I will have a short post this week because I had an all-weekend baseball tournament out in Mansfield. There’s an amazing baseball complex in Mansfield called Big League Dreams. Each of the eight fields is a replica of a classic major league ballpark. The attention to detail is incredible. This weekend, our games are in replicas of the Polo Grounds and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. They also have replicas of Ebbets Field, Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field, Sportsman’s Park, and Crosley Field. They have two pretty nice restaurants too (one called the Diamond Club and one called the Stadium Club), each overlooking four of the fields. Even if you don’t have a game there, you can tour the complex for $3, eat at the restaurant, and watch whatever games are being played. It was the coolest place I’ve ever played at.
This week I will give a brief recap of the week’s Rangers games.
Opening Day vs. Toronto (1-0):
Scott Feldman pitched really well other than just a couple of bad pitches (he went 7 innings and allowed 3 runs). Neftali Feliz came on in the eight and he really struggled, allowing one run and walking two while getting just one out. Darren Oliver and Frankie Francisco came in to pitch after him, and got the job done. The Rangers got no-hit through six and a third innings before Vlad singled (following a Josh Hamilton walk), followed by a Nelson Cruz home run to tie the game at 3 in the seventh. After Feliz gave the Blue Jays the lead back in the 8th, the Rangers got the bases loaded with one out in the ninth when Jarrod Saltalamacchia came up and hit a walk-off single to win the ballgame. They won 5-4. We were at this game and it couldn’t have been a better day.
Wednesday, April 7th vs. Toronto (1-1):
Rich Harden started for the Rangers and really struggled. He went just 3 and two-thirds innings, allowed just one hit, three runs (one earned), and struck out eight, but he walked five batters. 8 of his 11 outs were strikeouts. Dustin Nippert came in after Harden, and didn’t do any better, allowing three runs and walking four in 2 and two-thirds innings. Darren O’Day came in after him and threw 1.1 scoreless innings, but Darren Oliver gave up a solo home run to Vernon Wells. Chris Ray got the final two outs for the Rangers and allowed no runs. Borbon, Young, Hamilton, Arias, Murphy, Salty, Andrus, and Teagarden combined to go 1-22, (a .045 batting average) and Josh struck out in all four of his at-bats. Nelson Cruz and Vladimir Guerrero hit back-to-back home runs, but they were basically the Rangers’ whole offense, and they lost 7-4.
Thursday, April 8th vs. Toronto (1-2):
CJ Wilson pitched great, and he went 7 shutout innings, striking out 9 and allowing only 7 batters to get on base. After CJ, Feliz came in and threw a perfect 8th inning, but after him Frankie Francisco came in to pitch, and he was terrible. He got just two outs, allowed four hits, three runs (all earned), and walked one, to make his ERA 16.20. Darren Oliver got the last out of the 9th inning. The Rangers hit just as bad in this game as they did on Wednesday, as Borbon, Young, Garko, Arias, Teagarden, Blanco, Hamilton, and Andrus combined to go 0-for-21, while Cruz and Guerrero went 4-for-7. The Rangers lost the game 3-1.
Friday, April 9th vs. Seattle (2-2):
Colby Lewis started this game and picked up the win, going 7 innings, and allowing just one run. Chris Ray pitched the 8th inning, and allowed a solo home run to Casey Kotchman. Doug Mathis then pitched a perfect ninth inning, and struck out two. Nelson Cruz hit his third home run of the season, and him and Guerrero combined to go 5-for-8 in this game. After Cruz’ fourth inning home run, the Rangers scored four runs in the 6th inning, and one run in the 7th. The Rangers won 6-2.
Saturday, April 10th vs. Seattle (2-3):
Matt Harrison started for the Rangers and pitched really well, giving up just one run in six innings of work. Dustin Nippert and Neftali Feliz both followed that up with scoreless innings of their own. But then, once again, Frankie Francisco came in to pitch the ninth, and got one out, allowing three runs. And the out was on a sac bunt, so he didn’t really even get that one, either. Darren O’Day then came in to finish off the inning for the Rangers. Besides Joaquin Arias, the Rangers combined to go 4-for-29 (a .138 batting average). Nelson Cruz hit a solo homer in the sixth, but due to Frankie’s poor pitching, the Rangers lost 4-3.
Sunday, April 11th vs. Seattle (3-3):
Scott Feldman had 7 strong innings once again on Sunday against the Mariners. He allowed just two runs (one earned) in his 7 innings of work, and picked up the win. Doug Mathis and Chris Ray each pitched scoreless innings after him. The Rangers hit much better on Sunday, as everyone got a hit except for David Murphy, and he became the first player ever to get on base by two catcher interference calls in the same game. Michael Young hit his first home run of the year in the first inning off Ian Snell, and, once again Vlad and Cruz both had really good games. Josh Hamilton also doubled twice and walked in the game. The Rangers won 9-2.
Through one week, the Rangers should be 5-1, but their “closer” has made them 3-3. The Rangers’ hitting besides Guerrero, Cruz, Arias, and Hamilton has got to pick up. I’m starting to get a little worried about Chris Davis, but the starting rotation is looking great.
Come back next week for more analysis on the Rangers.