Dateline: Running Cedar
On a cloudy fall evening, the Rangers took the field against the Rays for the exciting finale of the season series. Each team had won a game. The Rangers went down quietly in the first, but Tommy pitched an excellent bottom of the first. He quickly struck out the side on only eleven pitches.
The Rangers then jumped to a on a long double by Tommy and walks to John and Gabriel to load the bases. Joe singled to score Tommy S. Michael walked to score John, Christian walked to score Joe and Juan walked to score Christian. Tommy again was dominant and struck out the first batter. The second batter walked and the next batter hit a sharp grounder to John at third who threw nicely to Christian covering at second. The next batter was awarded first base on a catcher’s interference call and runners were at first and second. A couple of wild pitches resulted in the runner scoring. Tommy S. settled down and struck out the last batter for out three. After two the Rangers held a 4-1 lead.
In the third, the Rangers added to the lead on a walk to Erick and a walk to Andy. A big single by John scored Erick and Andy scored on a bad throw back to the pitcher. Max came on in the bottom of the third and walked two but settled down and struck out the third batter. A few more walks and a dropped pickoff move to third (a great throw by Max) resulted in three runs crossing the plate. After three, Rangers fans held their breath as it was 6-4.
In the fourth, the Rays closer shut down the Rangers with a walk and three quick strikeouts. Erick came on in the bottom of the fourth and gave up a weak infield hit. The next batter drilled a shot to center for a clean double that moved to third and scored on overthrows. The game was now tied. Erick settled down and struck out the next two batters. Unfortunately for the Rangers two walks and a wild pitch followed by an overthrow to third gave up the final run. The coaches realized that it was going to be too dark to complete another inning so the game ended with the Rangers up 7-6.
With a few days before the Rangers next game, Coach Grossman said, “Give credit to the Rays, they played hard the whole game and never gave up. I have to confess that the darkness really snuck up on me. I really think if we play another inning or two our guys would do just fine. In the immortal words of Jerry Kramer of the Packers in the 1960’s, ‘it didn’t feel like we lost, we just ran out of time.’ I really am pleased with how our team played and I’m happy that we were attempting the tough plays at third. Sure, we could play it safe and not make those throws, but it’s the right thing for our guys to learn how to make those throws when the pressure is on and the only way to learn is to do it in a game. It really is a pleasure working with this team, and I’m sure we’ll get right back on track on Saturday.
Coach Goldstein said, “What does Coach Grossman know about Green Bay? I’m the Packers fan! Anyway, our pitchers looked great and I liked how our catchers are continuing to improve with each game”.