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Thoughts on a 12-11 Rangers loss

J.P. Arencibia wants to be the Rangers' 2015 first baseman

Tom Pennington

Yankees 12, Rangers 9

  • What the hell, J.P. Arencibia?
  • Let's start with the starting pitcher...Nick Martinez started off shaky, then got into a groove for a few innings, and looked like he was going to pick up a quality start.  The wheels came off in the 6th inning, though, as he allowed three runs before being pulled for Shawn Tolleson.  Tolleson threw gas on the fire, allowing two more of Martinez's runners to score, plus two of his own.
  • It was unfortunate, because the Rangers had scored some runs and were up 4-1, and looked like they might be able to shut up the obnoxious Yankee fans at TBiA.  Alas, that 7 run 6th inning was a back breaker.
  • Oh, and the 7th run 6th also featured yet another fly ball into the outfield where communication issues between Leonys Martin and a COF -- in this case, Alex Rios -- led to a ball falling in.  And the ball caromed off of Rios's glove and hit Leonys on the head.  Just the capper on a crappy inning.
  • Tolleson's two run outing was followed up by Roman Mendez allowing 2 runs, and Neal Cotts allowing 2 runs.  Only Nate Adcock, among the Ranger relievers who appeared today, did NOT allowed a pair of runs.
  • Cotts, I'm just going to assume, wants to stay in Texas, and since T.R. Sullivan wrote that the Rangers are considering extending him rather than trading him, he wanted to sabotage his trade value so Texas won't get enough of a return to make it worth trading him.
  • So, yeah, J.P. Arencibia.  4 for 5 with two doubles and two homers, including a grand slam.  He had a .303 slugging percentage at the start of play.  He now has a .404 slugging percentage.  He had a 28 wRC+ at the start of play.  He has a 63 wRC+ now.  And Tom Verducci said, after Arencibia's first homer, that JPA had been playing well since coming back up from the minors.  He hadn't, though, before today...he'd hit some homers, but still had an OBP barely above .200.  Still, he'd looked better, been hitting the ball harder, looked like he was at least a major leaguer.  And then this explosion...just insane.
  • Only four other times in Ranger history had a player had at least 2 doubles and 2 homers in a game:  Rafael Palmeiro did it twice, and Gerald Laird and Kevin Elster did it once apiece.  And now there's J.P. Arencibia.
  • Staying on the offensive side of things, a big game for Elvis Andrus, who was 3 for 5 with a stolen base, a heads-up play to advance to third on a groundout that eventually allowed him to score, and a walk.  Also a big 3 for 5 with a walk outing for Alex Rios, in what is possibly his last game as a Ranger.  Elvis, of course, singled in a pair of runs with two outs in the 9th, bringing up Rios, who walked, bringing up Adrian Beltre with the bases loaded in a 12-11 game.
  • And Beltre worked it to a 3-2 count before hitting a ball that, off the bat, I thought might be gone.  Alas, its 2014, which means we can't have nice things.  Instead, it was a fly out to deep left field, with Brett Gardner, of course, catching it for the final out.
  • In a season that actually mattered, I'd probably want to write another 2000 words about this game, and I'd be lying awake tonight, thinking about the lost opportunities, wondering if this game was going to end up costing the Rangers a playoff berth.  From a purely pragmatic standpoint, this is, I guess, a good outcome for Texas, since we want the #1 overall pick and the big bonus pool and all.  But still...this would have been a fun game to win.
  • And this game was also a reminder of how, even in a crappy season, even in a loss, baseball can be a whole lot of fun.  The past two games have been as enjoyable a couple of games as I can remember over the last couple of months.
  • That said...I really want to send Derek Jeter home with a loss in his last game in TBiA.