Jun 032012

Bad Defense Spoils Solid Yu Darvish outing as Rangers Drop 4th Straight

Shipwrecked. Lost. Outside of the norm. You get the idea.

Last Wednesday, when the Rangers were one kick away from being entirely out of shi@—on their way to a 21-8 embarassment—wasn’t that much easier to stomach than tonight’s 3-2 loss to the Angels?

It was for me. All of the hallmarks of bad baseball (minus poor pitching) were on hand in Anaheim.

For the second time in as many nights, the Texas Rangers waste a quality start from their pitching thanks to a team that’s in a fielding funk and out of sync at the plate.

If the recipe for success is strong starting pitching, then the hair in the hogie is poor plate production; and fielding errors will spoila solid effort faster than an egg salad sandwich in the hot Texas sun.

The Wizard of WTF?!

• The Texas Rangers are now 0-4 since signing Roy Oswalt.

Yu Darvish

• He kept the ball in the park, and only surrendered two earned runs over his 6 1/3 innings of work. Darvish struck out 7 and allowed just 5 hits.

• This was one of Darvish’s finest starts all things considered. He took the tough luck loss, but he’s pitched MUCH worse and earned a few wins too.

• Andrus, Torrealba and Kinsler all killed potential rallies with the ground ball double play.

• The Rangers were 0-for-10 with RISP and left 10 men on base.

Costly Errors and Unearned runs

• The two terms don’t always go together. The Rangers are in that kind of a funk though. They get no breaks, they receive bad calls, and seemingly every error scores.

• The Rangers had 3 errors, and, you guessed it, another unearned run was the result.

The 6th Inning Strikes Again

• Just like last night, the Rangers had held the Halos scoreless until the sixth inning.

• If we had kept the Halos scoreless in the sixth frame last night and tonight, the Rangers might be up 2-0 in the series rather than down 0-2.

• Can we just play two fifth innings tomorrow and call it even?

Captain Poo

• King Poo went 0-for-2. Not exactly a shocking news development.
• When he stole third base though, I was stunned. It’s just another sign that the baseball gods are not on the Rangers side right now.

C.J. Wilson

• He wore a red glove. He nibbled. He walked fools. In other words, Ceej was just Ceej.

• The fact that we didn’t knock him out early is just another sign that our offense is floating up shit creek with a turd for a paddle.

Trout was OUT!

• I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen a player get ejected as fast as Yorvit Torrealba was tonight. From the looks of it, he had good reason to be upset. Mike Trout was clearly out.

Who’s Hot

• Nelson Cruz: He went 2-for-4 to raise his average to .272.

• Michael Young: Also went 2-for-4 as he inches closer to .300 once again.

Who’s Not

• Josh Hamilton: Hamilton went 0-for-4 with 2 Ks. He left five me on base, including the tying run at third base (and the bases loaded) when he struck out to end the game.

• Adrian Beltre: He had has his worst game as a member of the Texas Rangers last night.

Another costly error on a play that MUST be made “complemented” by an 0-for-4 with 4 Ks night at the plate.

Silver Linings in a Sea of Crap:

1. Yu Darvish. We’ve got an ace, folks.

2. C.J. Wilson did NOT earn the victory—just like the playoffs.

Final Take:

The defensive issues have got to stop. Elvis Andrus set the tone—in a bad way—by failing to put enough on the throw to first that should have nailed Mike Trout in the bottom of the first inning.

There’s no excuse for this. It’s not like it’s a news flash that Trout goes from home plate to first base in 3.7 seconds. That’s why he’s an 80-grade runner (plus-plus) on the scouting scale of 20-80.

Adrian Beltre continues to bobble the routine play. The Angels’ first run—in a game that the Rangers would lose by one—should have been avoided if Beltre can just find the handle on that slow-chopper for the force at home.

All of the miscues aside, the Rangers biggest problem is that they’re just not hitting. It’s as if the Blue Jays series was just an anomaly. What the Rangers desperately need is a big night at the plate. They don’t need to “pull a Seattle” but a blowout win could set the tone for their next series and move them in the right direction.

Up Next:

LH Matt Harrison (6-3, 4.41 ERA) will look to stop the Rangers’ season-long skid at 4 and stave off the sweep. On the hill for the Halos is right-hander Dan Haren (3-5, 3.52 ERA).

The first pitch is scheduled for 2:35 PM this afternoon. Make sure to check back here for the BaseballDo pregame preview!

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