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Thoughts on a 4-1 Rangers loss

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ChiSox 4, Rangers 1

ChiSox 4, Rangers 1

  • What a lousy series this was.
  • When Nomar Mazara went deep in the top of the first to make it 1-0 two batters in, I thought, okay, things are going our way today.  The bats will come alive, Mat Latos will get thumped, and the Rangers will salvage a win.  Alas...it was not to be.
  • Derek Holland on the mound for Texas today, and he was okay.  Yet another Quality Start picked up by a Rangers starter, as Holland went 6.1 IP, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits (including a home run), 3 walks, and 3 strikeouts.  Holland appeared to be in position to keep the Rangers in a pitchers' duel, retiring 11 of the first 12 hitters he faced, the lone outlier being Dioner Navarro homering to tie the game in the third.  Then Todd Frazier laced a ball into the left field corner with two outs in the fourth...Ryan Rua played the carom perfectly and fired a laser into second base, nailing Frazier on what looked like it would be an easy standup double.  The fourth was over, but that double was foreshadowing the fifth inning.
  • In the ffith, Bad Derek showed up, the one who can't locate and alternates between walking guys and giving up hard hit balls.  Holland walked Melky Cabrera to start the inning, and then Brett Lawrie hit a double into the gap in right-center, putting runners at second and third with no one out.  A breaking ball in the dirt then got away from Brett Nicholas, resulting in a wild pitch that allowed Cabrera to score.  After Jerry Sands walked, Navarro hit a sac fly to left, and a great throw home from Rua was late, but allowed Nicholas to throw down to second to get Sands trying to advance.  That saved a run, since Austin Jackson followed up with a double, but ultimately it didn't matter.
  • Alex Claudio came into the game with one out in the seventh and ended up throwing 1.2 IP while allowing a run and throwing 31 pitches.  I'm wagering he was allowed to finish it out on the theory that he'd be getting sent down tomorrow anyway to make room on the active roster for Cesar Ramos, who will be making a spot start for Cole Hamels.
  • The offense...sigh.  This was a frustrating game because Latos didn't pitch that well, and the Rangers hit the ball hard and got baserunners, but just couldn't make things work.  Ian Desmond was 3 for 4, and Elvis Andrus was 2 for 4, but neither of those guys scored.  The Rangers were 1 for 10 with RISP, and the one hit, by Elvis, didn't score a run.  This game seemed to be epitomized by the top of the 6th...Desmond singled, and after a Mitch Moreland pop out, stole second.  Elvis singled, with Desmond advancing to third, bringing Ryan Rua up.  Rua could tie the game up with an extra base hit, give the Rangers the lead with a home run.  And he hit the ball very hard -- per Jared Sandler on Twitter, it left the bat at 105 mph.  But he hit it back up the middle, where Latos could snag it and start an inning-ending double play.
  • It just wasn't the Rangers' day today.  Alas.  It happens.
  • Desmond, with his three hit day, got his OPS for the year over 600, and he also started in center today, with Delino DeShields getting a day off.  As Desmond looks more and more comfortable in center, I find myself wondering more and more if we aren't going to end up seeing a position switch with Desmond and DeShields before too long.
  • Ah well.  This weekend games that start at noon or one always feel off to me.  Even if you're going to play in the afternoon, it should be at 2 Central, or later.  Toronto weekend games always drive me nuts because they start at 12:07 or something, so I'm glad that the Rangers will be playing the Blue Jays in Toronto during the week this year.
  • Anyway...this series was unpleasant and no fun.  The Yankees will be in town on Monday.  Let's hope the Rangers get their spark back and start turning it around tomorrow.