Aug 272012
 
Craig Gentry, rocketman.

Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series

Craig Gentry, rocketman.

The Minnesota Twins are gone, but they won’t be forgotten. And for the most part, their four game stay at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington will be remembered fondly.

Here’s a look at some of the highlights from that four-game set…

Adrian Beltre can carry a team

• Adrian Beltre was 7-for-9 (.777) in the first two games of the Twins series. He went 3-for-5 with one homer in game 1 (not a bad encore after the previous night’s three home run effort against Baltimore.) Game 2 saw Beltre notch the second cycle of his career, as he went 4-for-4 with three RBI.

• When Beltre heats up he’s more than capable of setting the tone for the Rangers’ offense or carrying the team on his own.

• It will be fun to see how Beltre handles the Tampa Bay Rays this week. Beltre hit three home runs in game 4 of the 2011 ALDS against the Rays.

Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series

Beltre gets a well-deserved hug from Mike Napoli.


Throwing at Josh Hamilton’s Cabeza is highly frowned upon…

• Yep, we learned this in the series’ opening game. Starting pitcher Scott Diamond retaliated for a Roy Oswalt beanball by letting one loose in the general vicinity of Hambone’s head.

• Even though Oswalt had not been warned, and no brawl ensued, Diamond was treated to a six-game suspension courtesy of Major League Baseball.

• Head-hunting aside, Hamilton had one heck of a series against the Twins. All told, he hit .438 with 9 RBI and hit his 35th home run of the year during yesterday’s finale.

White Men can jump, and Craig Gentry is proof

• With one out and one on in the top of the ninth inning, Craig Gentry perfectly played a deep blast off of the bat of Joe Mauer. #KittenFace deftly judged the arc of the ball before cat-apulting over the centerfield wall, landing on top of the Captain Morgan Club’s roof, robbing Mauer of what would have been the first ball ever hit onto Randol Mill Road. All in all, it was pretty sweet.

Koji Uehara still sucks

• Sunday’s finale saw the return of right-handed relief specialist Koji Uehara—whose true specialty is serving up the long ball. It’s good to see that after a two month layoff, Uehara can still get rocked with the best of them.

• Had it not been for the aforementioned trampoline-like leap of Craig Gentry, Uehara would have served up a two-run bomb to Minnesota’s Joe Mauer. This, of course, would have surprised absolutely no one.

• Can we please get Tanner Scheppers back up here to replace Koji? Sure I know he’s susceptible to the long ball as well, but at least his heater can actually break a pane of glass.

Mitch Moreland, one strong son of a gun
Rangers Offense Keeps on Rolling as Texas Takes Second straight Series
• In the second inning of the third game of the Minnesota series, Mitch Moreland crushed a Brian Duensing pitch into the right field upper deck. The three-run shot was measured at 463 feet, making it the third-longest bomb ever hit in the 19-year history of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

• Not only was the bomb historic in length, it is also notable in that it came off of a left-handed pitcher, only the third time this season and the fourth time in his career that Moreland has gone deep off of a port-sider.

Up Next:

The Tampa Bay Rays, currently in second place in the A.L. East, come to Arlington for a three-game series.

On the hill for the Rangers will be LHP Derek Holland (8-6, 4.92 ERA). Left-handed ace, David Price (16-4, 2.28 ERA), is on the bump for Tampa Bay. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 (CST).

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Jul 072012
 
Perez was serviceable during his second major league start, but the bases on balls and the defense behind him didn't help.

Rangers fall to Twins 5 1 as Losing Streaks Hits Season High Five

Perez was serviceable during his second major league start, but the bases on balls and the defense behind him didn’t help.

After falling to the lowly Minnesota Twins last night, 5-1, the Texas Rangers are now in the midst of their longest losing streak of the season. Texas hasn’t won a game since the Baseball Do Field Trip last Saturday…

Coincidence?

Most definitely. We here at Baseball Do have zero impact on the Rangers’ sudden inability to hit quality left-handers…or Francisco Liriano for that matter.

However, when things go well for the Texas Rangers—as they so often do—we are certainly willing and able to receive full credit for said successes.

Last night was rough. Twins starter Francisco Liriano walked six batters—six ! And the Rangers had at least one runner on in every single inning…yet the best offense in big league baseball could muster merely one run.

What the what?

Okay, let’s place that boringly inept 5-1 loss firmly in our collective rearview mirrors. What’s done is done, and besides, today marks the return of everyone’s favorite cooking device (or flatulent fetish), the Dutch Oven…

Derek Holland makes his first start since June 5, and, by all accounts has recovered fully from his disturbing bout of left-shoulder influenza—also commonly referred to as West Nile Wing. It will be nice to have ole Dutchy back on the hill.

Now, about that offense…

The first pitch for game two of this three game series is scheduled for this evening at 6:15 PM (CT).

LHP Derek Holland (5-4, 5.15 ERA) will oppose the Twins’ RHP Samuel Deduno (0-0, 3.18 ERA. As far as I know, the 28-year-old Deduno has never appeared on Telemundo. But if he has, here’s hoping the segment was called: Telemundo Presents: Deduno Singing Menudo.

Rangers fall to Twins 5 1 as Losing Streaks Hits Season High Five

Anytime Tateyama pitches a scoreless inning—punctuated by two punchouts—you just have to win that game.


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Jul 062012
 
perez

Martin Perez vs. Francisco Liriano—A Rangers/Twins PreviewThe Texas Rangers dropped their fourth-straight game yesterday, as they fell to the Chicago White Sox, 2-1. Chicago’s sweep was the first time the Rangers had failed to win at least one game in a series of three games or more in 2012.

The Rangers’ four game skid is tied for their longest of the year, and the first time they’ve dropped that many in a row since early last month.

For the final home stand before the MLB All-Star break, the Rangers welcome the A.L. Central bottom-dwellers, the Minnesota Twins. In their last meeting, in April, the Texas Rangers were on the right side of a sweep, as they took all three games from Minnesota at Target Field.

Here’s hoping the Rangers can head into the break on a high note.

A look at tonight’s starting lineups:

Minnesota Twins (35-47, L 10: 5-5)

Martin Perez vs. Francisco Liriano—A Rangers/Twins Preview

Mauer has hit .300 against left-handed pitchers over his career. He’s gone: .283/.353/.413 versus the Texas Rangers.


CF Ben Revere
RF Darin Mastroianni
DH Joe Mauer
LF Josh Willingham
1B Justin Morneau
3B Trevor Plouffe
SS Brain Dozier
C Drew Butera
2B Alexi Castilla

VS

LHP Martin Perez (1-0, 9.00 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, 9 K/9)

Making just the second major league start of his young career tonight, 21-year-old Martin Perez made good in his initial outing last Saturday. He earned the win against the Oakland Athletics.

However, the Texas Rangers haven’t won a game since.

Texas Rangers (50-33, L 10: 5-5)

Martin Perez vs. Francisco Liriano—A Rangers/Twins Preview

Napoli is 1-for-3 against Liriano. His one hit? A three-run bomb.


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

VS

LHP Francisco Liriano (2-7, 5.40 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, 8.9 K/9)

Liriano, who has a no-hitter on his resume, first came into the league in 2005. A converted outfielder, Liriano finished third in the Rookie of the Year voting in 2006, as he went 12-3, with a terrific 2.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts over just 122 innings pitched.

After his breakout 2006 campaign, Liriano had to undergo Tommy John surgery due to a torn elbow ligament. It really wasn’t until 2010 that it looked like he might be back to his old dominant self. That year he went 14-10 with a 3.62 ERA and 201 strikeouts while finishing eleventh in the Cy Young Award voting.

The 6′ 2″ Dominican struggled in 2011, as he posted a 9-10 record and a robust 5.09 ERA.

Whether Liriano is on or not, he is not susceptible to the long ball. Over his career, he has allowed just 0.8 HR/9 rate. According to FanGraph’s PitchFX, Liriano’s fastball is averaging 93.3 MPH, his highest average velocity since 2010.

This season Liriano is has been lights-out against lefties: .161/.260/.194. Right-handers have fared much better: .268/.368/.432. Liriano has yet to win a game on the road in 2012, he’s 0-5 with a 5.41 ERA away from the friendly confines of Target Field.

Notes:

• Liriano is 2-1 with a 3.96 ERA over his career at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Over the last month, Liriano has pitched far better than his overall numbers indicate. The 28-year-old Dominican is 1-1 with a 3.88 over that span.

• Martin Perez’s current ERA (9.00) is skewed greatly by his first appearance, a relief outing against Detroit where he allowed four earned runs over just 2/3 of an inning. In his lone start last Saturday against Oakland, Perez’s ERA for the game was 3.38. Even with his relief appearance taken into consideration, Perez’s FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) is a much more palatable 4.24.

• Mike Napoli, the starting catcher for next week’s MLB All-Star Game, is currently in an 11-for-69 slump (.159). Napoli’s tough season can be attributed to his inability to hit left-handed pitching. He’s currently batting a paltry .160 against southpaws after posting a robust .320 last season, and a .274 BA over his career.

Go Rangers!

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Apr 132012
 

There’s nothing like a Dutch Oven in the middle of the day!

Friday Morning Dutch Ovens

Derek Holland and Michael Young led the Rangers to a 5-3 victory over the Mariners yesterday.  Holland pitched 7 1/3 innings (115 pitches), giving up 2 earned on 5 hits and no walks, while striking out 8.  Young accounted for 80% of the clubs RBI’s with 4, increasing his batting average on the young season to .321.

  • Young hit from the 2 hole, as Manager Ron Washington gave Elvis Andrus the day off.  Lot’s of banter on Twitter concerning Young’s position in the batting order, with the majority wanting to see MY10 permanently moved to the 2 hole.  I’m personally a fan of the lineup with Young batting 5th and Andrus batting 2nd.  This may be one where Jasen and I are split in our opinions, so instead of diving into here, we’ll save this topic for a podcast or future article.
  • Rangers starters now have a 2.42 ERA on the season, which is impressive, but keep in mind that 4 of the 7 games have been against the Mariners and all 7 games have been at home.  First road test kicks off today, and I’m hoping to see the strong performance continue.

“They are throwing early strikes, which is something that’s preached around here, and they aren’t giving in,” cather Mike Napoli said. “But more than that, the young guys are growing up. They’re not throwing out there. They’re pitching.”

“I wanted to stay consistent with both my fastball and off-speed pitches,” Holland said. “The big thing that Mike Maddux pitches to us is first-pitch strikes. If we go out there and throw our first-pitch strikes, go after hitters right away, it makes it a lot tougher for those hitters to react.”

“We’re trying to motivate each other,” Holland said. “We’re very happy with the way things have taken off. We’ve been doing our jobs. That’s to go out there and make sure we give our team a chance to win.”

  • Box Score Note – both Napoli & Cruz were hitless in the game, continuing their slow starts.  One of the beauties of this team is the depth across all facets of the roster.  They’ll come around eventually and when they do, more than likely someone else will slump a little.  The points is, one way or another, the Rangers are going to score runs because there are NO holes in their lineup.

Quick hits:

  • Friday Morning Dutch OvensMatt Harrison takes the mound tonight in Minnesota looking for win number 2.  The Twins will send Anthony Swarzak to the hill…who?
  • Harrison attributes his strong opener and recent success to working inside:

“Once you have some success against some guys in, it shows that you’re able to pitch inside,” Harrison said. “Whenever that happens you’re willing to do it more often. Once you start getting strikes in there, you start to open up the inner half. It’s a lot better for you when command both sides of the plate and keep the hitters more uncomfortable.”

  • Adams got the save in yesterday’s game, after Nathan pitched in back to back games on Tuesday and Wednesday.
  • Wash is sticking by closer Joe Nathan after lots of knee-jerk reactions from fans and media after Wednesday night’s blown save and loss.

“Two things can happen: You get off good, you get off bad,” Washington said. “We’re going to support Joe Nathan 100 percent. Once he recovers from workload last night, he’ll close. If he’s in position to close a second night, we’ll give him the ball.”

Looking for feedback:

We are contemplating kicking off the Baseball Do Forums in the next week or so and trying to gauge what the participation would be like.  Let us know what you think.  You can comment here on the site or hit us up on Twitter (@baseballdo) or Facebook (Baseball Do Facebook Page).

Not signed up for the Baseball Do Field Trip yet?  What’s the hold up?  Gonna be a great time of Rangers Fan Fellowship, great food & drink and Reckless Kelly!

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