Monday, June 6, 2011

Texas Rangers - Team Of The Week (5/30-6/5)

When the week started there was no tighter division than the AL West, with the Rangers in first just a game ahead of the Angels, and a game and a half over the Athletics and Mariners.  But with a 6-1 week the Rangers have given themselves some breathing room at the top of the AL West.  Getting back Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz just two weeks ago has been such a boost in the Rangers lineup and is the key to running away with the division.

The Rangers week consisted of a 3 game series with the Rays in Tampa Bay and then a trip to Clevland for a 4 game series with the Indians, not exactly an easy road trip.

In game 1 against the Rays, the Rangers offense exploded for 20 hits in an 11-5 win.  Of those 20 hits the Rangers hit 5 doubles and 4 home runs.  Rays starter Wade Davis only lasted 2.2 IP and was charged with 12 hits and 7 earned runs, just an awful outing as he was not fooling anyone.  7 of the 9 starters for the Rangers had multiple hits in the game, including Mitch Moreland, Mike Napoli and Endy Chavez (the 7-8-9) who combined to go 8-15 with a double, 4 home runs, 6 runs, 8 RBI and 2 walks.  Derek Holland did not have his best stuff either but last 5.2 IP allowing 5 earned runs but left with a 9-5 lead and went on to win his 4th game of the year.


In game 2 CJ Wilson pitched a very good game going 6.2 IP giving up 3 earned runs on 3 hits (2 of which were HRs) walking 4 and striking out 10.  Rays starter Alex Cobb matched Wilson going 6.1 IP only allowing 3 earned runs.  After a 20 hit game with 9 extra base hits the Rangers only managed to get 7 singles compared to the Rays 5 hits and 3 home runs, including the game winning 2-run home run by Evan Longoria off reliever Arthur Rhodes in the bottom of the 8th inning to give the Rays the win 5-4.

In the rubber match between the Rangers and Rays it was a pitching duel between Colby Lewis and David Price.  Through the first 4 innings there were a combined 4 hits in the game, but in the 5th Adrian Beltre led off with a double and was singled in by Nelson Cruz to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead.  The score would remain the same until the 8th, when Elvis Andrus hit a 2-run 2 out single off David Price to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead which would be the final score for the game.  Colby Lewis went 8 shutout innings giving up 4 hits, 2 walks and striking out 8 as he improved to 4-4 when Neftali Feliz closed out his 11th game of the year.

Dave Bush took the mound against Carlos Carrasco in game 1 in Cleveland and Bush had a rough 2nd inning, giving up a walk, a double and 2 singles allowing the Indians to jump out to a 3-0 lead.  But in the 5th the Rangers tied it up at 3 thanks to an RBI ground out by Torrealba, and two out RBI singles by Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton.  In the 6th Torrealba had a sac fly to give the Rangers the lead, Endy Chavez tripled in a run and then scored on a wild pitch as the Rangers took a 6-3 lead and that was the end of the day for Carrasco.  Matt LaPorta's solo shot in the 7th cut the game to 6-4 but the Rangers tacked on another run in the 9th to give the Rangers a 7-4 win.  Reliever Michael Kirkman allowed a run over 3 innings to pick up the win and Feliz picked up his 12th save.  Endy Chavez went 4-4 with 2 runs and a RBI.

The Rangers offense exploded once again in an 11-2 win picking up 19 hits with 5 doubles and 2 home runs.  6 of the 9 starters had a multiple hit game.  The game however was not as big of a blowout as the score shows.  Heading into the 7th inning the Rangers only had a 2-1 lead but got a 3-run home run from Josh Hamilton and a 2-run home run from Nelson Cruz to make it 7-1.  Elvis Andrus hit a double with the bases loaded which cleared the bases as Napoli, Chavez and Kinsler scored to make it 10-1 and in the 9th Chavez singled in Moreland for the Rangers 11th run.  Asdrubal Cabrera hit a solo shot in the 9th to make it 11-2.  Indians starter Justin Masterson went 6.1 IP allowing 4 runs, but Tony Sipp, Chad Durbin and Frank Herrmann went a combined 2.2 IP, 9 hits, 7 earned runs, and 2 home runs allowed.  Alexi Ogando improved to 6-0 going 8 IP allowing 4 hits and a run while striking out 6.

Derek Holland pitching for the 2nd time this week went a complete game shut out allowing 5 hits and striking out 5 to improve to 5-1.  Josh Hamilton's 2-run home run got the Rangers on the board in the 1st inning and then Nelson Cruz added some insurance with a 2-run home run in 7th as the Rangers went on to win 4-0.  This was the second straight game Hamilton and Cruz homered.

CJ Wilson, Darren Oliver and Neftali Feliz combined for a 3 hit shutout in a 2-0 Rangers win as they sweep the 4 game series in Cleveland.  Wilson got the win improving to 6-3 on the year as he went 7.2 IP with 7 strike outs.  The Rangers offense did not do a whole lot but did enough to win as they got solo home runs from Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus in the 2nd and 3rd inning.

The Rangers now are 34-26 and 2.5 games up on the 2nd place Mariners in the AL West, with the Angles in 3rd 4.5 games back and the Athletics in the basement 7 games back.  It's amazing how much ground the Rangers were able to pick up in one week, but going 6-1 and beating a couple of very good teams on the road they were the clear favorite for Team Of The Week.  Since the return of Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz the Rangers are 10-3 and if they can stay healthy they should have no problem running away with the division.

Notable Player Stats
  • Derek Holland - 2-0, 14.2 IP, 5 ER, 12 K's
  • CJ Wilson - 1-0, 14.1 IP, 3 ER, 17 K's
  • Mike Napoli - 6/21, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 1 BB
  • Mitch Moreland - 10/24, 7 runs, 2 home runs, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 3 BB
  • Adrian Beltre - 7/32, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 2 RBI, 1 BB
  • Elvis Andrus - 12/27, 7 runs, 3 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 4 SB, 2 BB
  • Nelson Cruz - 10/30, 6 runs, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 2 SB, 1 BB
  • Josh Hamilton - 8/26, 4 runs, 2 doubles, 2 home runs, 8 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB
  • Endy Chavez - 11/21, 4 runs, 1 double, 1 triple, 1 home run, 5 RBI, 1 SB, 1 BB

Previous winner - Arizona Diamondbacks

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