CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 4: Second baseman Ian Kinsler #5 of the Texas Rangers can't get to a ground ball hit by Jack Hannahan (not shown) #9 of the Cleveland Indians during the seventh inning at Progressive Field on May 4, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
- The Rangers have now lost 3 games in a row for the first time since July 31-August 3 of 2011. The Rangers then won 11 of their next 13 after that.
- The Rangers have also lost 5 of their last 7 games, which is why this probably feels like a worse losing streak than just 3 games in a row.
- The last three losses have all featured mediocre (or worse) starting pitching, the type of starting pitching we seemed to grow accustomed to for much of the 21st century, but which now seems abnormal and unacceptable.
- Colby really wasn't awful tonight...he allowed two early homers and clearly didn't have his best stuff, but he battled and kept the Rangers into the game into the 7th inning.
- In the bottom of the 7th, though, with the Rangers down 4-3, there was a rather baffling decision on the part of Ron Washington/Mike Maddux. With Lewis's pitch count in the 90s, Washington sent Lewis back out to start the 7th. Questionable decision, given there was a fully rested bullpen and Lewis wasn't at his sharpest, but whatever...I don't really have a huge issue with that. Lewis retired the first two batters, then walked Casey Kotchman on a 3-2 pitch. Jack Hannahan then singled, putting runners on first and second with two outs for Johnny Damon. Damon, like every other batter in the inning, was a lefty. Robbie Ross had been warming and was ready to come into the game. I figure you'd bring Ross in to start the inning, given all the lefties, but if not, then you'd at least bring him in to face Damon, who was seeing Lewis for the fourth time in the game. But no...Lewis was left in the game, and Damon hit the 106th pitch of the game for a triple, turning a 4-3 game into a 6-3 game. In a classic case of locking the barn door after the cow has run off, Ross then came into the game and ended up going the rest of the way, striking out two batters while going 1.1 scoreless innings. The Rangers didn't score so it probably didn't matter, but I don't get leaving Lewis in the game to face Damon at that point.
- Josh Hamilton was back in the lineup tonight, which is good. Adrian Beltre was not back in the lineup tonight, which was bad. Hamilton was 1 for 4 with a costly caught stealing in the 8th, when he was thrown out on a strike 'em out/throw 'em out double play when he was put in motion on a 3-2 pitch with Michael Young at the plate. Beltre pinch hit for Alberto Gonzalez in the 9th and smoke a ball to right field that Shin-Soo Choo made a leaping catch on at the wall, robbing Beltre of a double.
- Mitch Moreland is continuing to hit. Since bottoming out with a .139 average and a 447 OPS on April 24, Moreland is 10 for his last 25, with two hits tonight.
- Nelson Cruz is showing some signs of life, as he had a line drive single and a sacrifice fly that he seemed to just miss getting all of and driving out of the park.
- The second place Oakland A's lost, so the Rangers are still 4.5 games up in the A.L. West.