Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30

New York Wins 2 of 3 in Minnesota
August 28: New York 8, Minnesota 4
August 29: New Yor 20, Minnesota 3
August 30: Minnesota 2, New York 1

The Yanks won the first two games of the set on the strength of mammoth hitting. In game one, Minnesota starter George Mogridge made his Rhubarb debut and performed admirably for his seven innings of work and handed the bullpen a 4-3 lead. Joe Nathan quickly coughed up the lead in the top of the eighth on a two-run Derek Jeter jack, and Joe DiMaggio added a three-run dagger to the seats in the ninth. Lou Gehrig tacked on three more hits and a walk to his ludicrous season totals. Dellin Betances made an appearance from the New York bullpen to become the first player in the Rhubarb to take the field with 2017 stats factored into his card.

In game two, the biggest offense in the league had their biggest offensive game of the season as a string of Minnesota hurlers got bashed. Gehrig reached four times again and knocked his 33rd dong, and Babe Ruth collected his and the league’s second cycle of the season. The Babe first pulled the trick on May 13th in Seattle. Ruth singled in the first against Dutch Leonard, flew out in the third against Leonard, launched a three-run homer in the fourth against Firpo Marberry, drove in two with a double in the fifth against Marberry, drew a walk in the seventh off Al Worthington, and collected his sixth RBI of the game with a triple off Rick Aguilera in the eighth.

The finale could not have been much different. Minny starter Camilo Pascual managed to hold the NY bats to one run in seven innings, and Eddie Guardado nailed down two shutout innings to make the Twins’ two runs hold up.

Oakland’s Amazing Run Gains Momentum With Suffocating Sweep of Detroit
August 28: Oakland 3, Detroit 2 (16 inn.)
August 29: Oakland 3, Detroit 0
August 30: Oakland 7, Detroit 0

The Swingin’ A’s won their fifth straight series and are on a 17-4 roll that has them within two games of the division-leading Red Sox.

Detroit started the series in good shape, taking a 2-0 lead into the top of the eighth inning in game one. Starter Schoolboy Rowe made his season debut for the Tigers and did not allow an earned run in seven innings. But center gardener Al Kaline erred on a Bert Campaneris fliner to start the eighth, and the Tigers were doomed for the rest of the series. The two runs Detroit plated in the second inning of game one were the first and last they would score in the whole three-game, 34-inning series.

But game one was far from over after Campaneris reached in the eighth. Campy came around to score, and the A’s tied it up in the top of the ninth on the strength of a Jason Giambi walk and singles by Home Run Baker and Mickey Cochrane. The two bullpens dug in from there and it took seven extra innings to decide the competition. Oakland starter Chief Bender was strong for eight innings, and then Huston StreetDennis Eckersley, Rube Walberg, and Eddie Rommel came out of the Oakland pen for eight shut-down frames.

Dizzy Trout mowed down Oakland in the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th and was still going in the 16th when Cochrane started it off with a single and Campaneris frozen-roped a triple to finally break the stalemate. In the bottom of the 16th, the Tigers got runners on the corners with just one out against Walberg, who was pulled in favor of Rommel. Rommel whiffed Hank Greenberg and grounded out Travis Fryman to end the saga.

Detroit looked dejected and done with their disappointing season in the next two games. Barry Zito twirled a shutout for the A’s in the middle game and Rube Waddell turned the same trick in game three. Jimmie Foxx provided fireworks on offense for Oakland with a homer in game two and three hits that included two doubles in game three.  Continue reading “Babe Hits For Cycle – Again!, Oakland Amazes, and Full Action From Around The League For Aug. 28-30”


Perry & Ryan Lead Way For Texas Wins in Chicago

perryAugust 25: Texas 3, Chicago 2

Gaylord Perry had a day on the mound for Texas and allowed just three hits and one walk in a complete game. That one walk preceded a Frank Thomas bomb in the first inning that scored two for Chicago, but Perry was nearly perfect over the next eight innings. The Rangers offense slowly scratched their way to three runs against Eddie Cicotte. Julio Franco slapped three singles and each of them figured into Texas’ runs.

                  R H BB
TEX 010 100 001 - 3 9  2
CHI 200 000 000 - 2 3  1
HR: F. Thomas (18)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry    9.0  2  2  1  1  1  
E. Cicotte  9.0  3  3  0  2  3 

TEX 59-69, CHI 68-59

August 26: Texas 6, Chicago 2

Nolan Ryan picked up where Perry left off and gave up just two hits in seven innings. Both hits belonged to Chet Lemon, and one of them was a two-run shot in the first inning. But just like the day before, Texas shut down the Chicago offense from there and the Texas bats mounted a comeback. Adrian Beltre paced the attack with a double, homer, and three RBI.

                  R  H BB
TEX 002 000 202 - 6 10  0
CHI 200 000 000 - 2  2  5
HR: A. Beltre (13), C. Lemon (9)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan    7.0  2  2  1  5  4  
E. Walsh   8.1  6  6  1  0  6 

TEX 60-69, CHI 68-60

August 27: Chicago 8, Texas 4

The Chicago offense finally found some life in the finale. Frank Thomas homered in both of his first two plate appearances, one a three-run job and one a grand slam. Mike Hargrove had a perfect day at the top of the Rangers lineup with two walks and three singles but only managed to score one run.

The teams split their six contests this year.

Chicago, Baltimore, and Minnesota have been matching each other game-for-game lately, all of them losing five of their last six, and are tied for third place, six games back from Boston.

                  R  H BB
TEX 210 000 010 - 4 12  3
CHI 440 000 00x - 8  8  5
HR: J. Hamilton (17), F. Thomas-2 (20),
H. Baines (5)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Jenkins  1.2  8  8  3  2  0  
T. Lee      7.1  4  4  1  2  4 

TEX 60-70, CHI 69-60

New-Look Kansas City Wins Series v. Texas

Brett George 2401.81 NBL

August 22: Kansas City 10, Texas 5

KC entered the series in second place in the Expansion Division, but Seattle has been widening their lead lately. Manager Ned Yost decided it was time to make a couple of changes to try to jolt a little more life into the Royals’ pursuit of the division title, and made the tough decision to replace Frank White at second base with Jose Offerman. “Frank is such a big part of this team, I hate to take him off the field. But we’ve got to find a way to score some more runs, and we think Jose can help us do that,” explained Yost before the game.

White has been a defensive whiz at second as expected, but he’s also been by far the worst every-day hitter in the league. His wOBA sits at .223. The second worst wOBA in the league by a qualified hitter is Sherm Lollar of Chicago’s .261. Offerman should provide more offense than White, but has poor range in the field.

Yost also made a change in the rotation and installed Bud Black in what had been a struggling Mark Gubicza’s spot. Both moves looked brilliant in the series opener. Black allowed just one earned run in 5.2 innings, and Offerman drilled an RBI single in his first plate appearance of the season. Offerman added a double and another single later in the game and handled several chances at second with no problems.

The Royals put on a rare display of power, crushing six doubles and three homers. George Brett had his best day of the season with a single, two doubles, and a dinger.

                   R  H BB
TEX 100 001 021 -  5 10  4
KC  400 120 21x - 10 17  3
HR: M. Hargrove (9), R. Palmeiro (21),
J. Mayberry (20), G. Brett (6), D. Tartabull (22)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
F. Jenkins  4.0  6  6  1  2  1  
B. Black    5.2  2  1  0  4  2 

TEX 57-68, KC 63-62

August 23: Texas 4, Kansas City 3

Runs were harder to come by in the second game for both teams. KC starter Jose Rosado handed a 3-2 lead to the bullpen. The flip-side of the Royals new second baseman reared its head in the top of the eighth when a Josh Hamilton groundball that White would have scooped scooted past Offerman for a single. Darrell Porter compounded the fielding problems with an error two batters later that allowed Julio Franco to reach. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro drove in Hamilton and Franco to take the lead for good.

George Brett tripled in his first plate appearance of the game, giving him the meaningless but rare distinction of hitting for the cycle over five consecutive plate appearances bridging two games.

                  R  H BB
TEX 010 001 020 - 4  6  3
KC  100 200 000 - 3 10  1

HR: A. Oliver (5), J. Hamilton (16)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   7.0  3  3  0  1  1  
J. Rosado  6.0  2  2  2  1  4 

TEX 58-68, KC 63-63

August 24: Kansas City 2, Texas 1

Then the runs really dried up in the finale as Yu Darvish and Kevin Appier dueled. The Royals managed just three hits in the game, but in the bottom of the second, Danny Tartabull led off with a walk, Alex Gordon followed with a double, and Willie Wilson drove them both in with his 128th single.

                  R H BB
TEX 010 000 000 - 1 6  3
KC  020 000 00x - 2 3  2

HR: none

starters      IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish   7.0  2  2  0  2  6  
K. Appier    7.0  1  1  0  3  5 

TEX 58-69, KC 64-63

Whiffs-A-Plenty as Texas Ends Anaheim Streaks


August 19: Texas 2, Anaheim 0

Yu Darvish didn’t always know just where the ball was going, and walked seven, but the Angels were helpless against him when he did find the strike zone. They managed just two singles in the hit department, and Darvish whiffed 11 in his first shutout of the year. The final out of the game came right back to Darvish on a gb (p) X error chance, but there wasn’t much drama since Darvish has an e0 rating, and is thereby incapable of erring. (Which is because the real Yu committed zero errors between 2012-14, the years used for his card stats and ratings. He did commit his first ever MLB error this 2017 season.)

Andy Messersmith was sharp for Anaheim and gave up just three hits. Unfortunately for him, two of them came back-to-back, and the second hit was a Josh Hamilton bazinga.

The loss ended Anaheim’s win streak at seven games.

                  R H BB
TEX 002 000 000 - 2 3  2
ANA 000 000 000 - 0 2  7
HR: J. Hamilton (14)

starters         IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish      9.0  0  0  0  7 11  
A. Messersmith  8.0  2  2  1  2  8 

TEX 56-66, ANA 50-72

August 20: Anaheim 4, Texas 3

Dean Chance had the swing-and-miss mojo working against the big-swinging Rangers and struck out a season-high 10 in his first nine-inning complete game. He did give up a three-run yak on another shot by Hamilton, and the game was knotted at threes going in to the bottom of the ninth. Backup catcher Mike Napoli led it off against C.J. Wilson, and bashed his second walk-off dinger of the season–pretty good for a guy who has only gotten into 30 games and knocked four homers all year.

Alex Rodriguez was perfect for the Rangers with a walk and three singles, plus three stolen bases, but scored zero and drove in zero since his mates weren’t offering any help around him.

                  R H BB
TEX 000 030 000 - 3 5  3
ANA 000 210 001 - 4 9  5

HR: J. Hamilton (15), M. Napoli (4)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry   6.2  3  3  0  5  3  
D. Chance  9.0  3  3  1  3 10 

TEX 56-67, ANA 51-72

August 21: Texas 8, Anaheim 3

The rubber match featured a premier pitching match-up in Nolan Ryan and Jered Weaver.

Weaver had a great first half but has been a little less dominant of late, and this was his third straight start with just OK results. Errors by infielders Bobby Grich, Jim Fregosi, and Rod Carew didn’t help.

Rafael Palmeiro, Julio Franco, and Al Oliver each bashed three hits apiece.

Ryan had a decent first half but has stepped it up a notch lately and rocked the Angels with nine strikeouts in seven innings while walking just one. His ERA in his last eight starts is under two, and he has laid claim to the 10th best season ERA in the league at 3.40.

28 of the 54 outs in this game came by strikeout, and 62 of 159 outs (39%) in the series came on third strikes.

Anaheim’s streak of series wins ended at four.

                  R  H BB
TEX 012 000 230 - 8 15  4
ANA 020 000 100 - 3  8  2

HR: A. Oliver (4), T. Glaus (23)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan    7.0  3  2  1  1  9  
J. Weaver  6.2  5  3  1  4  9 

TEX 57-67, ANA 51-73

A-Rod Homers in Each Game, Texas Sweeps Houston

arodAugust 16: Texas 4, Houston 0

Texas’s Nolan Ryan is in some kind of a zone and followed up his first shutout of the year with his second. He gave up just three hits, two walks, and struck out 10. Over his last seven starts he’s yielded a 1.29 ERA. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro took trips to Dongtown to back up Ryan’s masterpiece. Ryan’s 3.34 ERA for the season is third best in the Expansion Division.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 000 000 - 0 3  2
TEX 100 201 00x - 4 9  0

HR: A. Rodriguez (29), R. Palmeiro (20)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Cuellar  6.0  4  4  2  0  8  
N. Ryan     9.0  0  0  0  2 10 

HOU 52-65

August 17: Texas 4, Houston 1

Houston’s Nolan Ryan was not nearly as effective as the Texas version, and Ferguson Jenkins took a turn as Houston bat-whisperer. A Bob Watson solo shot was the only thing that stood between Jenkins and a shutout. A-Rod homered again to tie Lou Gehrig at 30 atop the homerun leaders.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 100 000 - 1 6  4
TEX 000 200 20x - 4 8  3
HR: B. Watson (13), A. Rodriguez (30)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
N. Ryan     6.1  4  4  1  1  4  
F. Jenkins  9.0  1  1  1  4  6 

HOU 52-66, TEX 54-66

August 18: Texas 3, Houston 2

An Adrian Beltre error in the top of the sixth preceded a Craig Biggio walk and Jeff Bagwell double that drove in two unearned runs for Houston and tied the game. That was it for Houston scoring, meaning they totaled three runs in the series, and only one of them was earned.

Roy Oswalt was sharp on the mound for the ‘Stros to keep the game tied. Larry Anderson had relieved him and was pitching in the bottom of the ninth with A-Rod leading off for Texas. Anderson caught a little too much of the plate against the suddenly scalding hot Rodriguez, who launched the ball into the bleachers. It was his 11th dinger in the last 22 games. And as if walking off a sweep with a moonshot wasn’t dramatic enough on its own, the homer also put Rodriguez alone in first in the home run race.

Texas has owned Houston all season and is 15-5 against them. Luckily for Houston, they only meet for three more games.

                  R H BB
HOU 000 002 000 - 2 3  3
TEX 000 110 001 - 3 9  1

HR: A. Rodriguez (31), A. Beltre (12)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
R. Oswalt  7.0  2  2  1  1  6  
C. Hough   7.1  2  0  0  3  4 

HOU 52-67, TEX 55-66

Oakland Comes Out On Top In Series With Texas

August 13: Oakland 8, Texas 5

Seven different Oakland hitters combined to crush eight extra-base hits.

                  R  H BB
TEX 000 000 410 - 5  9  0
OAK 110 204 00x - 8 13  6

HR: J. Gonzalez (17), J. Foxx (20)

starters    IP  R ER HR BB SO
C. Hough   5.2  8  8  1  4  2  
C. Bender  6.0  4  2  0  0  6 

TEX 51-65, OAK 61-54

August 14: Texas 6, Oakland 4

Toby Harrah led off the game with a homer, and Yu Darvish was proficient for the first seven innings. Oakland started getting to Darvish a bit in the eighth, so Neftali Feliz came on and recorded the last four outs for Texas without allowing a run.

                  R  H BB
TEX 101 000 400 - 6 10  3
OAK 020 000 020 - 4 10  6
HR: T. Harrah (4), J. Gonzalez (18)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
Y. Darvish  7.2  4  4  0  5  9  
B. Zito     6.1  5  5  2  3  4 

TEX 52-65, OAK 61-55


Al Simmons

August 15: Oakland 9, Texas 7


Rube Waddell will be glad to not have to face the Rangers again. They slammed him for eight runs in less than two innings on May 14, and they touched him for six runs in eight innings in this game. Texas made it count for a win in May, but their defense couldn’t contain the Oakland offense enough for it to matter in this one.

Al Simmons slammed a three-run dong against Gerald Perry in the bottom of the first and Oakland never trailed in the game, though Texas kept scoring to make it close. A-Rod and Rafael Palmeiro both knocked three hits for Texas but Oakland got contributions from up and down their lineup.

The teams split their six games for the year.

                  R  H BB
TEX 000 300 211 - 7 13  4
OAK 400 022 10X - 9 12  7
HR: R. Palmeiro (19), A. Simmons (17)
starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
G. Perry    5.0  6  6  1  2  4  
R. Waddell  8.0  6  6  1  3  3 

TEX 52-66, OAK 62-55

A-Rod Catches Gehrig In HR Race, but Texas Drops Series to Anaheim

MLB: Los Angeles Angels at Texas RangersAugust 10: Anaheim 5, Texas 2

Mike Trout tripled twice, based on ball twice, and scored thrice. Trout has recovered from an early season power outage to the extent that he is #13 on the league runs created list and fifth in the Expansion Division.

                  R  H BB
ANA 201 010 001 - 5 11  6
TEX 000 200 000 - 2  6  5

HR: A. Rodriguez (26)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
D. Chance   6.2  2  2  1  4  8  
G. Perry    7.0  4  4  0  4  3 

ANA 43-70, TEX 50-63

August 11: Texas 11, Anaheim 0

This could have been a premier pitching match-up as Jered Weaver and Nolan Ryan were due to face off, but both pitchers required a rest to conserve innings. So instead fans were subjected treated to a Mike Witt/Jon Matlack duel. The Rangers beat up on Witt, but Matlack reeled off an out-of-nowhere shutout with 10 strikeouts. A-Rod swatted three hits, including his 27th dong to pull within one of the league-lead.

                   R  H BB
ANA 000 000 000 -  0  7  2
TEX 012 002 60x - 11 12  5

HR: A. Rodriguez (27), T. Harrah (3)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
M. Witt     5.2  5  5  2  2  5  
J. Matlack  9.0  0  0  0  2 10 

ANA 43-71, TEX 51-63

August 12: Anaheim 8, Texas 2

Brian Downing crushed two long balls, one a grand salami, and drove in six. Kelvim Escobar held the Rangers bats down for seven innings.

In the ninth, A-Rod launched a Troy Percival fastball for his 28th homer to tie Lou Gehrig for most in the league. It also ended an 18 appearance/24 inning scoreless streak for Percival, whose ERA swelled all the way up to 1.02.

                  R  H BB
ANA 003 000 500 - 8 11  4
TEX 100 000 001 - 2  6  4

HR: B. Downing-2 (10), A. Rodriguez (28)

starters     IP  R ER HR BB SO
K. Escobar  7.0  1  1  0  2  4  
F. Jenkins  6.1  6  6  1  3  5 

ANA 44-71, TEX 51-64