Archive for the ‘Texas Rangers’ Category

Texas Rangers v Oakland Athletics

Podcastery! Talking about the Melkpocalypse, the Orioles defiance of God’s will, and the thoroughly excellent Rangers. FUN STUFF, Y’ALL!

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Kansas City Royals v Texas Rangers

The Texas Rangers have placed Opening Day starter Matt Harrison on the 15-day disabled list due to soreness in his lower back. The move will be retroactive to April 6th.

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Did Michael Young die, or is that simply what Jon Daniels told Ron Washington to keep him from etching Michael Young’s name into the lineup card everyday? Either way, the ever-weird Rangers/Michael Young love ballad refuses to end.

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smiling yu

It was 26 up and 26 down for Yu Darvish tonight against the Houston Astros. Sure, they’re the Astros but Yu Darvish has something special goingt. He repeatedly threw his filthy slider in full counts (the rare time he ran a three-ball count, mind you) and had his way with the lowly American League neophytes. Good team or bad, nobody was touching Darvish tonight.

26 batters up, 26 batters down. 14 strikeouts, a boatload of swinging strikes – TWENTY-SEVEN, to be exact. After battling through the 8th inning, murmurs began to surface on twitter about Darvish’s pitch count. Dare Ron Washington pull his starter if his pitch count rose too high in the first outing of the year> Two very quick outs started Darvish’s ninth inning, quieting those concerns. So close, now…

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Texas Rangers v Houston Astros

It might not end up being the Houston Astros year but March 31st was certainly the Houston Astros’ night. Everything went the way of the scrappy club predicted to lose more games than any team in baseball. The Stros made their American League debut in style, showing off their flashy new uniforms and blasting their cross-state — and new division — rivals the Texas Rangers 8-2.

Everything that could go the Astros way did. The play featured in the image above, wherein Justin Maxwell picks a ball off the grass after making a valiant diving effort, was ruled a catch. Pinch hitter and fourth outfielder extraordinaire Rick Ankiel hit a key three-run homer off reliever Derek Lowe.

The Astros brought in their fifth starter, reclamation project Erik Bedard, to pitch in relief and he ended up throwing three and one-third sparkling innings, allowing just a broken bat single in the ninth for the highly unusual save.

From the look of things, “highly unusual” is going to be uttered in the same breath as “the Houston Astros” quite a few times this season.

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Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

2012 Record: 93-69, 2nd AL West
2012 Pythagorean Record: 91-71
Impact Player: 3B Adrian Beltre
Impact Pitcher: RHP Yu Darvish
Top Prospect: SS Jurickson Profar

Significant Acquisitions: DH/1B Lance Berkman, C A.J. Pierzynski, RHP Jason Frasor, RHP Josh Lindblom

Significant Departures: OF Josh Hamilton, C/1B Mike Napoli, RHP Ryan Dempster, RHP Scott Feldman, DH/IF Michael Young, RHP Mike Adams, RHP Koji Uehara, RHP Roy Oswalt, RHP Mark Lowe

It’s hard to argue that any team has experienced the success that the Texas Rangers have had over the last three seasons. Two consecutive American League championships heading into last year—including being one strike away from a World Series title…twice.

Then last season the Rangers led the AL West practically from wire-to-wire, taking over first place after their fourth game of the year and holding on to it until the very last day when the upstart A’s snatched the division title from their grasp. Finally, in the first ever AL wild card play-in game, the Rangers were knocked out by another annoying upstart team in the Orioles and what looked to be another great season evaporated in a matter of 72 hours.

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Shhhhh, don’t talk about Matt Harrison. Matt Harrison is why we shouldn’t shove aside prospects who “merely” project as mid-rotation arms. Matt Harrison shows why it is good to have mid-rotation arms. Matt Harrison proves “number three starter” is not a dirty word. Matt Harrison is not an ace. Matt Harrison is probably a number three starter. Matt Harrison is better than a lot of teams’ best pitcher.

Which is to say, Matt Harrison is really good. Matt Harrison’s stats don’t jump off the page – his strikeout rate is low and his walk rate is respectable, though it isn’t so minuscule to blow back the hair of anyone aware of Cliff Lee. His ground ball rate is above average but, like his other metrics, drops neither jaws nor stat nerd boxer shorts.

What Matt Harrison does is prevent runs. Over the last two years, few pitchers did a better job of keeping runs off the board. He ranks sixth among starters in WPA since the beginning of the 2011 season – he gets outs, in other words. He will continue to prevent runs for the Texas Rangers for the next five years as he agreed to a five-year contract extension worth $55 million dollars. The Rangers announced the agreement includes an option for 2018.

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