When Fate Pulls the Trigger

Watching today’s rubber match between the Tigers and Rangers, I find myself thinking a lot about both yesterday’s game and another game that I watched almost exactly 1 year ago.
Yesterday’s game had a lot of moving parts that led to the team’s 2nd loss of the season.
Most obviously was Hamilton’s barreling into Home, which led to a broken arm that might keep him on the shelf for a full 1/3 of the season.
(Kendry[s] Morales had a similar freak injury early last year and the Angels [and Morales] still haven’t quite recovered. I’m hoping beyond hopes that we don’t look back on this in the same way.)
There was also CJ’s pitching, which wasn’t fooling anybody. The fact that it seemed impossible to ever hold a lead. Some sloppy play in the field. Several missed scoring opportunities.
It was one of those games that just didn’t feel right and everything culminated in Darren O’Day’s 9th inning. After giving up a walk and a single, O’Day got two outs. Then, with the game tied and the always beastly Miguel Cabrera on deck, he walked the bases loaded.
It turns out that this was not a good strategy.
In the aftermath of the loss, it was confirmed that Hamilton fractured his humerus and will likely miss 6-8 weeks.
What this means for the team going forward remains to be seen, but I can’t help but wonder if yesterday’s game was anything like a game in Cleveland on April 15th of last year.
(It’s hard to say why exactly I remember that particular game so vividly, except that sometimes the brain just works that way.)
The game in question was one where Matt Harrison kept the Indians completely in check for 7+ innings and the Rangers were cruising with a 2-0 lead. But the 8th didn’t go very smoothly, as Elvis Andrus committed back-to-back errors and set up Shin-Soo Choo’s game-winning 3-run HR.
At that point the Rangers had a modest 5-4 record, but that loss was the start of a 6-game skid that included a sweep in New York and losing 2 out of 3 in Boston.
In 2011, the Rangers have been almost completely untouchable, but we all knew that a 9-1 pace couldn’t be maintained all season. Now I wonder if the team is in store for a rocky couple of weeks (or months) as we figure out what a Hamilton sized hole in the line-up looks like so early in the season.
It certainly isn’t time to panic, but it’s easy to see where things might start to unravel a bit in the very near future. Somewhat interestingly, the current series will wrap up in the Midwest and give way to a 3-game affair in New York, just like a year ago.
I already felt like the upcoming series might be a pivotal point in this young season, which is even truer now than it was just two days ago. It’s time to see what this team is really made of.

Just as I finished typing this up, the Rangers lost on a Brandon Inge walk-off HR. Darren Oliver takes the loss, but it should be given to Mark Lowe. After the Rangers finally broke through with 2 runs in the 6th, Lowe surrendered 2 to the Tigers in the next half inning.
Spot starter Dave Bush (3IP, 0ER), Mason Tobin (2IP, 0ER), Arthur Rhodes (1IP, 0ER), and Darren Oliver (1IP, 0ER) all did their jobs. If Lowe had done his, Feliz would have pitched in the 9th and Oliver wouldn’t have given up the winning run.
I’ve been having a lot of trouble figuring out exactly what the Rangers see in Lowe and he’s not making much of a case for himself so far.
Getting quick outs is his entire job and he can’t seem to make it happen, which makes me feel even better about Feliz remaining the closer.
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About Mike Luna

My name is Mike. I am an avid fan of the Texas Rangers. I like reading and jogging, but I don't do either nearly as often as I should. I like writing about more than just baseball. Your opinion is your own, but please be respectful. Everyone is welcome in The Bleacher Seats.
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4 Responses to When Fate Pulls the Trigger

  1. Not good. My uncle is a Tiger’s fan and when I was hanging out with him he let me know his tigers had won against my ranger.

    What I didn’t know was how sloppy of a loss it was. And with Hamilton being out (something I knew) I am also wondering how the Rangers will fair over the next month or so. Hamilton is a major hitter for them. He’s absolutely phenomenal at doing what he does. That broken arm is at the very least going to hurt the momentum.

    Hearing that they lost yesterday’s game because one pitcher screwed it up bothers me. Hopefully it bothers the decision makers as well…

  2. http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=6339976

    In that video it bothers me that they talk about his drug past. It seems completely irrelevant. “There’s indiscretion in this guy’s life. He was stupid earlier…”

    then he goes on to explain that Josh can’t take drugs because he’s an ex-addict. That just seems completely irrelevant to me.

    That being said, it is encouraging how encouraged they are with the rest of the Ranger’s offense. Good stuff

    • Mike Luna says:

      It’s pretty ridiculous that he seems to want to draw a line between Hamilton being stupid earlier (drugs) and being stupid now (that play). As if he’s implying that he’s just a bad decision maker. Like he’s chronically stupid.

      I expect better from Bobby V, but his point about pain killers is somewhat relevant. What it means is that, before Hamilton comes back, he will have to get to that point where he doesn’t hurt anymore or he can at least play through the pain.

      That makes sense to me, even if his presentation of the idea was in something of an incoherent, rambling kind of way.

      There’s another thing I hear a lot (a lot, mind you) that bothers me even more than this stuff.

      Okay, we know at this point that Hamilton is injury prone and all we can do is try to protect him and hope he stays healthy. We accept that.

      But a lot of people seem to want to imply a connection between his fragility and his injury history. “Well, we don’t know what kind of damage he did to his body when he was on drugs all the time! He’s already like a 40-year-old man!” people will shout on sports talk radio shows.

      Really? Have you seen Hamilton? Have you ever really looked at him? Because he looks like a Greek god!

      Idiots.

      • I agree. He’s probably about as physically healthy as you can get. He’s not fragile at all! And he is one of those guys who takes changes and (most of the time) they work!

        I think a lot of these people just say things to fill up air…how else can such foolishness be explained?

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