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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers loss

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ChiSox 4, Rangers 3

Jon Durr/Getty Images

ChiSox 4, Rangers 3

  • Dammit.
  • Man, what a crappy couple of games.  Yesterday was flat and bleah and lousy, and then today, Colby keeps the Rangers in the game, it looks like Texas might steal a win, and the bullpen blows it.
  • Colby's command was off today, and I kept waiting all game for him to give up a big inning, but that never came.  It took Colby 105 pitches to get through 6 innings, and he walked 4 batters against just 3 Ks, but he battled and got outs when he needed them, and the only run that Chicago put on the board against Colby was a solo home run by Melky Cabrera in the second.
  • Tony Barnette got the nod for the 7th inning with the scored tied at 1, and he had a 1-2-3 inning, so when the Rangers scored in the 8th, it seemingly set the stage for a Sam Dyson/Shawn Tolleson combo to close out the game.  Alas, it was not to be...Dyson was completely off his game today, and immediately allowed the game to be tied back up by allowing a home run to Todd Frazier.  He then walked Melky Cabrera, and after Brett Lawrie popped up, Dyson hit Avisail Garcia to put runners at first and second.  Cabrera then came home on a Dioner Navarro single, putting runners on first and third.  Texas caught a brought when Austin Jackson attempted a safety squeeze, as Garcia was thrown out at home, putting runners at first and second with two outs.  Even then, Adam Eaton singled off of Dyson, with potentially more damage occurring, had Delino DeShields not thrown Navarro out at home.
  • Texas managed to tie it up, and with the game tied at 3 heading into the 9th, and the heart of the ChiSox order due up, I thought Jeff Banister might opt for Shawn Tolleson, who didn't pitch last night.  Instead, Banister went with Tom Wilhelmsen.  Wilhelmsen promptly gave up a single to Jimmy Rollins, who seemingly advanced to third on a stolen base/wild throw combo with Jose Abreu at the plate.  However, the batter's interference that has plagued Texas this year helped the Rangers for once, as Abreu was called for interfering with Holaday when he hit Holaday on his backswing, and Rollins was sent back to first.  That was critical when Abreu ended up grounding into a GIDP on a 3-2 count (which led many folks to wonder why Rollins wasn't running), bringing up Frazier.  Frazier seemingly ended the game at that point, hitting a shot to right field that looked like it was a home run, but Nomar Mazara made a terrific leaping catch to end the inning.  I'd try to embed it below, but I think it was good enough it deserves its own separate post.
  • Phil Klein had an 11 pitch, 1-2-3, strike out the side 10th inning which was probably the best inning he's pitched in the major leagues.  He didn't go out for the 11th, which I didn't understand, until I was reminded that Klein pitched last night.
  • Instead, Nick Martinez pitched last night, for the first time in almost two weeks -- the last time he pitched was as a starter in a AAA game.  Martinez started the 11th by walking Navarro, then hit Jackson, then walked Eaton, loading the bases with no one out.  Rollins then hit into a fielder's choice, with Navarro being forced out at home, which gave you hope Martinez could induce a GIDP to end the game...but alas, Abreu singled past Adrian Beltre to end the game at 4-3.
  • Being the last man in the bullpen is hard, and part of the reason teams like to use a veteran is that they are better equipped to deal with going a week without pitching, then being thrust into the game and being asked to perform.  Martinez didn't do that today, and after the bullpen being used so much today, one has to wonder if he (or Klein) might not be sent out to get a fresh arm in the bullpen tomorrow.
  • Speaking of getting sent out, I've been assuming that Ryan Rua's job was secure when Josh Hamilton and Shin-Soo Choo return, but I'm starting to wonder.  Rua was on the bench for today's game, despite the fact that Carlos Rodon, the ChiSox starter, has been deadly against lefties this season.  If you aren't going to start a healthy Rua against Carlos Rodon, there's not much point in having him on the roster, and after Rua struggled against lefty Jose Quintana yesterday, it may simply be that Banister is going to have little patience with him.
  • The Rangers had 7 hits and 4 walks today.  Ian Desmond had one of those hits -- a home run -- and drew three of the walks, and scored all three runs.  For as much grief as Desmond (deservedly) has received this year, he's been pretty solid in the outfield, and he's gotten his OPS up to 566 on the season -- higher than the Rangers' $24M DH, who is currently sporting a 534 OPS.
  • Other than Desmond, the offense was pretty motley today.  Elvis Andrus had a triple in the 7th to drive home Desmond with the team's second run, and then had a sac-fly to bring home Desmond, after Desmond walked, stole second and advanced to third on an error on a strike-em-out/throw-the-ball-into-center-field play with Mitch Moreland at the plate.  Rougned Odor had a couple of hits.  DeShields had a walk and a single.  That's about it as far as offensive highlights go.
  • Anyway, Derek Holland pitches tomorrow against Mat Latos.  Hopefully, Texas will avoid the sweep.