Sunday, May 25, 2008

Rangers rookie is a learning robot

The Rangers just started 3 consecutive rookies, in Cleveland, against Fausto Carmona, Cliff Lee, and C.C. Sabathia, and the Rangers came away winning 2 out of 3 in the series. That is not nothing. And (!) the Rangers have four pitchers between AAA and AA who are frothing at the bit to start in major league games(Murray, Mendoza[as soon as he is activated off the DL], Tejeda[consecutive outstanding starts], Harrison). That, also, is not nothing - and does not even account for Nippert(who's started 3 times at OKC, with medium results), the scuffling Hurley, and the still injured McCarthy.

The Rangers have a better season record than Cleveland, Detroit, and the Yankees. The Rangers, after having one of the best records in baseball over the last half of 2007, now have the best record in the American League over the last three weeks.


In "The Incredibles", Mr. Incredible is instructioned as to how to go out and fight a robot on the evil guy's island: The robot is a learning robot. The more you fight it, the more it learns about you and adapts. So, disable it quickly.

Rangers rookie pitcher Doug Mathis is like that robot. He's a ways away from being a good major league pitcher. Five of the first eight batters reached against him - several via well struck line drives - yet he dodged fatal bullets. He loaded the bases in the second - with only one out - then danced around and escaped. The important thing is: Mathis was better in the third inning than he was in the second. He was better in the fifth inning than in the third. He's a learning robot. He completed six innings and miraculously gave up only one run.

As he ran off the field after innings, the camera would zoom in on his relieved expression. He looked like a man who was getting away with something: Whew! One more inning down. They haven't figured out yet that I'm not any good!

I think, however, Doug Mathis might become something good. Baseball is all about being a learning robot (as well as all about being 6'4", throwing 91, and controlling 4 pitches).

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