Ivan Rodriguez proved he's still got game on Wednesday night, despite Texas blowing another lead in a 5-4 loss to the Minnesota Twins at the Ranger's Ballpark in Arlington. Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and also scored a run.
Welcome Home Pudge was the main theme. By that I mean, like most long time Rangers fans (myself included), we all see Rodriguez return no differently than your son or daughter coming home after being gone overseas for years. Most of us watched this young man grow up right before our very eyes and we have missed him as a Ranger.
"It was nice," said Rodriguez, "The ovation from the fans, I appreciated that a lot. At the same time, it was a tough game. We got the lead early, and they were able to come back. Other that it, it was good, it was nice. I just wish we could have won the game."
Rodriguez did his part, I would say he did more than his part, and he had plenty of support. Sure the players were there, but I’m talking about the crowd of 33,479 on Wednesday, with several wearing old Rodriguez jerseys and carrying signs. That's more than 12,000 more fans than they had on Tuesday night, and a lot of that can be attributed to the arrival of Rodriguez.
Rodriguez received several standing ovations. Batting eighth, he singled to center in his first at-bat in the third inning and scored the game's first run. He followed with a double to right-center in the fourth, scoring Ian Kinsler. He added a single to right in the sixth.
Now off my soap box for Pudge and onto my soap box about the team and the last three games. I was at the game on Monday night in person and I can tell you this team looks tired. On Monday night when they brought in Neftali Feliz he had no energy. He still made it thru but just barely! Kevin Millwood ran out of gas last night. The position players have been grinding for a while in critical games and that may be taking a toll.
The Rangers have a day off on Monday, but have to find a way to man up and push through this weekend before they get there. Guess we will find out what kind of manager Ron Washington really is, as it will take some imagination and leadership to get them thru this.