Jul 232012
 
ROYCOLBY

UPDATE
Per ESPN’s Richard Durrett, Rangers’ right-hander Colby Lewis has been diagnosed with a torn elbow ligament that will likely require surgery…Lewis has been the Rangers most successful starter during their last two World Series runs.

The severity of the injury coupled with Lewis’ imminent loss for the remainder of the year may make a trade for pitching help likely…

UPDATE: Colby Lewis likely lost for season with Torn Ligament

Worried about Lewis and/or Oswalt? Greinke would more than compensate for either, should they be lost for an extended period of time.

The Texas Rangers’ pitching staff continues to provide an all-you-can-eat buffet for the rabid injury bug.

And the Rangers have begun to plug the holes before the dam explodes.

Rather than Roy Oswalt on the hill tonight, it’s Scott Feldman. Tomorrow night’s starter will be recently re-promoted left-hander Martin Perez.

It appears that Oswalt, who was scratched from tonight’s start due to lower-back stiffness, is being treated day-to-day. However, the fact that Oswalt has dealt with back issues in the not-so-distant past is somewhat alarming.

Colby Lewis, who had just made his first start after being reinstated from the 15-day disabled list, is now back on the dreaded DL. For Lewis, it’s a continued bout with right forearm stiffness. And it’s very clear that that the Texas Rangers aren’t going to take this matter lightly.

Oswalt had really been coming on lately, pitching well over his last two starts after getting banged around by 30-plus hits during his initial three starts. Over his last two games, Oswalt was 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA, while featuring his usual free-pass stinginess.

Lewis was in line to win his most recent start last Wednesday in Oakland. He pitched well, throwing five innings of three-hit ball, but the Athletics scored one run off of each subsequent Rangers reliever, which culminated in a walk-off victory for Oakland, and a no-decision for Lewis.

Although the time might seem ripe to push the panic button with full-force, as long as Roy Oswalt’s back issue is nothing that requires a DL stint, the Rangers are still in fine shape.

Naturally, Scott Feldman isn’t everyone’s first choice to start games, but he has been not horrible over his last three starts.

In that span, he’s 2-0 with a 5.29 ERA, with only two walks and 12 strikeouts. Yeah, I know, that ERA isn’t something that Scooter’s mother would proudly affix to the refrigerator, but it’s better than the six-plus ERA whopper dangling around his neck prior to his first win of the year.

Feldman, oddly enough, is a much better pitcher at home than on the road. He’s 2-3 with a respectable 4.05 ERA at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington in 2012. His road record and ERA (1-3, 7.62) can produce symptoms that closely mirror those of only the most hardcore cases of West Nile Virus.

Dizziness, headaches, nausea. Look at his home numbers again. Now if the symptoms don’t go away, go see a doctor immediately, or stop drinking straight from the beer tap…

21-year-old Venezuelan left-hander, Martin Perez, has looked very solid over his last three appearances, two of which were starts. Over that span, he’s 1-1 with a 2.92 ERA.

So the Rangers have the proper sutures on hand to sew up the recent injury-induced contusions. However, they also have the proper ammunition to amputate the limb entirely, and attache a better arm in its wake.

That was just a confusing way to say that the Texas Rangers have eight more days to make a trade, should they feel the need to do so.

You’ve heard the names. Zach Greinke. Cole Hamels. Possibly even a Matt Garza.

Of course the flip-side of that coin are the names that would have to be in place in order to initiate the speculative trade.

Jurickson Profar. Mike Olt. Perhaps Martin Perez.

Profar is most likely off limits, but should he be dangled as trade bait, the sting of his potential loss could easily be soothed by a World Series Championship…and should Texas bring in one of the aforementioned aces, the end result of the 2012 season could possibly bring forth the organization’s first championship.

Tonight’s Matchup:

RHP Scott Feldman (3-6, 6.25 ERA), versus LHP Felix Doubront (10-4, 4.24 ERA)…

Go Rangers!

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Jul 182012
 
Roy

Coming into last night’s series opener against the Texas Rangers, the Oakland Athletics had been on a roll. Their offense had finally started to support one of the league’s most underrated—and unheard of—pitching staffs.

But then along came Roy Oswalt.

Oswalt’s previous four starts had ranged from decent to terrible. Last night was easily his best start as a Texas Ranger. Oswalt’s dominant effort quieted the A’s offense, with Adrian Beltre and Craig Gentry combining to solve the riddle of the Athletics’ Colon.

Um, Bartolo that is. On a side note, the Athletics should have that checked at least once a year or so. It’s better safe than sorry when you’re talking about something as important as your Colon.

My thoughts from last night’s 6-1

That a boy, Roy

That was a nice start from Mr. Os. 6 1/3 innings of three-hit ball, with six strikeouts and zero walks. A few more starts like that and Neftali Feliz will most certainly end up in the bullpen.

Mike Adams, indigestion inducer

When Adams is on the hill, I tend to pop Rolaids like C.C. Sabathia does Oreos—by the sleeve.

Adams had Jemile Weeks down 0-2, with one out…then plunks him. Next thing you know the bases are loaded and Rangers killer Yoenis Cespedes is up. Somehow Adams got out of the inning unscathed.

But c’mon, this guy wants to close? I’m fine with that, as long as it’s for a different team.

Adrian Beltre

Beltre’s fourth inning solo shot represented the point in time when I first realized the Rangers were about to defeat the rotund right-hander, Colon.

All kidding aside, it was nice to see the Rangers have some success against Bartolo Colon. Remember that the last time Texas took on Colon in Oakland, he shut them down and did it in about two hours…no easy task.

Gentry not so Gentlemanly while in Oakland

Craig Gentry is now batting .550 (11-for-20) with 5 RBI off of Oakland Athletics’ pitching this season.

That’s downright uncivilized, good sir (or madam).

This is the equivalent of obliging a fellow gent’s request to a duel, only to shove a grenade down his pants and run like hell—all the way to the victim’s quarters so as to bed his recently widowed wife.

Or something like that…whatever, keep up the good work, Gentry.

Welcome back, Aleix Ogando and Mike Napoli

Napoli hadn’t been gone long, but his run-producig stroke had been witnessed on more than a few DFW-area milk cartons. Last night, his RBI single plated Gentry for the first run of the game, and here’s hoping it’s a sign that Napoli is finally turning the page on his very unproductive 2012 story.

It’s always a pleasure to see the “Stickman from the Dominican.” Alexi Ogando hadn’t appeared in a game since straining his right groin last month in San Francisco. Ogando pitched 2/3 of an inning of scoreless relief, ratcheting his fastball all the way up to 97 MPH. His addition makes the Rangers bullpen that much stronger.

Up Next

RHP Colby Lewis (6-6, 3.51 ERA) will make his first start since June 23 today at 2:35 (CT). Lewis had been sidelined with right forearm tendonitis. For the Athletics, Australian-born left-hander Travis Blackley (2-2, 3.20 ERA) will make his eighth start of the season.

Go Rangers!

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Jul 172012
 
Oswalt-sharp-in-first-start-of-the-season-GQ1NTKTC-x-large

Nothing really happened in Rangerville yesterday. It was an off day—viewed as a necessary evil to the die-hard fans like you and I. Other than ensuring proper rest for our favorite team as they ready for a stretch run in the 100-plus degree heat, off days don’t do much in the way of news.

Let’s see…

So, Jason Kidd was arrested for DWI. He’s pleading not guilty, and the word is that he was under the influence of a drug used as a sleep aid.

Sure, Kidd. I know the medication—it goes by the street name of vodka.

What else?

Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels

Mike Trout. One great hitter, and one ugly chick.


Ah yes, the Los Angels of Anaheim continue to lose. That’s always a plus. Trumbo can hit 74 bombs and Trout can bat .400 for all I care—as long as: a. The Angels keep losing, and b. Albert Pujols continues his path towards the worst year of his career.

But back to the stuff that really matters, let’s take a look at some Texas Rangers news and notes.

Rangers Rumor Mill

It’s no secret that most contending teams are hot on the tail of the Brewers’ Zach Greinke and the Phillies’ Cole Hamels.

Both are outstanding pitchers that are capable of elevating a solid team to a World Series-caliber club.

With Hamels, you’d get a lefty with a WS ring and plenty of postseason experience. It’s largely being speculated however that Hamels would be a Cliff Lee-like pickup as he would be out the door as soon as the postseason comes to a close.

For what it’s worth, I’d rather have right-hander Zach Greinke. Sure, he has anxiety issues, and no, he doesn’t have the postseason experience of the aforementioned Hamels, but I feel the Rangers have more of a shot at extending him for a few years into the future.

One knock on picking up either is that the new collective bargaining agreement doesn’t allow for compensatory draft picks should either acquisition decide to jump ship…in other words, the Rangers would be out a ton of prospects for a rent-a-pitcher.

However, the lack of compensation picks might lessen the sheer amount of prospects necessary to obtain said pitcher…either way, why not pursue a pitcher like a Matt Garza, who would come with an extra “bonus year” of team control?

Roy Oswalt

When the Rangers signed Roy Oswalt several weeks ago, they realized that they weren’t getting an ace. What they wanted was a solid middle-of-the-rotation innings eater.

Oswalt looked much better in his no-decision against Minnesota during his last start. He only surrendered five hits—so noted due to the fact that he was averaging over 11 hits in his previous three starts.

The success of Oswalt over his next few starts—as we roar towards the door of the July 31 MLB Trade Deadline—will factor in to whether or not the Rangers make the move for Greinke, Hamels, or Garza.

Texas clearly has all the pieces in place to make either of those trades happen.

Josh Hamilton, former tobacco user

Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels

Seriously. Someone get this dude some snuff pronto.


Yeah, as far as I can tell, Hambone is still snuff free. Good for him. Sadly, he’s also been largely impact-free since he decided to ban the can.

It’s great—fantastic even—that he’s saying nope to the cope. And with his burgeoning family no one would doubt his modus operandi to ditch the lip candy.

However…

Can’t you wait until the offseason? No matter how talented the batter, being productive in the box takes maximum concentration. If you’re jonsing for a lip log, dude, you’re not locked in. Hamilton’s recent struggles at the plate soundly backup the “nic-fit” theory.

Injury Updates
Rangers Head Back to Cali—Looking for Road Trip Revenge over Athletics, Angels
As of today, the Texas Rangers should activate Alexi Ogando, and Koji Uehara.

Talk about a boost to the bullpen.

Rather than a B12 to the buttocks, the additions of Ogando and Uehara are more like a Pulp Fiction-esque adrenalin blast right through the ‘ole bullpen breastplate.

Also, Colby Lewis is slated to start against Oakland on Wednesday.

Up Next

Tomorrow night the Rangers start a two-game series with A.L. West foes, the Oakland Athletics. The first pitch is scheduled for 9:05 (CT), so make sure you have your energy drink of choice at the ready…

On the bump for Oakland will be RHP Bartolo Colon (6-7, 3.80 ERA) against Rangers’ right-hander Roy Oswalt (2-1, 6.26 ERA).

Should be an interesting matchup—and one that reads as a “who’s who” of turn-of-the-century aces…

Go Rangers!

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Jul 082012
 
If 'ole Roy gets rocked again tonight, his future might be in the Rangers' bullpen.

Texas Rangers Injury Updates: Can Roy Oswalt Keep His Rotation Spot?

If ‘ole Roy gets rocked again tonight, his future might be in the Rangers’ bullpen.

Tonight it’s time to see if Roy Oswalt—aka the “Wizard of Os”—can break his string of extreme hitability. Should he allow 13 hits against the Twins tonight—as he has in his last two starts—the free agent starter might be following the yellow brick road to the bullpen.

Oswalt shouldn’t worry too much about losing his spot in the rotation, but he should be aware that help is on the way…

Derek Holland was the first of the Rangers’ DL casualties to return to action. In his first start since June 5, Dutch picked up a no-decision but looked pretty sharp as he allowed just three runs over six innings pitched.

Here’s a quick status update on some other Texas Rangers injuries:

Colby Lewis—right forearm tendonitis (15-Day disabled list)

Lewis is scheduled to throw a bullpen session this Friday at Seattle, and could be available to pitch as soon as July 18 when the Rangers travel to Oakland.

Alexi Ogando—strained right groin (15-Day DL)

Ogando is all set to begin a rehab assignment this Thursday at Triple-A Round Rock. If this goes well, the next step would be to throw a live bullpen with a tentative return date for Ogando later this month.

Neftali Feliz—elbow inflammation (60-Day DL)

Feliz will throw on his own at his home during the All-Star break. How he feels after throwing will determine a possible return date. The Rangers are being extremely careful with Feliz, and he probably won’t return to action before the end of August at the earliest.

Mark Lowe—strained right intercostal muscle (15-Day DL)

Placed on the disabled on June 30, Lowe will continue to rest and recuperate during the upcoming All-Star break. In all likelihood, Lowe can possibly begin a throwing session early next week.

Koji Uehara—right lat strain (15-Day DL)

Today Uehara threw 43 pitches in his third bullpen session. The next step for Koji will be to make a rehab start—most likely at Triple-A Round Rock—and then he should be all set for reactivation.

Post All-Star Break rotation announced:

Per Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas, manager Ron Washington has announced his post-AS break roation. It will look like this:

LHP Derek Holland, RHP Yu Darvish, LHP Matt Harrison, RHP Roy Oswalt and RHP Colby Lewis.

With Justin Grimm optioned back to Double-A Frisco earlier this afternoon, it appears that rookie left-hander Martin Perez would be the first option out of the bullpen for a spot start, should the need arise. Bullpen long man, Scott Feldman, is also an option to slide into the rotation should ineffectiveness or injury occur in the second half of the season.

Tonight’s matchup:

Rangers’ right-hander Roy Oswalt (2-1, 7.79 ERA) seeks his third win, and opposes fellow right-hander Cole De Vries (2-1, 3.91 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 6:15 PM (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 132012
 
HarriWade

Matt Harrison vs. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks and Rangers, a Game 2 PreviewEverybody loves home cooking, and in last night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Colby Lewis served up every fans favorite dish: a 9-1 win.

Tonight it will be up to Matt Harrison to keep the good times rolling as the Rangers seek to push their modest win streak to three, while securing their fourth win in five games.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Texas Rangers (36-26)

Matt Harrison vs. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks and Rangers, a Game 2 Preview

Kinsler went 3-for-5 with an RBI in last night's 9-1 Rangers win.

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Michael Young
1B Mike Napoli
C Yorvit Torrealba
RF Brandon Snyder *
CF Craig Gentry

LH Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.87 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 5.5 K/9)

This is Harrison’s first time to face the D-Backs at home in Arlington. He pitched against them once at Arizona’s Chase Field, and it didn’t go so well—he only lasted 3 2/3 innings and allowed seven runs, all earned while walking four and striking out just two…thus he’s 0-1 with an obnoxious 17.18 ERA versus Arizona.

Hey, it’s a small sample size.

Harrison is 2-2 with a 4.45 ERA at home this year as opposed to 6-1 with a 3.51 ERA on the road. His road ERA is helped out considerably by his masterful performance against the San Francisco Giants last week—Harri pitched a complete game shutout while scattering just five hits with no walks and four strikeouts.

As is the case with most southpaws, Harrison prefers facing left-handed batters. Lefties on the year are batting a paltry .151 off of him whereas righties are hitting .309.

Harrison has won his last four straight games and a win tonight would give him the team lead with 9.

* This is Brandon Snyder’s first start of 2012 in right field for the Rangers. Nelson Cruz is still under the weather and Washington prefers to sit 1B Mitch Moreland against left-handed starters.

Arizona Diamondbacks (30-31)

Matt Harrison vs. Wade Miley, Diamondbacks and Rangers, a Game 2 Preview

Aaron Hill was the only D-Back with multiple hits last night.

SS Willie Bloomquist (.400 BA against Harrison)
2B Aaron Hill
RF Justin Upton (.500 1 HR 2 RBI)
1B Paul Goldschmidt (Texas State)
DH Jason Kubel (.250, 1 RBI)
CF Chris Young
C Miguel Montero
3B Ryan Roberts (L.D. Bell HS)
LF Gerrardo Parra

LH Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 5.5 K/9)

This is Miley’s first time pitching at RBIA and the only current Rangers player he’s ever faced is utility man Alberto Gonzalez, who is 1-for-1 with an RBI against him.

Miley was a first-round draft pick by Arizona in 2008 (43rd overall pick) and has been quite a pleasant surprise for the Diamondbacks this season. He’s pitched like an ace at times, and has filled in nicely for Daniel Hudson who has had been injured most of the year.

Whether on the road or at home, Miley’s splits are quite consistent. He’s 4-1 with a 2.87 ERA at Chase Field and 3-1 with a 2.83 ERA when pitching para llevar.

Much like Harrison’s excellent previous start, Miley had a fine outing against the Rockies last week. He surrendered one run and little else, as he went the distance scattering just three hits while waling none and striking out five.

When Miley is on, he’s exactly the type of pitcher that can give the Rangers fits. He has great command of his off-speed stuff to keep hitters off-balance, and Texas has traditionally had trouble with southpaws in general.

Keys to a Rangers win:

In last night’s win, it took the Rangers a few times through the order to figure out Ian Kennedy. Once they started to lay off of his changeup, they forced him to throw more fastballs in the zone, which they subsequently pounded.

Look for a similar approach tonight from the Rangers against Miley. Miley isn’t exactly a soft-tosser, but if he gets too many heaters in the zone the Rangers should be able to jump all over him—granted they don’t let him get ahead in the count.

Likewise for Matt Harrison, it will be important for him to minimize the damage that Ryan Roberts (.279/.338/.471, 3 HRs) and Paul Goldschmidt (.379/.440/.712, 4 HRs) can impart on left-handers that get behind in the count.

Prediction time:

I think the Rangers bats are close to getting back into a consistent groove. I also feel that Miley might not like the unforgiving alleys—not to mention the infamous jet stream—that RBIA a true hitter’s paradise …Rangers win 6-3.

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Jun 132012
 
Sure, my photoshop skills need some work. But dude is a wizard.

Colby Lewis Continues his Wizardry as Rangers Silence D backs Rattle, 9 1

Sure, my photoshop skills need some work. But dude is a wizard.

Through the first five innings of last night’s 9-1 Rangers win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, both starters were putting on a pitching clinic.

The Rangers’ Colby Lewis was perfect through his first 5 1/3 innings pitched and the Diamondbacks’ Ian Kennedy was nearly as good, as he had allowed only one run—in the first inning—during his first 5 2/3.

For both Lewis and Kennedy, the sixth inning was critical.

With one out, Arizona’s second basemen, Aaron Hill, lined a single to left field to break up Lewis’ attempt at perfection. Lewis quickly induced a groundball double play to get out of the inning.

The sixth inning would be Kennedy’s last. With two outs, Kennedy surrendered five-straight hits and a one-run deficit became an insurmountable six-run disadvantage.

Well, as good ‘ole Ron Washington would say: “that’s the way baseball go”—and isn’t it wonderful when it “go” that way for the Texas Rangers?

Numbers of Note:

19-3

• Cumulative score in the Rangers’ last three wins.

16

• Number of hits the Rangers had last night. It’s the most knocks they’ve managed since putting up 14 in a 7-3 win over the Angels on June 3rd.

.363

• Batting average with RISP last night.

0

• Number of errors by Texas—always a welcome sight.

9

• The most runs the Rangers have scored since they plated 8 against Seattle in that game we still don’t talk about… 21-8 loss…whatever, Holland was sick with a nasty virus or that s*** would’ve never happened.

6

• Number of two-out RBI by the Rangers. Craig Gentry, Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland each had 2.

10

• The Rangers are 10 games over .500 for the first time in 10 days.

And the most important number of all…:

3.5

• The Rangers’ lead in the AL West, thanks to the 9-1 win over the D-backs combined with the late game heroics by the Dodgers to beat the Angels, 5-2.

Muchos gracias, Juan Rivera!

Up Next:

It’s game two of the best-of-three series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as Rangers’ LHP Matt Harrison (8-3, 3.87 ERA) opposes fellow southpaw, Arizona’s LHP Wade Miley (7-2, 2.53 ERA).

Make sure to check back this afternoon for BaseballDo’s pregame preview.

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Jun 122012
 
Colby Lewis Texas Rangers

Colby Lewis and Rangers vs. Ian Kennedy and Diamondbacks PreviewTonight the Texas Rangers welcome the National League West’s third place team, the Arizona Diamondbacks (30-30) for a three-game interleague showdown.

So far so good for the Rangers against the NL West, as they are fresh off a series sealing win over the second place San Francisco Giants.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Texas Rangers (35-26)

2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
LF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre (.333 BA against IPK)
DH Michael Young
RF David Murphy
C Yorvit Torrealba (.000 BA)
1B Mitch Moreland
CF Craig Gentry*

RH Colby Lewis (4-5, 3.38 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 7.5 K/9)

Lewis has never faced the Arizona Diamondbacks before. Current members of the D-Backs that have faced Lewis before are batting just .138 with 11 strikeouts.

“Colbyashi” is currently mired in a tough-luck two game losing streak. Over those two games, his ERA was 2.45 and he struck out a combined 8 batters. His last start, against the Oakland Athletics, was especially frustrating. He pitched 8 innings, surrendered no walks, struck out three, and took the loss as the Rangers fell to Bartolo Colon, 2-0.

This season, right-handed batters are hitting just .233 off of him, whereas lefties are hitting him at a .261 clip. Even though Lewis can be home run prone, he has given up just 4 of his 14 homers at home this season—he’s 2-1 with a 2.73 ERA and 9.1 K/9 at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

* Nelson Cruz was scratched from tonight’s starting lineup due to illness. This moved Craig Gentry into the starting lineup and shifted Hamilton to left field and Murphy to right field.

Arizona Diamondbacks (30-30)

LF Gerardo Parra
SS Willie Bloomquist (.333 BA against Lewis)
RF Justin Upton
DH Jason Kubel
1B Paul Goldschmidt (Texas State University)
C Miguel Montero
CF Chris Young
2B Aaron Hill (0-for-9, 5 Ks)
3B Josh Bell

RH Ian Kennedy (5-5, 3.93 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 8.4 K/9)

This will be Kennedy’s first time to pitch in the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He has never faced the Texas Rangers, but current members of the team are batting .286 against him.

Kennedy is coming off of a breakthrough 2011 campaign where he went 21-4 and finished fourth in the Cy Young Award voting.

Over his career, left-handed batter have hit just .235 off of him but so far this year they are hitting .279. Right-handed batters are hitting .258 off of Kennedy in 2012.

Kennedy has a better won/loss record at home (3-2) than on the road (2-3). However, his road ERA (3.13) is far superior to his home ERA (4.70)—this of course could change if the Rangers are able to elevate some of his offerings into the Ballpark’s world famous “jet stream.”

Kennedy is coming off of his best start of the season, as he beat Colorado on June 5th with a masterful 12-strikeout performance over six innings of five-hit ball.

Keys to a Rangers win:

Keep Paul Goldschmidt in the park. After hitting just four home runs during the first two months of the season, “Goldy” has hit four in his last eight games. Goldschmidt is the team’s leader in home runs, with 8.

The Diamondbacks are 18th in the league with 53 home runs so they might not have what it takes to take advantage of homer-friendly RBIA as well as Colby Lewis.

If Lewis can continue to pitch as effectively as he has in his last two starts while keeping the ball in the yard—and the offense can solve Ian Kennedy—the Rangers should be able to win tonight.

On the downside, Ian Kennedy is a far better pitcher than Ryan Vogelsong of San Francisco, who shut down the Rangers’ offense last Saturday. If Kennedy is on his game, it might not matter how well Lewis pitches.

Prediction time:

I look for the Rangers’ bats to heat up thanks to a much-needed return home. There’s nothing like playing in front of a sold-out home crowd…Rangers knock Kennedy around and win 6-2.

Battle of the “pitch face”

Colby Lewis and Rangers vs. Ian Kennedy and Diamondbacks Preview

Kennedy's pitch face is what I like to call the "Dizzy Gillespie."

Colby Lewis and Rangers vs. Ian Kennedy and Diamondbacks Preview

Two words on Lewis' pitch face: Rugged Determination, okay maybe three words: Need to Dump.

Who has the best “pitch face?” Is it Colby Lewis or Ian Kennedy? Feel free to post your answer and why in the forum, or just drop it down in the comments section.

Go Rangers!

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Jun 022012
 

Costly Error and Wasted Opportunities Sink Rangers,  AL West Lead shrinks to 4 1/2That was a frustrating loss. I’m cynical by nature but even if I wasn’t, that lackluster performance would be ripe for the most sardonic of cynicisms.

I feel as though the quicker I wrap this up, the quicker we can get to Yu Darvish and (hopefully) our winning ways…So let’s jump on in:

Colby Lewis didn’t deserve the loss

• Over his 6 2/3 innings pitched—three of which were of the no-hit variety—Lewis scattered four hits around one walk while netting five K’s. His hits surrendered were untimely; it can be argued that he didn’t pitch well enough for the win, but he was unfairly hit with the loss.

• Two more unearned runs in this game (cynical hat tip to Ian Kinsler’s game-changing error). The Rangers now have 17 “unearnedies” in their last 17 games.

Silver lining awash in a Sea of Crap:

• The Texas Rangers are still in first place in the AL West by 4 1/2 games.

• Mike Napoli is continuing to improve—he was 1-for-3 with an RBI last night.

• Adrian Beltre continues to rake. He was 2-for-4 last night pushing his batting average to .323. He also has a 10-game hitting streak.

• Koji Uehara—easily my favorite player of all-time—continues to excel in relief. He worked a scoreless ninth inning, surrendering one hit and striking out one.

The door ding in the previously pristine Rangers-mobile

• The offense is continuing to struggle. Two runs plated against a team playing as well as the Angels have been lately isn’t going to win many—if any—ball games. You don’t go bow hunting with a slingshot.

• The defense. What the fu** is the matter with the gloves? Tonight it was Kinsler (and Cruz?). It’s been Andrus and Beltre recently.

One of the key things that has elevated the Texas Rangers to their current level of greatness has been their consistent excellence with the leather.

Whether it’s boredom, fatigue, or whatever—this shi@ has got to stop. No team is good enough to give away outs in exchange for base runners and expect to continue winning.

Hey Vernon, you feeling better yet? We need you back bud!

• The Angels are now 10-1 since Vernon Wells was placed on the disabled list. No word yet on if there is a 24-hour police watch to make sure Mike Scioscia doesn’t murder Wells.

Fake news report: “Vernon Wells has recently been upgraded to the permanent disabled list in the sky by manager Mike Scioscia.”

Mike Trout: One fish we’d love to put in a barrel

Costly Error and Wasted Opportunities Sink Rangers,  AL West Lead shrinks to 4 1/2

"Quick get the shotgun! That dang Trout just made eyes at my old lady!"


• The Angels’ recent surge has less to do with Wells’ departure than the arrival of Mike Trout. Now I understand why some feel he’s going to be better than Bryce Harper.

• Trout was 2-for-4 with 3 RBI batting in the leadoff spot. His most important statistic of the day though? ZERO LOB You dig, Mitch? (5 LOB).

The Angels’ Bullpen no longer Sucks

• Castaway closer (and North Texas resident) Jordan Walden has excelled in his non-ninth inning role. It solidifies the biggest weakness the Angels had during April.

Ernesto Freaking Frieri. Yep, the Angels now have a lights-out closer in Frieri. He picked up his 3rd save in dominating fashion last night by striking out 2-of-3 and slamming the door on the Texas Rangers.

Frieri’s ERA is now 1.09 with a K/9 ratio—18.8—that seems more fiction than fact. What’s the key to getting to this guy? Easy. Don’t let the Angels get the freaking lead.

Up Next:

The Texas Rangers will look to Yu Darvish (7-2, 3.25 ERA) to snap their current three-game skid. Darvish will have his work cut out for him as he opposes former Ranger and consistent douchebag C.J. Wilson (6-4, 2.77 ERA).

The first pitch is scheduled for 9:05 (CST), and as always, check back here for the pregame preview on BaseballDo, foo!

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