Two sweeps in a row. Yay! And the bats seem to be getting into a good groove...
Jeff Wilson's game story talks about the resurgent bats that put 13 runs on the board yesterday.
Ironically, after all that, Randy Galloway has a column about how badly the Ranger offense is missing the genius of Rudy Jaramillo. And, of course, takes a swipe at those on the interwebs:
And those who operate in the geek world of baseball stats thought they had proof with their numbers on what Rudy and his hitters did, or mainly didn't, accomplish.
Not sure what this means, exactly. Galloway, of course, is and has been a big Jaramillo fan, and is and has been a big critic of the geek world of baseball. And he even acknowledges, in the midst of a column that is all about how much worse the Ranger offense is without Jaramillo, that Clint Hurdle is highly regarded.
Galloway, though, claims that the offense has gotten worse from 2009. His evidence?
Meanwhile, a comparison of stats from a year ago, and for those who doubted or blamed Rudy for the Rangers' '09 offensive slide, the early "numbers," even the "deep count" geek numbers, work against them.
Not counting Thursday night:
Pitches per plate appearance: 3.8 then and now.
Walks: 140 now, 122 a year ago. (Thank you, Elvis, and also Justin Smoak.)
Strikeouts: 288 now, 335 a year ago.
Batting average: .265 now, .272 a year ago.
Home runs: 37 now, 57 a year ago.
Runs: 194 now, 221 a year ago
And worst of all:
Hitting with runners in scoring position: .241 now and .267 a year ago.
The hitting with RISP is a red herring, something the media loves to seize upon as a talking point even though it is something that, regardless of short-term fluctuations, normalizes over time. Hitting with RISP so far this season has nothing to do with the quality of the offense or the hitting coach, and to suggest that the Rangers are hitting .241 with RISP is an indictment of Hurdle and a point in Jaramillo's favor is asinine.
That being said...
The key phrase is "a year ago." As in, on May 20, 2009, not for 2009 as a whole.
Because as of right now, the Rangers have a higher batting average than they did at the end of the 2009 season (.271 v. .260). They have a higher OBP than they did at the end of the 2009 season (.338 v. .320). They are averaging more walks per game and fewer strikeouts per game.
The numbers are down in the power department -- the Rangers have a lower slugging percentage and are on pace for fewer homers than last year. But they are on pace to score 798 runs, after scoring 784 runs last season.
It appears to be about breakeven, despite Galloway's insistence today that the Rangers have gone backwards offensively without Rudy.
And please, let me be clear...this isn't a slam on Rudy Jaramillo. He's regarded as a great hitting coach, and I have no reason to doubt that. However, as with the manager, I think there's too much credit given to the hitting coach when things are going well, and too much blame when they aren't. There appeared to be a thought that a change may be best for everyone, particularly given that the Rangers' biggest offensive issues last year seemed to be with hitters' approach at the plate, which seems to be more of a Hurdle strength than a Jaramillo strength.
But this team is score runs or not based on the players, not the hitting coach. And Galloway seems to be setting up a straw man with his column, and then whiffs on the numbers on the 2010 offense versus the 2009 offense.
Anyway, moving right along...
Anthony Andro's notes include Josh Hamilton talking about the blown home run call.
Evan Grant has his post-game comments, and thinks Guillermo Moscoso is on a very short rope after not being able to close out the 9th with a huge lead last night.
Jennifer Floyd Engel talks about Ron Washington winning despite regular mistakes.