Jun 292012
 
feldman

Feldman Good Enough as Rangers Bats Stay Hot in 7 6 Win Over OaklandSeriously, how often does a starting pitcher’s ERA begin at 6.00, actually increase by 0.13 over the course of the game, and he earns the win? Probably not too often.

Scott Feldman, much like Roy Oswalt two nights ago, lived dangerously but still escaped with the victory as the Rangers held off the A’s 7-6.

Feldman’s main issue was the long ball—as he surrendered three over his five innings of work. Oswalt basically threw BP against Detroit, coughing up 13 hits over his six innings the night before last.

But hey, both Scooter and the Whiz have now won their last two starts. Hey, for Roy Oswalt this is still spring training. For Feldman, it’s always spring training.

Regardless, it’s good to be on the right side of Texas’ potent offense—especially when you don’t have your best stuff. Just make it through five or six, and let the sticks get your back.

Cliff Lee might be 10-0 right now—rather than winless—had he decided to stay in Arlington. I’m sure he’ll cry himself to sleep on a pillow stuffed with money.

Notes from last night:

• Adrian Beltre remains en fuego. You’re know you’re going well when you go 0-for-3, but still manage to drive in two runs.

• David Murphy continues to tear it up. Murphy went 2-for-3 with 2 RBI last night, and combined with his 4-for-5, 5 RBI night prior, he’s now raised his batting average 20 points. Murphy is not one of the flashiest players on the team, but he has a real knack for turning up his game at the most opportune times.

• Just when the criticism surrounding the Rangers’ leadoff hitter seems to reach a crescendo, Ian Kinsler catches fire. The Rangers’ second baseman is now batting .571 with 6 runs scored over his last three games. Kinsler leads the major leagues in runs scored, and his double last night pushes him into the American League lead, with 25.

• Texas Rangers super-utility man, Michael Young, may have turned the corner on a disappointing start to the season. After going 2-for-4 last night, Young is batting .370 during his current six-game hitting streak.

• Josh Hamilton went 2-for-3 last night with 2 RBI. Perhaps the most impressive thing about Hamilton’s showing last night was his ability to grind-out two walks.

Prior to last night, he’d walked just three times in ten games. Seems he’s seeing the ball better now, and if that’s the case, the Oakland Athletics—as well as the American League as a whole—might be in trouble.

Up Next:

Lefty Matt Harrison (10-3, 3.24) will oppose Oakland’s right-hander A.J. Griffin (0-0, 3.00 ERA). The first pitch scheduled for 7:05 (CT).

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Jun 282012
 
Scott Feldman, Texas Rangers

Rangers/Athletics Feldman vs. Ross, a Game 1 PreviewSo far so good for the Texas Rangers during their current 10-game home stand. After last night’s 13-9 series-clinching win over Detroit, Texas has won four of six in Arlington and now welcome the Oakland Athletics for a four game set.

The A’s are 10 games behind Texas in the A.L. West, but are 4-2 against the Rangers thus far this season.

Tonight, it will be up to Scott Feldman to keep the Oakland bats at bay. In Feldman’s last start against the Athletics, it didn’t go so well. He surrendered eight earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings pitched.

A look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Oakland Athletics (37-39)

CF Coco Crisp
2B Jemile Weeks
RF Josh Red-Dick
DH Yoenis Cespedes
LF Seth Smith
3B Brandon Inge
1B Brandon Moss
C Derrick Norris
SS Cliff Pennington

VS

RHP Scott Feldman (1-6, 6.00 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 6.9 K/9)

After the aforementioned eight run meltdown in Oakland, it shouldn’t be surprising that the A’s are hitting .308 against Scooter.

Kurt Suzuki (.294, 4 RBI) and Brandon Inge (.363, 3 RBI) hit Feldman particularly well. However, Feldman—surprisingly enough—is a much better pitcher at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. At home, his ERA is 3.66 as opposed to a ghastly 8.06 on the road.

This season, right-handed batters have gone: .291/.313/.430 with 3 HRs off of him, whereas the southpaws have hit him to the tune of: .263/.336/.389, with 2 HRs.

During his last start, in San Diego, Feldman pitched his best game thus far in 2012. He picked up his first win of the year going six innings with five strikeouts and no walks, as the Rangers won 7-3.

Texas Rangers (47-29)

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
DH Nelson Cruz
RF David Murphy
C Yorvit Torrealba
CF Leonys Martin

VS

RHP Tyson Ross (2-7, 6.02 ERA, 1.71 WHIP, 4/9 K/9)

This will be Ross’ first time to face Texas this season. Over his last five starts, he’s lost four with a no-decision sprinkled in for good measure.

The former 2008 second-rounder, Ross tends to get lit-up against lefties: .352/.456/.528, with 4 HRs. Against right-handers, he’s had much more success: .257/.319/.390 with 2 long balls allowed.

Much like Feldman, Ross is better in his own home (4.82 ERA as opposed to a nasty 7.12 ERA on the road.) Unlike Scooter, Ross is not pitching at home tonight—here’s hoping that bodes well for the Rangers.

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Jun 282012
 
hammeringhami

Rangers win wild one over Detroit 13 9, take sixth straight series

There’s a dude that needs some snuff.

The fireworks arrived a week early in Arlington…and blew up right in the Tigers’ faces. David Murphy did his best M-80 impersonation, going 4-for-5 with 5 RBI.

22 runs were scored. 33 base hits were recorded, producing 20 RBI. 338 total pitches were tossed, some better than others. In the end the only number that really mattered was six, as in the sixth-straight series the Rangers have secured after taking two-of-three from Detroit.

It’s refreshing to know that when the Texas Rangers lock horns in a softball-style slugfest, they’ve got enough juice to squeeze out a win.

Oswalt was good to great through his first 4 2/3 innings, and then the Tigers started to square him up…but hey, he battled and had plenty of offensive support to get him his second win as many tries.

Some thoughts from last night’s 13-9 win:

The World would flip right off of its axis if…

• Miguel Cabrera was a second baseman. With he and Fielder on the right-side of the infield, Earth would be bumping uglies with Mars in a matter of minutes.
• 515—the tubby twosome’s combined weight as listed in baseball-reference.com. Yeah, right…listing Jose Altuve at six-feet tall would be less of an embellishment.

Will someone please get Josh Hamilton some lip candy stat?!

• Nicotine is a powerful drug, Josh. Withdrawal negatively affects everybody. You get nervous, irritable and lose concentration.

I’ve been there. I went through all of the side effects. But you know something? When I got nervous or irritable, I also wasn’t swinging a three-pound wooden ham hock 100 MPH in front of hundreds of smiling, unprotected faces, either.

Dude, put a fatty in your lip, stat. You’re hitting .171 with 17 Ks and 3 BBs in your last 10 games. And you’ve also thrown 15 bats into the stands.

Look, we’re not asking you to keep dipping forever! But please, dude, say nope to the cope in the off-season for crying out loud.

And for the love of all things holy, get some better pine tar!

David Murphy gives Doug the Fister

• Once again, Murphy gave Doug a brutal Fistering. 4-for-5, 2 jimmy jacks, a couple of singles, 5 RBI. Take away his production and the Rangers might have just lost this one 9-8.
• Murphy now has 9 RBI and 4 HRs against Fister during his career.

Roy Oswalt, very hittable veteran presence

• For Roy Oswalt, this is still pretty much spring training. And bottom line, he’s 2-0.
But lurking just below bottom line, in the really fine print, are the 22 hits Oswalt’s surrendered over his 12 innings of work…22!.

If Yu Darvish surrendered hits at that rate, his ERA would be a sideways eight. Oswalt is a quick worker, and a strike thrower. He knows what he’s doing, but maybe, just maybe, he should work a little less around the plate.

But hey, he’s 2-0…

Yo, Adrian! What did that ball do to you?

• Beltre is straight up killing it—3-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI last night. Over his last 10 games, he’s batting .500 with 3 HRs and 8 RBI…and if Hamilton can just get hot again, Beltre’s good wood might reach nuclear level…

It’s good to be home

• The Rangers are now 18 games above .500, and are 24-14 at home. And we are now just two days removed from the Baseball Do Field Trip! Have you purchased your ticket yet? Don’t make Scott, Jasen and I eat all of the burgers and drink all of the beer… Because we will.

Leonys Martin, designated driver?

• Leonys Martin is making the most of his opportunity in the bigs. In his six games since being called up from Round Rock, Martin is batting .316 with 5 RBI. He had another big night last night as he drove in 2.
• Leonys has a sobering effect on all parties involved—why? Easy—just mix in some Martin, and you suddenly forget all about the Borbon. Ain’t that right, Julio?

Up Next:

The Oakland A’s roll into town for a four-game set…It’ll be: Scott Feldman (1-6, 6.00 ERA) vs. Tyson Ross (2-7, 6.02 ERA) tomorrow night at 7:05 (CT).

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Jun 262012
 
YuJosh

Yu Darvish Dazzles as Hamilton and Kinsler Go Deep in 7 5 Win over Detroit

Hami is saying no to snuff, but continues to say yes to galactic moon-shots.

Yu Darvish picked up his tenth win of the year in typical Darvish fashion: he was frustratingly erratic early, then settled down enough for a solid start.

The victory puts Darvish in a tie with Matt Harrison for the most on the team. The game wasn’t as crisp as we’d like it to be, but hey, it’s a win. The Tigers are a tough team (just ask Grimm), and with the Angels winning last night as well, it keeps Texas ahead 4 1/2 games in the AL West.

Kinsler got the show started in the bottom of the first with a leadoff home run. Kinsler’s blast cut the Tigers lead in half, and was his first since June 8 in San Francisco. It marked the third time he’s hit a leadoff jack this season, and the 23rd of his career.

Even though the Rangers were trailing through the first three innings—and Darvish was a little wild—I never panicked or thought that Texas was in a poor position to win. The Yu is always—it seems—standing on shaky ground early on, but once he gets in a groove, he becomes nearly unhittable.

Darvish dealt back-to-back 1-2-3 innings twice last night—in the second and third innings, as well as the sixth and seventh innings. Take away the first and fifth and the dude might have thrown a no-hitter.

Thoughts from last night’s 7-5 win:

Cabrera’s Cabeza

• Tiger’s third baseman, Miguel Cabrera, came into last night with a sizzling .379 batting average at Rangers Ballpark. In his first at bat of the game, Darvish accidentally plunked him on the head with a 92 MPH fastball. Cabrera was 0-3 on the game…Evidently a heater to the noggin is Miggy’s Achilles’ Heel.

Darvish, the whirling dervish

• The term “effectively wild” is overused, but has their ever been a better embodiment of that phrase than Yu Darvish? Maybe not. He was all over the zone—especially in the first inning—but he only hit one batter (Cabrera) and walked just one as well (Austin Jackson.) From pitch-to-pitch you just never know where Darvish will put it, and that system worked well for him last night, as he surrendered just four hits and racked up 10 strikeouts.

Tough luck for the Napster

• Mike Napoli, who got the start at first base, was the only Ranger starter that didn’t record a hit. He barely missed a home run in the eighth inning though, and seems to be squaring up on the ball much better of late. Napoli might be close to getting locked in at the dish.

Josh Hamilton

• Much has been made about the slugging center fielder’s June swoon. After connecting last night for his 24th home run, Hamilton now has homers in back-to-back games for the first time since May. As we all know, Hamilton is talented enough to go from looking lost to suddenly putting on a Ruthian display. Don’t be surprised if Hami heats up enough to reclaim the major league lead in homers by next month’s All-Star Break.

The Tigers and Texas

• Remember when Detroit’s Comerica Park was a house of horrors for the Rangers? That all changed this past April when the Rangers rolled into Motown and took three of four games. Now, the Rangers are in a position to take their sixth-straight series if they can beat Detroit tomorrow night. The series is tied up one game apiece, yet the Rangers have actually been outscored 13-9. Over their first six meetings this year, the Rangers have outscored the Tigers 34-25.

Feeling Young again

• It’s no secret that “super utility man” Michael Young has struggled at the plate this year. Last night he rifled an RBI triple into the left-field gap that ignited the Rangers’ four-run fourth inning. Young wound up 2-for-4 on the night…He might be close to putting together a very MY-like hot streak.

Up Next:

The Rangers’ Roy Oswalt (1-0, 1.50 ERA) will make his second start of 2012 as he faces Detroit’s Doug Fister (1-4, 2.72 ERA), with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 (CT).

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Jun 262012
 
Yu Darvish 6

Rangers/Tigers Game 2 Preview—featuring The YuAnytime The Yu takes the bump, the buzz around Ranger Nation is amplified accordingly.

Darvish plus a slew of Rangers-related events has made today that much crazier.

First, there was the news that top-ranked prospect, Martin Perez, was promoted to the big leagues and placed in the bullpen.

After morning turned to afternoon, there was more and more speculation as to which roster spot would be vacated to make room for Perez.

Then, just a few hours ago—right about when the thermostat began to cry its triple-digit tears—news broke that Colby Lewis would be placed on the 15-day disabled list due to tendonitis in his right forearm.

Yikes.

Can’t do anything about the injuries—aside from hope that no additional ones transpire. Now it’s time to look to The Yu for not just a win, but for a pleasant distraction from all the injury woes.

Darvish has yet to lose at home this season. Detroit’s Drew Smyly has yet to drop a game on the road. Someone’s going to lose tonight…here’s hoping it’s the men from Motor City.

Tonight’s Lineups:

Detroit Tigers 36-37

Rangers/Tigers Game 2 Preview—featuring The Yu

Cabrera was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI last night.


CF Austin Jackson
LF Quentin Berry
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
DH Delmon Young*
RF Brennan Boesch
SS Jhonny Peralta
C Alexi Avila
2B Ramon Santiago

*Young, along with Don Kelly who is not starting tonight, are the only two Tigers to get a hit off of Darvish during his last start against Detroit at Comerica Park.

VS

RHP Yu Darvish (9-4, 3.45 ERA, 1.43 WHIP, 9.7 K/9)

Darvish has been terrific in his last two starts, as he went eight innings in each, posting a combined ERA of 2.25, with 19 Ks and 5 BBs.

In Arlington this season, Darvish has been unbeatable, as he has gone 6-0 with a 3.15 ERA. Plus, Detroit is batting just .095 against him.

The Yu is extremely tough on right-handed hitters: .202/.329/.355. However, 5 of his 7 home runs allowed thus far have come from the right side of the box off of him.

Southpaws swing it to the tune of: .252/.343/.352 off of the Osaka, Japan native.

Darvish earned the win on April 22 in Detroit as he fanned five over his 6 1/3 innings of work. He surrendered just two hits, while walking five in the Rangers’ 10-2 win.

A win tonight and Darvish would be tied for the team lead with Matt Harrison, at 10.

Texas Rangers (45-29)

Rangers/Tigers Game 2 Preview—featuring The Yu

Beltre was 3-for-5 last night, raising his BA to .328.


2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton (3-for-3 with a HR vs. Smyly)
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Michael Young
LF Nelson Cruz
1B Mike Napoli
C Yorvit Torrealba
RF Brandon Snyder

VS

LHP Drew Smyly (2-2, 3.96 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 8.2 K/9)

23-year-old Drew Smyly was a second round selection by the Detroit Tigers out of the University of Arkansas during the 2010 MLB Draft.

Smyly received a tough luck no-decision in his previous start against the Rangers on April 22 in Detroit. He went six innings, allowing just one run (earned) while striking out seven, walking two and limiting Texas to just five hits.

His lefty/righty splits are quite similar, as southpaws bat: .269/.301/.487 whereas righties go: .255/.319/.455.

The Texas Ranges are batting .227 (5-for-22) against Smyly thus far in his career, with slugger Josh Hamilton accounting for three of the five hits.

Go Rangers!

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Jun 262012
 
Yashi

Mystery Behind Perez Promotion Unveiled as Colby Lewis Placed on DLAnd just like that, 60% of the Texas Rangers’ starting rotation is now on the disabled list. Per Fort Worth Star-Telegrams’s Jeff Wilson, Colby Lewis will join Derek Holland and Neftali Feilz on the DL, with right forearm tendonitis.

This is especially alarming since left-hander Matt Harrison was lifted early from his last start as a precautionary measure because the 10-game winner was suffering from lower back stiffness. It doesn’t appear that Harrison’s back will require him to miss a start.

Earlier this morning word had surfaced that top-ranked pitching prospect, Martin Perez, had been called-up and told to report to the Texas Rangers for tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Until news of the Colby Lewis injury surfaced, the Perez promotion was seen as mysterious, since it was unknown who the Rangers would move to make room for the 21-year-old left-hander.

Scott Feldman will get his wish and return to the Rangers rotation for a spot start this Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.

There has been no new timetable set for the return of the Rangers’ first DL casualty, Neftali Feliz, but Derek Holland has thrown a side-session and is presumably on track for a return to the Rangers rotation shortly after next month’s All-Star Break.

Currently, the Texas Rangers’ rotation consists of Yu Darvish (who will pitch tonight), Roy Oswalt (scheduled for tomorrow night), Scott Feldman, and Matt Harrison (barring any back issues). Justin Grimm was scheduled to start this Saturday, but Martin Perez could the get the nod instead. As of now, that decision is up in the air.

Left-hander Michael Kirkman—who went five innings in relief last night—is also a possible candidate for a spot-start this weekend.

This is the first time that Colby Lewis has required time on the DL in his two-plus big league seasons since returning from Japan.

It is unknown whether the injury stems from Lewis’ start last Saturday, where he took the loss after surrendering seven earned runs on 12 hits over four innings of work. That start was his shortest of the season.

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Jun 262012
 
Martin Perez

Top Ranked Prospect, Martin Perez, called up to Texas today

Fellow 23-year-olds, Grimm (left) and Ross, will be joined by 21-year-old Martin Perez tonight.

Late last night—or early this morning, depends on your perspective—the Texas Rangers’ number one pitching prospect was called up.

He will join the Rangers’ bullpen for tonight’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Perez, a 6’ 180-pound lefthander from Venezuela, has long been one of the top prizes of a Rangers’ organization that has an embarrassment of riches.

His status had slipped slightly in recent farm system due to the rapid rise of Double-A Frisco’s Jurickson Profar, a shortstop often compared to current Ranger Elvis Andrus.

In Perez’s two seasons at Triple-A Round Rock, he had struggled at times, going 9-9 with a 5.26 ERA.

However, Perez had been stellar in his last two Triple-A starts. He’s won both starts while allowing just two runs on four hits over his 16 innings of work.

It looks as though Perez might just be a temporary move used to beef up the bullpen since both Mark Lowe (3 IP last night) and Michael Kirkman (5 IP) were burned up after Justin Grimm was pulled after just one-plus innings of work in last night’s 8-2 loss to Detroit.

Martin Perez is Baseball America’s number 31 prospect prior to the 2012 season. Originally scheduled to start tonight for Round Rock, Perez, like Kirkman, can provide depth to both the bullpen as well as the starting rotation, should a spot-start be needed in the future.

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Jun 252012
 

Justin Grimm vs. Rick Porcello, a Rangers/Tigers Game 1 Preview

The Rangers are now finished with their summer fling—aka the N.L. West.

Much like that wonderful summer camp fling, interleague play has come to a close.

Yes, the National League—as well as that young lady that believed you were “All-State in two different states”—will be greatly missed.

The Texas Rangers went 14-4 against the National League this year—a success rate (77%) that wouldn’t be believed even during beer-fueled boasts around the campfire.

Granted, the N.L.—especially the N.L. West—didn’t present the toughest of challenges, but hey, for every girl that gives you the cold shoulder, there’s always that naïve new girl—usually from Beaumont—that buys your BS.

So let’s not denigrate the Rangers’ accomplishments against inferior foes. Hey, they’ve won 12 of 15 as well as 8 of their last 10—so who cares if the contestants speak with a stammer or make their own clothes?

You’ve still got to win, baby.

Tonight the Rangers will have to raise their game—having a car isn’t enough to make the ladies swoon anymore, and plating four runs won’t do it against the A.L.—with the Detroit Tigers landing in Arlington for a three-game series.

Regardless of their standings (third in the A.L. Central), the Tigers represent the toughest lineup the Rangers have faced in quite some time. It will be fun to see if the team with the best record in the bigs—the Rangers!—can continue their dominance against non-N.L. foes.

Tonight’s Lineup:

Detroit Tigers (35-37)

Justin Grimm vs. Rick Porcello, a Rangers/Tigers Game 1 Preview

Miggy mashes Texas: .379/.415/.568 with 8 HRs.


CF Austin Jackson
LF Quintin Berry
3B Miguel Cabrera
1B Prince Fielder
DH Delmon Young
RF Brennan Boesch
SS Jhonny Peralta
2B Ramon Santiago
C Gerald Laird

VS

RHP Justin Grimm (1-0, 4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 10.5 K/9)

Grimm made his major league debut in his last start, and pitched well despite getting into trouble almost immediately, surrendering a first inning home run to Houston’s shortstop, Jed Lawrie.

Grimm ducked and dodged danger effectively, allowing three runs on six hits with zero walks and seven strikeouts over his six innings of work.

A very solid debut, no doubt.

Tonight he’ll have his work cutout for him as he looks to subdue a Tigers offense that is MUCH stronger than the Houston Astros’. Detroit has the seventh-best offense in MLB: .262/.327/.408.

Grimm—in the ultimate example of a small sample, one game—dominated right-handed batters: .167/.167/.333. On the flip-side, southpaws mauled him: .364/.364/..727 with one home run (Lawrie).

This will be the first time Grimm will face an American League team during his brief big league career.

Texas Rangers (45-28)

Justin Grimm vs. Rick Porcello, a Rangers/Tigers Game 1 Preview

Murphy has been stellar against Detroit: .310/.347/.483 with 3 HRs over his career.


2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Michael Young
RF Nelson Cruz
DH David Murphy
C Mike Napoli
CF Leonys Martin

VS

RHP Rick Porcello (4-5, 4.95 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 5.9 K/9)

Porcello has had a rough go of it since finishing third in the Rookie of the Year Award voting in 2009. Since that promising rookie campaign that saw Porcello go 14-9 with a 3.96 ERA, he’s gone 24-21 with a 4.83 ERA (excluding his 2012 numbers).

It’s safe to say that the opposition has figured him out.

And if any team has mastered Porcello, it is the Texas Rangers. On April 21, of this year, the Rangers absolutely crushed the 6’5” right-hander.

How bad was it?

Well, let’s just say he wasn’t just manhandled, he was “Feld-manhandled
Porcello lasted one inning, surrendering nine runs (eight earned) while allowing 10 hits and one home run. He did, somehow, manage one strikeout with one free pass sprinkled in for good measure.

The Texas Rangers own a .377 batting average against Porcello. In terms of splits this year, Porcello has been remarkably mediocre whether it be at home (2-3, 4.70 ERA), on the road (2-2, 5.29 ERA); against left-handed batters (.330/.375/.511, 5 HRs) or right-handed batters (.308/.349/.442, 3 HRs).

David Murphy (.800, 2 RBI), Ian Kinsler (.667, 5 RBI) and Michael Young (.500, 6 RBI) will be particularly pleased to see Porcello this evening.

Prediction time:

I think the Rangers will pound on Porcello once again. As is usually the case with my predictions, I could be as wrong as skinny pants and hipsters, so I offer no guarantees on my often misguided attempts at clairvoyance.

Regardless:

Rangers roll 9-3 as Grimm picks up his second win in as many chances and Josh Hamilton goes yard for the first time since June 8, and not one damn summer camp ex-girlfriend follows me back on Twitter.

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Jun 252012
 

<b><i>Dirty Byrd:</b></i> Former Ranger, Marlon Byrd, Busted for PED useAccording to this crazy thing known as the world wide web, former Texas Ranger, Marlon Byrd, has been suspended by Major League Baseball for 50 games, due to a failed drug test.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Jeff Wilson
Made the news known via Twitter:

Byrd, a fan favorite during his three seasons in Texas, had the finest season of his 11-year career in 2009, while with the Rangers. He hit .283 with 20 home runs and 89 RBI that year, and signed as a free agent with the Chicago Cubs during the following offseason.

After a terrible start to his 2012 campaign—he was batting .070 through 13 injury-plagued games—Byrd was shipped to Boston for Michael Bowden and Hunter Cervenka.

Less than one month after acquiring him, the Red Sox let Byrd fly free, as they issued his unconditional release. Byrd, currently a free agent, has hit .210 with just one home run and nine RBI combined during this year with the Cubs and Red Sox.

The alleged drug that caused the positive test, Tamoxifen, is generally used for treatment of breast cancer for both men and women. However, it is on MLB’s banned substance list.

According to USA Today’s Gabe Lacques, Byrd had been working with former BALCO president Victor Conte, who has vehemently denied supplying Byrd with anything illegal.

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Jun 242012
 

Rangers Finally Fall; as Rockies win 11 7The Texas Rangers have been playing some damn fine baseball. So good in fact, that I had almost forgotten what a loss felt like. Then, yesterday happened, with the Rangers falling to the Rockies 11-7.

It was a weird game.

Colby Lewis—aka “Colbyashi,” the quiet assassin—basically had his worst start of the season. He surrendered seven earned runs on nine hits, but walked only one batter and gave up zero home runs…in bad Lewis starts, the long ball is usually his calling card for mediocrity.

Not last night though, as Lewis was really pretty decent. He struck out six over his four innings, and was well, just plain hittable.

Hey, it happens.

Here are some thoughts from yesterday’s affair in Arlington:

• If the game had started in the fifth inning, the Rangers would have won 6-3. Had it commenced in the fourth, it would have been a 7-6 Rangers win…and if the game had started in the sixth inning, well, we might still be playing out the 0-0 tie.

• Nelson Cruz was terrific at the plate yesterday, as he mashed two bombs in obvious Boomstick fashion. He knocked in four, and scored two runs to boot.

This was the first time Cruz had hit multiple home runs in a game since last year’s American League Championship Series, against the Detroit Tigers.

• Adrian Beltre continues to sizzle at the dish—Beltre was 3-for-5 with an RBI and has hit .459 over his last ten games.

• Josh Hamilton. I love the guy, don’t get me wrong. But, damn, is he in a funk. All kidding aside, he puts more bats in the stands than balls recently.

I’m willing to bet that in the upcoming “Josh Hamilton Movie” he’s going to leave out the part about June in 2012…in the month of June, Hami’s hitting just .191.

• Both Mike Napoli and Michael Young have disappointing seasons to date, but each have shown signs of coming out of their respective funks of late.

Young was 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI, and Napoli did the same. Here’s hoping that they’re starting to heat up…

Up Next:

The three game series with the Colorado Rockies concludes this evening with the first pitch scheduled for 7:05 (CT).

For the Rangers, LHP Matt Harrison (9-3, 3.41 ERA) takes on the Rockies’ RHP Alex White (2-5, 6.06 ERA).

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