Yankees 3, Rangers 1
- Four game losing streak for the Rangers now, who have scored a total of 5 runs in their last 4 games. This is getting frustrating...there were signs of life from the bats yesterday, even without much in the way of runs, but then today, it was just nothing.
- Particularly frustrating was that it wasted a solid spot start from Cesar Ramos, who was called up to fill in for Cole Hamels. Ramos allowed 3 runs over 6 IP, yet another Quality Start from a Rangers starter, and the 20th time in a row to start the year that the Rangers' starter has gone at least 5 IP. Ramos did all you could ask for him in this situation, even pitching into the 7th (though he didn't retire either of the batters he faced in the 7th). When you call up a spot starter from the minors and they give you a Quality Start, it feels like you should take advantage of it and win the game. Texas didn't do that.
- The Rangers even got good work from Tom Wilhelmsen and Phil Klein out of the pen tonight. Klein fanned a pair of batters in a spotless inning, and Wilhelmsen struck out one. Positive signs there from a couple of guys who the Rangers are probably going to be looking at to contribute more now that Keone Kela is done for a few months. Wilhelmsen dropped his ERA on the year to 12.86.
- Oh, and Jake Diekman pitched today, down 3-0 in the 8th, after not pitching in the ChiSox series. He's still good.
- The only real positives from the offense tonight was from the rookies who got called up on the same day a couple of weeks ago. Brett Nicholas had his first career major league home run, off of Dellin Betances, one of the best relievers in the game, so that was pretty cool. Nomar Mazara broke up Nate Eovaldi's no hit bid with an opposite field single in the 7th, and also drew a walk. So go them.
- And Prince Fielder got a double on a high fastball after I groused about him on Twitter. His OPS on the year is now up to 540. Fielder played first base tonight and Mitch Moreland was the DH, with Evan Grant saying on Twitter that Jeff Banister's explanation was wanting to keep Prince engaged, trying to get both slumping hitters going by mixing things up. We'll see how that works.
- I've said this before, but this doesn't profile to be a particularly strong offensive team. If things go right, this Rangers team is probably a little above average offensively, but realistically, if it is successful, its likely to be driven by a quality rotation and a really good bullpen. That said, this is life-sucking bad offense lately, and I'm tired of it. I'm not going to put up with it. I'm going to open my window and yell, "I'm mad as hell about the Rangers offense and I'm not going to take it anymore!" And I think all of you should do it, as well.
- We can then see how well that works when the Rangers take the field tomorrow.
- Really, though, the takeaway from this game should be that we should be happy for Brett Nicholas. He was a 6th round pick out of Missouri, primarily played first base his first few years as a pro, started splitting time between 1B and catcher in 2014. Even last year, he basically had the same number of innings as a first baseman as he did as a catcher. He got a chance this year because a bunch of guys ahead of him got hurt and he was available, and even now, with Chris Gimenez having started a rehab assignment at Frisco today, the clock on Nicholas's time in the majors is ticking. He's likely a week or so away from going back to AAA ball. And yet, he's made it to the majors, something I dreamed of as a kid, something most of us probably dreamed of. And not only did he make it, he hit a majestic home run in front of the home crowd against the MF-ing Yankees. Despite the loss, Brett Nicholas has to feel pretty good tonight.