ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 6: Josh Hamilton #32 of the Texas Rangers hits a sacrifice fly to left field for Ian Kinsler #5 to score against the Cleveland Indians at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on August 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)
Any sport being a "game of inches" is a cliche, but this morning, I can't help but think of how close Nelson Cruz came to catching Kosuke Fukudome's 9th inning blast last night -- a drive to deep right-center that normally would have been the centerfielder's ball, but which Cruz was closer to because of how far around toward left the outfield was positioned -- how an inch or two more and Cruz probably hangs onto that ball, and how the 9th inning would have been different, had that ball been flagged down.
Joey Matches writes about the Neftali Feliz situation, and notes, among other things, that last night was the fifth time in Feliz's career that he's thrown in back-to-back-to-back games, and it was the first time he'd allowed a run in that situation. Too many people seemed, last night, inclined to beat on Ron Washington for pressing Feliz into action on a third consecutive day. There may have been a fatigue factor there, but given that he hadn't thrown that many pitches in either of the two previous games, I think the problem yesterday has more to do with Feliz's inherent inconsistency this year, and the fact that we never seem to have any idea from game to game whether Feliz is going to have his command or not.
Jeff Wilson's game story speculates about Mike Adams or Koji Uehara taking over the closer role, despite Ron Washington and C.J. Wilson both speaking up in defense of Feliz. Washington goes so far as to say that Feliz wasn't the problem last night because he threw strikes, and that "you've got to tip your cap to the Indians." The problem, as Tom Grieve noted in the broadcast last night, wasn't that Feliz wasn't throwing strikes, but that he was throwing nothing but fastballs, and the Indian hitters were able to tee off when he didn't hit the corners and instead left his fastball over the middle of the plate.
Louie Horvath's game story has Washington saying he's fine with Feliz blowing saves as long as he spreads them out.
Richard Durrett writes that Feliz is still confident, despite the blown save.
The Rangers' website notes include stuff on Holland's consistency, Michael Young's imminent 2000th hit, and the Merle Haggard song about the Rangers.
Wilson's "MLB Insider" talks about why Jarrod Saltalamacchia ended up flopping in Texas despite high expectations, Chris Davis's shoulder problems, and the Rangers missing out on Carlos Beltran. Wilson says the Mets wanted Martin Perez for Beltran, which the Rangers weren't willing to do, and suggests that the Mets may have taken San Francisco's Zack Wheeler instead of Perez even if the Rangers had been willing to part with Perez.