Saturday, October 29, 2011


Very disappointed even though I knew game six was the deciding game. So close. Going to take a day or two off and let it slide. 2011 is over and in the books. Now it's time for the off-season and Strat-O-Matic to get through the winter.

Friday, October 28, 2011

All over?

Not even going to recap last night's nightmare. You want a recap then go to any media outlet. They're all screaming about what a great World Series this is and how the game was awesome. As an ending note most of them say what a great game tonight is going to be.

I don't agree. I think the deciding game of the series was played last night. Mike Shannon commented that if Texas blew the game last night then St. Louis would own tonight. I fear he is right. The championship belongs to the Cardinals unless they hand it to the Rangers.

It's up to Matt Harrison, shown on his 2009 Topps Heritage card, to prove me wrong. I hope he does. I really hope he does. More than anything hope he does. Get out there and throw the game of your life Matt. That's what you're going to have to do to stand a chance of wearing a ring.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rain, rain go away...

Ok, hopefully tonight's game is on and won't be postponed. Looking for clear skies for game six.

Decided to try the Charlie Hough magic again. Charlie's at 1-1 during this World Series. Hopefully this signed 1988 Fleer card of the Rangers all-time wins leader will help them clinch their first World Series title in franchise history.

Go Rangers!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nostradamus Ryan?

In 1993 when Nolan Ryan posed for card number 30 in the Baseball Cards Magazine set I don't think that anyone was predicting that someday he would be the team president.

When he was hired as the Rangers team president I doubt too many people thought he would be an owner soon thereafter. He was though.

This past spring Nolan said he thought the Rangers would win 90-95 games this year and take the division. There was a lot of scoffing. They won 96 and the division.

Here's to hoping that Ryan can keep his prediction streak alive. If Texas wins tonight he will have been right again - Rangers in six.

Go Rangers!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Nap time.

Well, last night was a change. For the first time in a long time I watched the Rangers in a critical game and didn't think to myself, "I wish they still had Pudge." Catcher Mike Napoli did a pretty good impersonation of Ivan Rodriguez, shown here on card numer 96 of the 1996 Aficionado set.

Nap did just about everything for the Rangers last night. He hammered a two run double in the eighth inning. That added to the two solo home runs the Rangers had already scored off Chris Carpenter courtesy of Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland. 4-2 ended up being the final score.

Pretty good night for Nap eh? Well, in addition to his RBI performance Mike also made three great plays in the field. He caught Ranger nemesis Allen Craig stealing. Twice. Once on a missed hit-and-run play and once on the back end of a strike-out throw-out double play. The batter at the plate both times? Albert Pujols. On the final play of the game Neftali Feliz struck out Lance Berkman. Napoli missed the ball and it hit his left shin guard before shooting up the first base line. I figured that the Cardinals had just gotten an extra out. Up popped Mike and raced down the line. He outpaced the sprinting Berkman and pounced on the ball about three quarters of the way to the bag. An underhand toss to Moreland and the Rangers have a 3-2 lead in the Series.

Back to St. Louis with the lead. I'll take that. Go Rangers!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Dutch does it!

Sure, Mike Napoli made all the noise with his three-run home run last night. We all know that chicks dig the long ball and it's pretty clear that Nap can grow a better mustache than Derek Holland.

In spite of all that Holland's 2009 Topps 206 card, number 61, is the card of the day. With Texas down 2-1 in the World Series they absolutely had to win last night. Derek Holland made sure they did. Dutch went 8.1 innings shutout innings while giving up just two hits. he struck out seven Redbirds while walking just two before handing the game over to Neftali Feliz with two outs left.

Feliz was a little wild but kept the Cards shut down to seal the 4-0 Rangers win. Evens the Series at two games each and gives the Texas bullpen a much-needed breather. Hope to see C.J. Wilson come out tonight and follow Holland's lead.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Prepping for Game Three.

Ok, so it's not Thursday and so not normally the day to post autographs and game used cards. This is not a normal day though, tonight is game three of the World Series and it's all knotted up at one game each.

Posting an autographed card of Charlie Hough prior to game two seemed to work. Decided to try it again today with this signed 1988 Donruss card. Hey, if it works...

Go Rangers!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My, oh my!

Wow! Last night's game was a heart-stopper to be sure. Fortunately the Rangers played some good ball and were able to pull the win out at the last minute.

Where to start? Well how about with Colby Lewis who delivered 6.2 innings of dominate pitching. The one run he did allow came in after Alexi Ogando took over. Very nice to see the starting rotation show up for the post-season. Lewis got a no decision but was simply fabulous.

Most of the reason that Lewis did so well was his execution. The defense behind him played a role though. Elvis Andrus, shown here on card number 138 of the 2009 Topps 206 set, showed everyone why he is so highly regarded in Texas. Elvis saved at least one run - probably more with two spectacular diving plays. Ian Kinsler played a role as well as he was able to read Andrus' mind and position himself well on each play.

In spite of all that the Cardinals led the pitchers duel 1-0 heading into the bottom of the ninth. I have to admit that I was already trying to figure the chances of the Rangers coming back from a two game hole. I was premature.

Kinsler led off the inning with a single and then stole second. Andrus then singled him to third and took second on a missed cutoff. Josh Hamilton and Michael Young then delivered to straight sacrifice flies to score Kinsler and Andrus. Neftali Feliz came in and worked the save around a lead off walk. Whew! Talk about a nail-biter.

Interesting trivia. Last night was only the third time in the history of the World Series that a team rallied with two or more runs in the ninth inning or later to win the game. The other two teams? The 1911 A's and the 1985 Royals. Both teams ended up winning the Series. Hope that's a sign of things to come.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Rough start.

Well, C.J. Wilson pitched tolerably last night but Chris Carpenter was better. The game really wasn't a bad one but I didn't particularly care for the 3-2 score in St. Louis' favor. Care even less that it gives the Redbirds a 1-0 lead in the Series. Rough start.

Hopefully things go better tonight. To do my part to help out I am posting this signed 1987 Topps card of Charlie Hough. Who better than the Rangers all-time win leader to give a boost to the team when needed?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

It's all about pitching.

Under the watchful eye of Nolan Ryan, seen here on card number 45 of the 1989 Baseball Cards Magazine set, the Rangers have emphasized pitching in the past few years. The question remains though, have they improved over last year's World Series team? As in yesterday's post, all stats are from the entire year. Let's work through the rotation and then look at the bullpen.

Number one starter:
2010 -
Cliff Lee - 3.18 ERA, 1.003 WHIP, 5.67 SO/BB, 16 HR.
2011 -
C.J. Wilson - 2.94 ERA, 1.187 WHIP, 2.78 SO/BB, 16 HR.
I gotta admit, I figured that this one was going to be a cake walk for Lee. It isn't. Lee was clearly better in WHIP but lagged behind in ERA. Lee gets the edge though in his strikeouts to walks ratio. Going to have to call a tie here.

Number two starter:
2010 -
C.J. Wilson - 3.35 ERA, 1.245 WHIP, 1.83 SO/BB, 10 HR.
2011 -
Colby Lewis - 4.40 ERA, 1.213 WHIP, 3.02 SO/BB, 35 HR.
Colby has obviously been bitten by the long ball this year but this is another mixed bag. WHIP and the strikeout ratio go 2011's way. That ERA on Lewis this year and the homer problem throw this slot to 2010 though.

Number three starter:
2010 -
Colby Lewis - 3.72 ERA, 1.189 WHIP, 3.02 SO/BB, 21 HR.
2011 -
Matt Harrison - 3.39 ERA, 1.276 WHIP, 2.21 SO/BB, 13 HR.
Even closer here. 2010 gets the WHIP and strikeout ratio. The lower ERA and and significantly fewer home runs allowed give 2011 the spot.

Number four starter:
2010 -
Tommy Hunter - 3.73 ERA, 1.242 WHIP, 2.06 SO/BB, 21 HR.
2011 -
Derek Holland - 3.95 ERA, 1.354 WHIP, 2.42 SO/BB, 22 HR.
Dutch has had some bad outings this year. It seemed like Hunter never really did last year. Going to have to go with 2010 on this one.

2010 -
Derek Holland, Dustin Nippert, Darren O'Day, Darren Oliver, Frank Francisco, Alexi Ogando.
2011 -
Scott Feldman, Darren Oliver, Mike Adams, Mike Gonzalez, Koji Uehara, Yoshi Tateyama, Alexi Ogando.

I am sure I am leaving some guys out here since I can't completely recall last year's pen. I will say that I feel much more comfortable with this year's group of guys. With the exception of Uehara and Tateyama they are all pretty solid and generally keep the lights out. Going to have to go with 2011 on this one.

2010 -
Neftali Feliz - 2.73 ERA, 0.880 WHIP, 3.94 SO/BB, 5 HR.
2011 -
Neftali Feliz - 2.74 ERA, 1.155 WHIP, 1.80 SO/BB, 4 HR.
Feliz was just better last year. His ERA hasn't gone up all that much but I don't like the rise in WHIP and drop in the strikeout ratio. 2010 on this one.

Ok, here's the rundown:
Number one starter - Tie
Number two starter - 2010
Number three starter - 2011
Number four starter - 2010
Bullpen - 2011
Closer - 2010
Not as encouraging as yesterday's post. The pitching isn't bad but it looks like some ground has been lost. The staff is good enough to keep the team going but if the offense shuts down then there could be serious problems.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Comparing Rangers to Rangers.

Ok, so the World Series starts tomorrow night. Last year I was simply happy that the Rangers were going. The loss was not a good thing but at least they made it there and didn't get swept. This year I am just as happy that they made it. I got to wondering though, is this year's World Series team better than the 2010 World Series team? Well, let's see. All stats represent the entire season's performance. Fielding performances are at the respective positions.

2010 -
Bengie Molina - .249 BA, .297 OBP, 5 HR, 36 RBI, .993 Fld%, 23% CS.
Matt Treanor - .211 BA, .287 OBP, 5 HR, 27 RBI, .994 Fld%, 28% CS.
2011 -
Mike Napoli - .320 BA, .414 OBP, 30 HR, 75 RBI, .996 Fld%, 36% CS.
Yorvit Torrealba - .273 BA, .306 OBP, 7 HR, 37 RBI, .988 Fld%, 33% CS.
Torrealba's defense is a bit of a concern but otherwise I think that the 2011 backstops have this in a walk away. I particularly like the caught stealing percentages when facing a National League team.

First Base:
2010 -
Mitch Moreland - .255 BA, .364 OBP, 9 HR, 25 RBI, .993 Fld%.
Jorge Cantu - .256 BA, .304 OBP, 11 HR, 56 RBI, 1.000 Fld%
2011 -
Mitch Moreland - .259 BA, .320 OBP, 16 HR, 51 RBI, .995 Fld%.
Michael Young - .338 BA, .380 OBP, 11 HR, 106 RBI, .989 Fld%.
Moreland looked better in 2010 than he did in 2011 in spite of the HR and RBI which were inflated by a full season in the Majors. Of course Young takes Moreland and Cantu to the bank in everything but defense. In the NL park Young will most likely be on first. That alone gives 2011 a very slight edge.

Second base:
2010 -
Ian Kinsler - .286 BA, .382 OBP, 9 HR, 45 RBI, 15/5 SB/CS, .985 Fld%.
2011 -
Ian Kinsler - .255 BA, .355 OBP, 32 HR, 77 RBI, 30/4 SB/CS, .984 Fld%.
Ian's BA and OBP were better in 2010 than in 2011. His power and speed were better in 2011. His fielding remained about the same. This one looks like a tie to me.

2010 -
Elvis Andrus - .265 BA, .342 OBP, 0 HR, 35 RBI, 32/15 SB/CS, .976 Fld%.
2011 -
Elvis Andrus - .279 BA, .347 OBP, 5 HR, 60 RBI, 37/12 SB/CS, .963 Fld%.
Elvis improved his offense in 2011 while dropping significantly in defense. Up the middle I think defense weighs more so I'm going to show a slight edge to 2010.

Third base:
2010 -
Michael Young - .284 BA, .330 OBP, 21 HR, 91 RBI, .950 Fld%.
2011 -
Adrian Beltre - .296 BA, .331 OBP, 32 HR, 105 RBI, .965 Fld%.
Clearly the 2011 Beltre has the 2010 Young outclassed in every category. The only question is by how much. I like Mike but 2011 clearly has an edge here.

Left Field:
2010 -
Josh Hamilton - .359 BA, .411 OBP, 32 HR, 100 RBI, .979 Fld%.
2011 -
Josh Hamilton - .298 BA, .346 OBP, 25 HR, 94 RBI, .975 Fld%.
No way Josh could stay at his 2010 levels of performance. That and the fact that he is battling an injury this year gives 2010 a clear edge.

Center Field:
2010 -
Julio Borbon - .276 BA, .309 OBP, 3 HR, 42 RBI, 15/7 SB/CS .988 Fld %.
2011 -
Endy Chavez - .301 BA, .323 OBP, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 10/5 SB/CS, .992 Fld%.
Craig Gentry - .271 BA, .347 OBP, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 18/0 SB/CS, .990 Fld%.
Looking at the OBP, stealing, and defense 2011 has a clear advantage either way Wash decides to go.

Right Field:
2010 -
Nelson Cruz - .318 BA, .374 OBP, 22 HR, 78 RBI, 17/4 SB/CS, .979 Fld%.
2011 -
Nelson Cruz - .263 BA, .312 OBP, 29 HR, 87 RBI, 9/5 SB/CS, .978 Fld%.
If his recent ALCS explosion is not considered Nellie looks much better in 2010 than in 2011. His power is up a bit this year but his speed, BA, and OBP combine to give this one to 2010.

Designated Hitter:
2010 -
Vladimir Guerrero - .300 BA, .345 OBP, 29 HR, 115 RBI.
2011 -
Michael Young - .338 BA, .380 OBP, 11 HR, 106 RBI.
Michael Young is not your typical DH and that's one reason I like him over Vlad. Not that Vlad caused me heartburn but he just wasn't as versatile as Young. Playing Vlad in the field was like playing a player short. Mike's got some decent defense and can play at all four infield positions if needed. Since the Cards have home field advantage this could be crucial. Edge clearly goes to 2011.

2010 -
Andres Blanco, Jeff Francoeur, David Murphy.
2011 -
David Murphy, Esteban German.
The 2011 bench looks lighter but that's because the guys are playing more everyday than they did last year. Of course David Murphy can and did both years. I think that gives 2011 an edge because more of what might be considered the bench can function as first-line players.

Whew. I'm running out of time before work so I think that the position players are all that I'm going to get to today. Perhaps the pitching staffs could be a future post. So here's how the positions break down as far as who looks better:
C - 2011
1B - 2011
2B - Tie
SS - 2010
3B - 2011
LF - 2010
CF - 2011
RF - 2010
DH - 2011
Bench - 2011
Seems to me that 2011 looks to have improved on 2010, at least in position players. Any areas where 2010 has an edge are not significant drops while I think there has been some significant improvements in 2011. Hopefully this year's team can improve on last year's results as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A.L. Champs a second time!

Well, Holland stumbled and Hamilton still lacked power. The defense and bullpen held though and Young's bat caught fire as Texas trounced Detroit 15-5 to end the American League Championship Series Saturday night.

Nelson Cruz, shown here on card number 494 of the 2010 Upper Deck set, continued to hammer opposing pitching as he went 2-for-4 at the plate with a walk. His two hits were a home run and a double. In addition, he also made a spectacular catch while running into center fielder Craig Gentry.

All told Nellie sent six balls over the fence and bumped in 13 RBI during the series. Both are all-time records for post-season series. That performance won Cruz the ALCS MVP as well as helping to send the Rangers back to the World Series.

Back in the World Series for the second time in a row. Hasn't been done since the Yankees did it in 1999-2000. After 49 years the drought has broken and now the dam seems to be totally down. Can't say this is getting old at all. I am about as pumped this year as I was last year.

Up next, the St. Louis Cardinals. Kind of a conflict here as my father has always been a Redbirds fan and my Grandfather followed them prior to 1972. If the American League team had been anyone other than the Rangers I would be pulling for the Cards. Texas trumps though. Go Rangers!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Coming home for the ALCS finale.

Well, after a 1-2 road trip to Detroit the Rangers are back in Arlington to host the Tigers tonight. The ALCS stands at 3-2 in Texas' favor with two games left in Texas. If would be really nice to see the Rangers end the series tonight. A couple of days extra rest for a few of the guys might help ease some of their nagging injuries. There are a few things that Texas needs to see happen for a win tonight.

Derek Holland needs to be on. Dutch started game two but went only 2.2 innings and gave up three runs before Ron Washington pulled him. Normally Derek either has it or he doesn't. He needs to have it tonight and hold the Tigers down deep into the game. Traditionally Dutch doesn't have two off starts in a row, that needs to hold true tonight.

Josh Hamilton needs to power up. Hamilton, shown here on his 2010 Topps Attax card, is dealing with a strained groin. That kept him out of the Rangers optional workout yesterday. It has also killed his power during the playoffs. Hopefully the day of rest can put the boom back in Josh's bat.

Michael Young needs to keep the spark in his bat. Michael has been in a slump but has had multi-hit games the past two games and knocked his first extra base hit in game five. That spark of life needs to become a flame fast.

The defense needs to hold. Defense wins games and keeps your pitcher confident. The Rangers need both a win and confidence right now. Watch Adrian Beltre at third - his knee is a concern after he fouled a ball off it in game three.

The bullpen needs to keep the lights out. Overall the Rangers pen has done pretty well during the playoffs. With Washington being quick on the hook during this series the relievers will likely see action. Another great performance is in order.

If the pitching holds and the offense gives Derek Holland his normal robust run support the night could go well. Let's hope it does.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Random Rangers game-used.

Decided to post a random game-used card today. This Hank Blalock card isn't connected with anything but I enjoy it and hope you will too. It's from the 2005 Donruss Prime Patches set, is numbered 78/150, and has a piece of Hank's bat and two pieces of his jersey.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Best Seasons: Frank Howard - 1969.

I know, I know. The American League Championship Series is going on. Problem is that I don't have access to a scanner for a couple of days so I had to pre-write today and tomorrow's posts. As such they won't match what is going on in the playoffs.

Number nine on T.R. Sullivan's list of the fifty best seasons in Rangers history marks the first appearance on the list by a Senator. Of course this is appropriate since Frank Howard's Senators later moved to Texas.

1969 was the only winning season the Senators experienced in eleven years in Washington D.C. It was also in the midst of the peak of Frank Howard's career.

Hondo played in 161 games in 1969 and made 702 plate appearances in the course of the season. He posted a .296 batting average and a .402 on-base percentage. The batting average was a team best and the on-base percentage was second best on the club. As a result of the on-base percentage Frank scored 111 runs - easily the best on the team. He also hit 17 doubles and 48 home runs (second best in the A.L.). Those numbers helped him amass the team best 111 RBI that he knocked in during the season. Amazingly for a power hitter, Howard actually walked (102) more times than he struck out (96).

People other than Senators fans noticed Frank Howard's season. He was named to the All-Star game and even received some serious MVP consideration.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Feldman, Cruz grab number two.

Well, Nelson Cruz almost got two cards in a row. While looking for a Cruz card I came across card number 505 in the 2010 Upper Deck set first.

Decided to post this card of Scott Feldman to recognize his performance in last night's game. Starter Derek Holland wasn't having a good night and Ron Washington pulled him with one out left in the third inning. Seeing as Dutch had given up three runs to that point, the hook made sense. Apparently Derek just didn't have it.

The downside to pulling the starter that early is that it can really burn up the bullpen. With no travel day that can hurt. Enter Scott Feldman. Scooter came in and tossed 4.1 innings of one hit ball. He finally gave Alexi Ogando the ball in the eighth inning. Talk about saving some wear and tear on the bullpen.

Good thing that Feldman lasted as long as he did since the game lasted as long as it did. Tied in the ninth the game remained 3-3 until the bottom of the eleventh. With the bases loaded Nelson Cruz hammered his second home run of the game. Walk-off grand slam! (First time in postseason history by the way.) Texas wins 7-3 and takes a 2-1 lead in the ALCS.

I have to say that I am enjoying the way things are going for the Rangers right now. Cruz seems to have found his bat and the bullpen seems to have found their groove. Going to Detroit is always stressful but it's a little less so with a two game lead in the series. Colby Lewis faces off with Doug Fister tonight. Here's to hoping that Colby can stay on target and keep the Tigers off the board.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Water water everywhere.

So rain seems to be the real story of the ALCS right now. It rained enough on Saturday evening to force two different rain delays in the fifth inning. Last night there was enough rain to postpone the game to this afternoon. That's good news. North Texas has been bone dry and could use every drop that fell in the past two days.

Other good news is that the Rangers managed to beat Tigers' ace Justin Verlander on Saturday to take game one. C.J. Wilson struggled some between rain delays but the bullpen came in and held the lead to get the 3-2 win.

Very nice to see the pen perform like it is supposed to. Even nicer to see Nellie Cruz get his bat back. Cruz, seen here on card number 227 of the 2009 Allen and Ginter set, had really stumbled in the ALDS. On Saturday he seemed to shake it off a little as he parked a Verlander pitch over the outfield wall in the bottom of the fourth. That solo homer proved to be the margin of victory that the Rangers would need. Hopefully it will also prove to be the return of Nellie's offense.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kicking off the ALCS.

The American League Championship Series starts tonight in Arlington. Sadly I am working third shift and so will probably miss most of the game.

C.J. Wilson, shown here on card number HH94 of the 2011 Allen and Ginter Hometown Heroes set, is starting for Texas tonight. Hopefully when I wake up it will be to find that he has pitched like he did during the regular season and not like he did in the first game of the Division Series.

Go Rangers!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Inbound Yankee-eating Tigers!

So the Tigers downed the Yankees last night to win their side of the ALDS. The win came in part thanks to former Ranger Joaquin Benoit, shown here on card number 423 of the 2004 Fleer Tradition set. Now the Tigers are headed to Arlington for the kickoff of the ALCS tomorrow.

So far Ron Washington has announced that C.J. Wilson will start game one. Jim Leyland has stated that Justin Verlander is headed to the bump for the Tigers. Hopefully C.J. can hang tough. I have a feeling Verlander will so it could be a close game. A clunker like Wilson threw in game one of the ALDS could be real trouble.

I've got to be honest, I was hoping for the Yankees. Detroit is going to be tough and the Rangers never play well in MoTown it seems. I would have felt a lot more confident headed into a series with New York. At least Texas has home field advantage. Hopefully they can take advantage of that and prove my forebodings wrong.

Anyone else a bit nervous about the Tigers coming to town with it all on the line?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Best Seasons: Alex Rodriguez - 2001.

Been awhile since we had an installment on T.R. Sullivan's Fifty Best Seasons list. Since the Rangers are off today and tomorrow I thought this might be a good time to get in another season.

Number eight on T.R.'s list is Alex Rodriguez's 2001 season. Alex, seen here on a 2002 Flair Power Tools Dual game-used card, had monster seasons all three years he was with Texas. That makes it kind of a flip of the coin as to which was his best.

In 2001 Rodriguez played in a league-leading 162 games. He had 732 plate appearances, posted a .318 batting average, and a .399 on-base percentage. He led the league in runs scored with 133 (a Rangers club record), and home runs with 52. His 135 RBI were third-best in the league and easily led the team. His 34 doubles were also a team best and he also managed to steal 18 bases while getting caught just three times.

In the field he committed just 18 errors in 749 chances over 1,395.1 innings. That gave him a fielding percentage of .976 - three points higher than the league average.

Rodriguez took home a Silver Slugger award and was named to the All-Star team for his efforts. He also received some MVP consideration.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Wrapping up the Rays.

Wow! That's about all that can be said about Adrian Beltre's performance yesterday. Beltre, pictured here on card number 34 of the 2011 Bowman Gold set, hammered three home runs to follow up Ian Kinsler's solo shot that led off the game.

Those long balls mark the first time in the history of the Division Series that a player has gone deep three times in one game.

All told, Texas ended up scoring all their runs on solo homers as they beat Tampa Bay 4-3. Starting pitcher Matt Harrison went five innings and gave up two runs to get the win. Derek Holland, Mike Adams, and Alexi Ogando combined out of the bullpen to hold the Devil Rays scoreless for an additional three innings. Neftali Feliz stumbled a bit in the ninth as he coughed up a run but he still got the save.

The win gave the Rangers a 3-1 victory in the ALDS. Now they just have to wait and see who wins the Yankees/Tigers series. New York thumped Detroit last night to send the series to a fifth game tomorrow.

Have to say that I am very glad to see the Rangers win this series. Repeating as a divisional champ is hard. Having any level of success in the playoffs two years in a row is even harder. Hopefully the team is able to keep pushing and is able to make a second World Series appearance.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Well that was a surprise!

Well, I was going to write about Colby Lewis throwing six innings of one-hit ball yesterday to get the win over Tampa Bay. I was going to mention how this appears to be the year of Napoli as Mike continues to dismantle opposing pitching. I was even going to touch on Nap's stolen base. Of course Josh Hamilton, Craig Gentry, Neftali Feliz, and Elvis Andrus were all in for a mention as well.

I was running late though and didn't get the post up before the start of today's game. As I was looking for a card to post, Ian Kinsler hammered the second pitch he saw for a home run to give Texas an early lead. That made me decide to post card number 18 of the 2007 Bowman Chrome set. The shot was Kinsler's first of this year's postseason. Way to go Ian!

Now that Matt Harrison has a lead he just needs to hold it and give the offense some room to add on.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas evens the ALDS 1-1.

Well, the Texas offense finally showed up on Saturday afternoon. Makes sense that they would with Derek Holland pitching. Seems like Dutch has been given generous run support all season.

Ian Kinsler, seen here on card number 67 of the 2009 Allen and Ginter set, was one of the Rangers to find his bat against James Shields and the Rays. Kinsler went 2-for-5 with two RBI. Mike Napoli (2-for-4 with two RBI), and Michael Young (2-for-4) also had a good game at the plate. Mitch Moreland found his zone as he pounded a home run in the eighth off Tampa Bay reliever Brandon Gomes.

Today the series moves to Tampa Bay. The Devil Rays are sending David Price to the hill while Texas counters with Colby Lewis. Hopefully the offense stays alive and we get to see the Lewis who pitched for Texas last year in the playoffs.

Go Rangers!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

What happened ?!?!

Well, the Rangers decided to follow the Red Sox example, that's what. Totally ugly game one. Absolute face plant.

If it wasn't for Scott Feldman, shown here on card number 371 of the 2006 Upper Deck, the afternoon could have been worse. C.J. Wilson gave up eight runs (six earned) in five innings. That put the game out of reach. Feldman took over in the sixth inning and went three scoreless frames while allowing just two hits.

If it wasn't for Josh Hamilton Texas might have gotten no-hit. Josh went 2-for-4. That was the total of the Rangers' offense. Good thing Hamilton at least brought his bat to the game.

Certainly the wrong way to start off the series. Down one game the Rangers are already looking at an uphill climb. With James Shields starting tonight for Tampa Bay the hill is even steeper. Hope Derek Holland is on.