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5-9 - Rangers fail Triggs exam, lose to Oakland

Banister's itchy trigger finger sees bullpen allow A's comeback, pin loss on Darvish

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

I don't know about you but when I have at top-tier starter cruising through five innings before running into trouble for the first time all game at just 82 pitches, I would much rather a much worse pitcher come into the game to show him how it's done.

Thank goodness Jeff Banister agrees with me because Yu Darvish was lifted in a tied game after just 82 pitches and promptly saw Tony Barnette and Dario Alvarez allow the two inherited runners to score making sure all runs ended up on Darvish's ledger.

Bullet dodged, right? The best pitcher on the entire staff was almost forced to extend himself to a pitch count in the mid-80s before pitchers around 10th and 11th on the staff came to the rescue. It is preferable to have your best players out of the game with no chance to clean up their mess but get pinned with the loss anyway, as the old adage goes.

Darvish was culpable in that he allowed the tying runs to score on an Adam Rosales two-run home run and was having trouble throwing strikes but I can't imagine a mindset, other than annoyance with a sudden lack of command, figuring into a decision to bail on Darvish with a chance to get out of trouble and give you at least another inning.

You could also argue that the offense scoring just two runs against an A's team that had allowed nearly nine runs per game over their last three games was just as damning. I'm sure Darvish is used to the bats being shitty when he pitches, however.

Player of the Game: Obviously Jeff Banister's faulty pitch count tracker. Elsewise we might have never known that Banister trusts Tony Barnette more than Yu Darvish.

Up Next: The Rangers close out this series in Oakland and their nine-game road trip with Martin Perez on the mound against RHP Jesse Hahn of Oakland. First pitch is scheduled for 2:35 pm CT.