Sunday, March 29, 2009

3/18 Rangers/Padres Spring Training Game Breakdown

This week I will analyze the Rangers @ Padres game on 3/18 that I saw while I was at Spring Training.

Top of the 1st - Cesar Ramos pitching:
Ian Kinsler – Ian got down 0-2, then got a hard-hit double.
Frank Catalanotto – He forced a 2-0 count with a good eye, then hit an RBI single up the middle.
Score: Rangers 1, Padres 0
Josh Hamilton – Josh chased the first pitch, which was way low-and-outside, and fouled it off. He then bunted for a single, it was a perfect bunt, right down the third base line, and he ran it out, showing good speed. Josh later said that he made the decision to lay down a bunt because he saw that San Diego was playing him back.
Nelson Cruz – Nelson killed a 1-0 pitch and hit a 3-run homer to left field. He just completely crushed this one.
Score: Rangers 4, Padres 0
David Murphy – Murphy had a good eye and got ahead 3-0 before drawing a five-pitch walk.
Chris Davis – Chris flied out to center field.
Travis Metcalf – He put the ball in play on a hit-and-run, but flied out to deep center field despite getting good contact.
Taylor Teagarden – Taylor forced a 2-0 count and got a 2-0 fastball, but fouled it off. Murphy then stole second, although it wasn’t due to great speed (he was actually pretty slow); it was because the catcher’s throw was more like a lob than a throw. Taylor then flied out to left field.

Bottom of the 1st – Brandon McCarthy pitching:
Chris Burke – Brandon threw a four-pitch walk to start off the game.
David Eckstein – McCarthy got ahead 0-2, then struck him out on a really good fastball. Teagarden then threw Chris Burke out trying to steal second with a bullet to complete the strike-him-out-throw-him-out double play.
Cliff Floyd – Cliff flew out to right field.

Top of the 2nd - Cesar Ramos pitching:
Elvis Andrus – Elvis chased the first pitch and fouled it off before grounding out.
Ian Kinsler – Ian forced a 2-0 count, then got a fastball but was late, before getting a hard-hit single.
Frank Catalanotto – Frank grounded into a double play after falling behind 0-2.

Bottom of the 2nd – Brandon McCarthy pitching:
Emil Brown – Brandon got ahead 0-2, then threw two straight balls, until Brown hit a high chopper to Metcalf, who made a good play on it.
Chris Snelling – Snelling flied out to left field.
Kyle Blanks – On a 2-2 count, McCarthy had good movement on his pitch, which froze Blanks for a strikeout. McCarthy had allowed no hits through two innings.

Top of the 3rd - Cesar Ramos pitching:
Josh Hamilton – Josh pushed one to left field for a double.
Nelson Cruz – Nelson hit a sac fly.
David Murphy – David got a 3-1 count, and then hit an RBI sac fly.
Score: Rangers 5, Padres 0
Chris Davis – Chris forced a 3-2 count and then got a walk.
Travis Metcalf – Travis smoked a single up the middle.
Taylor Teagarden – Taylor got to a 3-0 count, then after two straight strikes he hit a high pop-up to second base.

Bottom of the 3rd – Brandon McCarthy pitching:
Will Venable – Brandon got ahead 0-2, threw two straight balls, then made Venable ground out to 2nd.
Nick Hundley – On a 2-1 count, McCarthy blew the fastball right by him, and then he got a pop-out to third.
Everth Cabrera – Everth grounded out to 1st. McCarthy allowed no hits through three.

Top of the 4th - Jae Kuk Ryu pitching:
Elvis Andrus – Elvis fell behind 0-2, then struck out on a great curveball.
Ian Kinsler – Ian hit a ball hard for a ground-ball double.
Frank Catalanotto – Frank swung on top of the ball and hit a chopper to 2nd, moving Kinsler over to 3rd with 2 outs.
Josh Hamilton – Josh got a hard-hit RBI double to right-center field.
Score: Rangers 6, Padres 0
Nelson Cruz – got down 0-2, then forced a 2-2 count with a good eye. A 3-2 pitch almost hit him and he got on base with a walk.
David Murphy – David hit a should-be-RBI-double, but was robbed on a diving play by the first baseman. That play made SportCenter’s top 10 plays.

Bottom of the 4th – Brandon McCarthy pitching:
Chris Burke – Brandon got ahead 0-2 and then forced a ground-out to short.
David Eckstein – David also grounded out to short.
Cliff Floyd – forced a walk after falling behind 1-2.
Emil Brown – Brandon got a three-pitch strikeout. He threw four no-hit innings and looked terrific.

Top of the 5th - Jae Kuk Ryu pitching:
Chris Davis – Got ahead 2-0, but grounded out on a good defensive play.
Travis Metcalf – After falling behind 0-2, Metcalf forced a 3-2 count before grounding out to 3rd.
Taylor Teagarden – Flied out to center field as he got under the ball.

Bottom of the 5th – Brendan Donnelly pitching:
Chris Snelling – Brendan got ahead 0-2, then threw a great change-up to strike him out. On this at-bat he looked very good.
Kyle Blanks – Brendan fell behind 3-0, then allowed a double, the Padres’ first hit of the game.
Will Venable – After getting ahead 0-2, Donnelly allowed an RBI single.
Score: Rangers 6, Padres 1
Nick Hundley – Nick lined out to Davis, who tagged Venable out for an inning-ending-double-play.

Top of the 6th - Arturo Lopez pitching:
Elvis Andrus – Grounded out to 3B.
Joaquin Arias – Grounded out to 2B.
Frank Catalanotto – Chased a very low pitch and popped it up.

Bottom of the 6th – John Bannister pitching:
Everth Cabrera – John allowed a double.
Chris Burke – Bannister got ahead 0-2, then allowed a single up the middle.
Chase Headley – Chase hit into a double-play that scored a run.
Score: Rangers 6, Padres 2
Cliff Floyd – John gave up a bloop single to Floyd.
Emil Brown – Emil grounded out to 3B.

Top of the 7th - Edwin Moreno (former Ranger) pitching:
Julio Borbon – Got a hard-hit triple that would have been a double for most people.
Greg Golson – Hit an RBI sac fly.
Score: Rangers 7, Padres 2
Brandon Boggs – Got robbed of a hit by the third baseman.
Justin Smoak – Grounded out.

Bottom of the 7th – Willie Eyre pitching:
Chris Snelling – Eyre got ahead 0-2, then struck him out with a 2-2 pitch.
Kyle Blanks – Willie struck Blanks out, also, this time on a 3-2 pitch.
Matt Antonelli – Flied out to center field. Willie looked very good this inning.

Top of the 8th - Joe Thatcher pitching:
Travis Metcalf – Fell behind 0-2, then dropped his shoulder on the 0-2 pitch and struck out on three pitches.
Adam Melhuse – Hit a grounder to short, but the ball was thrown over the first baseman’s head for an error.
Omar Vizquel – Hit a single between the shortstop and third baseman.
Joaquin Arias – Hit a bloop RBI single after falling down 0-2.
Score: Rangers 8, Padres 2
German Duran – Hit an RBI sac fly to score Vizquel.
Score: Rangers 9, Padres 2
Julio Borbon – Grounded out to 2B.

Bottom of the 8th – Neftali Feliz pitching:
Jose Lobaton – Feliz threw a four-pitch walk.
Everth Cabrera – Feliz struck him out.
Dowdy – Hit into a double play.

Top of the 9th - Matt Buschmann pitching:
Greg Golson – Flew out to right field.
Brandon Boggs – Grounded out to 1B.
Justin Smoak – Flew out to LF.

Bottom of the 9th – Neftali Feliz:
Neftali allowed two runs on three hits in the ninth. This was not a very strong outing for Feliz.
Final Score: Rangers 9, Padres 4

Results of last week’s poll:
What do you think should determine home-field advantage for the World Series?
Best Record – 57%
All-Star Game – 26%
League with best interleague record – 15%
Other – 0%

Come back next week for my season predictions.

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