Tigers 6, Rangers 0
- That thumping noise you hear is big piles of dirt being shoveled on the closed coffin as the Rangers' 2014 playoff hopes are being buried.
- Nick Martinez was a mess today. He started off okay, throwing strikes, but then Shin-Soo Choo lost a couple of balls in the sun in the first and in the second innings that fell for hits, then he completely lost his ability to throw strikes, and everything ended up snowballing. By the time Ron Washington went out and got Martinez, he looked as bad as I've seen Martinez look in a Ranger uniform.
- Martinez's final line was 2.1 IP, 6 hits, 5 walks, 0 Ks, and 4 runs allowed. His final 9 batters went: Walk, walk, fly out, walk, fly out, double, single, walk, walk. Scott Baker then came in, gave up a run-scoring single to Ian Kinsler, then induced an inning-ending double play from Torii Hunter to keep Martinez's line from getting any worse.
- Steve Busby and Mark McLemore (I think it was Mac tonight) were talking about how difficult it is for a young pitcher, who normally has good command, to suddenly lose it. Martinez's body language on the mound was bad, and he clearly looked like he had no confidence in his ability to throw strikes in the third inning. There are some instances where you say, the season is shot anyway, let the young pitcher work through it and figure it out on his own. But in this instance, I wanted Wash to go get him...it didn't seem, to me, there was anything Martinez was going to learn from being left out there to drown.
- Hopefully, this is just a bump on the road for Martinez, who, as we've talked about before, had just a handful of starts above A ball before 2014. He's been thrust onto the big stage prematurely because of injuries, and has acquitted himself well so far.
- Kudos to Scott Baker, who threw 84 pitches in 6.2 innings, saving the rest of the bullpen. With no more offdays before the All Star Break, Baker's reward may be getting DFA'd tomorrow so that the Rangers can get a fresh long man in the bullpen.
- The Ranger offense, once again, did nothing worth discussing. Leonys, Elvis and Sardinas each had a hit. Leonys, Beltre and Pena each drew a walk. Elvis hit into two GIDPs, and Michael Choice hit into one.
- One more forgettable night of Ranger baseball, in the midst of a season I'd like to forget.