Monday, April 5, 2010

It's Time

Today baseball fans everywhere greet each other with a phrase that's music in their ears "Happy Opening Day." The season has begun. The long wait is over; spring training is over. All the games from now on count. Doesn't matter what your team did in spring training. Everybody starts the season 0-0. And the only thing that makes it better is your team winning. And if they do it in the dramatic fashion my Rangers did it this afternoon, it's just icing on the very tasty cake. In fact, that makes the day just about perfect. Hitless through six and a third innings of baseball--the Rangers could not touch Shaun Marcum's baffling change-up--they managed to tie the game in that inning on a dramatic home run by Nellie Cruz. Down by a run in the bottom of the ninth, the Rangers scored two runs by getting four of their six hits when it mattered. Hero was catcher Jarod Saltalamacchia (his name covers half the back of his jersey) who singled in the walk-off winning run. Here's the write-up of the game. Also here. Go Rangers!



All the buzz around the team and around Arlington is "It's Time." The Rangers have built a strong team around young good pitchers. They have a bevy of great hitters, and the defense is better than solid. "It's time," say we all for the Rangers to win their division and more. It's past time. Indeed, this is not going to be a year of wishful thinking. Every true-blooded Ranger fan is excited. We have not had a team with this much potential to do great things in a long time.

And let me point out, today was the real opening day. Last night, on Easter Sunday night no less, to generate money for a network that doesn't need any more, the New York Yankees opened against Boston in Fenway Park. This match-up between two filthy rich and puffed up franchises who have detested each other for over a century is always guaranteed a substantial  audience. But it was obvious what this game was all about. I'm sorry. Baseball season does not begin on a Sunday. It starts on a Monday and with a full slate of games. Like it did today. But I might add my delight with the Ranger win today is all the sweeter because the damn Yankees lost their game last night. I hope it's the first of many, many more.

Here's the box score of today's great win.

         Texas 5, Toronto 4
Monday, April 5, 2010 2:05 PM
Location - Rangers Ballpark in Arlington
Temperature - 76°
Umpires - Home Plate - Gerry Davis, First Base - Brian Knight, Second Base - Greg Gibson, Third Base - Scott Barry,
Attendance - 50299
Final Scoring Summary
Final123456789RHE
Toronto 201000010481
Texas 000000302561
Toronto
Hitters Pos AB R H RBI BB K LOB Avg
Jose Bautista RF 4 1 0 0 1 1 1 .000
Aaron Hill 2B 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Adam Lind DH 3 2 3 1 1 0 0 1.000
Vernon Wells CF 4 1 3 3 0 0 1 .750
Lyle Overbay 1B 4 0 0 0 0 1 5 .000
John Buck C 4 0 0 0 0 1 4 .000
Edwin Encarnacion 3B 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
Alex Gonzalez SS 4 0 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Travis Snider LF 4 0 0 0 0 3 1 .000
Totals 35 4 8 4 2 7 12
Batting
2B - Aaron Hill (1)
HR - Adam Lind (1), Vernon Wells (1)
TB - Aaron Hill 2, Adam Lind 6, Vernon Wells 6, Alex Gonzalez
RBI - Adam Lind (1), Vernon Wells 3 (3)
2-Out RBI - Adam Lind (1), Vernon Wells 2 (2)
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out - Jose Bautista (1), John Buck 2 (2)
GIDP - Lyle Overbay (1)
Team LOB - 6
Baserunning
SB - Alex Gonzalez (1, 2nd off Francisco/Saltalamacchia)
Fielding
E - Edwin Encarnacion (1)
Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR ERA
Shaun Marcum 7.0 2 3 3 1 6 1 3.86
Scott Downs (H 1) 1.0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.00
Jason Frasor (L 0-1; BS 1) 0.1 4 2 2 1 1 0 54.00
HBP - Vladimir Guerrero (by Marcum)
IBB - Chris Davis (by Frasor)
Pitches-Strikes - Shaun Marcum 92-57, Scott Downs 11-8, Jason Frasor 22-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Shaun Marcum 5-10, Scott Downs 2-0, Jason Frasor 0-0
Batters Faced - Shaun Marcum 25, Scott Downs 3, Jason Frasor 6
Texas
Hitters Pos AB R H RBI BB K LOB Avg
Julio Borbon CF 4 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000
Michael Young 3B 4 1 1 0 0 0 0 .250
Josh Hamilton LF 3 1 0 0 1 2 2 .000
Vladimir Guerrero DH 3 1 2 0 0 0 1 .667
     David Murphy PR-DH 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Nelson Cruz RF 4 1 2 4 0 0 1 .500
Chris Davis 1B 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 .000
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 .250
Andres Blanco 2B 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .000
     Ryan Garko PH 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
     Joaquin Arias 2B 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Elvis Andrus SS 3 0 0 0 0 2 0 .000
Totals 31 5 6 5 2 7 5
Batting
2B - Michael Young (1), Nelson Cruz (1)
HR - Nelson Cruz (1)
TB - Michael Young 2, Vladimir Guerrero 2, Nelson Cruz 6, Jarrod Saltalamacchia
RBI - Nelson Cruz 4 (4), Jarrod Saltalamacchia (1)
GIDP - Chris Davis (1)
Team LOB - 4
Fielding
E - Andres Blanco (1)
Pitchers IP H R ER BB K HR ERA
Scott Feldman 7.0 5 3 3 0 3 2 3.86
Neftali Feliz 0.1 2 1 1 2 1 0 27.00
Darren Oliver 0.2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0.00
Frank Francisco (W 1-0) 1.0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0.00
IBB - Adam Lind (by Feliz)
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Feldman 100-63, Neftali Feliz 18-7, Darren Oliver 6-5, Frank Francisco 17-12
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Feldman 5-11, Neftali Feliz 0-0, Darren Oliver 0-1, Frank Francisco 0-1
Batters Faced - Scott Feldman 26, Neftali Feliz 5, Darren Oliver 2, Frank Francisco 4
Inherited Runners-Scored - Darren Oliver 3-0
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