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Entries from Empyreal Environs tagged with “Rangers”


If you are a rookie pitcher you want to have your debut against the Boston Red Sox or Texas Rangers. Eduardo Rodriguez won his premier game handily and Rangers rookie Chi Chi Gonzalez followed suit. Gonzalez’s line was five and two-thirds innings pitched, two hits, five walks, and two strikeouts. I wonder if Jerry Remy pronounced Gonzalez’s name like Les Nessman did. Wade Miley was bested by Ross Ohlendorf in a milking contest and his bad luck carried into Saturday. There was also a cow milking contest in Anaheim. What is with this spate of animal husbandry games? Did minor league event coordinators get promoted in the majors and bring in their ideas? John Farrell summarized Saturday’s outing succinctly. “That was an ugly game.” Dustin Pedroia shared similar thoughts. “We really didn’t do anything,” he said. “We played terrible. No energy. That was bad. You guys watched it, there’s really nothing you can say. We were bad.” Game 50: May 30, 2015 Boston Red Sox22-28 0 L: Wade Miley (4-5) 2B: David Ortiz (9), Mike Napoli (5) Texas Rangers25-25 8 W: Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0) 2B: Elvis Andrus (9), Robinson Chirinos (9), Leonys Martin (9)...

Home On Our Range

The Texas Rangers wrapped up a series win against the Red Sox last night thanks to the local nine’s sputtering offense. Boston was 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Clay Buchholz’s competent outing went to waste. While a line of seven and one-third innings with five hits, two earned runs, two walks, and four strikeouts isn’t brilliant, it should be enough for a win if the Red Sox offense lived up to its potential. An example of how hard this team is pressing was Dustin Pedroia’s baserunning in the fourth. Pedroia tried to score on Hanley Ramirez’s comebacker to Wandy Rodriguez but was out at home. He was so out his slide was about five feet from home plate. Ramirez seemed to learn a little from Delino DeShields’s masterful fielding in left. He made a catch on Adam Rosales’s fly ball in the second that probably would have evaded him in April. Yes, you know how badly a game went when Ramirez’s fielding is a highlight. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy tried to keep the mood light with their gigantic doppelgängers. But with a quarter of the season come and gone perhaps it’s time for other heads to roll. Game...


Before I talk about beef and baseball I just wanted to send my thoughts and prayers to my friend, the Advanced Scout at Fire Brand of the American League, whose mother who is in the hospital. Like the Red Sox recent troubles against Texas this is just a temporary setback. Aside from being the president and an owner of the Texas Rangers Nolan Ryan also has his own brand of all-natural beef. I suppose this herd of mascots is promoting what’s for dinner. Alexi Ogando wasn’t serving up meatballs. Boston hitters managed a meager six hits off of the fireballer. Only David Ortiz and Jarrod Saltalamacchia powered extra base hits. Ortiz’s second-inning double resulted in the his team’s sole run. Am I the only one who winces along with Ortiz whenever he runs the basepaths? Here is a rather large hot dog that in Texas terms is a kid’s meal. The radioactive green Chicago relish developed sentience and made its way to Arlington. Boston fans were out in force but witnessed another loss against the Rangers. Stay strong! Derek Holland wears this mask for altitude training. I would check his phone records to see if he is calling physicists to...

Beltre Buster

The general manager of Delaware North Company Sportservices said of the Beltre Buster, “We don’t count calories.” The article also stated that, “Club officials declined to provided nutritional information on the new offerings.” It is fitting that Adrian Beltre has a monstrous burger named after him. The eponymous dish features a pound of beef and eight ounces of bacon. Beltre boasted a 4-for-5 outing with a bases-clearing double in the fourth. I hope all his teammates touched his head. The course of Don Orsillo’s attempt to eat the burger mirrored the Red Sox players in this game. First there is initial delight in being presented with a novel challenge, the division-leading Rangers. Then attacking the task at hand with gusto. Until at last the inevitable surrender. Game 29: May 3, 2013 Boston Red Sox20-9 0 L: Felix Doubront (3-1) No extra base hits Texas Rangers18-11 7 W: Derek Holland (2-2) 2B: Jeff Baker (2), Adrian Beltre (6), Ian Kinsler (8)...

Horses’ Rear Ends

Mike Napoli might a great guy, but because of how he plays against the Red Sox he makes the gallery. Ron Washington was feeling merciful and sat Napoli this game. The Rangers’ lame mascot Rangers Captain makes the list for being, well, lame, and for having “Cotton Eyed Joe” as his favorite song. Across the pond the Queen of England celebrates her jubilee and the Olympics while in the states the king of assholes evades judgment from the International Court of Justice and takes in the national pastime. Game 99: July 25, 2012 Boston Red Sox49-50 3 L: Josh Beckett (5-9) HR: Will Middlebrooks (12), Dustin Pedroia (7) Texas Rangers58-39 5 W: Derek Holland (7-5)H: Mike Adams (17)S: Joe Nathan (20) 2B: Michael Young (16), David Murphy (13)HR: Nelson Cruz (13)...

Just Turned Legal

The Texas Rangers and Justin Bieber both just turned 18. This is the last time I will write about Bieber and this game. Game 11: April 17, 2012 Texas Rangers9-2 18 W: Colby Lewis (2-0)2B: Nelson Cruz (3), Ian Kinsler (4), Elvis Andrus (2)HR: Mike Napoli – 2 (3), Michael Young (2), Josh Hamilton (5), Adrian Beltre (2) Boston Red Sox4-7 3 L: Jon Lester (0-2)2B: Mike Sweeney – 2 (5)HR: Dustin Pedroia (3), Adrian Gonzalez (2)...

Violent Torpedo of Truth

All is not well on the good ship Red Sox. The Rangers’ bats pummeled Clay Buchholz for a quartet of homers. At least this time Ian Kinsler didn’t hit a leadoff four-bagger; he waited until the third inning to unleash his salvo. In Charlie Sheen’s spectrum of winning, Kinsler would rate a respectable tiger blood. (Josh Hamilton would undoubtedly be Adonis DNA-driven while Nelson Cruz is the warlock. “Boom stick” is a euphemism for “wizard staff.”) Carl Crawford was dropped to seventh in the order and Buster Olney made it sound as if Terry Francona had as much faith in his left fielder as Egyptians do Hosni Mubarak. Rather than a vote of no confidence it was a pragmatic tactic in light of facing a southpaw. The newest Boston outfielder responded with his first hit with the Old Towne team, a two-out single in the second that snaked down the first base line. He notched the visitors’ only run of the game in the seventh inning with a line drive to left-center. Later in the seventh Darnell McDonald worked the count full and finagled one of the two bases on balls Matt Harrison would issue. Jacoby Ellsbury took the box...

The Dirty Dozen

The defending American League champions put up their 2010 pennant and received their American League championship rings. They celebrated with a 12-run drubbing of the team most baseball pundits say will supplant them. The Rangers didn’t need an ace like Cliff Lee when their opposition trots out the maddeningly average John Lackey. As impressive as the Texan boom sticks were, Josh Hamilton’s theft of second base in the third inning stands out to me. Jarrod Saltamacchia’s throw was in time but on the shortstop side of the bag, forcing Dustin Pedroia to swing his glove hand around to attempt to tag the reigning American League MVP. Hamilton outfoxed the former MVP by sliding around the keystone sack while keeping his right hand then his right foot in contact with the bag. Baseball players aren’t considered the highest caliber athletes, but that maneuver displayed all the body control of an elite wide receiver. Speaking of football, the fervor of the Rangers fans is remarkable. They are either frontrunners or have found their replacement players to distract them from the ongoing NFL lockout. While Red Sox hurlers continue to disappoint the offense has met most of the lofty expectations heaped upon it....

Procrastination Nation

I’m like Bryce Harper over here, waiting until the last minute to get the deal done. Except when I finally write about Sunday’s disappointing loss I won’t get a five-year, $9.9 million deal. Instead of rolling in dough I get to savor the impressive strikeout total for Daisuke Matsuzaka (just one short of his season high of nine) that was for naught. He allowed four earned runs, but two of those were the result of Manny Delcarmen surrendering a three-run homer to Michael Young in the seventh inning. Beyond Daniel Bard and Jonathan Papelbon the bullpen is a throng of rags and bones. Delcarmen has never been consistent and shows no signs of reversing the trend. Dustin Richardson has potential but requires polish. Michael Bowden, another young arm, is a starter being pressed into a relief role due to the relief corps’ injuries and ineffectiveness. Richardson and Bowden allowed an earned run each to push the score even further out of reach. While the major league team enjoyed an off day the Red Sox front office was abuzz. Before the August 15 signing deadline there was a flurry of activity with seven signings: Anthony Ranaudo, Brandon Workman, Sean Coyle, Garin...

Southpaw Savior

Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy, as delicate as Jacoby Ellsbury’s ribs, are the only broadcasters who close their booth windows during games in Rangers Ballpark. But their flimsy exteriors hide the hearts of hardened criminals. The NESN duo stole a car last night. “A lot of rental cars look the same,” blurted Remy under interrogation. His plea of ignorance rang false in light of his and Orsillo’s jocular boasting about their abhorrent deed. Not only did participate in grand theft but committed the thievery against fellow broadcasters Joe Castiglione and Dave O’Brien. “At no point did we think about going back,” sneered Orsillo. In the end, nothing came of Remy and Orsillo’s hijinks, just as Bill Hall’s and David Murphy’s stolen bases didn’t impact the game. The first run in the fifth inning was scored by Ryan Kalish, who starched a single to right. The Red Sox rookie advanced to second on a passed ball to Marco Scutaro and then to third on Scutaro’s single to Michael Young. The Rangers third baseman did well to knock down the hit and save the run but the reprieve was short-lived. J.D. Drew lobbed a single to shallow right to plate Kalish. Jon...

Mess in Texas

They certainly do do things bigger in Texas. The Red Sox had a meltdown as they did in Toronto, but this time they blew a bigger lead and extended the agony over eleven innings. J.D. Drew knocked in two four-baggers but had an unusually poor day with the glove. In the bottom of the seventh Nelson Cruz lofted a fly ball to the right field warning track that Drew misplayed. Immediately after Cruz’s double Red Sox killer Bengie Molina roped a double over Drew’s leap, a hit that plated Cruz and rendered the score 9-8. Still in favor of the visitors, but just barely. How radically the later innings played out compared to the fourth inning. David Ortiz, Adrian Beltre, and Drew slammed back-to-back-to-back home runs and scored four more runs after that. With such run support a pitcher of Josh Beckett’s caliber should have won, but in games against quality hitting Beckett is a mere scintilla of his former self. The starter seems to have rushed back to help his team. Jacoby Ellsbury didn’t exactly rush back, and very quickly after his return he is back on the disabled list. In the first inning the outfielder collided with Tommy...

str8edgeracer Tweets Triumphantly

Motoring to Motor City next. Will work on the novel on the way there--feeling inspired after winning the Beantown series. 1 day, 6 hours ago Cameron knocked a dinger off Neftali but the rookie blew away the rest of the batters. Unbelievable heat! 1 day, 6 hours ago Again with the Nava kid, this time I walked him with two outs. Now it’s up to the bullpen 1 day, 5 hours ago Whew, got Beltre to strikeout with two runners on and two out. 1 day, 6 hours ago @ErinAndrews I walked that guy who has a crush on you, same one who hit a grand slam on the first MLB pitch he saw, but got out of it. 1 day, 6 hours ago Double steal by my boys in the fifth! Borbon and Andrus are like DEER. 1 day, 7 hours ago Got some runs to work with thanks to Cruz. Managed to get Youkilis out--he should have gone to the All-Star game. 1 day, 7 hours ago Getting into a groove--struck out the side in the third. 1 day, 8 hours ago Rough going in the 2nd--Beltre has always killed me. Hope he goes back to the NL...

Not So Easy Lee

Darnell McDonald devours left-handed pitching. The splits say it all: .288 versus .262 batting average, a less striking difference in on-base percentage (.333 compared to .328), but a huge gap in slugging (an impressive .507 compared to .361). So it was not too surprising for the platoon player to come through in the first with a one-out double off the wall. Julio Borbon bobbled David Ortiz’s fly ball to center, allowing McDonald to cross home for the first run of the game. Kevin Youkilis followed the designated hitter with a nifty single to left, and as they had done to many a Cy Young award-winning pitcher such as Cliff Lee before backed their opposition into a corner early. Adrian Beltre grounded into a 4-6-3 double play, hobbling along the first base line, and the local nine did not have another baserunner until the fifth inning. John Lackey nearly matched Lee inning for inning until the sixth. Ian Kinsler, Josh Hamilton, and Nelson Cruz sprayed Texas Leaguers about the field and Vladimir Guerrero refrained from swinging at anything in sight for a base on balls and the visitors inched ahead for a 2-1 lead. Lackey rebounded in the seventh against the...

The Catcher Did Defy

Bengie Molina is the last baseball player one could imagine to join the very short list of players hitting for the cycle with the home run being a grand slam:Nap Lajoie, Philadelphia Athletics, second baseman, July 30, 1901 against the Cleveland IndiansBill Terry, New York Giants, first baseman, May 29, 1928 against the Brooklyn RobinsTony Lazzeri, New York Yankees, second baseman, June, 3, 1932 against the Philadelphia AthleticsJimmie Foxx, Philadelphia Athletics, first baseman, August 14, 1933 against the Cleveland IndiansJay Buhner, Seattle Mariners, right fielder, June 23, 1993 against the Oakland AthleticsMiguel Tejada, Oakland Athletics, shortstop, September 29, 2001 against the Seattle MarinersJason Kubel, Minnesota Twins, left fielder, April 17, 2009 against the Anaheim AngelsMolina added his names to the annals of baseball history as the first catcher to accomplish this feat. The backstop’s two days in a Rangers uniform have been memorable: .625 batting average and on-base percentage and 1.750 slugging percentage. Although he was pulled from the game last night after he dragged his grand piano all the way to third to complete the cycle, the irresistible force is back in the lineup. To replace Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek the Red Sox brought in an inferior impostor...

If Man is Five

Then the devil is six, like the six runs in the first inning of the game. And he was in the details, details that home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman missed. Everyone but Dreckman, including Michael Young himself, thought that he struck out. He ran out a dropped foul tip but got to swing again when it was ruled a foul ball. Young singled and the floodgates opened like Somerville on July 10. While Bill Hall made an error at third that resulted in an unearned run in the second, the utility man turned a pair of impressive defensive gems in later innings. He laid out to rob Bengie Molina of a single (for any other batter it would been a double) down the left field line in the fifth. In the next inning Hall turned an impressive double play, beating Elvis Andrus to third after gloving Ian Kinsler’s grounder and firing across the diamond to nail Kinsler at first. Hall also clouted a four-bagger over everything in left in the seventh, a true Monster shot. His solo shot joined J.D. Drew’s fourth-inning dinger as the only runs for the local nine in the game. All game it seemed Boston batters...

C.J. and the Heir

Despite the Red Sox lack of offense and eventual loss, this game showcased ace-in-the-making Clay Buchholz’s promise. Over six innings the slim starter allowed a mere three baserunners, permitting two singles and one base on balls. Converted reliever C.J. Wilson matched him inning for inning across those six innings, turning almost the exact same line but with an additional walk. Wilson’s outs came mostly on the ground (13 ground outs to 4 fly outs) while Buchholz racked up the whiffs (10 total). Both pitchers wavered in the seventh, hitting an invisible wall of ineffectualness. For Wilson, perhaps it was because he hasn’t been stretched out as a starter. For Buchholz, it could be his lack of major league experience. For both, it may have been an early season lack of stamina. The Rangers took advantage of Buchholz’s weakening and capitalized on Josh Hamilton’s seventh inning leadoff double. The Red Sox starter betrayed a bit of nervousness when he wildly launched the ball past Kevin Youkilis after fielding Andres Blanco’s bunt. J.D. Drew ran in all the way from right field to track down the ball near the tarp. Adrian Beltre failed to catch Drew’s throw and Blanco ended up at...

Late Night Elation

Are the Red Sox a good team playing badly or a bad team playing well? Perhaps the team manufactures these dramatic late-inning wins so that they can draw Boston sports fans’ attention away from the playoff runs of the Bruins and the Celtics. Like so many games this season Josh Beckett conceded the lead early. The Rangers have an outstanding Josh of their own in the form of the reinvigorated left fielder Hamilton. His walk in the first led to the visitors’ first score and he singled up the middle to drive in the third run in the second frame. As he did in the opening game of the series Darnell McDonald provided the spark, this time by leading off the third inning with a walk. Bill Hall and Marco Scutaro then lined singles into right field to load the bases. With the count 2-2 J.D. Drew got under a hanging change-up and lofted the ball to right field, curling a home run around Pesky’s Pole. In the Nouveau Stade Fasciste the shot would have curved foul, but in Fenway it was a grand slam for the lead. As Drew completed the circuit Bruins winger Milan Lucic and Sabres defenceman...

Old McDonald From the Farm

What was the most memorable sound Darnell McDonald heard today? Torey Lovullo telling him to pack up his gear because they want him in Boston. While waiting to board a flight from Rochester to Boston, the amplified yet still indistinct voices of airport personnel counting off seating zones so achingly slow (The ticket says row 11 with an aisle seat, why is it Zone 4?). As the 1997 first-round draft pick made his way from triple-A to MLB for the fourth time in his career, what did he taste? Bitterness at first, perhaps, thinking of that week in July 2007 that the Twins gave him a shot and he went 1-for-10 over the course of four games. Or the sweetness of 2009 when he finally made a big league roster out of Spring Training. He had the opportunity to stay in the Reds system, but McDonald signed with the Red Sox instead. For a career minor leaguer even the off-brand airline snacks must taste like a meal from a Michelin-starred restaurant. Scents are supposed to evoke powerful memories, tied as it to a more primitive part of the brain, the limbic system. The smells from the sausage vendor’s cart near...


Game 117: August 16, 2009 Red Sox3L: Junichi Tazawa (1-2)66-51, 2 game losing streak Rangers4W: Dustin Nippert (4-1)H: Doug Mathis (1)H: C.J. Wilson (10)S: Frank Francisco (17)66-50, 2 game winning streak Highlights: A kid in the stands snared two Josh Hamilton foul balls in the fifth. The young fan was particularly thrilled with his catches because there was some whipped cream on the baseballs for some reason. Frank Viola’s style is like a pitching version of Sean Casey. When Alex Gonzalez sharply lined the ball foul down third base line in the eighth, Don Orsillo exclaimed, “Diving attempt by ball attendant!”“Gotta love the hustle,” deadpanned Viola.Like Jason Bay the game before, David Ortiz lofted a leadoff homer. Ortiz’s came in the second inning to give his team the lead. Exquisite to behold, but Ortiz had no one but the next batter to high five at home plate.Inspired by the baserunning spectacular on Saturday, Ortiz tagged up on Casey Kotchman’s fly ball out to center and scored on Brian Anderson’s sacrifice fly to right in the fourth.In the seventh, Dustin Pedroia smacked his 10th longball of the season. Another solo shot, another game that the Red Sox fell just short. Their...


Game 116: August 15, 2009 Red Sox2L: Brad Penny (7-7)66-50, 1 game losing streak Rangers7W: Derek Holland (6-7)H: Darren O’Day (16)S: Neftali Feliz (1)65-50, 1 game winning streak Highlights: Reports of the Red Sox’s revival were greatly exaggerated. Alex Gonzalez brought back the spirit of 2006. In some circles there are whispers of the Curse of Mark Kotsay. Alex Gonzalez re-debuted with the Red Sox Saturday night. His equipment hadn’t arrived yet so he used Jed Lowrie’s glove. Can he use Hanley Ramirez’s bat? There’s a lot of power to spare in that and it would be nice to have some at short. Or any hitting ability: Gonzalez went 0-for-4 with one strikeout.Can infield defensive abilities be transplanted to outfielders? Brian Anderson stopped mid-route on Elvis Andrus’s fly ball to right in the second inning, looking as uncaring as J.D. Drew is said to be. The two-out triple led to Julio Borbon driving in Andrus.Jason Bay led off the fourth with his 25th homer of the season. Just as Bay’s bat returns most of the rest of his teammmates’ production has tapered off.Victor Martinez is an exception; the backstop homered in the fourth. It was a two-out circuit clout, but...


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