Monday, 9 June 2008

Getting heated in Texas

Tampa Bay Rays 3 - Texas Rangers 6

So, no sweep of the Rangers, and I think that this game will have to go down as one of those days. I guess that as a team, things are going to go wrong over the course of the season, and its just as well to get them all out of the way in one game. Well, we did that yesterday, and still were within shouting distance right up until the final out.

Actually, it was shouting that seemed to be a major problem all over the field last night. There was BJ Upton running into Gabe Gross while the latter was camped under a lazy fly ball - with both seemingly oblivious to each other's calls for the ball. There was CC backing off from another lazy fly that Jason Bartlett was going for - but, called for or not, ultimately couldn't catch up to. There was Eric Hinske objecting rather too much to a called third strike in the sixth, and getting ejected. (In Eric's defense, the pitch tracker showed that the ball was way outside).

And then there was Matt Garza. He was having one of those days. Things were going wrong in the field behind him, and he didn't seem to be agreeing too much with Dioner Navarro's pitch-calling. Things came to a head in the fourth when Garza let forth a tirade into his glove during a trip to the mound from Navvy, prompting a swift visit from pitching coach Jim Hickey. He calmed things down the best he could, and Garza got the next two batters to end the inning (though not before sailing a pitch out all the way to the backstop). He obviously wasn't happy though, and as he got to the dugout, he got back into it with Navvy, prompting a bit of a shoving match that had to be separated by other players and coaches in the tunnel. Unsurprisingly, Jason Hammel came out to pitch the fifth.

Still, it wasn't all doom and gloom. BJ Upton hit his fifth homer of the season, and Evan Longoria continued his incredible defensive display at third, making a full-stretch diving grab in foul territory to end the first that will be right up there among the best plays of the year.

And even with the loss, its still another series win, and we head to Anaheim now with a chance (all beit a small one) of a winning road trip. Which would be some achievement. Edwin Jackson is on the hill tonight, looking to bounce back from a rough start last time out in Boston.

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