Remember when the Rangers made the World Series? It wasn't that long ago. Suddenly everyone in Austin cared about baseball. No matter where you went in October, the Rangers were being discussed.
People were wearing Rangers gear. After each round of the playoffs, the different shirts popped up. Those weird and random shirts with the antlers and the hand were all over the place.
Now...not so much.
Where did all the Rangers fans go? We are one month into the 2011 season and the Rangers continue to win, yet all the shirts and caps are gone.
Come on! Don't do this again. Don't wait until the playoffs again when you actually start caring.
It is ridiculous to see more Yankees, Red Sox and Cubs gear being worn around campus than that of the Rangers or Astros.
I guess there is a reason that the Astros logo is harder to find than Osama Bin Laden, but that is because the team is terrible. Only a brave few, including myself, are able to walk out in the sunlight wearing an Astros shirts. That's a little more understandable.
But the dust needs to come off the Rangers clothes. Or else once again, people are going to continue to have legitimate reasons to not be too keen about Dallas fans.
Moynihan ended his high school career with 88 stolen bases, which was second all-time in San Diego County, so his speed will be a welcome addition to a Texas team that doesn’t try to steal too many bases. The outfield is crowded this year, and it will be next year as well. Mark Payton (freshman) has solidified himself as the right fielder, Cohl Walla will be next year’s starting center fielder (if he stays in school, as he’s a draft-eligible sophomore), and Jonathan Walsh (sophomore) also sees a lot of time in left.
That’s potentially three returning starters. Also returning next year will be Tim Maitland, the resident pinch-runner/defensive outfielder, and Dex Kjerstad, a highly recruited outfielder out of high school who hasn’t seen much action this year. The Longhorns have also signed Austin Westlake’s Collin Shaw, who projects to be an outfielder in college.
The Longhorns still come away with the series win, but can’t be happy about the egg they laid today. Only one player registered multiple hits (Tant Shepherd), and six starters went hitless. Texas had a chance in the sixth inning, with the bases loaded, but Jonathan Walsh swung and missed at what would have been a ball four that was neck-high to end the inning.
Stafford Gets a Quick Hook
Sam Stafford got his second straight loss of the season after starting out 5-0. When he’s hitting the strike zone and in his groove, the junior southpaw may be the second-best pitcher the Longhorns have, but when he’s throwing like he did Sunday, Texas is in trouble. Stafford allowed Oklahoma to get their leadoff batter on in the first three innings, and never looked completely comfortable. He lasted just 3.2 innings, with one earned run.
Stafford, without a doubt, has the shortest leash of any other pitcher on the team. Pitching coach Skip Johnson had freshman Nathan Thornhill warming up in the bullpen in the first inning. That can’t help a pitcher’s confidence.
“Seeing guys warm up in the bullpen, it’s something that you can’t focus or dwell on, so I need to prevent that by throwing strikes,” Stafford said. “When I’m in a rough patch, they tend to have a short leash. You can’t get inside the coaches’ minds.”
Head coach Augie Garrido called Stafford’s start “okay.”
Walla Back In Action
He’s still too injured to play center field, but it was an encouraging sign to see Cohl Walla in action as the DH today. Since fouling a pitch off his knee March 29, Walla hasn’t done anything but pinch-hit. Paul Montalbano has filled in well for him, so well in fact that Garrido has hinted that he’s earned the right to be the starter once Walla is back to full form, but there’s no denying the fact that these Longhorns are better when they have a bat like Walla’s in the lineup. He was 1-for-4 today with a ninth-inning RBI-single.
Weiss’ Streak Ends
Freshman third baseman Erich Weiss failed to record a base hit Sunday afternoon, which means that his hitting streak is done after 15 games. Weiss was four away from the Texas freshman record, and 10 away from the school record of 25, which was set by fellow third baseman Michael Torres a few years ago.
Don’t look now, but the Longhorns are suddenly showing flashes of power. Brandon Loy went deep Friday (over the 375-foot sign in left-center), Weiss took one out over right-center on Saturday, and Shepherd hit one that landed right where Loy’s did. On the year, Shepherd and Weiss are tied for the team lead with three apiece.
But none of the three were more impressive than Oklahoma’s Max White, who got such a good handle on a Hoby Milner fastball that it was a short bounce away from hitting a moving car in the parking lot.
Big 12 Conference Race
Had they won Sunday, the Longhorns would be in first place in the Big 12 standings. But they didn’t, and that means they’re tied with Texas A&M, who lost two of three from Missouri in Columbia.
As sports editor at The Daily Texan for the spring 2011 semester, I've waited a long time for our new website, which officialy launched this past weekend, April 30. Not only is it a great outlet to showcase the work of our fantastic writers here in the sports department but it's also a better representation of all the hard work they put into publishing a great print production each and every day.
On this blog you'll find reaction to games and breaking news, as well as the inside scoop on everything from recruiting to depth chart moves, as well as the some random sports-related musings from myself and the other senior staffers here in the basement of the Texan.
So stay tuned, we've got a lot of great stuff in store for our readers, for the rest of this semester as well as going forward.