Jon Garland won for just the second time in his career in Arlington, throwing 5.1 innings of 2-run ball. Garland gave up a single to Gary Matthews Jr. leading off the game, but erased him with a double play. He didn't allow another 'hit' until Mark DeRosa led off the 5th with another single. Sure, he allowed a 'triple' to set up the Rangers with an early 1-run lead, but that was largely thanks to Scott Podsednik making a long flyball into an adventure. Garland cruised through the first 5 innings, inducing groundballs and getting double plays. That's the Garland we remember from last season.
With one out in the 6th though, his inability to put anyone away with a strikeout caught up to him. He battled Ian Kinsler for 10 pitches before finally issuing his first walk of the game, followed by a Matthews groundball single right back through the middle. Garland was still pitching well. His 2-strike pitch selection to Michael Young following Matthews, however, left something to be desired. He got ahead in the count 1-2 with a changeup and a couple of 2-seamers. He then looked to ace him on the outside corner with two straight 4-seam fastballs that were called for balls. Then he got away with a changeup high in the zone, and rolled a 3-2 breaking ball up there that Young roped to right field. I understand the two 4-seamers, but with the double play in order, and a full-count on the batter, Garland needs to be going with his 2-seamer to get the GIDP.
Garland was pulled when Jermaine Dye misread Young's flyball. It was the right call by Ozzie, turning Teixeira around so that he is less of a power threat. Cotts struck out Teix, and induced a groundout from Hank Blalock to end the threat and preserve a good, though not 'quality,' start for Garland.
Brandon McCarthy and Bobby Jenks pitched the last 3 innings to conclude a good night for the Sox pen. I don't remember too many games this season where they entered so early, and held the opposition completely at bay.
Brian Anderson was 0-3 with a walk, but it was still a big improvement over most of his games this season. He made decent contact on all three of his outs. He caught them all off the end of the bat a little bit, but he appears to be getting closer to finding the sweet spot of the bat. Earlier this year, he was popping those pitches up to the right side.