Last night we went out to Surprise to watch the Rangers and the Cubs. This was the second game of a split squad afternoon for the Rangers. There were more regulars in the lineup here. In fact, the game went 10 innings and Profar and Rios played all 10.
Alexi Ogando was the starter for the Rangers. His first inning was rough, but he escaped. The second was good. The third was moving along fine until Kevin Kouzmanoff made a two out error. Then the wheels fell off.
Mike Olt hit a two run homerun followed by a homer from Javier Vazquez. By the end of the inning, the Cubs had scored five runs. Ogando came out to pitch the fourth, but before he could throw a pitch, Ron Washington and the Rangers training staff came out and took him back to the dugout. Apparently, he wasn’t hurt but had reached his pitch limit so they had to “fake” an injury to get him off the field. Washington said after the game that it was his fault. He had forgotten to tell Ogando not to go out for the fourth inning.
Overall the Ranger bullpen was excellent. Neftali Felix gave up one run, but a slew of other relievers including Neil Cotts, Jason Fraser, and Joakim Soria were perfect. The Rangers eventually won on a bases loaded infield hit from Michael Choice. Choice has had an incredible spring. So has Jim Adduci, who was also a star last night. Wash is going to have to make a tough decision on who to keep up with the big league club.
We met a unique guy last night. His name is Ronnie “Woo Woo” Wickers. Woo Woo is a lifelong Cubs fan who put on a full uniform and was all over the ballpark last night taking pictures and signing autographs. Below is his Wikipedia page. I couldn’t pass up the chance to get a picture with him.
It was nice to finally see the Rangers score some runs. We had seen 17 scoreless innings up until last night’s game. But most of the production is coming from guys who may or may not make the big league squad. And, as Ogando continues to struggle, the starting pitcher rotation is still up in the air. Then throw on top of that, currently Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus, Matt Harrison, Sin-Soo Choo, Mitch Moreland, and Derek Holland are all dealing with injuries. It has been a tough spring for the Rangers.
No baseball today. We are heading to the Phoenician to play some golf.
Not a great picture, but those are the Maddux brothers, Mike and Greg.