Another weird game at Rangers Ballpark last night:
*Something I've never seen:
With Ian Kinsler caught dead along the third-base line during an aborted steal of home, Oakland A's starter Gio Gonzalez panicked and half-balked, half-wild-pitched him home with a crazy ass throw well wide of the out-of-his-crouch catcher. Saw the replay about 10 times and I'm still not sure how I would've ruled it. Balk? Wild pitch? Stolen base? Error? Fielder's incompetence? I giggled. Home-plate umpire Tim Tschida was confused/amused as well. Did you see his reaction? As Kinsler waltzed across the plate he gave some some sort of flipsy-dipsy move as if he were conducting a tiny, very disinterested orchestra.
*Something I've seen maybe only once or twice:
In the 7th inning a David Murphy at-bat was briefly interrupted by - don't know what else to call it - a sandstorm. A ridiculously whipping wind suddenly blew trash and sand and more sand into the batter's box, prompting Rangers' play-by-play voice Josh Lewin to quip "All of the sudden Murph was looking into the Sahara." Give Josh two bases for that one.
*Something we haven't seen nearly enough:
The Rangers smacked 5 homers (Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Justin Smoak and Max Ramirez) and built a big enough lead in the 10-1 victory that even Ron Washington couldn't mismanage it into a loss.
Oh yeah, and about that pitching ...
Derek Holland was sharp, borderline dominant in his 6 scoreless innings. He's not yet a C.J. Wilson - who enters this afternoon's 1 p.m. start with the American League's lowest ERA at 1.51 - but he's nasty.
Especially If you're a lefty. But I'm a right-handed hitter, so which Rangers' pitcher would I least like to face?
I know Neftali Feliz can dial it up to 101 mph. But I'm telling you, Darren O'Day and his submarine, out-of-the-third-baseman's-cap delivery would have me bailing out of the box and looking more the fool than usual.
Which Ranger would you least like to face?