Tagged: Doug Mathis

Lots o stuff

Wow. Just yesterday I posted my prediction for the Opening Day rotation, but last night I checked TR Sullivan’s blog and found out that I was apparently completely off. The lefties and righties are still interspersed, like I predicted they would be, but their placement does not appear to reflect skill level. Just to recap, this is what I predicted:

Rich Harden (R)
Scott Feldman (R)
Matt Harrison (L)
Colby Lewis (R)
C.J. Wilson (L)

Here’s what Mike Maddux envisions for the 2010 rotation:

Rich Harden (R)
C.J. Wilson (L)
Scott Feldman (R)
Matt Harrison (L)
Colby Lewis (R)

Rich Harden
Both rotations list Rich Harden as the ace. Duh. But everything else is different.
Usually, the starting rotation reflects a pitcher’s skill level. You’ll often hear the terms “top-of-the-rotation pitcher” and “back-of-the-rotation pitcher” when speaking of starters, and it is generally understood that pitchers at the top of the rotation are more skilled than the pitchers at the back of the rotation.

CJ Wilson

C.J. has done an amazing job in Spring Training, and he has a lot of years of experience in professional baseball either as a starter or reliever. But he does not qualify as a No. 2 starter. For Pete’s sake, he’s been competing for a job all Spring Training! Yeah, he’s worked as a starter in the past, but those experiments all failed. Until he proves himself as a starter, he shouldn’t be our No. 2 man. He should be our No. 5 man.
Scott Feldman
Scott Feldman was guaranteed a starting job at the end of the 2009 season. He should be the Rangers’ No. 2 starter. Given, Feldman didn’t begin the 2009 season in the starting rotation, but he was our best pitcher last year. He had a 17-win season! Come on, people!
Colby Lewis
Colby Lewis is the Rangers’ only pitcher with a multi-year contract. He has been tearin’ it up in Japan for the last 2 years. He was guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation in 2010. And Maddux puts him as the No 5 starter??? I had him as the No. 4 starter, but only because I wanted to diversify the rotation with a lefty. As far as talent goes, he should be the No. 3 starter of this Rangers’ rotation.
Matt Harrison
Sure, Matt Harrison spent most of the 2009 season on the DL. But he was one of the Rangers’ starting pitchers on Opening Day in 2009, and he amazed in the Arizona Fall League immediately after the end of the 2009 regular season. Plus, he comes into 2010 a full 30 pounds lighter than he was in 2009. That shows dedication. But we knew Harrison was competing for a spot as a back-of-the-rotation starter, so it doesn’t really hurt my feelings that Maddux lists Harrison as his No. 4 man. I only had him at No. 3 because he’s a lefty.

So, to summarize, I think my rotation is better. But then again, Mike Maddux has a pretty stellar reputation. I mean, look at what he did for the Rangers’ pitching staff in his very first year as pitching coach: he brought the team ERA down a whole run. That’s pretty impressive! I trust his judgement, but there was so way I could let this slide without getting my 2 cents in first.

I would also like to interject here at Evan Grant’s projected starting rotation is identical to mine. Grant came up with his prediction on Monday, March 22, but I looked at it just now, and it looks exactly like mine! I guess great minds think alike! It also goes to prove that my assumptions weren’t completely baseless.

Tommy Hunter

On a related note, Tommy Hunter finally admitted today that he won’t be able to open the season as one of the Rangers’ starters. TR Sullivan predicted this first late last week, almost immediately after his injury last Thursday evening.

Anyway, today Tommy grudgingly admitted that he wouldn’t be ready by Opening Day. But he does think he’ll be ready by April 8, just 3 days later. Wishful thinking?? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

With the starting rotation pretty much figured out, Evan Grant has predicted the following 7 players for the Rangers’ bullpen: RHP Frank Francisco (closer), RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Darren O’Day, RHP Brandon McCarthy, RHP Dustin Nippert, and RHP Doug Mathis.

Jamey Newberg thinks it will be RHP Frank Francisco (closer), RHP Neftali Feliz, LHP Darren Oliver, RHP Darren O’Day, RHP Dustin Nippert, RHP Doug Mathis, and RHP Chris Ray.

As much as I admire Evan and Jamey, I think the Rangers will need more than one lefty in the bullpen. Darren Oliver is a fabulous pitcher, but I’m not sure he will be able to fill all of the club’s needs for a lefty reliever by himself.

Derek Holland

Derek Holland will almost certainly find himself starting in AAA. The Rangers will want to keep him stretched out as a starter in case he’s needed in the Bigs in 2010. Ben Snyder seems to be the only other viable lefty option, but he has been unimpressive so far in Spring Training. Maybe Jon Daniels will sort through other teams’ “trash piles” and grab another lefty reliever off waivers or the Rule 5 Draft. JD’s always got something up his sleeves. 🙂

Brandon McCarthy
While I agree that Brandon McCarthy is worthy of the big league club, he may prefer to stay a stretched out as a starter down in AAA rather than join the big league ballclub. Doug Mathis can fill the Rangers’ needs for a long reliever/spot starter. And I don’t know anything about Chris Ray, since he was only acquired by the Rangers this off-season (received in the trade for Kevin Millwood).

In other news, the Rangers have made what appears to be a bit of progress in finding a utility infielder. Hernan Iribarren, who was nabbed off waivers from the Milwaukee Brewers, cleared waivers with the Rangers today and was outrighted to AAA. So apparently they don’t see Iribarren making the big league club.

Also today, the Rangers announced that they had traded pitcher Edwar Ramirez (recently acquired from the Yankees and rumored to be trade bait) to the Oakland Athletics for infielder Gregorio Petit. Petit’s experience has been primarily at shortstop, which is what the Rangers have been looking for.

This search for a utility infielder has been exhausting. The Rangers will need 2 guys to do what Omar Vizquel (SS/2B/3B) and Hank Blalock (1B) did last year. First there was an almost-trade for Mike Lowell (1st/3rd baseman) in the early off-season, but he failed the physical, so that put the kibosh on those dealings. Then we got Khalil Greene, and it looked like everything was going to be just fine.

Wrong.

The Rangers had an influx of new infielders vying to win the SS/2B job, but they all seemed to be lacking. Joe Inglett, Mitch Hilligoss, Hernan Iribarren, and Erik Morrison joined Esteban German, Joaquin Arias, and Ray Olmedo in the pursuit of a utility infielder for the Rangers. But none of them were a very good fit.

Now that a month of Spring Training has passed, Matt Brown is looking like the frontrunner for the backup 1st/3rd baseman, and he has shown quite a bit of pop in his bat this Spring Training. Could Gregorio Petit be the SS/2B the Rangers have been searching for?

TR Sullivan doesn’t think so. He predicts that Petit will play SS in AAA, now that Ray Olmedo has been traded away. And apparently, the Rangers are still looking at veteran infielders Augie Ojeda (Diamondbacks), Ramon Vazquez (Pirates), Kevin Frandsen (Giants), and Willie Bloomquist (Royals).

Ian Kinsler

Ian Kinsler is planning to get into a Spring Training game next Monday, March 29. This will give him one week to practice in game situations before Opening Day. This sounds great. I just hope Kinsler’s ankle really is okay by Monday, and he doesn’t cause more health problems for himself that end up keeping him out of regular season games. If he does have to miss, I guess we’ll be seeing our newly minted utility infielder sooner than we thought!

 
The only other question remaining for the starting lineup? Catcher. It will be the best/healthiest two out of Salty, Taylor Teagarden, and Matt Treanor. Who knows?

I just know I’m excited for the season to start. Vlad Guerrero in a Rangers jersey!!! SqueeeeEEEEE!!!

12 days ’til Opening Day!!
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report card

I checked T.R. Sullivan’s blog today, and he had a kind of report card for this year’s players. I agree with most of what he says, but we differ on a few things. This is his report card:

Starters
Kevin Millwood – Manager has already said he is the Opening Day pitcher in 2010
Scott Feldman – What an amazing season.
Derek Holland – This kid is going to be fine. Can’t wait for his next start.
Tommy Hunter – Tommy, meet Nolan Ryan, the resident conditioning fanatic.
Brandon McCarthy – The Big Tease. He has talent but at what point do the Rangers say uncle?
Matt Harrison – He was pretty good before he got hurt
Neftali Feliz – The Rangers will try him in the rotation. Bet he makes it
Dustin Nippert – His numbers will work every year
Guillermo Moscoso – Should be Opening Day pitcher at Oklahoma City

Relievers
Frank Francisco – Needs warning label: handle with care.
C.J. Wilson – Most Valuable Reliever
Darren O’Day – Transaction of the Year
Jason Grilli – Wasn’t the same after he got hurt
Doug Mathis – Can he fill middle relief role?
Eddie Guardado – No finer person in baseball
Pedro Strop – Needs more time. Just not ready
Willie Eyre – Taking long road back from injuries

Catchers
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – Should still be No. 1 on depth chart
Ivan Rodriguez – Would you give him $4 million for two years?
Taylor Teagarden – Should have been in Triple A
Kevin Richardson – He is from Seattle area. He should have started one game this weekend.

Infielders
Chris Davis – Only one other player is a bigger key for Rangers in 2010.
Ian Kinsler – Absolutely nothing wrong with 101 runs and 86 RBI.
Elvis Andrus – He lived up to it all
Michael Young – Turns out he can still hit…and play third.
Omar Vizquel – He has one definite vote for the Hall of Fame.
Esteban German – A nice fifth player if the Rangers had the room
Hank Blalock – Hank’s Homies bid you adieu. It was fun while it lasted.

Outfielders
Josh Hamilton – Obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010
David Murphy – Forget Rusty Greer all right? Anybody think he can be Paul O’Neill?
Julio Borbon – Definitely the kind of player the Rangers desperately need
Nelson Cruz – He is a good player. Can he be a great one or is this enough?
Marlon Byrd – Loved watching him tell the rookies to turn off the football game on Sunday and turn on baseball.
Andruw Jones – Next.
Craig Gentry – Off to Triple A to bide his time.

My take:
Derek Holland: I wouldn’t say I “can’t wait” for his next start. I think if he works hard during the off-season, he can have a stellar year. He has a lot of untapped potential.
C.J. Wilson: I would not call him the most valuable reliever. I think with C.J., you never know what you’re gonna get.
Pudge: I don’t think it will take that much money. I think $3 million for 2 years, or if the Rangers aren’t sure how long he’ll last, then around $1.5 mil for 1 year.
Ian Kinsler: His runs scored and RBIs are good, but he needs to be more reliable. And, most importantly, he needs to work on his swing in the off-season and find out whyhe’s popping everything up!!!
Esteban German: I don’t think it’s an “if the Rangers have room” situation. I think they’ll definitely need a bench player who can step up if anyone gets injured, and who can spell all 4 infielders at regular intervals. He has played mainly 2B and 3B, but he has big league experience at SS and 1B as well. He’s a true utility infielder.
Josh Hamilton: I don’t agree that he’s “obviously the biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” If he can perform, it will be great, but I don’t think we can depend on him to perform. You can never predict injuries. I don’t want to trade him, because I think he’s a great addition to a team, whether he can play or not. And when he’s good, he’s really good. But look what this Rangers team did this year without Josh Hamilton!
Julio Borbon: I wouldn’t say that the Rangers “desperately need” someone like Borbon. Borbon has a great OBP, and he’s excellent at stealing bases and manufacturing runs. But he’s got a weak arm for an outfielder, and he’s not good against LHP. Borbon is a lefty outfielder, and we already have Josh Hamilton and David Murphy that are left handed outfielders.
Craig Gentry: Gentry can be the perfect center fielder that the Rangers “desperately need” in 2011, but he needs more experience. If the Rangers decide to take a chance on Gentry like they did on Elvis, it could pay some amazing dividends. But I’m betting that the Rangers put Gentry in AAA all next year.
Marlon Byrd: I don’t know anything about the rookies watching football, but I think Marlon is the “biggest key for the Rangers in 2010.” We need him next year. Not only is he an amazing player, he’s a revitalizing force in the clubhouse.

Before Sunday’s game

What happened yesterday and it still makes me sick to my stomach. I had trouble sleeping last night because I kept going over and over it in my mind. And I was there to witness it. Ugh. During the last home game of the season. Fan Appreciation Day my @$$. As a fan, I did NOT appreciate that epic collapse.
Let me start from the beginning, because it’s much happier. And I’m not talking about the beginning of the game, because yesterday’s festivities started an hour and a half before the first pitch.
Elizabeth was supposed to go to the game with me, but some things came up and she wasn’t able to go. So I called all around and couldn’t find someone to go with me. I finally decided to call my friend Rachel, even though I knew she had season tickets, just to get some ideas of who else I could call. But as it turns out, Rachel didn’t have a full season ticket plan… she just had a mini-plan! I misunderstood! So Rachel was able to go, which made me very excited, because Rachel has been one of my best friends since we were 8 years old, and she loves baseball as much as I do! Yay!
It was Fan Appreciation Day at the Ballpark, which meant that from 12:30 until 12:50, the Rangers players were at the gates greeting fans and thanking them. And… JOSH HAMILTON WAS AT OUR GATE!!!

{sigh} Josh Hamilton
So was C.J. Wilson, although he ended up making me very mad in the 8th inning. I couldn’t get Josh Hamilton’s autograph, because he had like 3 guards around him shoo-ing people away, but I got the autographs of C.J. Wilson, Doug Mathis (pitcher), Pedro Strop (pitcher), and Jackie Moore (bench coach). I really wanted to see either Chris Davis or Pudge, because I’ve never met them before (and I have met C.J. and Josh), but hey, I’ll take what I can get! Mike Maddux (pitching coach) and Guillermo Moscoso (pitcher) were also there, but I already have their autographs.

C.J. Wilson
Then we walked around to another gate, and I saw some more players. I couldn’t get their autographs, unfortunately, but I got to see Neftali Feliz, Esteban German, David Murphy, and Omar Vizquel. And I got a great picture of Omar!

Neftali Feliz (center) and Esteban German (behind guard)

David Murphy (it’s dark, but that’s him, I swear!

Omar Vizquel

Game 2 loss in Anaheim

Brandon McCarthy

Brandon McCarthy went to the mound for the Rangers’ last night, and he did a pretty good job. He wasn’t ‘masterful’ or anything; he had some problems locating his pitches, but he did a reasonable job. The main things that lead to our insulting 9-1 loss were 1) a missed ball by Nelson Cruz immediately followed by an error by Ian Kinsler, and 2) Willie Eyre.
Nelson Cruz
With one out in the bottom of the 2nd inning, Brandon McCarthy walked Jack Cust. Then, with two outs, Daric Barton hit a hard line drive to right field. Nelson Cruz tried to drive for the ball, but he missed, and it went behind him into the outfield. As Cust rounded third base and attempted to score, the cutoff man, Ian Kinsler, threw the ball high over catcher Pudge Rodriguez’s head and the ball went skipping towards the backstop. Brandon McCarthy tracked down the ball and tried to throw Daric Barton out at home, but the ball was wide, allowing Daric Barton to score.
Ian Kinsler
The play was officially called a triple for Barton with a throwing error by Ian Kinsler. But Nelly shared some of the blame, because he should have either caught the ball on a hop and blocked it from rolling into the outfield or he should have made dang sure that he could catch that ball before diving. And obviously Kinsler made an error by overthrowing the plate. But Brandon McCarthy could have thrown the second runner out at home if his throw had been accurate. If those Little League mistakes hadn’t happened, the score would have been 0-0 or 1-0 A’s at the end of the 2nd inning, instead of 2-0.
But those pesky Athletics kept at it. Daric Barton got an RBI single in the bottom of the 4th inning, scoring Ryan Sweeney. 3-0 A’s.
David Murphy helped the Rangers fight back a bit when he hit an RBI double in the top of the 6th inning, scoring Elvis Andrus. 3-1.
Neftali Feliz
Ron Washington pulled Brandon McCarthy after 5 1/3 innings, and he brought in Neftali Feliz. Uh-oh. After watching Feliz absolutely dominate the first 30 or so batters that he faced after his call-up in August, I never would have guessed that I would be this apprehensive about seeing him take the ball in September. {Sigh} Feliz walked the first batter he saw, but Pudge nursed him through and we were able to get out of the 6th inning with no more runs scoring.
Willie Eyre
But then, Willie Eyre came out to pitch the bottom of the 7th. I have no problems with Willie Eyre; he usually does a pretty good job of holding things together when he comes in during the later innings. But not last night.
By the time that Wash pulled Eyre (after only 1/3 of an inning) and put in Doug Mathis, the Rangers were losing 8-1. Yep, that’s right, he gave up a total of 5 runs on 6 hits. I’d call that a pretty epic blowout, wouldn’t you?
Then, to add insult to injury, Pudge had 2 passed balls and Guillermo Moscoso had 2 wild pitches to account for another run in the bottom of the 8th inning. 9-1 A’s. Just great.
Josh Hamilton
Game notes:
*I really hope that Josh Hamilton can come back to the lineup soon. He’s supposed to be close. We really need team leader Michael Young, but the consensus seems to be that he’ll stay out a while longer. 😦
*The Rangers didn’t lose any ground last night to the Red Sox or to the Angels, since both of those teams lost yesterday too.
Tommy Hunter
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Tommy Hunter (8-4) against the A’s Clay Mortensen (2-2). I have full confidence that Tommy can go out there and do a fabulous job tonight. Tommy’s coming off a loss in his last start, which was Friday night’s game against the Angels. I didn’t think that was Tommy’s fault as much as it was the Rangers fault for not getting any runs, since we lost 2-0. That was our 4th shut-out in 5 games. It wasn’t pretty. Mortensen’s a rookie too, just like Tommy, and his stuff doesn’t appear to be too shabby either, so we’ll have to see what he’s got.

3rd straight loss

Ugh. I don’t even want to write up this summary right now. And what makes it worse is that I was actually at this game and witnessed it first-hand.

Brandon McCarthy
I was so excited for last night’s game because Brandon McCarthy was taking the mound, and Michael Young was back in the lineup, and the Rangers would surely bounce back (like they’ve done all year) after their last 2 shutouts. The rain was gone, and that would pull the Rangers out of their rainy-day blahs and they would have a victorious win, and we would be back in the playoff race. Brandon McCarthy has done a great job in his last 2 starts since coming off the DL, and the Rangers would pull it out. I mean, they had to, right?

Nope.
Doug Mathis
Brandon McCarthy only lasted 3 innings. He was finally taken out in the top of the 4th inning when he failed to get any outs. He threw 80 pitches. He gave up 4 runs (3 earned) on 4 hits and 3 walks. And for the third game in a row, the Rangers found themselves facing a 4-0 score. Doug Mathis came in to pitch the 4th and 5th innings, an he gave up 3 hits but no runs.

David Murphy
David Murphy kept the Rangers from getting shut out again by hitting a solo home run in the bottom of the 4th inning. That energized the crowd quite a bit.
Neftali Feliz
When Chuck Morgan announced that Neftali Feliz was coming in to pitch in the 6th inning, the crowd went crazy. Since coming up from AAA earlier this year, Neftali has been simply dominant. To the people that were in the crowd last night (myself included), that meant that the A’s would be stuck at 4 runs while the Rangers were given a chance to come back and win the game. You can always rely on Neftali to shut down the opposition.

Except he didn’t shut down the opposition last night. He gave up 2 hits and 2 walks for 2 earned runs. Of course, he scattered 3 strikeouts in there as well.

Willie Eyre, C.J. Wilson, and Frank Francisco each pitched an inning of scoreless relief to close out the game. The final score was 6-1.

Game notes

Michael Young
*Michael Young only had one at-bat, in which he flied out to center field with one man on base. When it was Young’s next turn at bat, I glanced over to the on-deck circle and noticed that it wasn’t Young warming up. It was Nelson Cruz. It turns out that during the first at-bat, Young felt his strained hamstring “grab,” and he made the decision to wait a few more days. He will probably sit out the game tonight, enjoy the off day on Thursday, and join the lineup again on Friday, as was originally planned.

*The Rangers walked in a run twice last night. Yep, that’s right, on 2 different occasions, a pitcher walked the batter with the bases already loaded. First it was Brandon McCarthy in the 4th inning, then it was Neftali Feliz (!) in the 6th inning.
Elvis Andrus
*Elvis Andrus had a 16-game hitting streak going, but he broke it last night after going 0-for-2 with 2 walks.

*The Rangers had 3 errors last night. They only resulted in one unearned run, but still! 

Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez
1) The first error was by Pudge in the 1st inning while he tried to throw out Rajai Davis as he stole 2nd base. The ball hit Davis and skipped off into the outfield, allowing Rajai to take 3rd base. He later came home.

Esteban German
2) Esteban German also made a fielding error in the 1st inning, allowing Kurt Suzuki to reach base, and

CJ Wilson
3) In the 8th inning, the Kurt Suzuki hit a line drive straight back to C.J. Wilson. C.J. thought fast and caught the ball cleanly, but then he threw to 2nd base to get the lead runner (Ryan Sweeney) and the throw sailed way over Elvis’ head into center field. Doh!
Craig Gentry
*Craig Gentry got to come into the game in the top of the 9th inning. He took Marlon Byrd’s spot in center field, but didn’t get an at-bat in the bottom of the 9th. He’s only had one big league at-bat, in which he grounded into a inning-ending fielder’s choice.

*In order to add a bit of happiness to this depressing game summary, I will add that before the game began, I got the autographs of Derek Holland, Eddie Guardado, and Julio Borbon. So the night wasn’t a total waste!

Dustin Nippert
Tonight’s pitching matchup: Dustin Nippert (5-2) against Trevor Cahill (8-12). The numbers obviously look favorable for the Rangers, but with the way they’ve been playing lately, they’ll make Cahill look like a Cy Young winner. It would be nice if the Rangers could put an end to this losing streak before it turns into a tailspin.

Doubleheader split

After a 4 1/2 hour rain delay, the Rangers finally started their doubleheader against the Seattle Mariners at 5:05 P.M.
Tommy Hunter
Tommy Hunter was our starter in Game 1, and he did a phenomenal job. He pitched a complete game (his first), and he held the Mariners to only 2 runs. Superb! Dominant! Beautiful!
While Tommy Hunter lead Rangers’ defense, the rest of the Rangers’ starters handled the offense. There were 3 home runs in the game:
Chris Davis
a 2-run shot to center field on Green Hill by Chris Davis to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning;
 
David Murphy
an opposite-field solo shot by lefty David Murphy to left field in the 5th inning, to bring the score to 5-1;
 
 
Nelson Cruz

and an opposite-field solo shot by righty Nelson Cruz to right field in the 7th inning to make it 7-1 Rangers.

 

——————————————————-
Derek Holland

So after a triumphant first game, the Rangers were hoping to get the 4th doubleheader sweep of the year. And I thought that they had a good chance of continuing the good feelings from the first game in the doubleheader and salvage our spot in the standings by at least winning the series against Seattle. But then I heard that Derek Holland was going to be the starting pitcher in Game 2, against Felix Hernandez, a.k.a. “King Felix.” Uh oh.
Holland allowed 8 hits and 2 walks for a total of 5 earned runs in his 6 innings on the mound. Which still wouldn’t have been insurmountable if the Rangers’ bats hadn’t gone to sleep after the first game. The Rangers got shut out 5-0 in the game.

The Orioles shut us out? And they took the series??

Oh my. I mean, what do you say to that?

Here, let me put it in perspective for you. The last 2 series the Yankees played against the Orioles, the Yanks swept ’em. Both times. The O’s were 0-6. The last time the Angles played the Orioles, they swept them. 0-3. Same with the BoSox: sweep. 0-3.

And yet in the Rangers’ last series with the O’s, the Orioles are 2-1. What does that say about the Rangers?

That they’re not in the same category. The Yankees, Angels, and BoSox are real contenders. If the Rangers want to be real contenders, they’ve got to beat teams like the Orioles. They have to at least take 2 out of 3.

Okay, this is going to be an abbreviated summary, because I’m just disgusted right now.

Derek Holland

Derek Holland was our starting pitcher yesterday, and he only lasted 3 1/3 innings (while giving up 6 earned runs) before ceding the mound to Dustin Nippert. The Rangers ended up using 5 total pitchers in yesterday’s game. Nippert pitched 1 2/3 innings, and then Pedro Strop, Guillermo Moscoso, and Doug Mathis each got an inning of work. Guillermo Moscoso gave up the other run in the game, in the bottom of the 7th inning.

I can complain about Derek Holland’s meltdowns all I want, but the fact is that the Rangers’ bats didn’t do much against the O’s rookie starter Jeremy Gutherie. The Rangers got 7 hits yesterday, and the team went 0-for-7 with RISP.

Marlon Byrd
Marlon Byrd made an amazing lunging dive for a ball in the outfield, but he didn’t come up with it. I was absolutely stunned. Not that Marlon made a bad play or anything; there was no way he could have gotten to that ball. But I’m so used to Marlon making those fabulous diving catches that it was really surprising to see him not come up with the ball. I still love you, Marlon! Keep on trying!

There’s just not much to talk about with this game. The Rangers didn’t get it done, and the Orioles did.

Game notes:
*The Rangers are now 5 1/2 back in the West and 3 games out in the Wild Card race.

Tommy Hunter

Tonight’s pitching matchup: Our Tommy Hunter (7-3) against Indians’ rookie Carlos Carrasco (0-1). As I’ve said before, Tommy is a hoss, so I feel confident with him on the mound. Carrasco has only had 1 big league start, in which he only lasted 3 innings and gave up 6 runs. Even though I’m very frustrated with my Rangers right now, and they’re playing another crappy ball club (which generally means that said crappy ball club will stomp on the Rangers), I still think we can take this one.