Alexi Ogando, or “Snoop” as Peter Gammons calls him based on his likeness to Snoop Dogg, has been the diamond in the rough this season. After a Sunday game won with excellent pitching from Derek Holland, Alexi Ogando was not to be outdone. The Texas Rangers beat the Detroit Tigers on the road for the first meeting between the teams this season.
Ogando threw just 79 pitches in a full seven innings, 53 were for strikes. “Snoop” collected four strikeouts while only allowing one walk and zero runs. Another shutout for this Texas team proves they can win with pitching and defense unlike years past. I suppose it’s too early to start talking about postseason awards but we can certainly call Ogando an early candidate. (Can you imagine a rotation with both Ogando and Feliz in it?)
The opposing pitching was just as lethal, but again unsupported by runs and Justin Verlander picks up the loss. Verlander went the distance for his Tigers allowing six hits and two runs and a walk. The walk to Josh Hamilton and RBI doubles from Michael Young and Mitch Moreland, were the extent of the offense for the Rangers. Turns out all they needed were the two RBIs. Darren Oliver pitched a one-two-three inning in the eighth with a strikeout. And in a Ron Washington “Gut Call”, after Feliz allowed a double to Ryan Raburn, he walked Miguel Cabrera with two outs. So with two-outs and two-on, a very clutch Neftali Feliz forced a ground out from Victor Martinez to earn his 4th save of the season.
After today’s game the Texas Rangers are 9 and 1, and still hold the best record in baseball. Neftali Feliz is a perfect 4 for 4 in save opportunities and Alexi Ogando is 2 for 2 as a starter. Personally I would love to see the bats come alive in the next two games against Detroit but I’ll take a win anyway we can. I think I can get used to winning with pitching.