippon greats will face off tonight when Yu Darvish (2-0, 3.57 ERA) takes the mound against Hiroki Kuroda (1-2, 5.00 ERA).  More details on the match-up here.
  • Anthony Castrovince (MLB.com) wrote a good column on the progress that Darvish is making both on and off the field.

First pitch is 7:05 tonight.  Hit us up on Twitter (@baseballdo) if you wanna chat during the game.  We are postponing this week’s podcast due to conflicts with our schedules.  We’ll get one up as quickly as possible.

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