Probably one of the most exciting events in sports, the walk-off homer…and the Rangers just did it.
Robinson Chirinos hit a game-ending home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning and the Texas Rangers beat the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Chirinos hit a 1-1 pitch from Josh Ravin (2-1) over the left-center field wall, his sixth homer of the season.
The Dodgers had gotten even in the top of the ninth when Justin Turner hit a two-run homer off rookie starter Chi Chi Gonzalez, who was so close to his second complete game and first shutout in only his fourth career start.
Shawn Tolleson (2-1), who had been proclaimed the Texas closer earlier in the day by manager Jeff Banister, gave up a pair of two-out singles after taking over before Jimmy Rollins’ inning-ending flyout.
Texas won both home games against the Dodgers, though the teams play again Wednesday and Thursday in Los Angeles.
June 15, 2015 / Lew / Comments Off on How do you tell a 3 year old to go win at soccer?
Last Saturday, I was able to see my grand-daughter at her very first sporting competition. The Tornado (or Tornadoes?), played their first game of the season, and it was a work in progress. I’m not sure how her coach did it, but he got 5 3-4 year olds to run for 45 minutes chasing a soccer ball and trying to score by kicking it in the opponents net.
I was amazed at how this was the basis for so many things in these kids life. Sportsmanship, team goals, strategy, all the things necessary to take part and win a game in a team sport. To teach a kid for the first time that there is something bigger than themselves for a time. To see how they contribute as an individual in a team environment. It was something to see.
My grand-daughter, (I call her Sweet Pea), seemingly ran and ran while shooting the breeze with another youngster, unaware of the real goal of where the ball was, or what to do with it if she ever caught up to it. But that was ok, she was having a blast. I thought to myself how these kids could teach plenty of adults about sports and sportsmanship, and how just playing a simple game could be the time pf their lives. No contracts, no money, no “what have you done for me lately” type of attitudes. Just kids playing sports, laughing and having a blast.
The Tornado (Tornadoes?) lost but who really cares? The coach bought the team pizza, and no one was a bit sad over the loss. I can’t wait for next week’s game.
June 14, 2015 / Lew / Comments Off on The Rangers have a solid week before Interleague play
by Lew Patton
The Texas Rangers were 3-3 this week, but played some solid ball and have made improvements in many areas. Chi Chi Gonzalez has a 0.42 ERA (1 ER/21.2 IP) over his 1st 3 starts. According to baseball-reference.com, Gonzalez is the 5th pitcher in the last to pitch 5.2-or-more innings and allow one-or-zero runs in each of his first 3 ML outings (all starts). That is pretty select company. Gonzalez took his first career loss at Oakland despite allowing one run in 7.0 innings. Things look pretty bright for this new Ranger pitcher.
The starting rotation are making great improvements each game as well. The Texas rotation has allowed has allowed 8 R/7Erin 49.0 IP the last 7games (1.29 ERA) to drop the season ERA from 4.42 to 3.88, 5th in the AL and lowest since 5/14 (3.77).
Mitch Moreland batted .450 (9-20) on the road trip with 2 HR, a double, and 5 RBI. He is still shy of a few at bats to qualify for league leader status, but would rank in or near the top 10 for the season average (.308), OBP (.368) and SLG (.521).
Sign ‘em up
Lots of good things happening for the Rangers and the additional good news is they signed several draft picks, including their #1 pick Dillon Tate. The Rangers announced on Friday that they signed the right-hander as the 4th overall selection in the draft.
The 6-foot-2, 200 pound right-hander went 8-5 with a 2.26 ERA (26 ER/103.1 IP) and 111 strikeouts against 28 walks in 14 starts for the University of California – Santa Barbara in his junior season this year. Among his honors this season, Tate was 2015 Louisville Slugger All-American and UCSB’s first ever Golden Spikes Award Semi-finalist. He was rated the top pitcher and third best prospect overall in the draft by Baseball America. Here was Tate at the press conference Friday:
The Rangers came to terms with an additional 6 draft picks:
June 11, 2015 / Lew / Comments Off on Dave Campbell tells Texas and Texas A&M to “play the game”
We have now arrived at preseason magazine season on the college football calendar. While most of us are familiar with the offerings from publications from the likes of Athlon Sports and Phil Steele, folks in the state of Texas have another annual preview to look forward to fromDave Campbell. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football is widely considered the go-to resource for all things Texas football, be it high school or college, and the summer edition is always a big draw around the lone star state. Appearing on the cover is a big deal in the state. Baylor was pleased to be featured last season, and you might have thought TCU would have a good shot to the featured school appearing on this year’s preview edition. Heck, both TCU and Baylor figure to start the season highly ranked and are both stronger conference championship and College Football Playoff contenders than either Texas or Texas A&M. So they should appear on the cover, right?
Nope.* The big story this year appearing on the cover is the call to revive the Texas-Texas A&M rivalry, with just the second illustrated cover in magazine history.
“One of our toughest jobs every year is to narrow down all the terrific football stories across the state and choose the most important cover subject for Texas Football,” said DCTF managing editor Greg Tepper said. “This story — Texas vs. Texas A&M, and how it’s inconceivably gone dormant — is the proverbial elephant in the room. For decades, Aggies vs. Longhorns shaped the face of football in Texas. As the authorities on football in the Lone Star State, our position is clear: It’s time to bring it back.”
I am sure I am not alone in saying I hope to see this rivalry played again in the future, and hopefully on a long-term basis. Realignment ripped away many great storied rivalries, including the in-state series between the Longhorns and Aggies. Fans from both sides have been vocal about having no desire to revive the series, but deep down they all would love to get another crack at their rivals if given the opportunity.
* Yes, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin appears on the cover in the secondary image at the top of the cover. Baylor’s Shawn Oakman is also featured in the secondary box.
June 3, 2015 / Lew / Comments Off on New Ranger Joey Gallo is the real deal
Last night, Joey Gallo made his MLB debut and had an awesome night.
Gallo was batting .314/.425/.636 with nine home runs and 31 RBI in 34 games this season at Double-A Frisco when the Rangers decided to promote him to cover for Adrian Beltre‘s thumb injury, The kid looked awesome going 3-4 and 4 RBI’s.
Generously scored a hit, the shot brought home two runs, and Gallo himself came around to score the Rangers’ fourth run as they sent all nine batters to the plate. The White Sox answered with two in the top of the third, and after Samardzijaissued a one-out walk in the bottom of the frame, Gallo broke out the heavy artillery:
The home run was estimated at 430 feet by ESPN Stats & Info, and Gallo still wasn’t done. In his third plate appearance, with Samardzija stuck on the mound, sweating out a 7–2 deficit of his own making, the new kid missed a second home run by mere inches, settling for a double off the right centerfield wall. In his fourth PA, facing Dan Jennings with the bases loaded in the sixth inning, he struck out swinging at a breaking ball in the dirt, and even then he got an ovation from the 27,558 fans at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. In his fifth PA, facing Hector Noeai in the eighth inning with Andrus on third and a 12–2 lead, he worked a walk, which was quickly followed by Carlos Corporan’s three-run homer.
Gallo is no ordinary rookie. He entered the year ranked No. 6 among Baseball America‘s Top 100 Prospects list. A supplemental first-round pick in 2012, he grew up in Las Vegas, where he took instruction from Kris Bryant’s father and played on the same Little League team as Bryce Harper, who’s 13 months older. Here is a photo circa 2002 that Gallo posted in January of 2014: