What We Learned Against Cleveland

Well now that was a rather eccentric baseball series.

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It started off on Monday with the Rangers facing a really bad baseball team. By the end of Wednesday night, I'm literally glad to say that everyone made it out alive.

  • The Rangers looked flat against an Indian team they had no business looking flat against on Monday. And bundled in with the embarrassment of a trouncing at the hands of the Indians was the oddity of a disputed home run that was called fair, reviewed, and called foul even though slow motion footage showed the initial call might have been correct. Earlier in the seemingly cursed game, Elvis Andrus inadvertently knocked out Matt Laporta with an elbow to the back of the head on a close play at first. It was genuinely spooky watching Laporta awaken to realize it wasn't all a dream. 
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  • That would have been enough excitement for one series, but little did we know what was in store for us on Tuesday night. Simply put, Tuesday's game was mayhem. A fan fell. That actually happened. A fan fell from the second deck and the horrifying screams of 20,000 people followed. An inning later, they were fighting for foul balls and doing the wave. Seeing the reaction of the umpire, Nelson Cruz, and the Indians players is something I won't soon forget.
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  • Oh Yellow Shirt Nick. I hope you're enjoying your small bout with celebrity. All you wanted was a home run ball off of the bat of Nelson Cruz and instead, thanks to a momentary lack of judgment, as you slammed a child's face into a wire fence, all you've gotten is the opportunity to be ridiculed by Jim Knox, Tom Grieve, several sports blogs, Around the Horn, and newspaper journalists. You're a legend, Nick. Every good story needs a villain and you came swooping in ready to give us something to love to hate. Bless you, Yellow Shirt Nick.
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  • So, that's all well and weird, but the strangest thing that happened on Tuesday night is the fact that Ron Washington's give-up lineup produced one of the highest scoring outbursts of the season. With much maligned middle infielders Joaquin Arias and Andres Blanco starting in place of Elvis Andrus and Michael Young, doom and gloom was predicted. Instead, they went a combined 5-10 with six RBI. Unbelievable. The Gut was not starving for good fortune on a night where seemingly everything that could happen did.
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  • There was a lot of consternation about Ron Washington's lineups in the final two games of the series. I wasn't a big fan of them myself. But the fact is, there are some players like Vlad, Josh, and Elvis that Ron has to monitor and make sure they are not in danger of wearing down. Of course, I would prefer if the days off for these players were spread out rather than bunched together on consecutive nights.
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  • Jayson Nix. Jayson Nix. Jayson Nix. Jayson Nix. That's Jayson Nix's name written as many times as he homered against the Rangers in this three game series. That's a lot of bad pitching and superfluous y's.
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  • The Rangers couldn't buy a shutdown inning on Monday night. I had become concerned that the team was trending toward allowing runs the inning after scoring them. Therefore, I was glad to see C.J. and Colby come out and take care of business for a combined zero runs allowed after an inning in which the Rangers scored. I'm less concerned about the bullpen in this respect because they so rarely give up runs to begin with regardless of inning circumstance.

So what did we learn against Cleveland?

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This series, much like that dance, was haunting. And yet, it was worth celebrating as the Rangers won.

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