I have a hard time coming away from last night's game, and looking at the lineup, without thinking that Ron Washington just decided that the Rangers weren't going to beat Cliff Lee anyway, so send out a split squad lineup and hope the Rangers can take the next three. A lineup with Josh Hamilton and David Murphy facing a dominating lefty, plus Craig Gentry, Andres Blanco, Joaquin Arias, and Matt Treanor in the lineup, is about as close to a give-up lineup as you're going to see. And when Washington didn't even make a move in the bottom of the 8th, letting Treanor, Blanco and Gentry all hit against Lee, that conveyed to me the notion that the Rangers were conceding.
I'm not even angry about this anymore. You can spread blame between the manager for rolling a give up lineup out there and the front office for doing such an incredibly poor job in constructing a bench, but at this point, I feel like I'm just giving up on it. This team appears at peace with the fact that the on-field staff is going to make questionable to the point of bizarre lineup and in-game tactical decisions, and seems to have embraced the notion that the bench needs to consist of guys who can't hit and that the team is not going to have success against lefthanders.
Moving right along...
Scott Feldman had a Harden-esque outing last night against one of the worst offenses in baseball, but the S-T's game story says he just had one bad inning, and you can't have a bad inning against Cliff Lee. Similarly, the Ticket's post-game show praised Feldman and Matt Harrison for the great job they did giving the Rangers innings, after the hole the Sunday pitcher had put the team in.
William Wilkerson has some notes about Harrison's transition to the bullpen, and Ron Washington's explanation as to why Elvis Andrus got the day off. Apparently, Ron felt that after playing two day games in the extreme heat, Elvis could use a day off...why you sit him against a lefty, when he's one of the few guys in the lineup who produces against lefties, rather than sitting him on one of the hot days over the weekend against a righthander, I don't know.
Wondering why Craig Gentry, considered the best defensive outfielder on the roster, was in left field last night, while Josh Hamilton played center? Per the S-T:
Hamilton in left, especially coming off a cortisone shot in his right knee, would seem to make as sense as there is less ground to cover. Washington, though, said Hamilton's knee is fine and his mind is in a better place when he's playing center field when Julio Borbon has a night off.
If that's the case, Gentry has no business being on the 25 man roster. His utility is in being able to play center when Borbon is out. If you aren't even going to do that, go find someone who can hit a little, instead.