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Saturday a.m. things

When we talked about the DVD guys the previous couple of years, I think something like yesterday's game was what we were imagining.

Outstanding outing for Edinson Volquez yesterday. Yeah, it is September, yeah, it was against a weak Oakland lineup, but still...that's the sort of thing that makes you sad the season is coming to an end soon...

The Rangers are now just 8 games under .500, and 2 back of Oakland for third place in the A.L. West.

Evan Grant says Volquez showed how far he's come by adjusting to his command issues early and relying more on his off speed pitches when he was struggling with his fastball.

Grant also touches on the decision by Ron Washington to lift Cat in the 8th inning for Sideshow Sammy, even though Cat was just a double shy of having a cycle:

The biggest surprise of the night was that after Frank Catalanotto recorded three legs of a cycle in his first four at-bats, he was lifted for a pinch-hitter to start the eighth with the Rangers still leading by three runs.

The A's had lefty Dallas Braden on the mound, and Catalanotto usually does not hit vs. lefties. Washington went to Sammy Sosa, and the A's countered with right-hander Andrew Brown. Sosa grounded to short.

Washington said he gave no thought to Catalanotto's pursuit of the cycle, which would have been the fourth in Rangers history.

"I had one thing on my mind - winning the game," Washington said.

Said Catalanotto: "I was very surprised. I was swinging the bat well. You don't get many opportunities to go for a cycle in your career, and I was excited about the chance. The important thing is we won the game, but I definitely would have liked to get the opportunity."

The thing that gets me is, you've got a 3 run lead in a meaningless September game. Washington had to know that, by sending a right handed hitter up, the A's would counter by bringing in a righthander. And Sideshow Sammy is about as effective against righthanders as Cat is against lefties, so you still end up with the same net result.

So why not leave Cat out there to hit? Not a huge deal, but still disappointing...

On a more positive note, Brandon McCarthy is returning to the rotation on Tuesday. He's going to be limited to 45 pitches, but the team figures that rather than have him pitch a simulated game, he might as well pitch in an actual game.

There's also some notes about the team wanting Chris Davis to continue to play third base. Coincidentally, Kevin Goldstein talked about Chris Davis's play at third base in a chat session yesterday, and says three scouts he's talked to all say there's no way David stays at third base.

I haven't seen him there, so I can't really say...but it occurs to me that, even if the Rangers are planning on moving him back to first base, they may feel that spending a couple of seasons at third base may help him improve his fielding, so that even if he does move back to first base, he should end up being a better fielder than he would be otherwise.

Dave Sessions' game story focuses on the Cat's second half resurgence. He's now hitting .277/.357/.482 on the season.

And Trey Hillman has decided to leave Japan after this season, and return to the States permanently.