Two nights ago the Rangers battled the Oakland for 13 innings before losing 7-6 and dropping dead even with the Athletics in the West. The next night Derek Holland makes his 2010 season and shut the Athletics down for six innings giving up five hits with 7 strikeouts. Today’s starter C.J. Wilson pitched seven innings giving up 4 hits and one run. He walked 3 and struck out five in his performance.
The Ranger’s bullpen then took over and five relievers combined to only give up three hits and no earned runs. Chris Ray started the eighth inning and pitched 2/3’s of inning before giving way to Darren Oliver who completed the inning. Closer Neftali Felizthen pitched the ninth and 2 outs into the tenth inning, before giving way to reliever Frank Francisco who pitched 1 and 1/3 of an inning before Dustin Nippert pitched the Top of the 12th keeping the Rangers in the game.
Shortstop Elvis Andrus singled to start the bottom of the 12th inning. During Michael Young’s at bat Andrus was caught trying to steal second base for the first out of the inning. Young then walked and Josh Hamilton came up to bat. On a 0-1 count he singled putting men on first and second. Then off season acquisition Vladimir Guerrero singled on a fly ball to left field bringing Young in from second to score the winning walk off run to also beat the Athletics 2-1 in the three game series.
The last team to leave Texas before the Athletics was the Kansas City Royals and they left after being swept in four games. When the Royals left Texas they headed home for a three game series against the Indians, Two losses later Manager Trey Hillman headed into the dugout pretty much knowing that this would be his last game managing the Royals. After the game the Royals dismissed Hillman and placed former big league manager Ned Yost at the helm of the Royals. Yost just started working for the Royals this season, although since he was the former manager of Milwaukee Brewers, it was an easy decision for the Royals.
Every year there are teams that have expectations and every season at sometime a manager is dismissed. Personally I would be scared to manage in the big leagues period, if you go to a team like the Royals who do poorly every season, when you don’t improve them you are dismissed. If you go to a team that expects to compete every year and they slip then you are fired. During Joe Torre’s final years in the dugout for the Yankes, especially after the 2004 postseason, it was called for him to be dimissed. So managing in the big leagues must be incredibly stressful.
After today’s win the Royal;s still had the least wins thus far this season in baseball. The Seattle Mariners who have seriously under-achieved only winning one more game than the Royals with 13 wins. The Rangers are leading the West with 7 more wins than the Mariners with 20 and only 15 losses. The Angels who normally lead the West only have 15 wins and 21 losses so far this season. They still expected to be in contention, although they have consistently lost key players in the last couple of offseasons.