That was a good one. Then a bad one. Then a good one again.
I swear I wasn’t really expecting Michael Young to go hitless when I wrote that yesterday. And even though I said Murphy will soon overtake Byrd on the depth chart, I didn’t expect that to happen so soon. Murphy was outstanding again today in every aspect. He clearly deserves a good shot at being fulltime.
Surprised that Padilla was allowed to get to 110 pitches, but then it usually takes that many for him to get through six innings. Eight hits and three walks, and only one run allowed. Amazing. I still have little faith in him though, I spent the whole night just waiting for the other shoe to drop and see hit after hit and run after run. It’s going to take a long time to believe in Vinny Padilla. Even if the rotation has an 0.75 ERA so far this year.
King Felix was very very good, but he suffered the problems the Rangers have, not getting offensive support. He’ll have a Cy or two or three by the time he’s done.
Bad inning for Jack Benoit, but not a big deal, certainly not in the end. He was victimized by fielding of course, which is why only one of the three runs was earned, but he wasn’t very sharp himself. But that was yet another ball in the dirt that Laird should have blocked. Had to block, given the go-ahead run was on third.
Okay, so a few of those guys have flu or flu-like symptoms (I have a cold myself right now) and they’re sucking down pills to keep playing. But really, Kinsler’s now 2 for 9, maybe he should have rested and let his backup play. Oh yeah, his backup is Vazquez. Never mind.
Hamilton’s first, definitely not the last. I wasn’t happy when he was acquired, I still don’t think I am, but he’s certainly doing all he can to bring me round. Two excellent catches, maybe we finally have someone who can play good center field in Arlington. My three year old yesterday, when seeing Hamilton sans hat for the first time, said “he has crazy hair”. Today, at one point when he returned to the dugout and took his helmet off, I looked at him and thought “wow, Will Farrell plays for the Rangers”.
Kinsler thought Broussard was safe at second, and yelled about it. No big deal, until the camera pans over to Tim Tschida at second, looking across like he was going to toss Kinsler if he said another word. I talked about the aggressive attitude from the ump yesterday, to see it again today was irritating to say the least.
The guys on tv were very charitable towards Michael Young after the final out, saying how it was good the ball was hit to him so he could end the game. Me, I was going “oh no oh no oh no” all the way until it hit the glove. Speaking of, his error, that wasn’t a good throw but Tex would have dug it out, not jumped away from the ball like it was a bull and he had a red flag. How long has Broussard been a first baseman?
So glad to see Brad Wilkerson continuing the great run of form he had for us. Want to read something funny? Try this piece on the Mariners site. Apart from the great line “So the Mariners’ new right fielder is being asked to just be Brad Wilkerson”, which I wouldn’t wish on anyone, note that nowhere in this pretty long article does it even mention he played in Texas. And then there’s this quote: “Midway through last year, I was getting back to where I was before I got hurt,” he said. “The last half of the season showed what I’m capable of doing.” Just for fun, I checked out his stats on Baseball Reference: the first half last year he had an OPS of .817, the second half .749. 14 HR 42 RBI in the first half, 6 and 20 in the second (in only 20 fewer PA). So yeah, I think I agree with him when he showed what he’s capable of in the second half.
Richie Sexson is done.
I forgot to mention this yesterday, but Tom and Josh were talking about how the statheads were ruling out the Mariners, saying their 2007 was a fluke. Since they allowed more runs than they scored last year, their record should have been like 79-83 instead of 88-74. Josh and Tag were dissing this thought, and I swear Tag said something about this being calculated as part of some complex system called Pecota. If that’s really what he said, then I’m disappointed that not only did he diss statheads (of which I am one), but that he did it wrong. Pecota is not what he was talking about, it is a player projection system created by the guys at Baseball Prospectus, who are pretty much the smartest people around when it comes to talking baseball stats. What they were actually talking about is Pythagorus, which is the much simpler idea that your ratio of wins to losses correlates very well with your ratio of runs scored to runs allowed. To have the guys on tv slam stats like that is really annoying in this day and age, when we see teams like the A’s and Red Sox winning using these theories, and teams like the Rangers struggling to integrate it into their system.
Is there anyone out there who believes the Rangers when they say that using Nolan Ryan’s beef in the hamburgers has nothing to do with him becoming president? Or that the 75 cent price increase won’t go straight into his pocket? Come on, do you think we’re stupid? It’s like that Cowboys exec, bought land around the new stadium a couple of years ago and sold it to the Cowboys last week for a handsome profit (while the taxpayers give them hundreds of millions of dollars). Or like the oil execs in Congress today, who said that they’re really sweet lovable guys who hate the fact that we’re rapidly closing in on four buck a gallon gas. Rich folk have figured out that they can lie about anything, and we the people will sit here and say thank you, may I have another?
Hey, we’re at .500. Haven’t been there since we were 5-5 last April (not counting the 0-0 from October to March). Better yet, the hoped for split on this road trip is looking much more possible.