Wednesday, August 26, 2009

38.

Well, that was something now, wasn't it?

Did anyone else stay up late to watch the breath-taking conclusion of the Yankees v. Rangers game last night? Jeesh. Sitting in the stands, one row in front of the MOST obnoxious fan from Texas I've EVER had to deal with (think Eric Cartman as a red-haired frat boy), I almost was rooting for the Yankees to pull off the miracle comeback in the 9th inning. And they almost did.

Down 10-5 going to the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees quickly cut the lead to 10-9 thanks to a microscopic strike zone, a little bit of luck, and a few solid hits. With two on and NOBODY out, it was looking bad. Very bad. The Yankee faithful were gleefully taunting Cartman with chants of "Gin-ger! Gin-ger!", a chant he thought had something to do with sushi. At this point I deftly went into silent fan mode, not wanting to be confused as a brother-in-arm with this schmuck. Luckily, as quickly as the Yankees seized the upper hand, they suddenly gave it away. A popped-up bunt and a line-out double play and then...poof! The game was over. It was a remarkable finish to a remarkable game. More importantly, it was a Ranger win...in a game they would normally have found a way to lose. It wasn't pretty, but a win at Yankee stadium in the heat of a playoff race is huge. No doubt about it.

A few thoughts about the game:

* I got my wish and was lucky enough to see Neftali Feliz pitch up close (I swear he even tipped his cap at me as he came off the mound in the 8th inning). He's damn impressive. He reached as high as 101 mph on the radar gun, and he struck Alex Rodriguez out on a 100 mph fastball. Two innings, one single, no walks, two K's. He also smiles a lot. Gotta love this kid.

* The return of a seemingly ready-to-produce Chris Davis can not be underestimated. You basically have a hitter with clean-up type power hitting in the eighth spot in the batting order. He went 2 for 4 with a walk, but more importantly he didn't strike out, he looked very comfortable at the plate, and his defense was as good as I remembered. Welcome back.

* I loved the lineup the Rangers had out there last night. Julio Borbon is the newest rookie to join the lineup and he looks like he's going to be a great leadoff hitter...something the Rangers have sorely lacked. In just 14 games since being called up from the minors, he already has 9 stolen bases. He's hitting, he's walking, he's smiling. You know you have a good leadoff man when his uniform is covered in dirt by the second inning. He's 23.

But beyond that, this is the healthiest the Rangers have been since the opening of the season. Kinsler is back from the DL, Nelson Cruz is back from the DL, Chris Davis is back from AAA, Josh Hamilton, while his bat still seems slow to me, is hitting well, and the addition of Pudge Rodriguez also improves this team on offense. Last night they combined for 10 runs, 16 hits, and walked 7 times against a pitcher who was one of the best in baseball over the last month or so. I think they're on the verge of busting out all over.

* Never go to a baseball game with my boss. If you're a young child or an elderly woman, he will find you and destroy you. So very awkward. My boss is basically Clint Eastwood from Gran Torino.

In terms of the playoff hunt, since the Monday update, the Red Sox and Devils Rays have each won two games, but the Angels have lost two games. That means the Rangers are 1.5 games behind Boston for the wild card spot, but they're now only 4 games back of Anaheim for the AL West division title.

38 games to go.

1 Comments:

Blogger Spender said...

The most exciting season since 1996... I could not be happier with the boys than I am today.

August 26, 2009 at 3:03 PM  

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