Earlier this month the Rangers faced the Kansas City Royals in a four game tilt at The Ballpark in Arlington. They swept all four games and then headed out to Oakland to face off in a 3 game series against the Athletics. Just three days after the four game sweep by Texas, Kansas City’s manager Trey Hillman was relieved of his duty and former big league manager Ned Yost stepped in to replace him.
After the four game series the Rangers went 7-6 over the next 13 games before facing off against the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won Hillman’s last game as a manager ending a 7 game skid. Since the Royals last faced the Rangers they have went 7-6 also in 13 games. Since Ned Yost has taken over the Royals have a 6-5 record which is one game above .500 over that stretch.
The Royal series was another short road trip before moving on to Minnesota to face the Twins in the newly built Target Field. Tuesday’s starter Rich Harden pitched 5.1 innings giving up 5 earned runs, 6 runs total with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Harden didn’t pitch that great and Darren O’dayblew the save before eventually picking up the win with a final score of 8-7.
Darren Oliver and Chris Ray combined to pitch two scoreless innings only giving up one hit before handing the ball over to closer Neftali Feliz. Feliz picked up his 13 save of the season pitching the ninth inning working around one walk and getting one strikeout. Luckily the Ranger’s offense were able to score just enough runs and and Harden did not have to take the loss. He now has a 2-1 record with a 5.14 ERA.
Tonight’s game was not as lucky and did not work out quite as the Rangers had hoped. Opening day starter Scott Feldman pitched 6.2 innings giving up 7 hits with four earned runs one walk and no strikeouts. He recorded 20 outs without a single strikeout so you have to compliment the Rangers defense backing him up.
The Rangers offense was only able to score two runs off of Royals pitching. Justin Smoak picked up a RBI in the second inning with a single which scored Nelson Cruz. In the sixth inning Michael Young tripled on a 1-1 count with one out. Elvis Andrus was able to score from second to give the Ranger the second run of the game.
Unfortunately the Rangers pitching gave up a total of five runs over the game with Feldman being responsible for four of the runs. Derek Holland pitched the 9th inning giving up 2 hits and one run to give the Royals the fifth run, although due to lack of Ranger offense the fifth run really did not mean anything.
Feldman has dropped his record to 2-5 record with a 5.84 ERA. Considering he was the opening day you would expect his record to be better than 2-5. The Rangers could really use Roy Oswalt at the top of their rotation, although his record is not much better at 3-6. The only difference is that Oswalt has pitched a quality start in every start so far this season. In his first 9 starts of the season the Astros have scored only on average 1.8 runs per start.
In tonight’s win over the Brewers, Oswalt pitched 8.0 innings giving up no runs on four hits and one walk. He recordednine strikeouts for the game, that is better than 1 strikeout per inning. The Astros bats finally came alive and scored five runs to back Oswalt. Their normally 1.8 runs would have been ok considering he pitched a eight inning shutout.
The Rangers would love to see him atop their Rotation, although the Rangers sale has to be completed in order to have the funds for his 1.5 years left on his contract. Depending on what the Astros ask in return if General Manager Jon Daniels and Club President Nolan Ryan feel it is appropriate they will go after him, although he will have to approve the trade to the Rangers since he has a full no-trade clause.