Just an awesome win.
C.J. Wilson (pitching off the same mound he made his big league debut on five years and five days ago) wasn't particularly sharp but minimized the potential damage, and kept his team in the game against baseball's hottest, if not best, pitcher.
Making his big league debut, Alexi Ogando could have been sharper as well, but there's plenty to love about his future, even if he is a couple months older than Hanley Ramirez.
But Matt Treanor, the Rangers' answer down to the club's final out against a right-handed closer because there's not a Conor Jackson or Mike Lowell or even a Brandon Boggs on the bench, stepped in against the team he had 723 of his 736 career at-bats for coming into 2010, two of which had produced triples, and crushed a two-run three-bagger on the first pitch he saw, a 94-mph fastball that he shot to deep, deep left center.
It was a great moment for Treanor, and for Neftali Feliz, who minutes later worked a quiet shutdown ninth after struggling mightily in his last effort, but we shouldn't overlook the great moment Julio Borbon had, also up with the club down to its final out, just prior to the Treanor shot. With two outs, the tying run on third, a virtual refusal to work a walk all season, Marlins closer Leo Nunez having thrown five strikes out of seven pitches - and having not issued a walk in his last 18 appearances, and the pressure of having the pitcher's spot and the thinnest of options off the bench behind him, the odds of Borbon slowing the game down and making Nunez throw strikes in that situation didn't even register.
But he drew his fourth walk of 2010, on five pitches, and made things happen with his feet, scoring easily behind Josh Hamilton on Treanor's shot one pitch later, rewarding Wilson with a no-decision and Ogando with a victory.
Sure would be great if some sort of switch has been flipped and Borbon starts to rack up a few walks, since to date he's been working free passes at about one-fifth the rate he did as a rookie last year.
Meanwhile, the Angels lost tonight, 7-1.
November 24, 2011, the six-year anniversary of the Marlins' trade that sent Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell, and Guillermo Mota to Boston for Ramirez, Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado, and Harvey Garcia . . . instead of Beckett and Lowell (and maybe Mota) to Texas for Hank Blalock and John Danks (and maybe Joaquin Arias): Texas sends Martin Perez, Robbie Erlin, Luke Jackson, and Luis Sardinas to Florida for Josh Johnson and reliever Clay Hensley.
(Actually, no chance. Marlins VP Andy Silverman will threaten to jump off the roof of the new Miami Marlins Stadium if the club trades Johnson just as the team is about to open the new ballpark in 2012.)
(But I can dream.)
Johnson got 21 outs tonight, 20 of which were on strikes or on the ground. He's an extraordinary pitcher, and the Oklahoma native won't retire as a Marlin.
But he got a no-decision tonight, too. If something special happens this season, we'll remember this one.
OK, a few follow-up points about Newberg Report Night (July 25), based on your questions:
See this morning's email (or click here) for full details.
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(c) Jamey Newberg