Results tagged ‘ Texas Rangers ’
I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that searches on Derek Holland spiked my blog traffic over the weekend. That sort of thing will happen when you toss 8.1 scoreless, tw0-hit innings in the World Series, easily the biggest pitching performance in Texas Rangers history. The former LumberKings ace is now firmly entrenched into baseball lore.
And, if you missed it, here’s a look via TexasRangers.com at Holland’s series-evening outing last night: http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?c_id=tex&content_id=19943841&topic_id=25588886
I’d love to say that I knew he’d be this good when he was dominating Midwest Leaguers just three years ago, but I’d be lying. He was special then, but he was historic last night.
Former LumberKings’ left-hander Derek Holland may have given up four runs on three homers over 4.2 innings on Saturday, but he and the Texas Rangers are headed back to the World Series via a 15-5 win over the Detroit Tigers. That means fellow former Kings Ian Kinsler (’04), Mitch Moreland (’08), Craig Gentry (’07) and Neftali Feliz (’08) get another shot at that ring, while Holland gets to keep growing the playoff ‘stache. The Rangers will meet the Maikel Cleto-less St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the phyiscal city of Holland must be celebrating right now after the Netherlands captured the 2011 IBAF World Cup title with a 2-1 win over Cuba on Saturday. The game, played in Panama, featured former LumberKings Kalian Sams (’09-’11) and Danny Rombley (’01-’02) in the lineup, while infielder Vince Rooi (’01) remained on the bench.
Sams went 0-for-2 with a walk while Rombley went 0-for-4. View the full box score of the title game here: http://ibaf.prod.kgroup.eu/stats/2011/panama/games/76.htm
Who knew Clinton had so many ties to the Dutch, including “the Dutch Oven“?
Right-hander Fabio Castillo (’08) and outfielder Engel Beltre (’08) were added by the Texas Rangers, while right-handers Maikel Cleto (’09), Josh Lueke (’07-’08), Yoervis Medina (’10) and Tom Wilhelmsen (’10, pictured left) were added by the Seattle Mariners. Right-hander Evan Reed (’07-’08) was added by the Florida Marlins.
All but Reed and Medina (who is playing for John Tamargo’s Cardenales de Lara) appeared in the Arizona Fall League this year.
Speaking of which, AFL MVP Dustin Ackley and the Peoria Javelinas fell to Bryce Harper’s Scottsdale Scorpions in the Championship Game on Saturday. Wilhelmsen took the loss with a run on two hits over an inning of work, while Lueke fared better with a scoreless final inning to keep it close at 3-2. Nate Tenbrink (’09) went 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
Myself, along with our General Manager Ted Tornow and Assistant GM Nate Kreinbrink embarked on a 14-hour drive from Clinton to the greater Dallas area to watch five former LumberKings as they suited up for the Rangers in the first-ever World Series game played in the city of Arlington.
The Giants and Rangers lined up for the National Anthem, sung by Kelly Clarkson.
Colby Lewis delivers the first pitch of Game 3 to Andres Torres of the San Francisco Giants.
We were not disappointed, and neither was the record crowd of 54,000-plus. Former Kings’ first-baseman Mitch Moreland ripped a three-run blast in the second inning, supporting nearly eight innings of solid work from right-hander Colby Lewis. Former Kings’ right-hander Neftali Feliz then worked a perfect ninth inning to nail down the first-ever Rangers’ World Series win and his first postseason save. The atmosphere was absolutely electric from the moment we got there to the moment we left.
I recorded some great video of Moreland’s home run, Feliz’s save and a few other things in between. Enjoy.
Thanks again to our contacts with the Rangers for setting us up, we had a blast. Too bad we couldn’t stick around for the other two games. Let’s hope for a Ranger win tonight in Game 5 to send the series back to San Francisco!
The Texas Rangers have added former LumberKings’ left-hander Michael Kirkman to the 25-man ALCS roster today. Kirkman (#62) and fellow lefty Clay Rapada were both placed on the roster, while right-hander Dustin Nippert and infielder Esteban German were removed to clear space.
Kirkman, a King for stints from 2006 to 2008 was impressive as a lefty reliever for the Rangers during the regular season. He went 0-0 with a 1.65 ERA in 14 relief appearances, allowing just three runs on nine hits over 16.1 innings, striking out 16 and limiting opponents to a .161 average.
He’s been noticeably in the dugout the entire postseason for the Rangers, but was left off the roster for the ALDS. Looks like Ron Washington and Mike Maddux have decided on extra southpaws to face the likes of Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson. Not to mention the fact that Alex Rodriguez hit .217 against left-handed pitching during the regular year.
Kirkman is the fourth former LumberKing on the Rangers’ ALCS roster, joining second-baseman Ian Kinsler, first-baseman Mitch Moreland, left-hander Derek Holland and right-hander Neftali Feliz.
Game one is tonight at 7:00 PM.
A new offseason segment debuts on the LumberBlog today, not-so-cleverly called “The Interview Vault”. Player, coach and staff interviews have been a staple on the LumberBlog since 2009 but there’s a ton of lost interviews I’ve had sitting on cassette tapes in a dusty shoebox.
Those tapes have resurfaced and contain valuable interviews with the likes of former LumberKings manager (now Texas Rangers’ field coordinator) Mike Micucci, former Kings turned big-leaguers like Mitch Moreland, Derek Holland and Justin Smoak, plus up-and-coming prospects like Chad Tracy, Marcus Lemon, Engel Beltre and more.
I will try and revisit interviews that are timely and notable throughout the fall and winter, and with that in mind, I present the first lost interview with Texas Rangers’ beat writer for the Dallas Morning News, Richard Durrett.
I caught up with Mr. Durrett in the late summer of 2008 when he was stopping by Alliant Energy Field to do a story on then-Rangers prospects, right-handers Blake Beavan and Michael Main. While those two were his main focus, he also observed a Clinton offense that included Moreland, Beltre, Jonathan Greene, Cristian Santana and others.
We talk at length about his observations of Beavan, whose now one of the top arms in the Seattle system. He also weighs in on the remarkable 2008 season for Josh Hamilton, the establishment of a plan in the Rangers system and proves very prophetic about his prediction of seasons to come for Texas.
Richard Durrett, Rangers Writer (2008).mp3
A fitting interview from the vault just hours before the Rangers take the diamond in Tampa for the most important game in team history. Game five against the Rays begins at 7:00 PM central time as lefty Cliff Lee takes the hill hoping to give Texas their first-ever playoff series victory.
Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Former LumberKings’ 1B/OF Mitch Moreland is a .500 career hitter in the Major Leagues. Ok, so it’s through one game, but still exciting. Starting at first base and hitting in the eight spot for the AL West-leading Texas Rangers, Moreland singled to right in his first big-league at-bat and added another single in a 2-for-4 game.
Check out the Rangers’ article on Moreland, including video from his first professional hit here: http://texas.rangers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100729&content_id=12785732¬ebook_id=12785738&vkey=notebook_tex&fext=.jsp&c_id=tex
He also got the shaving cream pie to the face afterwards on what has to have been a magical night for the former 17th round pick out of Mississippi State in 2007.
To add to the excitement, the Rangers have sent down first-baseman Chris Davis, meaning that Moreland will stay with the club for the forseeable future.
On another note, I incorrectly reported yesterday that Moreland is the second former Clinton player to make a Major League debut this season. I did leave out right-hander Omar Beltre, who made his debut with the Rangers as well this season. Beltre pitched for the LumberKings in 2003, going 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA in 16 games, five starts.
Moreland was hitting .289 with 12 HR and 65 RBI with triple-A Oklahoma City this season, following a 2009 campaign in which he won the Rangers’ Tom Grieve Minor League Player of the Year Award. With the LumberKings in 2008, Moreland hit a team-best .324 with 37 doubles, 18 HR and a league-high 99 RBI.
Mitch will become the second former Clinton player to make a Major League debut this season, following Justin Smoak. Smoak debuted with the Rangers before being shipped to the Seattle Mariners as part of the deal for Cliff Lee.
More to follow once Moreland plays.
EDIT: I was doing some digging through my audio archives and found my favorite Moreland highlight from 2008, his Grand Slam against Beloit on May 31. Please excuse the crude quality, this was recorded back before I updated my recorder:
Moreland Grand Slam 5.31 vs Beloit.mp3
My baseball journey continues to Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, home of the Reds. It’s hard to visit a Major League park and not run into a former LumberKing, and that’s certainly the case with the 2009 Reds club. The team leader in relief appearances his none other than right-hander Nick Masset, who suited up in the black and green for the entire 2003 season.
Masset on the mound at Great American Ballpark in 2009. Photo courtesy of the Reds Media Relations Department.
Masset went 7-7 in 30 games 20 starts with the ’03 Kings, breaking through to the Texas Rangers in 2006. He’s been traded twice already in his brief career, from the Rangers to the Chicago White Sox (in a deal that included 2004 LumberKing John Danks and brought in ’07-’08 outfielder David Paisano) and from the White Sox to the Reds for his boyhood idol, Ken Griffey, Jr.
By his own admission, Masset is settling in to the up-and-coming Reds and is getting more comfortable against National League opponents. So far this year, that comfort level has shown. He’s 5-1 with a stellar 2.47 ERA over a team-high 71 appearances as the prime setup man for closer Francisco Cordero.
In our interview, Masset reflects on this season with the Reds, his excitement over the young core in Cincinnati (including another former LumberKing, 2004 hurler Edinson Volquez, former Dayton Dragons Jay Bruce and Joey Votto), the influence of former pitching coach Andy Hawkins on his career, keeping up with old teammates Kameron Loe and Josh Rupe and more.
Nick Masset Interview 9.30.09.mp3
EDIT: Masset ended up pitching in tonight’s game, replacing starter Bronson Arroyo with two outs in the ninth of a 6-1 Reds lead (much to the displeasure of the home crowd who wanted to see an Arroyo complete game). He worked around a single by Albert Pujols and a walk to former Quad Cities Swing Colby Rasmus, striking out Ryan Ludwick to end the game.
Masset works to Pujols in the ninth.
I’ve got a ton of pictures from my trip to Great American Ballpark, including my visit to the Reds Hall of Fame. Look for those coming up in a future post.