April 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland (18) gets greeted by teammates in the dugout after homering in the sixth inning against the New York Yankees at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. The Rangers won beating the Yankees 7-3. Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

Game 19: Remember that time...?

When I recap a game, I usually do my Moments that Mattered thing. For this game, however, we’ll change things up. Tonight I’m going to play a game called Remember that time…? We’ll see if it works.

Remember that time…

  • …the starting rotation went all squirrely after a doubleheader?

Because of Friday night’s rain out, the Rangers’ rotation got a little bit jumbled. Scott Feldman made a spot start in tonight’s rubber match against the Yankees. He didn’t get out of the 4th inning and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 1 and struck out 3.

Neftali Feliz also worked an inning since his regular start has been skipped and he won’t pitch again until Tuesday. Feliz gave up a homerun to Raul Ibanez, the first batter he faced. The rest of Feliz’ inning was uneventful.

I was never very impressed with Hughes as a pitcher. He won 18 games once, but that’s about the only nice thing you can say about him. The Rangers roughed him up to the tune of 4 runs in only 2.2 innings and I could see it coming with all the stuff he was throwing down the middle.

If I were the Yankees, I would trade Hughes for some spare parts. He’s just not a good pitcher.

That’s right, 4 wins in 6 appearances. The Bulldog pitched as many innings as Hughes and was credited with the win. This kid is quality.

  • …the unstoppable hitting machine kept on hitting?

The final score was 7-3.

Texas got 11 hits & 4 walks out of Yankee pitching. Three of those hits were homeruns. One came from Mike Napoli, who’s looked a little out of synch since the doubleheader.

Mitch Moreland also hit one a long, long way and almost got another one in the 7th. Maybe his bat is starting to come around as well.

  • …Wash took the bat out of Jamilton’s hands twice?

In both the 4th and the 6th, the Rangers had Ian Kinsler on 1st with nobody out. Both times Elvis Andrus laid down a sacrifice bunt. That might be a smart play but for two things: 1) Josh Hamilton hits after Andrus & 2) Joe Girardi never lets his pitchers face Jamilton if he can help it.

The Yankees intentionally walked Jamilton half a dozen times in the 2010 ALCS and tonight they did it twice. Usually I’m a proponent of Washball, but tonight’s sac bunts took your best hitter completely out of the equation.

Not a smart way to score runs.

Teixeira led off the 2nd with a single. Nick Swisher flied out and then Ibanez hit a sinking line drive to center field. Teixeira apparently hasn’t heard of Josh Hamilton, as he was most of the way to 2nd base when it was caught.

Teixeira scrambled back, but didn’t have much of a chance. It was the classic 8-3 double play.

  • …Teixeira wasn’t a very good liar?

In the 6th, Teixeira took a little hack swing at a pitch that was fouled behind the plate but then rolled fair. Napoli jumped on it and threw it to 1st for the out, but Teixeira claimed that the ball had hit him.

On the replay the ball appeared not to make any contact with him whatsoever. The only reaction out of Teixeira was a subtle hop-jump thing as he turned out of the batters box. He didn’t appear to be in pain at all and only started arguing after he was out.

In the following at-bat, Swisher bounced a ball off of the inside of his shin and hit the deck like he’d been assassinated. It was clear that Swisher had actually been hit by the ball and was in considerable pain. Maybe Teixeira should take some falling down lessons from his teammate.

  • …the umpiring was awful for the entire series?

Again Tim McClelland’s crew left me frustrated. Inconsistent strike zone aside, McClelland blew a call in the 1st that could have led to a run.

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single and attempted a stolen base as A-Rod struck out.

You tell me if he's safe.... Mandatory Credit: Jim Cowsert-US PRESSWIRE

When I saw the replay, I thought the margin for error was 3 or 4 inches, but the photo indicates that Jeter was out by almost a foot. You could argue that McClelland was at a bad angle, to which I say “Go find a new angle, Tim!”

  • …the Rangers were the best team in baseball by a wide, wide margin?

That’s happening right now, my friends. The record is 15-4. The Angels are already out of it by 8.5 games. The hitting is everything you expected it to be. The pitching has been more than you could have ever dreamed. The fans are excited. The team is young and they love to play and they love to win.

It has never been this good, so don’t take it for granted. Be sure to stop and appreciate it every so often.

…..

After an off day tomorrow, the Rangers will host the Rays this weekend. Matt Harrison will likely take the hill on Friday night. You can see the game on TXA-21 at 7:05 Arlington time.

Press on, Rangers fans.

(Leave a comment or find me on Twitter @BleacherSeatsTX. As always, thanks to Baseball Reference for their invaluable resources.)

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Tags: Elvis Andrus Josh Hamilton Mark Teixeira Mike Napoli Mitch Moreland Neftali Feliz New York Yankees Nick Swisher Phill Hughes Robbie Ross Scott Feldman Texas Rangers

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