Thursday, May 31, 2012

Decisions: Firing Bobby Valentine.

What a beating last night. From the Mariners too. Ugly. Coming off two losses in a row to Seattle the Rangers seem like they can use today's day off. I'm going to take advantage of it by looking at the next installment in T.R. Sullivan's Top 50 Decisions the shaped the Rangers.

 Number 28 on Sullivan's list is the firing of manager Bobby Valentine. Bobby V. had been hired in 1985 after the firing of Doug Rader. He would manage the team up until he was fired midway through the 1992 season. At the time of his firing Bobby was the longest tenured manager in the history of the franchise. He was also probably the most popular with the fans.

Valentine, shown here on a signed 1986 Topps card, had a winning record with the Rangers in five of the eight seasons he managed. That is saying something when you consider the players he was given to work with in the early going. By 1992 though the management was looking to compete.

After losing two straight games to fall to 6.5 games behind first-place Minnesota, Bobby was done. Managing partner George W. Bush handled the firing and told the media that Valentine was a good guy but that the team was concerned about the pennant race getting away from them. It did anyway.

Interim manager Toby Harrah was unable to turn things around as he went 32-44 for the remainder of the season. The Rangers finished at 77-85 and in 4th place. Maybe firing Bobby V. with his 45-41 record wasn't the best course of action.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Oswalt, pitching, and defense.

So the Rangers have signed Roy Oswalt to a one-year deal. I guess that's good. Could be he does real well and gives them a solid spot in the rotation. Could be his already creaky back goes down after a start or two and all Texas gets is a few spot starts. Either way it's only for one year. Hopefully Nolan Ryan's judgement of players holds up on this one.

The man Roy Oswalt is looking to replace in the rotation takes the hill tonight against the Mariners. Scott Feldman is looking to extend the Rangers current win streak to five games. If he gets the help that Matt Harrison did last night he should be able to do it.

Matt got a great defensive play from Nelson Cruz, Ian Kinsler, and Mike Napoli in the eighth inning. After Craig Gentry dove for and missed a drive into center it looked as though the Mariners were going to pick up two runs on an inside the park home run. However, Cruz backed up the play and fired the ball into Kinsler. Ian relayed it to Napoli, shown here on his 2011 Allen and Ginter Hometown Heroes card, number HH92. Nap blocked the plate and tagged out Seattle's Brendan Ryan.

If that play wasn't enough, Napoli hammered a three run home run in the sixth inning to put the Rangers ahead for good

Of course Matt Harrison maximized on the help by going eight innings and allowing just two runs on seven hits. He also struck out five while walking nobody. That kind of pitching keeps the team in the game so that hitting like Napoli's and defense like Cruz's matters. Final score: 4-2 Texas.

Monday, May 28, 2012


Don't forget any of them. No matter the time period.

Saturday, May 26, 2012


Let me start off by apologizing for missing most of the week. Things just got real busy at work and home. I kept thinking I would be able to get back but it didn't work out until today.

Gotta say that last night's 14-3 trouncing of the Blue Jays is a very nice note to come back on. Derek Holland was great as he went 7.1 innings. He allowed just two runs in the stretch and allowed just one walk while striking out nine.

In spite of that stellar performance I'm going to have to give Nelson Cruz the card of the day. Nellie is shown here on card 96 of the 2010 Topps Chrome set. Cruz went 4-for-5 in the game. He did strike out once but also doubled and hit a grand slam home run. All told he drove in eight of Texas' fourteen runs. Very nice.

In addition to that, he has already homered in today's game. Good to see Nellie's bat back and good to be back to posting.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Colby, Neftali, and Michael.

So the Rangers won 6-1 yesterday to take the series from the Astros. Obviously the offense showed up finally but Colby Lewis was the star of the game to be sure. Colby started the game and went 8+ innings. He was lifted after he allowed a lead-off home run in the ninth inning that ended his shutout bid. He allowed just three hits other than that home run and struck out six while walking just one. If that wasn't enough, Colby also jumped in on the offensive side of things. He went 2-for-4 at the plate. While he did strike out twice he also drove in two runs. Not bad at all for an American League pitcher. Steve Busby summed it up nicely, "Atta boy Colby!"

So that's the good news. Couple of items of concern coming down today as well. First is Neftali Feliz, shown here on card 459 of the 2010 Topps Heritage set. The Rangers won his last start on Friday but Neftali took a no-decision as he struggled with his control. Today the Rangers placed him on the 15-day Disabled List for shoulder inflammation. That probably puts him out of action at least until after the All-Star break. At least there were no tears or structural damage in Neftali's shoulder. Scott Feldman is currently slated to step into Feliz's spot in the rotation and Yoshinori Tateyama has been called up from Triple A to replace Feldman in the bullpen. Not sure if that will be the permanent fix or if something else will happen. Jon Daniels says that all options are on the table and that the club has not ruled out trying to sign Roy Oswalt. Hope it's an extremely cheap contract with lots of incentives if they decide to go that way.

The second item of concern comes from Triple A Round Rock. Here is the Rangers official release by way of T.R. Sullivan's blog:

Arlington, Texas—Pitcher Michael Kirkman was diagnosed in January with a form of skin cancer during an examination that took place in Gainesville, FL, which is near his off-season home in Lake City, FL. Michael is currently undergoing regular treatment in Round Rock and is being continually monitored by his doctors in both Florida and Texas. He is allowed to participate in full baseball activity while undergoing the treatment, and the prognosis is for a full recovery.

Scary stuff. Glad to see that a full recovery is expected. Always hope and pray for the best whenever I see or hear of somebody facing the cancer fight.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Kicking off the Silver Boot.

Nice 4-1 win in Houston last night to start the 2012 Silver Boot Series. Of course it's probably the final Silver Boot Series with the Astros moving the American League West next season.

Good to see the offense pick up and help Neftali Feliz out. About the only gripe I have is that Feliz went less than five innings. Even though he gave up just one run he was pretty wild and appeared to have been experiencing one of his confidence stumbles.

Robbie Ross continued to impress out of the pen as he worked 2.1 scoreless innings. Would have been nice to see him get a day off but it's also nice to have him there to cruise through the middle innings. Koji Uehara handled the eighth and then Joe Nathan came out and worked a three up-three down ninth. Very encouraging to see him do that on his fourth outing in four days. Looks like he may be completely back to his pre-injury form.

Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre, and Michael Young all turned in good offensive performances. Michael gets the card of the day though, number 87 in the 2005 ESPN set. Mike gets the card because his 2-for-3 night ended an 0-for-11 skid that he had been on. Great to see him have a good night after struggling. Hopefully that's what it will take to get him on track and tearing it up again.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Odd Moments: Eye for trouble.

Looks like the guys are on track for a win in Houston tonight barring an Astros rally. Since the game is still in progress though I don't want to jinx it by commenting. Instead we'll take a look at one of the Top 50 Strange Moments in Rangers history.

Coming in at number 27 we have Ned Yost, shown here on card 221 of the 1985 Donruss set. The December, 1983 Yost for Sundberg trade was one of the worst trades in Rangers history. This incident helps explain in part why.

In his lone season with Texas Yost appeared in just 80 games. Part of the reason for his low number of appearances was due to being on the disabled list.

Yost had been having trouble hitting and throwing out runners. Many people might have attributed that to the fact that he had been a back-up catcher for his entire Major League career to that point and was trying to transition to a full-time role at 29 years of age. Also, the comparisons with Jim Sundberg could not have been favorable in the minds of most observers. Manager Doug Rader wasn't buying. Something had to be wrong and it couldn't be his opinion of Yost and Sundberg.

Off to the disabled list went Ned. Why? "Excessive eyelid tension." The unique diagnosis was also described as "heavy eyelid tension." I thought that was what happened when you didn't get enough sleep. I never realized how serious it can be. It is though. At the time Doug Rader remarked that, "We're going to treat it just like knee surgery." Now that's bizarre.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Best Seasons: Jon Matlack - 1978.

Extra innings loss this afternoon in Arlington. A's split the series and Mike Adams takes the L. Ends a seven game home stand at 3-4. Hopefully the guys can get it back on track against Houston. Might be a good time for another installment from T.R. Sullivan's 50 Best Seasons in Rangers History list.

Jon Matlack, shown here on a signed 1981 Topps card, had his best seasons with the Mets. However, he still had some gas left in the tank when he came to Arlington. 1978 was his first season with Texas and he joined a pitching rotation that included Fergie Jenkins, Doyle Alexander, and Doc Medich. Jon was supposed to bring some added firepower and he did.

Matlack made 33 starts and pitched 18 complete games for a total of 270 innings pitched. All three were team bests. His 2.27 ERA was also a team best, for the whole pitching staff. His 1.122 WHIP was second only to Fergie Jenkins. He tied Fergie for the team lead in strikeouts with 157.

Not bad numbers and the team stayed in contention as they finished second in the American League West. In addition to leading the team in several pitching categories that season, Jon also put his name in the franchise record book. His 2.27 ERA remains the lowest ever by any Rangers pitcher with at least 200 innings pitched in a season. Not too shabby.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Decisions: Four in one.

Doing a rare no scan post today. Got busy before work and now I'm trying to get this posted on my dinner break. Due to the Rangers anemic offense and a couple of poor throws by Colby Lewis the Royals came out on top last night. Not much else to discuss so this strikes me as a good time to take another look at T.R. Sullivan's list of the Fifty Decisions that have shaped the Rangers as a franchise. The lack of a scan works out since the next few entries really don't have a specific player attached to them.

Number 24. San Diego. Astros owner Roy Hofheinz convinced the National League to expand in San Diego in 1969. Dallas had also been under consideration.

Number 25. Sorry Charlie. Charlie Finley started looking to move the Athletics out of Kansas City almost as soon as he bought them. In 1964 he tried to take the team to Dallas. The American League turned him down and the team later went to Oakland instead. That meant no Catfish Hunter, Reggie Jackson, or Vida Blue in Texas. As a side note: Mrs. Spiff is particularly grateful for this entry, she has no interest at all in the A's green and gold.

Number 26. Mike Stone. Eddie Chiles hired him as the club president in 1984. T.R. credits Stone with bringing a real sense of professional organization to the franchise.

Number 27. Sandy Johnson. Hired by Tom Grieve to oversee scouting and player development, he helped build the Rangers farm system into a real talent pipeline that eventually included Juan Gonzalez and Ivan Rodriguez.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

1976 Topps - Juan Beniquez.

Kind of frustrating last night listening to the ballgame. After playing the Angels hard, the Rangers couldn't score more than one run against the Royals. On top of that, a rare Adrian Beltre error led to two unearned runs to give Scott Feldman the undeserved loss. Time to start through the 1976 Topps team set.

Juan Beniquez appears in an obviously airbrushed uniform on card number 496. Gotta like the buttons and stitches around the collar. The reason for the airbrushing is that Juan came to the Rangers on November 17, 1975. The trade that brought him to Texas also brought Steve Barr and Craig Skok to the Rangers. In exchange Texas sent Fergie Jenkins to Boston.

Moving from a fourth outfielder role with the Red Sox, Beniquez became the Rangers everyday center fielder in 1976. In 141 games he logged 1,169 innings in center. His .986 fielding percentage was five points higher than the league average and his 18 assists were a league best. In fact, they were the most by an American League outfielder since Bobby Mercer managed 21 with the 1974 Yankees.

Juan made 526 plate appearances on offense. His batting average totaled to .255 and his on-base percentage to .315. While Beniquez didn't have a lot of power (he hit no home runs), he did have some speed. He managed to steal 17 bases while getting caught six times.

In retrospect Beniquez's performance in the field had probably been everything that the Rangers were hoping for in 1976. Unfortunately his offense had tailed off significantly from the previous season when he played with Boston. Juan was safe for the immediate future but he needed to get the offense up if he wanted to keep showing off his cannon arm in the outfield.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Walloping on Weaver.

With the series tied at one game apiece, Texas sent Neftali Feliz to the hill last night against the Angels in Arlington. Feliz lasted six innings and gave up two earned runs while striking out five Halos. Not a bad start but several pitchers have found out in the past that a better one is needed against Angels ace Jered Weaver.

Not the case last night though. The Rangers managed to hang eight earned runs on Weaver before he left after 3.1 innings. That was enough to give Feliz the win and hang a rare loss on Jered. Very nice to see the win coming against the division rivals' ace.

Amazingly, Josh Hamilton didn't hit a home run during the game. In fact, the Rangers hit just one long ball as compared to the Angels three. The one Texas homer was a good one though. Nelson Cruz, shown here on card DDC-101 from the 2012 Topps Diamond Die Cut set, hit it in the third inning off Weaver. At the time there were three runners on. Nellie's grand slam made up a major part of the Rangers five run third and helped put them back on top after the Angels briefly led the game 2-1.

The Texas bats kept rolling even after Cruz's blast. Even though reliever Mark Lowe struggled and gave up three runs in his two thirds of an inning pitched, the Rangers managed to stay on top. Final score: 13-6 Texas.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The bombing continues.

Posting Josh Hamilton's 1987 Topps Mini card from this year's Topps set tonight. Texas lost today but Hamilton's home run torrent is continuing as he launched another bomb in the loss.

That gives Josh nine homers in his last six games. Incredible. That's about the only word for it. He's even got Rangers manager Ron Washington expecting something to happen about every time he steps into the batter's box.

The latest onslaught brings Hamilton to 18 home runs on the season. That total leads the Majors. It also puts him on pace to possibly break Barry Bonds' single season home run record. Of course there are those out there who would claim that such a record would be just as tainted as Bonds'. I find that hard to believe with all the extra drug testing that Hamilton is required to undergo by his team and Major League Baseball.

Two big things are going to stand in the way of Hamilton continuing his tear. One is the opposing pitchers. They have already started to intentionally walk him - he leads the league with five intentional free passes so far. Of course the fact that Elvis Andrus is doing well getting on base ahead of him and that he has protection behind him will help minimize that trend.

The second thing that could derail Josh is injury. Hopefully that is a non-issue but with the way he plays all out it is always a possibility. Of course, if he didn't play 110% he wouldn't be Josh so having him back off is not really an option. I do wish that he would do something about his head first slides. They make no sense going into first base and I cringe along with Ron Washington every time he does it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

What was that?

Well, Texas split the double header yesterday in Baltimore. The Rangers and Orioles ended up playing the twin bill to makeup for the rain out on Wednesday. I got to listen to the Rangers take game two. I missed game one due to work.

Apparently I missed a very interesting game in spite of the Rangers losing. Colby Lewis, shown here on 2011 Topps 60th Anniversary Factory Set card number 634, made the start for Texas. By all accounts he felt good while he was warming up.

Seven innings later Lewis said he still felt fine. In fact he felt like he hadn't thrown much at all. He had though. Enough to strike out 12 O's. Very impressive. With a strikeout total like that one would expect a win. Colby lost though. That was due to the five home runs he gave up. With a home run total like that one would expect that he was being hammered all over the park. Nope. Lewis only gave up five hits in seven innings. All five were long balls though.

12 strikeouts and only five hits over seven innings for a 6-5 loss? Even Colby didn't know what to say about that. He told, "It was just a weird game. I don't know how to justify that game." That about sums it all up I think.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hamilton's home run derby.

There isn't much to be said about Josh Hamilton's Tuesday night performance other than that it was simply a thing of beauty.

Josh, shown here on card 274 of the 2009 Allen and Ginter set, went 5-for-5 against the Orioles. That in and of itself is noteworthy. Of those five hits one was a double and four were home runs. That is historical. I believe that Hamilton is now one of 17 players to ever hit four home runs in a single game.

That is one of the most exclusive groups in baseball history. To help put it in perspective, more players have pitched perfect games than have hit four home runs in a game.

Of course the radio talk shows are all abuzz with speculation that Josh's performance is going to drive up his asking price as he goes into a free agency year. Perhaps. It's a long season though and Hamilton has a hard time playing full seasons. If he misses too much time on the Disabled List it could counter Tuesday night's performance. In the end though the ongoing contract negotiations will have to run their course. I will be surprised if a deal is announced before Josh gets to talk to other teams.

The second thing that folks are talking about following Tuesday night's game is Hamilton's legacy. Talk of the Hall of Fame, the single-season home run record, and a possible Triple Crown are in the air. As premature as contract speculation might be, this type of talk is even more so. Josh is dominating when he is healthy. Hopefully he remains healthy and can continue to dominate. However there have been many promising careers cut short by reasons as varied as the ballplayers who played them. The thing is, we may well be watching our generation's Willie Mays. We won't know for several more years though. What we do know right now is that Hamilton is something special with the potential to become something legendary.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Odd Moments: Mangers and Sportswriters.

Extremely busy day today. Going to have to leave you with this pre-scheduled installment from T.R. Sullivan's list of the Top 50 Bizarre Moments in Rangers history. Today we see two involving managers and one a sportswriter.

Number 24. Help for Oates - T.R. doesn't give a date for this incident but he does recall that it happened at the Ballpark in Arlington. An irate Johnny Oates left the dugout to argue a call with third base umpire Jim McKean. The argument was barely started when a young man hopped out of the stands to join the confrontation. Apparently he agreed with Oates. That didn't make any difference to the security guards though, he was still hauled off.

Number 25. Valentine suspended - September of 1986. Another confrontation between a manager and umpire. This time the players were Bobby Valentine, shown here on card number 1 of the 1991 Mother's Cookies set, and Larry Burnett. Valentine went way beyond being tossed however, he ended up suspended for four games. That was because he moved from arguing the call to accusing umpire Burnett of having bet on the game. Surely Bobby V. would never say such a thing.

Number 26. Do Ya Wanna Dance? - One of the reoccurring post-game concerts for the Rangers in the 1980's were the Beach Boys. Lots of fun and even some dancing. One particular night Star-Telegram writer Jim Reeves danced on the ledge in front of the press box, all the way down to owner Eddie Chiles' box. Not sure if that occurred during Little Deuce Coupe or California Girls.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Man of many talents.

Listening to last night's game and one thing really stood out. The Rangers were fortunate not to have to face Oriole's reliever Chris Davis, shown here on card 188 of the 2009 Allen and Ginter set.

Davis came on in the bottom of the 16th inning against the Red Sox on Sunday night. He tossed two scoreless frames to pick up the win when the game finally ended after the 17th inning. Rangers fans knew Chris could field and hit but probably had no idea he could pitch as well. Apparently Texas gave up more than they thought in the trade that sent Davis to Baltimore.

Judging by the seven run ninth for the Rangers last night, the O's would have been wise to have broken out their secret weapon again.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Minor League Monday - Cris Colon, 1990 Charlotte Rangers Star.

Another loss last night. Time for a trip down to the farm.

Cristobal Colon, shown here on card 3 of the 1990 Star Charlotte Rangers set, was signed by the Rangers in October of 1986. Coming from Venezuela it was hoped that he would be a shortstop in the vein of other great Venezuelans. Being the nephew of former White Sox star Chico Carrasquel helped to add to the expectations.

I have to admit that I am not really sure why Cris is included in this team set. He wouldn't play for Charlotte at all in 1990. Instead he split the season between Single A Gastonia and Double A Tulsa.

Colon earned the promotion from Single to Double A after his bat finally seemed to come around. A .321 batting average in 149 plate appearances got him the ticket.

Unfortunately Cris couldn't quite keep the average going at Double A. In 245 plate appearances his batting average slid to .244 and his on-base percentage to .260. Ominously, his walk total rose by just one while he struck out an additional 13 times. He was able to keep his power numbers steady for the most part but with three less triples his slugging percentage also dropped.

That kind of performance wasn't the way to get the call from Arlington. In fact, it wasn't even the way to stick at Double A. To start off the 1991 season Colon would find himself assigned to A+ ball. The year after this card was issued Cris Colon officially appeared on the Charlotte Rangers roster.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hello win column!

Apparently somebody responded to my post last night and located Derek Holland. Dutch turned in a nice 7.1 inning performance in Cleveland and allowed just two runs, only one of them earned. The second Indian run scored on a Mike Napoli passed ball.

Unfortunately for Derek, those two runs were enough to tie the game up and give him a no decision. Mike Adams picked up the blown save after he and Nap got crossed up. That sent the game into extras.

In the top of the eleventh Adrian Beltre came to the plate following two walks. The first was unintentional, the second was to Mitch Moreland to get to the pinch-hitting Beltre. Adrian, shown here on card US150 of the 2011 Topps Gold set, hasn't started a game in several days due to some hamstring concerns. The Indians must have been thinking that he would be cold coming off the bench.

Sadly for The Tribe, the intentional walk backfired. Beltre launched a three-run shot to put the Rangers up 5-2. Joe Nathan came in for the bottom of the eleventh. In spite of allowing one runner to reach base, he made the lead stand up. That stops the Rangers losing streak at three.

Couple of things about the game. First, it was great to see the shutdown version of Derek Holland show up. He got a tough break with the no decision but still pitched well deep into the game. In spite of the blown save the bullpen pitched well as well. Mike Adams, Alexi Ogando, and Joe Nathan all lowered their ERA's. Adams should have put the Cleveland fire out sooner than he did but I saw nothing to panic about.

Elvis Andrus was also a bright light tonight. Several outstanding defensive plays and a bunch of routine ones. No errors by him or the rest of the defense. Very nice to see that. Hopefully the defense will hold and the pitching continue to come around. The rest of the division is struggling and this is a good time to put some games between them and Texas.

Friday, May 4, 2012


Wow. Seems like this past week every Rangers starter except Yu Darvish has gone missing in action. Tonight was Colby Lewis' turn to lose as the Rangers skid hit three games in a row.

If you happen to see Derek Holland, shown here on 2009 Topps Heritage Chrome #560, Neftali Feliz, or Matt Harrison around please tell them to report to Cleveland to join the team. That way the club can give these batting practice pitchers who have been filling in a break.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

40th Anniversary All-Time Team

Well, the voting is open for the Texas Rangers 40th Anniversary All-Time Team. All you have to do is go here and you can vote from a list of selected players for each position. The position players were placed on the ballot due to being among the team's all-time leaders in games played. Pitchers were selected by wins, games started, appearances, and saves.

Here is the way I voted:
C - Ivan Rodriguez. Almost pulled the trigger for Jim Sundberg. In fact, Sunny has done more for the franchise than Pudge if you count his front-office work.
1B - Will Clark. Started winning with Will. Raffy was great but The Thrill helped bring postseason ball to Arlington.
2B - Ian Kinsler. Bump Wills speed, Julio Franco's offense, and Mark McLemore's glove. Kins gets it hands down.
SS - Michael Young. Michael was only listed here and at second. Toby Harrah should have probably beat him out but that's the stiffest competition he had.
3B - Buddy Bell. Steve Buechele's glove, Hank Blalock and Dean Palmer's bats. Almost went with Harrah here in order to get him on the team but Buddy wins out.
OF - Rusty Greer. Simply a company man and all-out player.
OF - Al Oliver. Great bat.
OF - Jeff Burroughs. First MVP award in team history.
DH - Juan Gonzalez. Power. RBI's. Simply decimated opposing pitching at his peak.
SP - Jon Matlack. Kind of a homer vote, kind of not. Probably about the best lefty the Rangers have ever started on a regular basis.
SP - Fergie Jenkins. 1974. Enough said.
RP - Danny Darwin. Starting in 1978 and running through 1984 Danny was a stable influence on a pitching staff in decline.
RP - Neftali Feliz. Rookie record for saves. I know he melted down during the World Series last year but he filled about any role in the pen the club had for him for the past couple of years.

So there you have it. I wasn't real thrilled that there was no chance to vote for backup players and no chance to write in. Toby Harrah and Jim Sundberg in particular need to be on the team. Also, why just two starting pitchers and two relievers? I can't think of any team that uses that small of a pitching staff. I also left off Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira on purpose even though both were on the ballot. The way they left the team did as much or more damage than what they contributed on the field during their stay.

Any else care to share your vote and/or thoughts on the process and ballot?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One of those days.

It's one of those days. A 1988 Score day. Look at card number 452 in the set and you know what I mean. Nothing against Dale Mohorcic but there's just not a lot of inspiration there. More blah than ha.

That's pretty much the way the day has gone. Feeling run down and dealing with some news on the home front. Nothing too serious but a letdown all the same. The Rangers loss to Toronto this afternoon really didn't help.

Since my motivation level is pretty low I'm going to call it a day. Should be back tomorrow and ready to post again.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Bottom up!

Normally if a Rangers pitcher had just won his fourth victory of the season before the end of April and had improved with just about every start, I would post his card. Unfortunately I have no cards of Yu Darvish. So, in spite of his nine strikeouts in seven innings last night, I can't post a card of his.

I can post a card of Mitch Moreland though. Here he is on card 634 of the 2011 Topps 60th Anniversary Factory Set. Mitch batted 8th last night. In the seventh inning he sent a solo shot over the wall. A few minutes later Craig Gentry, batting 9th also went yard. Back-to-back jacks from the bottom of the order!

Those shots helped put the Rangers 4-1 win on ice. If they keep it up I had better add Gentry and Moreland cards to my shopping list alongside Darvish.