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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers loss

M’s 4, Rangers 3

MLB: Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

M’s 4, Rangers 3

  • This is starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day.
  • Let’s summarize. Rangers get a good enough outing from their starting pitcher, the offense does little but manages to generate a lead, and then the bullpen falls apart in excruciating fashion, leading to another loss.
  • That feels like it describes half the Rangers’ games this season. And if you are keeping track at home, Texas is now 2-7 in one run games on the year.
  • Andrew Cashner had a solid game, making it six innings without allowing a run. He was asked to start the seventh because, like Martin Perez last night, the Rangers needed a little more out of their starting pitcher because of the state of the bullpen.
  • Cashner started the inning with a walk, and was lifted for Jose Leclerc. The exciting bullpen story from early in the season has been something of a mystery of late, getting used seldom, due to (we now know) a bone bruise on his finger which has limited him.
  • Whether due to the injury or due to inactivity, Leclerc wasn’t effective, walking three batters while recording just two outs. He was so wild on walk number two I thought Jeff Banister would lift him rather than let him continue with the bases loaded, but he got one more batter, who he walked to force in a run. Alex Claudio then was brought in, allowed a softly hit single, and it was a tie game.
  • Sam Dyson finished things off, allowing a Kyle Seager home run to make it a 4-3 game. A 1-2-3 ninth for the Rangers meant another lost series.
  • The offense was a disappointment as well, with the key sequence seemingly being in the 7th, when the Rangers loaded the bases with no one out via a Ryan Rua walk, a Shin-Soo Choo infield single, and a sac bunt by Pete Kozma where everyone was safe due to the M’s trying unsuccessfully to get the lead runner. With a 2-0 lead, it seemed like Texas was in position to break it open, but alas...Delino DeShields hit a sac fly, Rougned Odor struck out swinging on three pitches, and Elvis Andrus tapped weakly back to the pitcher. One run scored, making it 3-0, but as you know, that wasn’t enough.
  • Texas had just six hits and two walks on the day, so I guess we should be thrilled they managed to score 3 runs with that output.
  • Anyway...the pen continues to be a huge problem, the offense isn’t doing enough (8 runs in 3 games against Seattle), and the one bright spot so far is the starting rotation — the part of the team we were most concerned about heading into the season.
  • So. On to San Diego.