One things I learned is, it’s tough to blog a bad team and while the Rangers had their moments in the second half and they’re in the middle of a four game winning streak, the fact that the Rangers didn’t play much meaningful baseball during those good times means the season has to be considered a failure.
This is pretty obvious, but the Rangers need some arms. The looked like they’d make some strides this year but Brandon McCarthy turned out to be hurt and Kevin Millwood seems like he’s near the end. It’s also sad when, for a team that plays in such a hitters park, that your team leader isn’t even a regular starter. Sammy Sosa does have 21 and yeah, we traded Teixaira but that’s not going to get it done when all of your starters have ERA’s in the 5.00s.
Still, the Rangers have a solid core and that trade with the Braves should make them better going forward. There’s even talk that one of the places Barry Bonds might consider is Texas and that would be a huge, if temporary, coup.
Michael Young picked up his 200th hit for the fifth straight season. He needed a lights out second half to do it but Young is the guy they signed to the big deal so he’s kind of the lynchpin of the team. Unfortunately, he’s also coming close to a career high in strikeouts and his .783 OPS would be the worst of his career since 2002.
The Rangers finish up against the Mariners and while it means little, I’ll be watching. The Rangers can stay out of the cellar if they outplay the Athletics and while that means little, at least it’s something.
The Rangers are still in last place although with the A’s playing horrible, they may be catch them. At 15 games back though, and behind a good Angels team, the Rangers have about as good of a chance of winning the division as “insert joke here.” Anyway, the exciting part of the season may be in the next couple of weeks as the trading deadline (the first one) is coming up.
Mark Teixeira, Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka have all been mentioned but guys like Sammy Sosa and Kenny Lofton could all be part of a complete overhaul of this team. You have to feel for Michael Young. He signed that big deal and the Rangers look like they’re going to go into an all out rebuilding mode.
It’s just been a bummer of a year. I thought the Brandon McCarthy trade would have been more fruitful and to see the complete collapse of Kevin Millwood is disheartening. Kameron Loe actually leads starters in ERA (starters with more then ten starts) and it’s a poor 5.49. Millwood is right behind him with 5.50 and he’s supposed to be the ace. Give the pen some credit though. They’ve done a pretty good job once they’ve gotten the ball, it’s just usually when the team is way behind.
The Rangers start a four game series with a tough but struggling Indians team. Loe gets the start against C.C. Sabathia, who sits at 12-4.
I may have picked the wrong year to start this blog because it’s really hard to get excited about this Rangers team. They’re still deep in the cellar and even a three game winning streak isn’t all that much to get excited about. It’s only their second three game winning streak of the season and if they can win this afternoon (they’re down 1-0), it’ll be their first four game winning streak of the season.
Congratulations to Sammy Sosa for hitting 600 (and then 601). As a non-roster invitee, he’s been probably the only bargain on the team. He’s also racked up 57 RBIs and that’s in only 63 games. Yeah, his OBP isn’t all that but he’s getting the hits when they count.
Mark Teixaira is still on the disabled list and you have to wonder how that’ll affect his trade value. It looks like Eric Gagne and Akinori Otsuka will also be gone assuming the Rangers get what they want. Then again, everyone knows it’s fire sale time so that could hurt the team come trade deadline time.
Man is this pitching bad. A 5.37 ERA and nobody with a start is below 5.40. Brandon McCarthy is hurt and while the White Sox aren’t doing much, they look like they got the better end of that deal. And the team’s “ace” has an ERA over 7.00. Yeah, that’s Kevin Millwood and I have no idea whether he’s near the end of the road or if all of the suckiness is just contagious. Jamey Wright is actually throwing a good game today, although the bats aren’t doing anything for him. If he throws another scoreless inning or two, he might even get that ERA down below seven.
After Houston, the Rangers have four against Detroit. They did a number on us in Arlington even if we did snag a game.
Hank Blalock is going to be out anywhere from two to three months because he needs to have a rib removed. It sounds crazy but Will Carroll talks about the procedure in today’s Under the Knife. The downer, is that Blalock looked like he was primed for a good season and his .285 batting average, had he kept it up there, would have been his best since he hit .300 in his first full season.
In the meantime, the Rangers have still had a rough time. They’re up 1-0 this afternoon but they’ve lost seven of their last ten and the only thing keeping them from having the worst record in the American League is one more loss by the Royals.
And the John Danks trade is looking worse and worse. I know it’s hard to pass judgement after only one year, but Danks has done a nice job in the White Sox rotation while Brandon McCarthy has been pummelled this year. He’s been particularly hit hard by lefties, who have an .888 OPS against. And his strikeout to walk ratio (23/19) is downright horrible. And this is pretty intuitive, but according to his splits page, opponents are hitting .339 with a .969 OPS against when he goes down 1-0 after the first pitch.
At least he’s starting to turn things around. In his last two starts, he’s 1-0 with 10 strikeouts and five walks with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings. Now he just has to keep it going and so far, at least through the first inning, he’s gotten it done today.
It’s been a few weeks but I’m back. I wish I could say the same about the Rangers though. The network I write for had some system wide problems that kept me from posting but from keeping tabs on the Rangers, I haven’t missed much as far as writing.
Every year, the Rangers look like they could go either way. The offense is always in place, but the pitching is always a question mark. At the time, I liked the moves the Rangers made but in hind sight, it doesn’t look like it was enough because the Rangers have just one more win then the Royals do. The hitting hasn’t been there (.244 team batting average) nor has the pitching (5.20 ERA, only the Devil Rays are worse). And if the Rangers don’t do something quick, it’s going to be season where the last three months have little meaning to anyone other then who they’re playing.
Of course the big surprises have been Ian Kinsler and Sammy Sosa. Sosa leads the team with 30 RBIs and he’s right behind Kinsler with nine homeruns. He’s also put the Rangers in the spotlight because he now sits just three homeruns short of 600. Not too shabby for a non-roster invitee. Kinsler has the ten homeruns, but he’s done it with a .226 batting averag. While Mark Teixaira has the batting average (.291) but just six homeruns.
And the pitching has been downright bad. Robinson Tejada leads the starters with a 4.87 ERA and Brandon McCarthy leads the team with three wins despite a 6.51 ERA. Looks like all of the talk about him moving to a hitters park and being a fly ball pitchers warranted some consideration. Akinori Otsuka has done a nice job as the closer, he just hasn’t had a lot of chances.
Right now, the Rangers have to win today just to avoid a sweep at the hands of the, gulp, Devil Rays. Then it’s a trip to Houston for the battle of Texas as interleague play fires up. The Rangers need to do it now, or it’s going to be a very long season.
Maybe the rainouts are all that bad because the Rangers went to Cleveland for two games with the Indians and dropped them both. You wonder if the only thing stopping this from being a four game streak was that rainout with the Mariners.
Yesterday, the Rangers actually came from behind and scored a run in each of the final two innings to tie, only to lose it in the eleventh. Ian Kinsler hit homerun number eight and he drove in three runs while Sammy Sosa contributed with three RBIs of his own. Michael Young also had a nice game at the plate and he went three for six with two runs and RBI in the 8-7 loss. Unfortunately, the pitching wasn’t as good. Vincente Padilla was roughed up again and he gave up six runs in four innings and then it was Willie Eyre who took the loss. Brandon McCarthy came out of the pen for two shutout innnings though.
Today’s game was even uglier because not only was the pitching not there, but the Rangers scored just four runs. Kameron Loe was hammered for seven runs in 5 1/3 innings and two other relievers also gave up runs. Sammy Sosa inched closer to homerun number 600 with two solo homeruns today. Hank Blalock also had a nice game with two hits and two runs in the 9-4 loss.
Next up is a four game, wrap around series with the Blue Jays that will go through Monday. Robinson Tejada gets the ball tomorrow and hopefully he can end this streak and get the Rangers out of the cellar.
I hate these little two game series because it lends itself to what happened this time around. Monday’s game was played and then the rain came in and it ended up being a one game series. Or just one game because I guess it’s not really a series.
Anyway, the Rangers lost 5-4. They came back from four down to tie it but Kevin Millwood gave up a fifth run in the seventh and he dropped to 2-3 on the season. The Rangers did get three shutout innings of relief from three different relievers and that was encouraging.
Hank Blalock hit a two run homer to account for half of the Rangers offense. Sammy Sosa went two for four with a run and an RBI.
So at 8-11, the Rangers are tied with the Mariners and two games back of the A’s, just two games back. A two game series in Cleveland against the Indians is next on the slate and a two game sweep would be nice.
The bad news is, the Rangers are 8-10 this year. The good news is, no team in the AL West is over .500 right now and 8-10 is good for just a game back of first place right now and the Rangers did it with two wins in the final games of their series against the A’s.
We have to talk about Friday though and that was simply an ugly game. Brandon McCarthy was hammered and he dropped to 1-3. It made it even worse that two relievers gave up at least four runs a piece and when the dust settled, the Rangers took a 16-4 loss. Michael Young doubled and drove in two runs while Kenny Lofton finished with three hits, a run and an RBI.
Then on Saturday, Kameron Loe made his first start of the season and he got it done. He threw 5 1/3 shutout innings and he gave up just three hits and a walk with five strikeouts. Matt Kata went two for three with a homerun three RBIs. Nelson Cruz went three for three with two runs and an RBI in the 7-0 win.
Yesterday’s game was a mixed affair. On the one hand the Rangers won. The bad news is that Eric Gagne left the game with a hip injury. Robinson Tejada threw a solid game and he gave up three runs on nine hits with six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Willie Eyre picked up the win and Akinori Otsuka picked up the save once he came in and reliever Gagne. Hank Blalock went three for four with two RBIs and a run while Kenny Lofton went two for three with a run in the 4-3 win.
The Rangers can distance themselves from the last place Mariners in their two game series this week. Kevin Millwood gets the start and he’ll be throwing against Cha Seung Baek, who’s making his season debut.
The Rangers have now lost four of their last games and two of those have come in the past two days as the Rangers dropped two of three to the White Sox. Things started off well enough on Tuesday with an 8-1 win. Robinson Tejada threw a very nice game and he gave up just one run on three hits and four walks in seven innings of work. The win pushed his record to 2-1. In the meantime, the Rangers hit three big homeruns to account for all eight of their runs. Ian Kinlser and Sammy Sosa hit three run shots while Brad Wilkerson put the Rangers on the board with a two run shot in the fifth.
It went downhill from there. Kevin Millwood was hit hard and the Rangers were the victims of Mark Buehrle’s no hitter on Wednesday. Yesterday’s game was a tad closer and the Rangers had the game tied as late as the eighth inning but three runs off of Scott Feldman cost the Rangers the win. Sammy Sosa hit homerun number four and Sosa was the only Ranger to finish with two hits.
So the bad news is, the Rangers are in last place, tied with the Angels of all teams. The good news is, they’re only two games back and they play three this weekend against the first place Athletics. Brandon McCarthy will throw tonight and it’d be nice if he could get us off to a good start in this series.
The standings right now are a bit backwards. Seattle is in first and the Rangers are in last with a 5-7 record. That’s not good considering a tough White Sox will be the Rangers next opponent.
Things got off well enough on Friday with a nice start by Kevin Millwood. He improved to 2-1 and he gave up just one run on seven hits and two walks with two strikeouts in six innings of work. Matt Kata and Ian Kinsler both went yard in the win with Kata going three for four with two runs.
Then the pitching got pretty bad. Vicente Padilla dropped to 0-3 on Saturday with another poor outing. He gave up six runs on six hits and three walks with strikeout in six innings of work. Brad Wilkerson hit his first homerun of the season and Sammy Sosa hit his second in the 8-3 loss.
Then it got even worse on Sunday. Brandon McCarthy was shelled in his start and Bruce Chen and Kameron Loe also got hit hard in a 14-6 loss. Sosa drove in two more runs and Ian Kinsler had two hits, a walk and three runs in the blowout loss.
Robinson Tejada gets the start in the series opener tomorrow. It sure would be nice to get some solid pitching and maybe ring up a series win here. The White Sox are a solid team but they haven’t been playing great either.
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