Dateline: Browns Chapel
On an extremely pleasant and bright fall evening, the Rangers took the field for their inaugural match against the Twins. Juan led off with a walk. Bryon grounded out to third but Juan moved to second. Andy drilled a double to center to score Juan. Tommy smashed another double to center to score Andy. Tommy went the mound and quickly struck out two Twins and got the last one to groundout to first. After one, it was 2-0 Rangers.
The Rangers continued on the attack with leadoff walks to Christian, Spencer, and Rob. Erick walked to score Christian. Bryon singled to score Spencer and Andy continued his hitting barrage with a key single to score Robert. As the throw came from the outfield, the Twins decided to fire the ball to first to hold the runner. Coach Grossman, in what this reporter views as an overly risky move, sent Erick home to try to score from second. A great play by the Twins first baseman occurred where he caught the ball and threw a perfect strike home to get Erick by a hair to end the inning. This reporter heard numerous Rangers fans discussing why on earth Coach Grossman would take such a risk and continued talks that his contract is up for renewal at the end of the season. Anyway, it was an exciting play. Tommy went to the mound and struck out another batter and got two more to groundout to first. After two it was 5-0 Rangers.
The Rangers went down quietly in the third and Max went to the mound for his second appearance of the year. He struck out the first batter, walked a batter, struck out a batter and walked another to put runners on first and second. A wild pitch moved the runner to third. Another wild pitch went by Christian but he made a great play to set his feet and nicely flip to Max at home. The runner was clearly going to be out, but happily for the Twins, the runner knocked the ball out of Max’s glove. The Twins then hit a soft pop fly that fell perfectly between a few Rangers to score their second run. Max settled down and got the last batter to groundout to first to end the inning. After three it was 5-2 Rangers.
The Rangers again went down quietly in the fourth. Bryon came on to pitch and struck out two batters and the third hit a sharp smash to Max at first. He leaped and made a fantastic play for out three. The Twins added a key insurance run in the fifth with walks to Joe and Robert. A wild pitch moved Joe to third and he scored when the catcher overthrew third and the ball went into left field. Andy came into the game and threw heat. He quickly struck out two and got the last batter to groundout to first. After five the Rangers clung to a 6-2 lead.
In the sixth the Rangers jumped on the Twins closer for some more runs. A leadoff walk to Andy was followed by a long drive to right by Tommy S. John singled to score Andy, Max grounded to third and John beat the throw home to score. Max ended up at third after some alert base running and he scored on a wild pitch. As darkness began to loom over the field, Erick came on in the sixth and gave up a single but settled down to struck out two more before the last batter popped up to Tommy S at first to end the game.
Coach Grossman was available for a very terse interview as he had lots of work to do to prepare for the game on Saturday. He said, “I like how the team is really coming together. Our bats are starting to come alive and it wouldn’t surprise me for all of our players to get a lot of hits before we are done this fall. Its always great when you can use five pitchers and still have a great game like this.” Coach Goldstein said, “Our catchers are coming along well. Christian looked good in his first outing behind the plate and Spencer, Juan and John also are progressing nicely.”