Yankees 9, Rangers 7
- Okay, let's walk through this. Nick Martinez got the start, what with half the Rangers' preferred starting pitching options on the d.l. He couldn't throw strikes -- just 38 of them, against 46 balls -- and walked 5 batters, and yet still managed to give up just 2 runs in 5 innings of work plus two batters. Cesar Ramos came in in relief, went 2.1 IP, allowed just a run. Matt Bush finished up the 8th.
- And so the 9th inning started, Texas was up 4 runs, things looked in order. Then Rob Refsnyder singled, Jacoby Ellsbury walked, and Jeff Banister went to the pen for Sam Dyson. This prompted some media folks on Twitter to note that this is why Banister will use Dyson with a four run lead.
- The problem was that Dyson was even worse than Bush last night. Dyson gave up a single to Brett Gardner, in an at bat where all his pitches were up, and then gave up a line drive by Alex Rodriguez that, fortunately, went right to Rougned Odor for the first out. That was a brief reprieve, though...Brian McCann promptly homered, making it a tie game, Starlin Castro walked -- which is hard to do, as it was just his 13th walk of the year -- and then Didi Gregorius, of all people, went deep for a walk off home run. Game over.
- So yeah...we've all talked about how hard Dyson has been ridden this year. Yesterday was his A.L. leading 41st appearance. But what we haven't really discussed is that he has not looked right for the last few weeks. Just from the eye test, his command looks off, as he's missing his spots badly more often, and having more pitches stay up in the zone. He's not missing bats -- over his last 10 games, Dyson has thrown 141 pitches, and induced 6 swinging strikes, an awful rate. And he's not inducing ground balls at the same rate -- after putting up a 68% ground ball rate in April and a 75% ground ball rate in May, Dyson is at just 44.2% in June. Something is wrong with him, and whether it is fatigue, or an injury, or just mechanics out of whack, its worrisome. Dyson has managed, despite being out of whack, to get the job done of late prior to last night...but against the Yankees, it caught up to him.
- Anyway...want some good news? Prince Fielder had two more hits last night, and it appears he might not be quite so broken after all. He's slashing .282/.357/.471 for June, and has raised his OPS on the season to 644. I'm still bearish on Prince going forward, if he can at least be functional, rather than a sub-600 OPS black hole, that would be a very nice thing for the Rangers going forward.
- So yeah, disappointing loss, but Texas is still 51-28, and still 9 games up in the West. Shawn Tolleson appears to be a useful reliever again, and Keone Kela is due back after the All Star Break, so hopefully the Rangers won't have to rely on the same two or three guys to close out every game they have a lead going forward. And the Rangers have done a good job bouncing back from these kinds of losses all year, so I'm not really concerned about a hangover effect.