Jul 042012
 
Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox

Hamilton Hits 26th, But Rangers Get Youked As They Fall to ChiSox 5 4 in 10

Ah whatever, he’s still regressing.

If there’s anything worse than getting curb-stomped, 19-2, it’s losing the next game 5-4, via an extra-inning walk-off.

Texas Rangers’ starter Scott Feldman survived a sordid second inning and kept the Rangers within striking distance Chicago over his six innings of work. Alas, Scooter was stuck with the no-decision as the Rangers’ bats became quiet after the third inning.

Cheer up, Rangers fans. It’s going to be all right.

Tomorrow is another day, America is still the best country in the world and losing streaks—especially meager three gamers—are always just one win away from extinction.

And, oh yes, the “Loss” (ha) Angeles Angels of Anaheim fell to the Tribe 12-3…that should rub some neosporin onto that extra-inning sting.

Thoughts on the 5-4 loss:

Rangers blew their Axelrod

• Yeah it’s not as sexual or horrifying—nor horrifyingly sexual—as it sounds. The Rangers had White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod on the brink of combustion after a three-run first inning. Yet they could muster just one more run off of him—Hamilton’s third-inning solo shot—and zero off of the ChiSox bevy of relievers.

From seeking an eighth to hoping for one

• The loss stops the Rangers’ bid for an eighth-straight series win. Now they’ll just try to get out of Chicago without getting swept.

3-2, 9-9

• Texas is now 3-2 in extra inning games this year, and is playing .500 ball during one run games.

The Face can now regain eye contact

• Mired in an 0-for-13 slump, Michael Young had a big night last night, as he went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI.

His biggest hit came in the first inning off of Axelrod, with two outs. It was a vintage MY rifle shot into the left-field gap. Certainly a good sign for a man having a rough go of 2012.

3-4-5 doing it right

• The Rangers’ 3-4-5 hitters—Hamilton, Beltre, and Young—were 6-for-14 (.429) with 3 RBI and 4 runs scored.

Mini-streak has left the building…

• After, quite literally, supplying ALL of the offense during that 19-2 shellacking, Elvis Andrus’ modest 10-game hitting streak came to a close as the All-Star shortstop finished 0-for-5.

Less than the loneliest number

• Robbie Ross was once again fantastic in relief. Called on in the bottom of the seventh inning with one out and the go-ahead run aboard, the 23-year-old left-hander induced a groundout from Alejandro De Aza for the second out. After an intentional walk of Kevin Youkilis, Ross squelched the White Sox rally as he retired slugger Adam Dunn with a strikeout looking.

Then in the eighth inning it was business as usual for Ross, as he sent the heart of the White Sox order down 1-2-3. Ross’ ERA is now less than one on the season (0.99).

The best and worst of Mike Adams

• Mike Adams came on in the ninth inning and made quick work of the White Sox, producing a very Robbie Ross-like 1-2-3 inning.

• The tenth inning didn’t go so well for the eighth inning specialist from Sinton, Texas. After getting ahead in the count against Alejandro De Aza—and apparently almost killing him as he fouled a pitch off of his leg—Adams walked him on a full count.

De Aza quickly stole second base—thanks to Adams’ blink-and-you-won’t-miss-it delivery—enabling Youkilis to record a walk-off win via a single.

Vote for the Yu! And then, vote for anyone besides David Freese

• As of this writing, Yu Darvish leads the balloting for the final American League All-Star spot. Also, David “it’ll always be too soon to talk about” Freese is leading the N.L. ballot…Let’s get Yu in and keep Freese out? What do you say?

Up Next:

LHP Matt Harrison (11-3, 3.17 ERA) will try to become just the second Texas Ranger to record his twelfth win before the All-Star Break. Fellow LHP Jose Quintana (3-1, 2.19 ERA) toes the rubber for the ChiSox. The first pitch of the final game of this three game set is scheduled for 1:05 (CT).

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Jul 042012
 
FeldmanFreeze

Roy Oswalt...Ah, forget about it—Feldman Looks to Stop Rangers SkidOkay, so Roy Oswalt was simply awful last night—he’s now averaging 18.7 hits per nine innings.

Ugh.

And yes, Ian Kinsler’s error did, indeed, lead to seven unearned runs—and at the mathematical halfway point of the season, Kinsler does have as many errors as he did all of last year.

Yikes.

Am I worried about Kinsler? Nope. Concerned about Oswalt? Well, let’s just say I’m less optimistic now than I was a day ago.

It’s one thing to give up 13 hits and set your career high in a game. It’s an entirely different matter to equal that career high in your very next start.

Again it’s too early for concern, but now even the most outlandish of knee jerk reactions bears enough weight to prevent an immediate dismissal.

Regardless, last night’s atrocity was just one game. It’s always troubling to get absolutely boat-raced, but hey, if a win is a win, then the same should be said for a loss.

Speaking of losses, tonight it’s Scott Feldman looking to stop the Rangers’ not-as-bad-as-it-seems losing streak. Feldman, all kidding aside, has won his last two starts after dropping six straight prior.

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

Chicago White Sox (43-37, L 10: 7-3)

Roy Oswalt...Ah, forget about it—Feldman Looks to Stop Rangers Skid

Beckham was the only ChiSox starter that didn’t record a hit last night.


CF Alejandro De Aza
3B Kevin Youkilis
DH Adam Dunn
1B Paul Konerko
RF Alex Rios
C A.J. Pierzynski
LF Dayan Viciedo
SS Alexi Ramirez
2B Gordon Beckham

VS

RHP Scott Feldman (2-6, 6.13 ERA, 1.53 WHIP)

Feldman hasn’t pitched too well at U.S. Cellular Field over his career. He’s surrendered a .304 BA, and aside from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, there are only two other stadiums where he has surrendered at least five home runs—Oakland Coliseum, and Rogers Centre (five HR in each.)

This season, RHB have hit him hard: .314/.341/.477 and LHB have gone: .268/.331/.429. Both lefties and righties have taken Scooter deep on four occasions thus far.

As a team, the White Sox bat .267 against the Hawaiian-born right-hander, and Paul Konerko (.353, 2 HRs, 6 RBI) as well as Alex Rios (.304, 2 HRs, 5 RBI) have had particular success against him.

During his current two-game winning streak, Feldman has posted a 4.91 ERA.

Texas Rangers (50-31, L 10: 6-4)

Roy Oswalt...Ah, forget about it—Feldman Looks to Stop Rangers Skid

Elvis knocked in the Rangers’ only runs last night with a two-run double.


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

*Craig Gentry gets the night off tonight.

VS

RHP Dylan Axelrod (0-1, 4.50 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Axelrod has never pitched against the Texas Rangers and has yet to win his first game of the season.

The 26-year-old Santa Barbara, California native was originally a 30th round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2007.

Tonight will mark just the tenth major league appearance for Axelrod, and just his seventh start.

Notes:

• During his six game losing streak, Feldman surrendered 29 hits over 25 2/3 innings. Oswalt has now given up 35 hits over 17 innings spanning just three games.

* Andrus’ two-run double last night not only kept the Rangers from being shutout for just the second time all season, but it also stretched his hitting streak t0 10 games.

• Since 1970, only five pitchers have allowed 13 hits in consecutive starts, with Livan Hernandez being the most recent in 2008, and HOF Bob Gibson being the most famous; he achieved this dubious distinction in 1970.

Go Rangers!

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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 192012
 
Maybe hope can stay afloat. Take a deep breath just in case.

Scott Feldmans Bound to Win Sooner or Later, Why Not Tonight? Padres/Rangers Game 2 Preview

Maybe hope can stay afloat. Take a deep breath just in case.

So far so good for this trip to the West Coast. The Texas Rangers were able to win last night at the ultimate pitcher’s park, 2-1. They couldn’t have done it without Matt Harrison (9-3), who, once again, was outstanding.

One troubling trend for Texas continued, however.

It seems as though the Rangers can only score in one inning per game. Or at least, the outcome during their current four game winning streak has been decided based on the one big inning.

In last night’s affair, all two of their runs were scratched out during the first inning. That’s interesting, since the Rangers scored zero runs in the first four innings at home against the Astros, but still managed the sweep while outscoring Houston 23-8.

Tonight, once again, Scott Feldman will look to earn his first victory since 2011. I hate to bag on the guy, but I have about zero confidence in his ability to keep the Rangers in the game. Here’s hoping Texas can plate nine in the first frame and Feldman can somehow find a way to win.

Sixth starter Scott Feldman (0-6, 6.50 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 6.8 K/9) will oppose former Ranger Edinson Volquez (3-6, 3.70 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 7.6 K/9).

Tonight’s starting lineups:

San Diego Padres (24-44)

Scott Feldmans Bound to Win Sooner or Later, Why Not Tonight? Padres/Rangers Game 2 Preview

Headley was 3-for-5 with an RBI last night for San Diego.


RF Will Venable
CF Cameron Maybin
3B Chase Headley
LF Carlos Quentin (.273 BA, 1 HR, 2 RBI vs. Feldman)
1B Yonder Alonso
SS Everth Cabrera
C Nick Hundley
2B Alexi Amarista
P Edinson Volquez

Feldman

Scott has been more “cooler” than “scooter” since he slid into the number five slot last month.

It’s been an odd five-start stretch for Feldman. There have been games where he’s pitched decently, such as on June 9th when he allowed just two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings against the Giants, yet took the loss.

Then there were games where he has been flat-out awful. Take the eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings against one of the worst offenses in baseball on June 4th at Oakland as an example.

Over his last five starts, Feldman’s 0-5 with a 9.00 ERA. Amazingly, he’s been even worse on the road, where he’s 0-3 with a 9.92 ERA. That’s really strange since his home park, Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, is notoriously hitter-friendly—yet his ERA is 3.66 in Arlington.

Left-handed hitters are batting .247 off of him this year while righties hit him at a .309 clip.

Tonight at San Diego’s Petco Park he’ll toe the rubber at the ultimate pitcher’s paradise. So, once again, he should be in good shape to get a win. We’ll just have to see.

Texas Rangers (41-27)

Scott Feldmans Bound to Win Sooner or Later, Why Not Tonight? Padres/Rangers Game 2 Preview

Murphy supplied all of the offense for Texas, with a two-out, first inning, 2 RBI single.


2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
CF Josh Hamilton
3B Adrian Beltre (.111 BA, 1 RBI vs. Volquez)
RF Nelson Cruz
LF Davis Murphy
C Mike Napoli
1B Mitch Moreland
P Scott Feldman

Volquez

There was a time, in the not-too-distant past where Volquez was the “v” in the acronym that provided the only real glimmer of hope for a franchise perpetually out of contention.

Volquez, signed in 2001 by the Rangers out of the Dominican Republic, was the initial piece in what would become known as the “D-V-D” boys, with John Danks (1st Round, 9th overall pick, 2003) and Thomas Diamond (1st Round, 10th overall pick, 2004) supplying the “d’s”. Both Danks and Volquez have had a measure of success—not with the Rangers, of course—and Thomas Diamond, well, not so much.

Edinson won 17 games for the Reds in 2008, but brought us Josh Hamilton, so all is forgiven. Even though Danks now is likely done for the season with a tear in his pitching shoulder, all we have to show for him is Brandon effing McCarthy.

Volquez, after having Tommy John surgery following his breakout 2008 season, has struggled. However, this season with the Padres he has had some success. His ERA at home is a sparkling 3.17, despite having won just one game at Petco.

His platoon splits are solid as lefties (.232 BA) have just a tad more success against him than righties (.220 BA).

Prediction time:

I think the Rangers offense is going to continue to do just enough to sneak out of San Diego with a win. Josh Hamilton, now fully recovered from a nasty intestinal virus, will have a big game against Volquez. Rangers extend their streak to five games in a row, and Feldman gets a no-decision.

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Jun 092012
 
Screen shot 2012-06-09 at 3.14.32 PM

Scott Feldman Seeks first Win, Looks to Keep Giants at BayIt took eleven tries for the Texas Rangers to finally win a game in the home of the San Francisco Giants. Today, Scott Feldman will be looking to get his first win of 2012 in his second career start at AT&T Park.

Hey, it could happen.

They say the first win is always the most difficult…they’ve managed to ex-the-hex, so maybe Feldman’s will be next?

A win this afternoon and the Rangers could secure the San Fran series—something they haven’t done since they swept Toronto nearly two weeks ago.

Here’s a look at the game two matchup between the Texas Rangers (34-25) and the San Francisco Giants (33-26).

RH Scott Feldman (0-4, 7.02 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, 4.0 K/9) vs. RH Ryan Vogelsong (4-2, 2.38 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 6.5 K/9)

Feldman

Feldman’s last game, against the Oakland Athletics was fantastic—until the second inning rolled along.

Yes, there truly is nothing like an 8-run second to put a damper on a 1-2-3 first eh? It happens. Well, it has happened to both Derek Holland and Scott Feldman this year. Here’s hoping it won’t ever happen again.

In Feldman’s career at AT&T Park, he is 0-2 with a 7.04 ERA which is alarmingly consistent with the numbers he has put up this year so far overall. The Giants are batting .286 against the tall right-hander.

Scooter schools:

Gregor Blanco and Ryan Theriot have yet to record a base hit against Feldman in four plate appearances.

Kicks Scooter’s pooter:

Melky Cabrera. The “Melk Man” owns a .333 batting average against him.

Vogelsong

One of the best stories of last year’s season was the emergence of Ryan Vogelsong as a quality right-handed starter—at the not-so-tender age of 33 after battling various arm injuries throughout his career.

The former fifth-round draft pick (1998) put it all together last year, earning an All-Star berth, finishing up at 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA.

Vogelsong is largely a mystery to the Texas Rangers, as he has faced just three everyday players—Adrian Beltre, Yorvit Torrealba, and Michael Young.

Loves to face:

Adrian Beltre. Beltre is hitting just .167 against Vogelsong over his career.

Sees him well:

Yorvit Torrealba. Torrealba hasn’t been in the box against Vogelsong that much (6 PAs). But what he has seen he’s liked. Yorvit has scorched him to the tune of a .667 BA.

Rangers keys to victory:

Nobody expects Scott Feldman to pull a “Matt Harrison” and dominate the Giants for nine innings. However, it would be nice if Feldman could go at least five innings and surrender less than four runs.

If Feldman can manage that, and the Rangers’ rested bullpen—hat tip to Harri—are effective, the Rangers should be able to manage a second-straight win…if last night’s offensive production wasn’t just an illusion.

Prediction time:

I think the Rangers can manage enough offense to beat Vogelsong today. After that, it’s all up to Mr. Feldman. If he surrenders more than five earned runs, the Rangers might not have enough to battle back into the game. I think Feldman will have his best start of the season, and the Rangers will win 6-4.

Go Rangers!

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Jun 072012
 
NS_22Sheppers3.jpg
Derek Holland to the 15 Day DL, Ogando to Rotation, Scheppers called up

Go get 'em, kid.

As if being shutout by Bartolo Colon 2-0—the team’s first shutout of the year—isn’t bad enough, the Texas Rangers have placed their second starting pitcher of the year on the disabled list.

Derek Holland, whose fastball lost considerable velocity in the fifth and sixth innings of his last start on Tuesday, has been placed on the 15-day DL with what is being described as left shoulder fatigue.

The “diagnosis” of a shoulder issue was unexpected, as it was initially thought that a stomach virus might be what would cause a possible DL stint. Holland has lost 15 pounds over the last two weeks due to the malady.

Derek Holland’s injury creates a broad-range ripple effect throughout the organization.

Alexi Ogando is back in the rotation

I’m a big Alexi Ogando fan, especially as a starter. I was disappointed when he wasn’t given another chance in the rotation out of spring training.

However, he is a damn fine reliever, and I’m all for the Rangers strengthening what aspects of their game they deem necessary—in that case, it was the bullpen that needed some help.

Ogando’s move to the rotation creates a few questions:

• Is he properly “stretched-out” enough? Can he go more than four-innings a start?

•How will his departure impact the bullpen?

Tanner Scheppers is called up from Triple-A

Scheppers was the Texas Rangers’ 44th overall draft pick out of Fresno State in 2009. He has long been on the team’s 40-man roster, but this will be his first time up in “The Show.”

• Scheppers has been healthy this year but has had a history of injuries in the past.
• Anytime a rookie is brought up, you never really know what you’re going to get in terms of success…they don’t always work out as superbly as Robbie Ross.

Koji Uehara’s heightened roll

Right-handed reliever Koji Uehara has been outstanding for the Texas Rangers in 2012. So good has Uehara been that he is no longer my favorite whipping boy for easy laughs.

Hell, it’s not easy to make fun of a 0.54 WHIP. How will Uehara react now that his importance has been increased greatly?

• Can Koji continue to produce at the same level in high-leverage situations?
• Will he be able to work as a “bridge” in Ogando’s absence?
• Can he go multiple innings if the situation dictates?

Scott Feldman remains the team’s number five starter

Feldman has been a hot topic of debate recently. He has yet to earn a win in his spot starts, and has seemingly pitched worse each time he’s run out there.

Most people—especially after his 8-run shellacking on Monday—wanted Feldman’s head on a platter. They wanted him to be left out of the rotation and kicked off the team….if you were one of those fans then the Holland injury is your worst nightmare.

• Feldman will remain the team’s number five starter—and he might even continue in that role when Roy Oswalt makes his debut in a few weeks.

• Believe it or not, Feldman will be missed in the Rangers bullpen. His continued absence could be an additional blow—coupled with Ogando’s loss—that weakens one of the Rangers’ strengths.

Final Analysis

You never want any of your starters to go down with an injury. One of the keys to the 2011 Texas Rangers was their ability to stay on the field (rotation-wise). This year’s squad—now with just two DL stints—hasn’t by any means been “injury prone” but anytime you lose a starting pitcher, much less two, there are negative ramifications.

Honestly, I feel that this might have occurred at the best possible time for the Texas Rangers. Not only is it early in the season, but many felt that a change might be necessitated by their recent struggles against inferior teams.

Well, here’s that change you’ve been hoping for. Ogando’s back in the rotation, and we finally get to see what the fire-balling right-hander Tanner Scheppers can do.

Relax.

Everything is going to be just fine. Yes, I realize that tomorrow we take off to play the San Francisco Giants in a stadium that we have never won a game in. Hey, all this means is that we’re due.

The Texas Rangers are in first place in the AL West by 4 1/2 games. There’s no need placing your finger anywhere remotely near the panic button as long as we are atop our division.

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Jun 062012
 
Derek Holland 4

Rangers rebound in Oakland with strong bullpen

Wednesday Morning CurveballsAlexi 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…

Wednesday Morning Curveballs

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.” 

Quick Hits

  • 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.
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Jun 052012
 
Scott Feldman 4
Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

Yeah. Scooter was lit-up last night.

The hackneyed premise for the recent movie,The Changeup,centers around two dudes that switch bodies after taking a piss in a magical pond.

It makes you wonder at what point the Mariners and the Rangers whizzed in Hurricane Harbor’s Lazy River.
We may never know. But should the secret surface, I’ll give you a shout main.

It’s definitely no secret as to who crapped the cradle for Texas last night: Scott Feldman.

Here are some of my thoughts—the ones that can be printed—after last night’s 12-1 Oakland A’s ass stomping.

Roy Oswalt’s appeal is at an all-time high

• Just like an ugly chick on dollar beer night, Roy Oswalt is looking better by the minute.

• And yes, Roy Oswalt would be one ugly chick—at least for the first nine beers…

Those Crazy 8s

• The Texas Rangers have surrendered eight runs in one inning for the third time in six days.

• The Seattle Mariners did it last week in consecutive innings. They’re batting .236 as a team

• The Oakland Athletics entered last night’s game batting .204…it jumped up to .213, which is still the worst in all of MLB if not the world.

Closed door meeting

• Seemed to work for the defense…not so much for the offense. How about an open-door testicle-tazing? Might just put a charge into them.

Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

Okay. Whose balls are first?

Forgot to pack the bat

• Beltre is 0-for-12 with 8 strikeouts over his last three games.

Scooter’s pooter

• In eerie fashion to Derek Holland a week ago, Feldman retired the first three A’s he faced while striking out 2-of-3…only to get rocked for 8 eight runs in the second inning.

Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked

This is how Feldman's pitches appeared from the batter's box during his fatal second inning.

Jarrod Parker is good, but they’re still the A’s

• Parker had a no-hitter going through seven innings; had he finished it off there would have been 10,000 in attendance to have witnessed it—but only 5,000 would have admitted to being there.

If it were up to me

• I’d option Scott Feldman to the minor leagues; or place him on the 15-day disabled list.

• Then I’d call up a lefty for the bullpen (Michael Kirkman) and I’d let Robbie Ross pitch in the five-hole until Roy Oswalt is ready.

• I would also hold Feldman contractually obligated to buy Papa John’s pizza for any Rangers’ fan that freely admits to having watched his second inning.

• The pizzas would be hand-delivered to us in bikinis by the Fox Sports Chicks.

• Maybe it would be a better idea for the Fox Sports Chicks to be in the bikinis rather than us…
Rangers Offense Bottoms out in Oaktown while Feldman Gets Rocked
2012 MLB Draft Picks

• The Rangers drafted Lewis Brinson with their 29th pick tonight. Joey Gallo was their next pick at 39th, and Colin Wyles was their final first-round selection, and was taken 53rd overall.

• None of the three are available for tomorrow night’s game. I already asked.

Tonight’s Head Scratcher

• Why go with center fielder Craig Gentry to pitch the eighth rather than Mitch Moreland?

Moreland was a closer at Mississippi State, his fastball sat in the low to mid 90s. Craig Gentry had TJ surgery in college (Arkansas).

Silver Lining in a sea of crap

• The Angels lost 8-6 last night.

• Thus the Rangers’ lead is still 4 1/2 games in the American League West; and being in first place is ALWAYS a good thing—so long as you’re not first in being last, whatever the hell that means.

Up Next:

Derek Holland toes the rubber for the first time since the Mariners provided him with an auxiliary a-hole last Wednesday…make sure to check back here for tomorrow’s BaseballDo pregame preview as well as a Rangers Draft review…

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Jun 042012
 
Snoop & Dre

Texas Rangers Look to Take Down Athletics West Coast StyleThe Texas Rangers finally stopped their 4-game losing streak—preventing the Angels from gaining ground—with their 7-3 victory yesterday afternoon.

For the Rangers, it’s another week of wonderful California weather and woeful West Coast start times. For the next four games it’s the less-than-formidable Oakland Athletics that stand in their path.

No matter how bad the Rangers have been playing lately, the A’s have been much worse. This Oakland squad is a team that the Rangers should have no problems dispatching. But what with the Rangers’ playing a skitterish brand of ball of late, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Oakland Athletics (23-31, 4th Place)

The A’s had a surprisingly strong start to the 2012 season. Since then, they’ve regressed back to their mean. Currently the once proud franchise has won just one game in their last 10.

On the hill:

RH Scott Feldman (0-3, 4.50 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, K/9: 4.1, BB/9: 4.5)

vs.

RH Jarrod Parker (1-2, 2.88 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, K/9: 6.4, BB/9: 4.6)

Feldman

This will be “Scooter’s” third spot-start as the number five man in place of the injured Neftali Feliz. In terms of success, he’s been right down the middle. He has yet to win a game and hasn’t pitched more than 4 2/3 innings yet.

However, aside from being roughed up in Seattle late last month, he’s pitched well enough to keep his team in the game.

Gives Scooter Fits:

Kurt Suzuki (.300, 4 RBI)

Can’t hit his shi*:

Cliff Pennington and Adam Rosales are a combined 2-for-16 (.125) with 4 Ks against Scooter.

Key to success: Scott Feldman relies on two things for success: fastball command, and keeping his sinker down in the zone. When he’s on, he is a groundball machine that works quickly. If he doesn’t have the feel for his sinker it’ll be a quick outing—even against Oakland’s lethargic offense.

Parker

Jarrod Parker was one of the key trade pieces in the Trevor Cahill trade last off-season. Parker was the Diamondbacks’ top pick in the 2007 MLB Draft (1st RD, 9th Overall).

Like Feldman, Parker can have issues in command and generally walks far too many batters. However, he is extremely difficult to hit home runs off of so he tends to minimize the damage of his free passes.

Parker was roughed up for 6 earned runs against an anemic San Francisco Giants offense that was without their top hitter, Pablo Sandoval.

Hitters that have found their niche and batter’s he’s made his bitch

In his young career, Parker has never faced a current member of the Texas Rangers.

Keys to Victory:

It’s a small sample size, but if the A’s can hit enough to give Parker a lead he might be able to capitalize against a Rangers offense that has been sputtering of late.

Prediction Time

Parker has never faced an offense as potent as the Texas Rangers. He struggled against a Kung Fu Panda-less Giants offense last month and if he brings that same game tonight, he will get crushed.

Rangers win 5-2.

Go Rangers!

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