Saturday a.m. Rangers stuff

I don't even really know what to say about things right now.

That game last night has me about as demoralized about this team as I've been at any point this year.

Joey Matches calls it "the lousiest game of the season," and I tend to agree.

I don't want to see Dave Bush pitch for the Rangers, ever again.  But if the Rangers decide to bring up someone from AAA so they have a fresh arm for today's game -- after using every member of the bullpen yesterday -- I'm not convinced that Neftali Feliz shouldn't be the guy who should go down.  He has options, he pitched two innings yesterday and thus is probably unavailable for the rest of the weekend, and he's pitched poorly all season.  Send him to Round Rock, tell him to get his head right, and let him come back in 10 days when he's eligible to return.

The one thing that gives you some reason for optimism about this season is that the rest of the A.L. West isn't any good, either, and none of the other teams look like they're going to put any distance between themselves and the rest of the division.

Jeff Wilson's game story talks about the blown Feliz save, and has some interesting comments about what was going on:

 

A pitchers’ duel broke out from there, until Gordon crushed a 423-foot solo homer off Feliz with one out in the ninth to tie the game at 7-7. The blown save was Feliz’s third straight against Kansas City and his third of the season to match his total from 2010.

"Gordon got him," Washington said. "The pitch he hit was 99 mph. He earned it."

Feliz had thrown only fastballs to Alcides Escobar and Gordon. Pitching coach Mike Maddux told Feliz to mix in his off-speed pitches in the 10th inning, and Feliz enjoyed a 1-2-3 inning.

"Michael mentioned he should use his breaking stuff, and he went out there and did it," Washington said.

Feliz's bizarre refusal to throw anything but fastballs lately has been discussed at lengthy, but the other issue here is that he's not throwing his fastball particularly well.  Yes, the ball Gordon hit may have been 99 mph, but it was up and out over the plate.  If you are throwing nothing but fastballs, but they have movement and are all knee-high, that's less of a problem than when you are throwing nothing but fastballs and you are leaving them up in the hitter's wheelhouse.  You see where Feliz put that Gordon pitch, and the only surprise is that Gordon didn't hit it out of TBIA altogether.

 

T.R. Sullivan's game story includes Yorvit Torrealba saying to blame him if Feliz is throwing too many fastballs, and Ron Washington saying everything is fine with Feliz.  There's also a quote from Ned Yost saying that he thought the game was over in the 11th when Nelson Cruz hit a two out blast to deep left that was knocked down by the wind.

Yeah, I thought it was over then, too.  Stupid wind.

Evan Grant has his post-game thoughts up at the DMN blog.  

Brandon Webb is going to start a rehab assignment with Frisco next week, even though he's still just throwing 84 mph.  I'm not terribly interested in Webb at this point, though...there's little indication at this point that he's going to be able to throw hard enough to be able to have an impact at the major league level this year.

The S-T's notes include stuff on Michael Kirkman's return, Julio Borbon's status, and Josh Hamilton and Endy Chavez being close to being able to return to the outfield.

Sullivan says Hamilton expects to return to left field for today's game, although that would seemingly just result in an overall defensive shuffle, with Nelson Cruz returning to right field, Mitch Moreland going to first base, and Michael Young going to DH.  

Sullivan also says that Scott Feldman's rehab assignment has been halted and he's being shut down to try to improve the strength in his legs.

Grant has a blog post upabout some of the details and myths about the play by play situation, and the decision for John Rhadigan to move back to his old pre- and post-game role.

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