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Thoughts on a 7-2 Rangers loss

Jays 7, Rangers 2

MLB: Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays
Joey Gallo is all of us
Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Jays 7, Rangers 2

  • Well, that was a trashcan of a game.
  • Martin Perez, coming off a decent start his last time out, was bad today. 4 IP, 4 runs, 4 walks 3 home runs allowed. It could have been much worse -- in the fourth inning, he loaded the bases with no one out, and managed to escape without any of those runners scoring — but it was another bad outing for Perez.
  • Perez and Jeff Banister both said that he may have rushed his return from his broken elbow this winter -- he was expected to be out until the start of May, but was on the active roster the first week of April. At this point, whether he was rushed back or not, I’m thinking a return trip to the disabled list, with two-three rehab starts in AAA to try to get back on track, might not be a bad idea for Perez.
  • Evan Grant noted Perez’s velocity was off today, so I went and checked Brooks Baseball, and after averaging around 92.5 mph on his two-seamer in the first four games of the season, he averaged 90.8 mph today, and maxed out at 92.2 mph. Being off by 1.5 mph on your fastball is a problem, whether the issue is physical or mechanical. Either way, Perez doesn’t appear to be right right now.
  • Tony Barnette returned to major league action, and went two-plus innings. He allowed just a single unearned run in his second inning of work, owing to a Renato Nunez error, but when asked to pitch a third inning, he didn’t have it, and gave up a walk and a long double without retiring anyone before being pulled for Jake Diekman. Diekman allowed both runs to score, so Barnette got tagged with three runs, two earned, in 2 IP, but he was better than the runs allowed indicates.
  • Matt Moore pitched a scoreless inning, working out of the bullpen. Moore’s scheduled start was pushed back several days, and so he was in the bullpen as a long man this weekend, and pitching the eighth effectively acted as a between-starts bullpen session for him.
  • The offense didn’t do much today. Nunez showed way the Rangers put in a waiver claim for him, blasting a majestic shot off of Jays starter J.A. Happ in the top of the second that supposedly went 425 feet, but looked like it went farther. It was, as I mentioned on Twitter, Nelson Cruz-esque, and Cruz, of course, is the guy who was referenced as a comparison by Oakland folks when they lost Nunez. The Rangers will have a decision to make on Nunez when their infielders get healthy, but the power is legit.
  • Other than Nunez, not a ton to get hyped about with the bats. Delino DeShields went 2 for 4 with a double, and Ryan Rua got on base twice, with a hit and a walk. Rua also made a diving catch in foul territory in left field that, on replay, looked like it was short-hopped...but the Jays challenged, and the call was confirmed, so it went as a catch.
  • Incidentally, one of the frequent questions/complaints that I see Rangers fans raise, both here and on Twitter, is, “Why is Ryan Rua on this team?” The last couple of days have shown what it is that the Rangers like about Rua. He’s made good plays in the field, done some damage against lefty starters, and stole a couple of bases. His versatility, baserunning and righty power make him someone a team looks at and sees as a potential bench option, if he could ever get his contact issues under control. Its a similar issue with Drew Robinson — they have similar skill sets, and would be nice major league contributors if they could make enough contact. Neither has shown they can do that consistently enough to stick, though.
  • Happ froze Rangers with fastballs down the middle on several occasions, including on back-to-back called strike threes to Nomar Mazara and Joey Gallo early on. I’m not sure if the scouting report was that Happ would go offspeed with two strikes, or if the Ranger hitters just got fooled repeatedly, but it was noticeable today.
  • Anyway...the Rangers won the series, at least, and can have a .500 road trip if they win at least one in Cleveland, where they start a three game set tomorrow.