Sunday, September 4, 2011
Goodbye Rangers, Hope To Never See The Best Team In The American League Again This Season
I've seen all I need to see from the Texas Rangers this season. I don't care that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox have better records. For my money in October (hope the bookies aren't reading), I'd put my house (assuming I owned one) on the defending AL champions.
They concluded their 2011 season series with the Red Sox (84-55) this afternoon, leaving Fenway Park with an 11-4 win. Texas (80-61) beat Boston six out of the ten times they met this year and if the playoffs started today, they'd meet in Arlington in the ALDS (Rangers AL West champs; Red Sox AL Wild Card).
After their offense woke up yesterday, Boston's bats were mostly silent today as Matt Harrison (11-9) stifled them for seven innings. He allowed two earned runs on seven hits with two walks and five strikeouts.
I don't like the Red Sox chances in a five-game series when they would likely face C.J. Wilson twice, Harrison and Derek Holland (who helped blank Boston on Friday night).
To make things even more depressing, the Yankees beat the Blue Jays earlier today so they now lead by 1.5 games. Boston will go Toronto with four games North of the border set to begin tomorrow afternoon.
No lopsided loss for the home team would be complete without another embarrassing performance by the one and only John Lackey (12-11). Usually the beneficiary of outrageous run support, Lackey fell flat on his face today when he actually had to outduel a fellow Major Leaguer. In five innings, he gave up six earned runs on eight hits with three walks and one strikeout.
Almost a mirror image of Boston's totals from the middle game yesterday, the Rangers had 15 hits, 11 RBIs and seven walks this afternoon.
Ian Kinsler led Texas with three hits, three RBIs and a run while Mike Napoli (2 runs, 2 hits, 2 RBIs, 2 walks), David Murphy (2 runs, 2 hits), Mitch Moreland (2 hits, run, RBI) and Endy Chavez (2 hits, run) all had multiple hits.
David Ortiz (2 hits, RBI, walk) and Kevin Youkilis (2 hits, run) were the only Boston players with multiple hits. The Red Sox were held under 10 hits as a team (nine).
Napoli had an RBI single in the second and Kinsler had an RBI triple in the third before Texas put up seven more runs in the sixth. Murphy and Moreland had RBI singles, Esteban German walked with the bases loaded, Kinsler had a sacrifice fly and Josh Hamilton emptied the bases with a three-run triple.
Felix Doubront was a disaster as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Boston. He only got one out and allowed three earned runs on two hits and two walks. Desperately searching for a lefty out of the bullpen for the playoffs, the youngster does not look anywhere near capable of shouldering that type of workload or pressure. Franklin Morales it is (ducks).
The Red Sox had enough pride not to get shut out for the second time in three days. Marco Scutaro had a two-run single in the seventh while Ortiz had an RBI single in the eighth and Darnell McDonald drove in the last run with a sacrifice fly.
Napoli and Kinsler hit bombs off Michael Bowden in the ninth, one last donkey punch before the weekend was over.
Josh Beckett faces rookie Henderson Alvarez tomorrow at 1:07 p.m. in a game that the Red Sox really need to win.