Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki, the NBA Finals MVP, threw a ceremonial first pitch last night, which was a little high, but he was proud of it. And since he is seven-foot tall, we can give him the high pitch without too much complaining. After all, basketball is his sport not baseball.
However, in the process of his high pitch, it was Michael Young that was behind the plate that had to jump up to just barely catch the pitch. I wonder if Dirk was testing the vertical jump of Young?
Let’s talk about the game, though. It was a night full of impressive pitching, home runs, new records, increasing hitting streaks and halting droughts at the plate.
Pitching Well Executed From Start to Finish
Now, that was the Matt Harrison that I truly like. He may have allowed some on base, but he performed very well overall. Harrison executed impressively well over seven innings– he went out there, pitched well and got the job done…something he hasn’t been able to successfully do in a while. He gave up only one earned run on seven hits while striking out four. It was the first time he made it to seven innings since May 22 when he pitched 8.1 innings against the Phillies.
Darren Oliver came in at the start of the eighth. I wasn’t too impressed with Oliver, but he did keep the Mets from scoring any runs by getting the first two outs of the inning. Oliver was taken out before the end of the eighth for Mark Lowe to come in and get the final out of the inning and go on to finish off the game. Lowe pitches exceptionally well and retires all four of the batters that he faced sending the Rangers to an 8-1 early win. Harrison gets the win for the game, improving his overall season record to 6-6.
A Sizzling First Inning
As for the offense, 2B Ian Kinsler started the game off right with a lead-off double. He got sent to third by a sacrifice bunt by SS Elvis Andrus. Josh Hamilton followed with a single to right field scoring Kinsler and increasing his hitting streak to 18 games for interleague play. Beltre comes in to get his 13th homer of the season scoring Hamilton and himself.
Adrian Beltre gets his first homer since May 28. He hits a two-run homer to left field scoring himself and Josh Hamilton, who was at first, getting the score up to 3-0 in the bottom of the first.
Yup, that’s right – all of that was in the first inning.
Fourth Inning and Andrus’ Stolen Base Resulting in Injury
Torrealba comes home after a single by Andrus in the fourth inning. Elvis Andrus got his 22nd stolen base of the 2011 MLB season in the bottom of the fourth. While doing so, he hurt his wrist and was pulled out of the game being replaced by Andres Blanco at shortstop in the top of the fifth.
Mets Score in Fifth Inning
Mets’ Tejada had a single to center scoring Paulino and advancing Murphy to second bringing the score to 4-1…their only scored run of the night.
More Home Runs in the 7th and 8th Innings
Michael Young has a two-run homer in the seventh inning out to center field, which was his fifth of the season, scoring Adrian Beltre and increasing the score to 6-1. Hamilton gets himself a two-run homer out to right in the eighth inning, which was his 100th career home run, scoring Ian Kinsler taking the score up to 8-1.
Mets weren’t able to get the job done but the Rangers sure were. Final score: 8-1, Rangers.