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Thoughts on a 7-6 Rangers loss

Angels 7, Rangers 6

Texas Rangers v Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Angels 7, Rangers 6

  • Well, that was an unpleasant, disheartening, and generally gross loss.
  • Ariel Jurado was good, at least. In a very weird and unpredictable season, the Rangers’ right hander being a quality major league pitcher is one of the weirder and more unpredictable things we have seen. I had pretty much written Jurado off before the season, believing the 23 year old would never miss enough bats or have good enough stuff to be anything more than someone who bounced between AAA and the majors.
  • This season, however, Jurado has increased his velocity, shown a better breaking ball, and looked like a legitimate major league pitcher. Today he went 6.1 innings, allowed 2 runs (though just 1 before he left the game), gave up 6 hits, walked 2 and struck out 3. He’s now sporting a 2.28 ERA and a 3.48 FIP on the year, and there’s reason to hope he may be a serviceable back of the rotation starter.
  • Jurado was pulled with one out and one on in the 7th, up 5-1, and everything went to hell after that. Jeffrey Springs, who up to today had done an okay job out of the bullpen, gave up 4 hits, including a double to Mike Trout, without retiring a batter, then Kyle Dowdy came in with it 5-4 and runners on second and third and one out, and gave up a sac fly, then a walk, then wild pitches on back to back pitches that allowed two runs to score, then a walk before getting the final out.
  • One can reasonably ask why Springs and, especially, Dowdy were in the game. But Shawn Kelley wasn’t available after pitching 4 times in the last 5 days immediately after being activated after throat surgery. Jesse Chavez wasn’t available. Jose Leclerc and Chris Martin were available, but I doubt the Rangers wanted to go more than an inning with Leclerc after he threw 23 pitches yesterday, and Martin is a one inning guy who presumably was going to pitch the 9th.
  • I’d have liked to have seen Leclerc warming when Springs got in trouble, and brought in to face Trout, but then he probably isn’t pitching the 8th. And your other options are Shelby Miller, a starter moved to the pen who I don’t think the Rangers want to bring in in the middle of an inning just yet, and Jeanmar Gomez, the Invisible Man.
  • UPDATE — Leclerc apparently wasn’t available today.
  • Gomez hasn’t pitched for a week...and amusingly, it isn’t the longest he’s gone this season without pitching, as after pitching in April 25 he didn’t pitch again until May 5. Since that April 25 outing, Gomez has appeared in 7 games. He’s thrown 1.0 IP four times and 0.1 IP 3 times. He’s thrown 72 pitches in that span. Kyle Dowdy, the R5 guy, has thrown 8.2 IP in that span. Shawn Kelley has thrown 7.2 IP in that time and he spent 2 weeks on the injured list. Brett Martin has 9.2 IP during that time and he was sent to the minors almost a week ago.
  • Jeanmar Gomez is a 31 year old veteran who is being treated like a Rule 5 guy, while the Rangers’ actual Rule 5 guy is being pressed into duty in meaningful situations. Chris Woodward doesn’t trust Gomez. He’s clearly not going to use him unless there’s no other alternative. I get the Rangers want to maintain their pitching depth, but working with what is effectively a 24 man roster because the manager refuses to use someone who is supposedly here to help preserve the pen and win games is self-defeating. If the Rangers aren’t going to use Jeanmar Gomez, I don’t see what the purpose of holding onto him is.
  • Anyway. As far as the bats go, Hunter Pence and Shin-Soo Choo each had a double and a homer. Rougned Odor had a hit. Joey Gallo had three walks. Nothing else relating to the bats do I feel like talking about. And I don’t want to dwell on the 7th any more.
  • The one good thing about today is that it is another data point suggesting maybe Ariel Jurado can be in the rotation. And we have Lance Lynn going in Seattle tomorrow. Let’s hope we bounce back and get back above .500.