THE NEWBERG REPORT — May 21, 2008

Imagine if the Rangers faced Adam Eaton or John Wasdin tonight and got pounded with this:

IP     H    R    ER    BB    SO
9.0    6    1     1      1       5

That’s how it must feel to be a Twins fan right now, watching Sidney Ponson take game-ending congratulations on the mound rather than in the dugout.

Eighteen groundouts (that’s got to be close to a franchise record, huh, Rich Rice?) and three flyouts.  A complete game in just 110 pitches, 65 percent of which were strikes.

The decision not to trade Gerald Laird over the winter is looking very good.  His trade value has to be at an all-time high right now, six months after it was at an all-time low.

Tack on the return of Frisco’s Thomas Diamond (who allowed six runs in 4.2 innings, but had a stretch at one point in which he retired eight straight, and more importantly, was able to take the ball in a game that counted), supported by seven hits and eight RBI by the Max Ramirez-Chris Davis duo, plus a brilliant effort from Clinton’s Blake Beavan (perfect until allowing a single with two outs in the fifth, finishing with a 5-1-0-0-0-3 line and a 7/4 groundout/flyout ratio) against the Beloit Snappers – a Minnesota affiliate – and it’s been a pretty rewarding night to be a Rangers fan.

And a crummy one to be a Twins fan.

===================================

The great Rich Rice has come through: there have been five greater groundout efforts in Rangers history – three by Kenny Rogers (22, 20, 20) and one apiece by Ryan Drese (21) and Kevin Millwood (20).  Drese also had an 18, as did Scott Feldman, a week ago tonight. 

The only pitchers in baseball who have out-groundouted Feldman and Ponson this season are Chien-Ming Wang (20, three days ago) and Brandon Webb and Daniel Cabrera, each of whom induced 19 on May 8.

You can read more from Jamey Newberg at www.NewbergReport.com.

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