CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Starting pitcher Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
- Scott Feldman is a singularly maddening pitcher. Tonight, the first five batters of the game all reached. Roy Oswalt was warming with just one out in the first inning. Then Feldman, Koji Uehara, and Alexi Ogando retired 24 of the next 27 batters they faced. But the Indians scored 4 runs off of Feldman in the first, and that was enough. Feldman wasn't unlucky in the first inning...he was getting hammered. Then something clicked, and he was terrific after that. But the consistent inconsistency makes you wonder how much you can really trust Feldman.
- After a rough outing yesterday, Koji Uehara bounced back by retiring all three batters he faced tonight. That's a very good sign, as a quality Uehara would definitely help the Rangers' playoff bullpen. Texas isn't going to win in the playoffs by having their starting pitchers dominate the opponents...Texas is going to win in the playoffs by getting five or six quality innings from their starters, then having a deep, dominant bullpen shut down the opposition the rest of the way. Uehara has the ability to be a key part of that, despite last season's playoff disaster.
- Today was the first day with expanded rosters, and the first day in almost a month where the Rangers have a true backup shortstop on the roster in Jurickson Profar. Ron Washington responded by giving Elvis Andrus a "planned" day off in the field, using him instead as a DH. Profar didn't start at shortstop, though...Michael Young did. Eric Nadel, in the radio broadcast, apparently said that Wash was "sending a message" by starting Young at shortstop. I tend to agree, particularly in light of his statement that he had planned to give Andrus the day off today. Its the first day of roster expansion. Its the first day in a while with a true backup infielder. Its the first day that Jurickson Profar, the darling of the farm system, the guy that fans and some media are demanding start getting playing time, is on the roster. To play Young at shortstop instead of Profar does, I think, send a message. It tells Michael Young that his playing time is safe. It tells the veterans that their jobs are safe. It is Wash's way of saying that he's sticking with the guys who he's been to war with. Leonys Martin, Mike Olt, Jurickson Profar...they may be the future, and they may be on the roster, but their time isn't now.
- Young rewarded Wash's gesture with an 0 for 4 night, including a critical inning-ending GIDP with runners on first and second in the fourth inning.
- Josh Hamilton and Ian Kinsler also pulled 0 for 4s, and Elvis Andrus, hitting 2nd, went 1 for 4. Thus, Adrian Beltre's 3 hit night, including a homer, went largely for naught.
- There were a couple of curious non-moves by Wash in the 9th inning. After David Murphy singled to right field, it seemed like the obvious move -- particularly given the expanded roster -- would be to have Craig Gentry pinch run for Murphy. Gentry stayed on the bench, though. Meanwhile, Geovany Soto -- with a 631 OPS on the season -- was due up. Leonys Martin, a lefty bat, was available on the bench. Mike Olt was available. Craig Gentry, for that matter, was available. But Soto was allowed to hit, and he struck out. One batter later, the game was over.
- Prior to being traded to Texas, Geovany Soto had a .284 OBP and a .347 slugging percentage for the Cubs. Since coming to Texas, Soto has a .284 OBP and a .341 slugging percentage.