Rangers rebound in Oakland with strong bullpen
Alexi Ogando, Mike Adams and Joe Nathan flexed their muscle last night in Oakland, pitching a combined 3 2/3 innings in relief of Derek Holland, surrendering just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5. Ogando came in with two on and one out in the 6th with the Rangers holding on to a 2 run lead. He struck out Kurt Suzuki and got Adam Rosales to pop out to first.
“That’s what he does,” closer Joe Nathan said of Ogando. “He’s the guy who holds our bullpen together. He’s the glue and tonight was a prime example about how much this guy means to us.”
Holland had his moments, but was apparently being taken down internally by…ahem…let’s just say he had some stomach concerns. All in, he gave up 3 runs on 7 hits and 2 walks over 5 1/3, striking out only 2. He did get the win to improve to 5-4 with a 5.10 ERA.
“I just got a little fatigued out there,” Holland said. “I was doing everything I could to stay out there, but it started creeping up on me in the middle innings. I was doing everything I could. I just need to keep plugging away and get my strength back.”
It was creeping up…
Offensively, the Rangers accomplished a rare feat – everyone in the lineup got at least one base hit and struck out at least once.
Kinsler showed some signs of life with a 2 run double in the 3rd inning. Everything else was pretty evening spread across the nine guys who started and ended this game in the lineup.
Lewis vs. Colon tonight
Colby Lewis (4-4, 3.50 ERA) takes the mound tonight, looking for his 5th win on the season. Lewis pitched well in Anaheim over the weekend, only to have it wasted by defensive miscues and a lack of offensive support. Since his reemergence in major league baseball (after his stint in Japan), Lewis is 5-3 with a 3.17 ERA against Oakland.
The A’s will counter with 39 year old Bartolo Colon (4-6, 4.34 ERA). Colon suffered a similar fate to Lewis in his last outing, only giving up 2 runs over 7 innings, but getting a tough loss as his offensive teammates put up a goose egg.
9:05pm first pitch on FSSW.
Headed to Kansas City…
- Initial All-Star voting results were revealed yesterday and 5 Rangers are leading at their respective positions – Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler, Nelson Cruz & Mike Napoli. You can vote up to 25 times, which seems a little ridiculous, but whatever. Vote here if you haven’t already.
- Josh Hamilton will not be participating in the Home Run Derby this year which is fine by me. Josh’s performance at the 2008 Derby was unforgettable, and I doubt he could ever top that. In addition, I’d much prefer Josh preserve every ounce of energy for the All-Star game (which DOES matter) and the second half of the season.
“It’s just not the right time,” Hamilton said. “I haven’t done it the past couple of years. I want to be healthy and the best I can be. I don’t want to risk anything entertaining the fans. So I respectfully declined again. You just take one swing … you’ve got to be smart about it.”
- Of the 5 mentioned above, Napoli is the only one that hasn’t made an All-Star team before.
“Awesome … thanks to our fans,” Napoli said. “It would mean a lot to me. It would mean a lot to every player to make the All-Star Game. I want my numbers to prove I deserve to be an All-Star. I love the fans giving me such great sport.”
- Look, I’d really like to see the American League World Series representative have home field advantage this season, so I’m on board with this team featuring as many Rangers as possible, but let’s remember that it was one of our own that cost the AL the All-Star game last year. Love this quote from Beltre:
“It’s pretty important,” Beltre said of home field advantage. “That might be a key why we didn’t win, even though it was one of us that screwed it up.”
- Scott Feldman will make his next scheduled start, after getting shelled on Monday in Oakland and pitching poorly in the three starts prior to that. Someone tell Craig Gentry to get ready…
- From T.R. Sullivan (MLB.com), Hal Keller, who drafted, signed and developed some of the best players in the early years of the Rangers franchise, passed away on Tuesday at his home in Sequim, Wash. He was 84.
- The Forums are up and running…well maybe running is a bit of an overstatement.