Last Thursday afternoon the Rangers had just completed a 12 inning thriller walking off on the Athletics to take two out of the three games series. The Rangers then boarded a charter flight north of the border to face the Toronto Blue Jays for a very short 3 game road trip.
The first game on Friday night started well for the Rangers after the second inning they were leading the Blue Jays 8-3. They then went to score another run at the top of the third inning to stretch the lead to 9-3. Then in the bottom of the fourth everything went haywire and the Blue Jays scored 8 runs making the Rangers down by two runs. Starter Rich Harden only last 2 and 2/3 of the third inning before being pulled by Manager Ron Washington and replaced by Reliever Doug Mathis.
Harden’s line for the game was 2.2 innings pitched, four hits, seven runs and what seemed to hurt him the most 6 walks. Two out of the four hits were home runs, so he really wasn’t on his game, although 3 out of the 8 outs he recorded came on strike outs.
Mathis’s line was even worse at 1.1 innings pitched with 7 hits, 8 earned runs, with two walks and just one strike out. Sometimes once a game has gotten out of control, the reliever who replaces the pitcher who just gave up 7 runs is unable to stop the bleeding and the runs for the opposite team just keep piling up. Mathis took the lose for the game, dropping his record to 1-1. Relievers Dustin Nippert and Chris Ray pitched the final four innings with four hits and one earned run. The Rangers ended up dropping the game 10-16 to open the series.
The next night the Rangers sent Opening day starter Scott Feldman to face off against Ricky Romero. Feldman’s record after the game was 1-4 and Romero’s was a complete opposite at 4-1. Feldman pitched through the first out in the 8th inning, although he did he give up five runs in the game on nine hits. Darren O’Day came into the game in to pitch the rest of the eighth inning with two strike outs, although he did give up a home run to Jose Bautista, which was his second after Feldman surrendered one to him in the fifth inning. Both Ranger’s pitchers combined to give up 6 runs, although not great, it was decent enough to possibly pull off a win.
The only issue was that even though the Blue Jays scored 6 runs, the Ranger’s did not score any runs and Romero pitched a complete game shutout. The Ranger’s were able to get five hits off of Romero, although he only gave up one walk and recorded 12 strikeouts. So at this point the Blue Jays have at least won the 3 game series with 2 wins in 2 games.
The Rangers then sent Colby Lewis who has a 3-1 record this season to face off against Brandon Morrow who has a 2-3 record so far this season. Lewis pitched into the six inning getting two outs before giving way to reliever Chris Ray. Lewis left the game giving up 3 hits, although he gave up four runs total due to four walks he gave up. Three relievers, Chris Ray, Darren Oliver and Frank Francisco pitched 2 1/3 innings giving up no hits, and only one walk keeping the Rangers in the game.
The only issue was that the Rangers offense provided no run support. They were only able to manage 2 runs off of starter Brandon Morrow through 6 innings. The next three innings the Ranger’s were only able to manage 1 hit in three innings. The Ranger’s lost the game by 2-5 and were swept out of Toronto in three games.
The three Rangers starters in the series managed to give up 18earned runs in the three games. The bullpen was pretty much spotless other than Mathis’s struggles in the first game of the series. It was a very short series, and the rest of May has been pretty spotless. So hopefully this weekend’s series was just a dark spot on a decent Ranger’s season thus far. Good or bad, the series is over and now the Rangers are heading home and they need to focus on fellow A.L. West opponent the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim who will be in town for a very short two game series and not worry about what happened the last game.