Dateline: Browns Chapel
On a crisp mid-October morning, this reporter headed out to the field early to check the playing surface conditions. Coach Goldstein was talking with one of the stadium owners. Coach Goldstein was explaining that the seven days of 7 rain did no damage to the field. The owner said, “if you think the field is playable then you can play, just drag and rake the field.” As this reporter left to get a bagel and coffee, Coach Goldstein was out there prepping the field.
The Rangers showed up for batting practice and some infield drills. Coach Goldstein was running the team as Coach Grossman was on one of his many scouting trips out in the mid-west. Coach Goldstein said in his pre-game interview, “We don’t know what they feed them out there but there is always a good batch of young talent to scout.”
The Rangers took the field for the top of the 1st. Tommy S. started on the mound with a quick strikeout. He walked the next, struck out the third batter and induced the fourth batter to hit a grounder down the first base line where Max scooped up the ball and tagged the runner.
The Rangers took their turn at the plate with Juan and Bryon taking walks. Juan advanced to third on a wild pitch and and then Andy smacked one straight up to center field which brought Juan in. Tommy popped out to the shortstop for one out. John hit one back to the pitcher who had trouble handling it which scored Bryon and Andy, and a few wild pitches later John scored on a wild pitch to end the inning. After one it was Rangers 4 Twins 0.
Tommy S. again went to the mound and promptly struck out the first two batters. He walked the next two and then struck out the third. The Rangers had one out in the bottom of the inning when Max drilled a shot to center field. Tommy H. popped up to the first baseman, and after that the Rangers bats were quiet. After two the score remained 4-0 Rangers.
In the top of the 3rd Coach Goldstein made a pitching change and brought in the young right hander Bryon. The first Twins batter hit a smash out to center field where Juan calmly parked under it and caught it for out one. Many fans commented on how Juan is the anchor of this team – always keeping a cool head. Bryon walked the next batter and the third batter got a one base hit. On a grounder back to the mound, Bryon scooped it up and alerty made the play at third where Joe made a nice catch for the out. Bryon walked the next batter and through a few wild pitches which allowed the runner on second to advance to third and then home, however Bryon calmed down and struck out the batter for out three.
In the bottom of the third, Christian led off with a shot to right field. Juan walked, and a wild pitch moved both runners to third and second. Bryon grounded out to first for an RBI to score Christian. but hit a shot down to first where the first baseman played it single handedly but Christian scored and Juan moved to third. Andy went down swinging but not before a wild pitch scored Juan. After three the Rangers held a slim lead of 6 to 1.
Again Coach Goldstein made a pitching change and brought in Max, a fine right handed prospect. Max walked the first three batters but on a wild pitch to next batter the runner tried to score. Michael was behind the plate and quickly scooped up the ball and underhanded it to Max waiting at the plate. The tag was applied and there was some confusion but the ump called the runner out. Max then struck out the batter for out two. Max then walked the next two to bring in a run and then he settled down and struck out the last batter of the inning.
During the bottom of the 4th the Rangers went on a scoring spree. After 2 walks, Joe was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Max hit a popup to third where the third baseman camped under it apparently about to catch it. Worse, John on third, took off for home while it was in the air. Coach Goldstein sighed and hoped this wouldn’t be the double play that it looked like it would be. Happily, luck was with the Rangers. The ball was dropped and all runners were safe and better yet, John scored. Later Michael smashed a big RBI single to right to score a couple more runs and then Christian hit one back to the mound, but he beat out the throw to first to allow Max to score. So after 4 it was Rangers 10 Twins 2.
Again, Coach Goldstein called out to the bullpen and brought in the Ace closer Andy Galloway. Andy struck out one, walked one and struck out two – just another day at the office for Andy.
In the bottom of the 5th Juan drilled one to left field and the first base coach sent Juan on to second where he slid in safely for a double. Bryon then hit an RBI single to left to score Juan. And thus ended the scoring drive by the Rangers. At the end of 5 the score now stood at 11-2
With time running out Andy again took the mound. He struck out the side to end the game. Rangers fans rejoiced.
This reporter asked for a lengthy interview with Coach Goldstein after the game but he only allowed one question. When asked if he was worried about his young pitchers during the middle of the game, he said, “Heck no, I knew that Bryon and Max can pitch. All they have to do is focus and throw the ball and we get strikeouts. Now go away with your silly questions!” Coach Grossman was contacted and he said, “Sounds like a great game. Coach Goldstein has a phenomenal winning percentage. This kind of game just makes it so Rangers management has to fend off numerous head coaching offers for Coach Goldstein. I am very happy that all the rain didn’t stop our momentum, I’m looking forward to the last couple of weeks of this season.
The Rangers play again next Tuesday at Running Cedar at 5:15. Some tickets still remain.