Results tagged ‘ David Murphy ’
Here’s a wrap-up of the week that was in Texas Rangers baseball. All stats listed are just for the previous week of play.
Rangers Record: 4-3
Overall: 16-9 (1st Place AL West) (+2.5)
Mitch Moreland .393/.393/.571 5 Doubles 3 RBI
Nelson Cruz .360/.467/.640 2 HR 9 RBI 5 Walks
David Murphy .185/.241/.222
Jalapeno Caliente (Pitching):
Yu Darvish 1-0 0.00 ERA 11 Strikeouts in 6 IP
Justin Grimm 1-0 7 Shutout Innings
Raspa Frio (Pitching):
Derek Holland 0-1, 6.39 ERA in 12.2 IP
Joe Ortiz 0-1 27.00 ERA 5 ER in 1.2 IP
Considering all the games were on the road, 4-3 is an acceptable record but Rangers fans were hoping for more after starting the week 4-1 and having Derek Holland and Alexi Ogando on the bump for the last two games of the week. Sadly, the Rangers offense went south in those two games and the Twins broke close 1-0 games open in the later innings. Still, the Rangers were easily the best of the West for the week, picking up two games in the standings on the Oakland A’s and starting week 5 with a 2.5 game lead. This assures Texas of first place when April comes to a close.
This week it’s home cooking for the Rangers as they play six games against the American League’s pair of Sox: Chicago Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday followed by Boston Friday through Sunday. The highlight will be Tuesday night when Yu Darvish takes the hill for Texas. If Darvish wins the game, he will join Rick Helling, Fergie Jenkins, Jim Bibby, Aaron Sele and Bobby Witt as the only Rangers pitchers to earn five wins by April 30th. The way Darvish has been pitching, the odds are in his favor to join that elite company.
The weekend series will be interesting as well with the return of Mike Napoli and Koji Uehara to Arlington. As bad as the initial reaction to Josh Hamilton was in his first at bat in front of the DFW crowd, expect an equal but opposite reaction to Napoli’s return. He never said anything disparaging about Rangers fans and professed love for his time with the Rangers so he’ll get a warm reception his first time to the plate. As good as Uehara was in 2012 for Texas, he probably won’t elicit much of a reaction one way or another. That’s the life of a relief pitcher.
There’s nothing more depressing than taking a Saturday afternoon to watch your favorite team and seeing them fall in a lackluster performance 7-2.
The Rangers pretty much looked awful in Saturday’s loss to the Twinkies. Mitch Moreland committed a key error early in the game. Ian Kinsler made two bonehead decisions on one play late in the game and didn’t even get charged with one error. The Texas offense could muster nothing against a mediocre right-handed starter, who somehow managed five scoreless innings despite Texas getting their share of hits off him. At one point, Texas had zero runs on five hits while the Twins had one run on one hit, and that hit wasn’t a home run.
Still, it was a winnable game until Derek Holland did the really inexplicable. With a runner in scoring position and first base open and a 3-0 count on Josh Willingham, he chose to challenge him instead of just walking him. Willingham is a Rangers killer with 7 home runs and 16 RBI in just 29 games against Texas. After Holland got from a 3-0 count to 3-2, Willingham crushed a curve right in the middle of the plate over the fence in left center, making it 3-0 and effectively ending the Rangers day.
There’s more than enough blame to go around. Dutch had a great game going through five but faltered badly in the 6th and 7th. Moreland’s error led to the first run. Kinsler’s weirdness brought another run home. Willingham’s blast plated two. Plenty of blame to go around.
What it isn’t is the end of the world. It was one loss. It isn’t proof positive that the Rangers HAVE to trade for a better first base alternative. It wasn’t the game to finally nail home the notion that David Murphy and Moreland have no right to face lefthanded pitching late in a game. It doesn’t prove Ian Kinsler is a bad second baseman or Michael Kirkman, charged with 3 runs in the 8th, has no future with this ballclub. While it is frustrating at times, it’s also no reason to question why a player getting a day off isn’t even asked to pinch hit in a game.
Even in defeat, things can have a purpose over a long season. A day of rest here could pay big dividends towards the end of the season when other teams are hurting. They can also have an effect on the next game. Take the previously mentioned Moreland. Mitch slapped a run-scoring double in the 9th inning to save the Rangers from being shut out. One could say, “Too little too late, Mitch”. Not me. That hit very well could impact tomorrow’s series finale. It kept the inning going against Twins closer Glen Perkins. Perkins ended up throwing over 30 pitches to get through the 9th inning, making it more unlikely he will be available tomorrow in a tight game.
Texas just didn’t have it today. In the first 24 games, they’ve had it twice as many times as they haven’t and that’s good enough for a three and a half game lead in the AL West.
When losing skeins hit four or five games, that’s a time to start questioning and looking for solutions. Today? Get off the ledge. It’s just one loss.
- Twins’ Pedro Hernandez Gets First Major League Win (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
Here’s a wrap-up of the week that was in Texas Rangers baseball. All stats listed are just for the previous week of play.
Rangers Record: 4-3
Overall: 8-5 (2nd Place AL West) (-1)
Jalapeno Caliente (Offense): Lance Berkman .313/.450/.438 3 RBI 4 Walks
Raspa Frio (Offense): David Murphy .143/.143/.179
Jalapeno Caliente (Pitching): Joe Ortiz 2-0 0.00 ERA 5.2 IP 1 H .056 BAA
Raspa Frio (Pitching): Michael Kirkman 5.40 ERA in 3.1 IP
Texas ended their homestand by taking two of three from the Tampa Bay Rays, then travelled to Seattle where they split a 4-game set with the Mariners. Ask most Rangers fans and they’ll probably say they were a little disappointed the Rangers didn’t go 5-2 or even 6-1, as all four games with the Mariners were winnable. Instead, the offense has gone decidedly cold. Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz really haven’t provided the power punch in the early going, which in turn magnifies David Murphy’s typical slow start even more, not to mention the overall low results of Mitch Moreland and the center field combo of Leonys Martin and Craig Gentry. The offense is scraping, which is too bad, considering the pitching has been excellent overall. Only Michael Kirkman had an ERA above 4.50 for the week. Yu Darvish gave up 3 first inning runs then nothing else the rest of the way, but Texas could only manage one run of their own in the game.
Upcoming: Another week of both road and home games- Monday off, followed by three games in Chicago against the Cubs and three at home against the Mariners. Don’t expect to see much of Lance Berkman in Chicago. Texas will have to go by NL rules, which means no DH. Berkman could start one game at first base. Otherwise, he’ll be strictly a pinch hitter, especially with cold conditions expected in the Windy City.
The rebuilding of the Texas Rangers is about to begin. How much rebuilding will happen is anyone’s guess at this point.
The first salvo occurred Tuesday, when the Rangers decided not to pick up the options of Scott Feldman and Yoshinori Tateyama. Really no big surprises there. Tateyama, who pitched pretty effectively for Texas in 2011 (2-0, 4.50 ERA in 39 games) was a disaster in 2012 (1-0, 9.00 ERA in 14 games). Feldman, expected to fill the long relief/spot starter role, became a fulltime starting service after Colby Lewis and Neftali Feliz were lost for the year with injuries and Roy Oswalt failed to do well as a starter. The biggest surprise of Feldman’s season is that his 6-11 record and 5.09 ERA was good enough to earn a 0.0 WAR. In other words, 6-11, 5.09 must be considered a replacement level starter. Wow.
The only potential minus here is if Feldman just needed longer to get over microfracture knee surgery in 2011 and posts a great 2013 for someone else. For all the good Jon Daniels has done as GM, this past season saw at least five Rangers cast-offs who performed credible jobs for their new teams: Tommy Hunter, Pedro Strop and Darren O’Day for Baltimore, Cody Eppely and Clay Rapada for the Yankees. Constructing a pitching staff is so often a crap shoot, with many relievers having an awesome year, following up with two terrible seasons, then suddenly finding lightning again. Many teams’ fortunes rise and fall on these variables. If those castaways had been able to put together those seasons for the Rangers, it might have been a post-season difference maker.
So we know Feldman and Tateyama won’t return, unless they re-up with Texas at a major discount. The next step is the free agent process.
Josh Hamilton will get the league standard $13.3 million dollar offer to stay in Texas for another year. He will turn it down and if he signs elsewhere, Texas gets a supplemental draft pick. More unknown is whether the Rangers will make the same offer to catcher Mike Napoli. Because he had a down year, Naps could accept a $13.3 million offer for another year, hoping to turn it around in 2013 and get even bigger bucks and a multi-year deal a year from now. If no offer is received, then we’ll know Texas has committed to totally overhauling the catching.
The Blue Jays are stockpiling catchers, having picked up Yorvit Torrealba after Texas let him go and, just last week, inking Bobby Wilson after his release by the Angels. Since they already had two well-regarded home-grown catchers, it’s a good bet the Blue Jays will deal some of their catching in the off-season. The Rangers have expressed interest in both J.P. Arencibia and Travis D’Arnaud.
Other Rangers getting ready to test the free agent waters include Mike Adams, Koji Uehara, Mark Lowe, Roy Oswalt and Ryan Dempster. Of that group, Oswalt is most certainly gone. Since Adams’ year ended prematurely to injury, the hope is he’ll be willing to sign again with Texas, as he might not now command the dollars he could have. I’d love to see them resign Uehara as well. Down the stretch, he was one of Texas’ most effective pitchers. Texas will allow Lowe to leave and I doubt there’s much interest in getting Dempster to come back, though that could depend on other factors.
If Texas lets both Hamilton and Napoli walk, we could be seeing a pretty big revamping of the offense. There’s a lot of power that would need replacing. That’s why, with Hamilton likely to go elsewhere, I think Texas will do what they can to at least keep Napoli.
I expect Texas to go hard after Zack Greinke in the free agent market, while the Angels will go all out to try to keep his services. If Greinke doesn’t materialize, Texas could pursue a trade with Tampa Bay for David Price.
Another reason to re-sign Napoli: to keep him for a first base platoon with Mitch Moreland. Moreland can hit the ball a long way and is an adequate defender, but at best is a streaky hitter with hot spells that don’t last long enough to off-set the cold snaps. And that’s just against right handed pitchers. Against lefties, Moreland is cold and colder.
There are several directions the Rangers could go this off-season. What’s definite is they’ll make more moves between now and Spring Training than they did the past two years combined. I can’t wait to see how it all shakes out.
GOLD GLOVE AWARDS: For the second straight year, Adrian Beltre nabbed the AL Gold Glove Award for his defensive play at third base. The other two Rangers up for Gold Gloves, David Murphy and Elvis Andrus, didn’t receive the honor. Beltre was an easy choice. That’s easy to say, but judging by the actual award winners, it’s hard to back up. On the one hand, sometimes they give the award to people just because they committed so few errors, despite not having the range of other players at the position. Case in point: JJ Hardy of the Orioles. While I love Elvis, the winner probably should have been Brendan Ryan of the Mariners, who had range and only nine errors. On the other hand, some players win because of past reputation alone. Case in point: Adam Jones of the Orioles, who’s won the award before but had six errors in the field this year, a high number for an outfielder. In other words, there’s no set criteria for winning Gold Gloves. That’s why I’m happy Beltre won. With no set criteria, there was no guarantee he would.
It sounded so easy entering the weekend. Win one game and the Angels are eliminated as an AL West title winner. Get a little help from the Mariners and two wins and the season-ending trip to Oakland is meaningless. Yet when 6 PM CDT came around, not only was the team with the AL’s best record not any closer to those goals, they were staring at the distinct possibility of having to win two of three at Oakland to win the West and possibly being in a position to not even make the playoffs at all.
When the weekend started, the magic number for the Rangers was 3 to win the West and only 1 to eliminate the Angels from title consideration. Friday night, the series against the Angels started out well enough, even with the Angels throwing their ace Jered Weaver at them. Ryan Dempster gave up a first inning run, and while the Rangers weren’t scoring right away, neither was Weaver putting them away. The Rangers had runners at first and second with one out in the second, but couldn’t plate a run. Dempster gave up a second run in the third, but was still showing glimpses of being able to go deep in the game. Another run in the 4th made it 3-0 Angels, but Texas responded in the bottom of the inning to make it 3-1. The game was still within reach.
A 4th run in the 6th chased Dempster, but it was still only 4-1. It was the 7th when things got out of hand. Robbie Ross surrendered a 3-spot, making it 6-1. Even though Texas got home runs late from Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz, the game was out of reach. LA took Game 1 7-4. Meanwhile, the A’s beat the Mariners, narrowing the Rangers lead in the West to 3 games. Magic number remains 3 and 1.
Saturday the rains came. Waiting as long as they could, the Rangers went four hours past the scheduled starting time before finally calling a rain-out and scheduling a day-night doubleheader for Sunday. It sure looked like the Mariners were going to hand the Rangers an assist, as they headed into the 9th with a 4-2 lead on the A’s. Oakland, though, tied the game on a home run in the 9th and a 3-run shot in the 10th ended it. Magic numbers remain at 3 and 1. Oakland now pulls within 2 1/2 games.
Game 1 of the twin bill featured a rematch from a week and a half before: Yu Darvish vs. Zack Greinke. The first time they met, a Beltre homer in the top of the 9th handed the Rangers a 2-1 win in Anaheim. This time, Texas reached Greinke early when a Nelson Cruz missile to left gave the Rangers a 2-1 lead. The Angels answered with a run in the 3rd, but RBI from Josh Hamilton and Adrian Beltre made it 4-1 after 3. After the 3rd, Greinke found out his name was misspelled on his game jersey. Once he got that fixed, he was lights out the rest of the way.
Darvish, meanwhile, wasn’t as sharp as he’d been his previous six outings, but was getting outs when he needed to. The Angels added single runs in the 6th and 7th to make it 4-3, leaving the win in the capable hands of the Rangers’ late-inning bullpen. Alexi Ogando got 4 outs to bring us to Joe Nathan time in the 9th. Nathan had blown only two saves all season. After a 1-out single-walk sequence, Nathan buckled Mike Trout with a strike 3 swinging. Two outs. Got it in the bag, right? Wrong. Torii Hunter hit a gap double to left, scoring two runs and making it 5-4 Angels. Three outs later, LA had their second straight win. A couple of hours later, Oakland swept the Mariners to pull within a game and a half. Magic numbers still 3 and 1.
Going into the nightcap, the simple truth was if Texas lost, Oakland would be just a game behind and Texas would have to win two of three on the road to win the West. A tall order. Lose two of three, lose the West. Lose three of three and possibly miss the playoffs. Game 2 was a must win.
Derek Holland got the start and promptly gave up four runs in the first to put Texas in a 4-0 hole. The abyss was visible and the Rangers were ready to fall into it. They got a run back in the first to make it 4-1, then added two more on back to back home runs from David Murphy and Mike Napoli to make it 4-3. Holland was gritty after the first, retiring seven straight at one point to keep it within reach. In the third, back to back singles put Rangers on first a second. After a force made it two away, Napoli unloaded his second bomb of the night, a 3-run shot to make it 6-4 Rangers. Holland gave up hits but no more runs. In the 6th, Napoli would add a 2-run double to make it 8-4, giving him 6 RBI on the night. Everything looked like it was in the bag and going back the Rangers way. Not so fast.
In the 7th, Holland gave up back to back singles with one out. After getting the second out, Dutch served up a treat to Howie Kendrick, a 3-run shot to left that cut the lead to 8-7 and sent Holland to the showers. Here we go again. Robbie Ross got the last out of the inning.
The 8th belonged to Koji Uehara. It took 23 tense pitches, but Uehara struck out the side in the 8th. Koji has now pitched 9.1 innings of 1-hit ball with 16 strikeouts over his last 12 appearances. Top of the 9th, guess who’s back? Joe Nathan. Fresh off blowing the save in Game 1, he had a chance at redemption.
Nathan got Albert Pujols to pop out. Then he walked Torii Hunter. That’s how the blown save started in Game 1, with a 1-out walk. On an 0-2 pitch, Mark Trumbo sent a shot into right field, but right at Nelson Cruz. Two outs. With an 0-1 count, Nathan then got pinch hitter Kendrys Morales to foul out in a play in which Mike Napoli and Mike Olt nearly collided. The win was finally secured.
The Angels can no longer win the West mathematically (they couldn’t anyway because of the Rangersd and A’s playing each other in the final 3 games but that’s beside the point). The magic number is down to 2. Either Oakland or Texas will win the West. If Texas wins 1 game, it’s the Rangers. If Oakland sweeps, it’s the A’s. The only way the Angels can make the playoffs is for them to win their last three while the Rangers sweep Oakland. Not likely.
I truly lost some of the belief in my team after the 5-4 loss in Game 1 of the doubleheader today. The Rangers helped me get some of it back in Game 2 and clinched their third consecutive playoff berth in the process.
One more win, guys. You can do it.
Here’s a wrap-up of the week that was in Texas Rangers baseball. All stats listed are just for the previous week of play.
Rangers Record: 4-2
Overall: 79-54 (1st Place AL West) (+3)
Jalapeno Hot (Offense):David Murphy .500/.571/.944, 1 3b, 2 HR, 3 BB and 5 RBI
Adrian Beltre .478/.520/1.043, 4 2b, 3 HR, 7 RBI
Honorable Mention: Jurickson Profar became the youngest player in American League history to hit a home run in his first major league at bat. Sorry I can’t post it, but here’s the link to the video: http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=24424835&topic_id=17807232&c_id=mlb&tcid=vpp_copy_24424835&v=3
Jalapeno Hot (Pitching): Yu Darvish 1-0, 0.00 ERA in 7 IP, 10 K
Joe Nathan 3 Saves in 3 Opportunities, 6 K in 2.2 IP
Raspa Cold (Pitching): Matt Harrison (after 2 straight weeks in the Jalapeno Hot category) 0-1, 11.81 ERA 12 Hits in 5.1 IP
It isn’t often you can lose 2 1/2 games off your lead following a 4-2 week, but thanks in part to the Boston Red Sox deciding to totally lay down and play dead, the A’s managed a 7-0 week and gained that much ground on the Rangers. It should have been just 1 1/2 games, but an uninspired performance Saturday against the Tribe kept Texas from winning a game they should have won. This week will hopefully make up for it. Texas is on the road the entire week, first for four at Kansas City (they won the 1st game today 8-4), then for three at Tampa. The A’s and Angels are caught up in each other for three games to start the week at Oakland. The Angels follow up with three at home against the Tigers, while the A’s travel to Seattle for three. As much as I have considered the Angels to be the primary obstacle to a third straight Western Division Championship, the current standings call for me to hope LA wins the series, 2-1 while Texas goes 3-1 at KC. By week’s end, I think the Rangers have added either a half game or a game and a half to their lead over Oakland and either gain half a game or lose half a game on the Angels.
DVD SET WINNERS TO BA ANNOUNCED TOMORROW!
Rangers Record: 3-4
Overall: 70-50 (1st Place AL West) (+5)
Jalapeno Hot (Offense): David Murphy .385/.429/.769 2 HR 5 RBI
Raspa Cold (Offense): Ian Kinsler .083/.154/.087 6K in 23 AB
Jalapeno Hot (Pitching): Matt Harrison 1-1, 1.88 ERA, 0.77 WHIP in 14.1 IP
Raspa Cold (Pitching): Ryan Dempster 0-1, 12.00 ERA, 8 ER in 6 IP, 1.83 WHIP
Rangers ceded a game and a half in the standings to the A’s but even at 3-4 on the week, put even more space between them and the Angels. The A’s now stand as the likeliest threat to the Rangers defending the AL West crown. After spending 17 of the past 20 games on the road, it’s home cooking all this week at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, facing the Orioles for 3 and the Twins for 4. The A’s are at home for three against the Twins, then hit the road for three at Tampa, with a rare Sunday off. The Angels, who are now closer to the Mariners than they are the Rangers in the standings, are on the road all week at Boston and Detroit. If all plays out as it should, Texas puts more space between themselves and both Oakland and LA by this time next week, with the Magic Number for clinching creeping down into the 20′s.
Rangers Record: 4-3
Overall: 63-44 (1st Place AL West) (+5.5)
Jalapeno Hot (Offense): David Murphy .417/.481/.542 3 Doubles, 3 Walks, 6 RBI
Ian Kinsler .393/.433/.679 2 Doubles, 2 Home Runs, 4 RBI
Jalapeno Hot (Pitching): Alexi Ogando 0.00 ERA 2 Saves, 6 Strikeouts in 4 IP
Rangers have great motivation to start the week. They’ve got three games in Boston while the A’s and Angels square off against each other. Sweep the Red Sox and there’s a good chance the Rangers will put even more space between both of their rivals. Texas closes the week with three at home against Detroit, while the Angels get the Mariners at home and the A’s visit the White Sox. Unless the Rangers get really hot, this looks like a tread water week, keeping the lead about what it is right now.
July was a miserable month for the Texas Rangers. Josh Hamilton had a miserable month and is talking cryptically about what’s going on. The Rangers scored only 81 runs in the month, the lowest by far of all American League teams. Only the Royals had a worse record for the month.
Yu Darvish was supposed to end that Wednesday. After the Angels had scored 21 runs in the first two games of the 4-game set, Darvish was going to settle everything down and get the Rangers back on track to begin the month of August.
The first two innings, he did just that, setting down the first six Angels in order, four by strikeout. He started the third with a two-pitch out. Darvish was on cruise control. Then it all fell apart.
Seven up, seven down. And then this sequence happened: Walk, walk, fielders choice (no out), force and error, home run, walk, walk, double, fly out. Six runs on two hits. Sad. Some on Twitter blamed it on Darvish not being comfortable with Mike Napoli catching him, as the now departed Yorvit Torrealba had been his catcher the last seven times out. It had nothing to do with Napoli. It had everything to do with Darvish. For all his great stuff, Darvish has been hugely inconsistent all year with it. He interchanges periods of domination with bouts of no command. Ron Washington thinks he nibbles too much after he gets to two strikes instead of just attacking the strike zone. Whatever the reason, Darvish does not seem to be improving and may indeed be regressing. It pains me to say that, as he is electric to watch when he’s on. Lately, he’s resembled a starting version of Mitch Williams more than the control artist he had a reputation for in Japan.
So the Rangers were in a quick 6-0 hole. They got a run back in the third, but the Angels answered with another run in the fourth. Again, it was a walk that led to the run. After such a miserable July, seeing my team in a 7-1 hole against the Angels after losing two straight already was the tipping point. I finally had enough. I gave up. I told my Twitter followers (@RangersBlogger) it was time to turn off the game and go watch some of the Olympics. It had finally gotten too depressing to watch my two-time AL Champions fold like the back cover of MAD Magazine.
So I watched our American swimmers win medals. I saw Matt Treanor‘s wife, Misty, and her partner shrug off losing a set for the first time in their Olympic history to win their beach volleyball match. I saw one of our male gymnasts earn a bronze medal. Life was good again. When I’d seen most of that, I finally checked my phone to see how bad the game had gotten, expecting to see the score had gone to something like 12-3.
Instead, a surprise. The Rangers had cut the lead to 7-5. Darvish got through another couple of innings unscathed and Robbie Ross had done a credible job in relief. Meanwhile, Texas put together a 4-run fifth. I still haven’t even looked into how they did it. It was now the 8th and just as I was checking out the gamecast on my MLB app, David Murphy plated Adrian Beltre with a single, making it 7-6.
OK, I said. I’ll give ‘em credit. They made a game of it. A win was still out of the question. Not the way they’ve been playing. The Angels will bring in Ernesto Friere in the 9th to get the save and Los Angeles will be only two games back in the West.
Except it didn’t happen. The second batter Frieri faced was Ian Kinsler:
Tie game. 7-7. The Rangers even had a chance at a walk-off win when Elvis Andrus followed with a double, but neither Hamilton nor Beltre could plate the run, sending the game to extras.
Now my hopes were up again, only to be dashed in the top of the 10th when Joe Nathan, who hasn’t looked nearly as invincible since the All-Star break, immediately gave up a lead-off homer to Chris Ianetta. A few batters later, Albert Pujols hit his second home run of the game and fourth of the series to make it a 10-7 game.
Again, what little faith I had was dashed once again. The only reason I continued to follow along on my phone was that I was still catching the end of the Olympics coverage on the night. Frieri came back for the bottom of the tenth and he did it again. Nelson Cruz tagged him for a lead-off home run, making it 10-8. At least the boys were showing some fight. Next up was Michael Young, who managed to reach base on an error. That’s when it happened.
David Murphy came to the plate, having gone 3 for 3 with a walk so far in the game. Frieri got ahead of Murphy quickly at 0-2. The next pitch was a ball. Then Murph fouled off a pitch. Another ball made it 2-2. Murph fouled off two more offerings. Next came a ball in the dirt, bringing the count full. Two more foul balls. Finally, ball four. From 0-2 to a walk over an 11-pitch sequence. That sent Frieri to the showers in favor of Jason Isringhausen, and it actually sent me back to the television to watch the rest of the game.
Mike Napoli hit Isringhausen’s first pitch for a single, loading the bases. Mitch Moreland hit the second pitch for another single, plating Young, keeping the sacks jammed and making it 10-9. Ian Kinsler popped up Isringhausen’s third pitch for the first out of the inning. Texas was getting too anxious. Then Andrus stepped to the plate.
Elvis took three straight balls to make it 3-0. Ball two nearly scored the tying run, as it skipped past the catcher to the backstop, but it bounced straight back to the catcher to keep everyone on their base. Andrus took the 3-0 pitch for a questionable strike. Then he took strike two. Finally, on the payoff pitch, Andrus delivered his fourth hit of the game:
Improbably, Texas had come back from six down to send the game to extra innings and overcame a 3-run deficit in extra innings to win the game in walk-off fashion. Instead of a two-game lead, the Rangers woke up this morning with a 4-game edge.
It took losing faith in my team for my team to show me why I should still have faith in them. The most unbelievable game of the year. Easily.
Here’s a wrap-up of the week that was in Texas Rangers baseball.
Rangers Record: 3-3
Overall: 59-41 (1st Place AL West) (+4.5)
Jalapeno Hot (Offense): David Murphy .438/.471/.688
Ian Kinsler .316/.458/.368 4 Stolen Bases
Raspa Cold (Offense): Josh Hamilton .063/.190/.125 6 K’s in 16 AB’s
Jalapeno Hot (Pitching): Scott Feldman 2-0 0.60 ERA 0 BB 10 K in 15 IP
Raspa Cold (Pitching): Alexi Ogando 7.36 ERA
Big 4-game series with the Angels starting tonight at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, followed by a 3-game set at Kansas City. In addition, the trade deadline is Tuesday. Will Texas add to their pitching staff? Will a bat be added to what lately has been an anemic offense? Or will the Rangers settle for the hand they’ve been dealt? The next few days will be among the most interesting of the 2012 season. Following the game Thursday, Rangers lead over the Angels will be 1, 3, 5, 7 or 9 games.