Mitch Moreland, finally feeling like one of the guys

Rangers Salvage Split In Milwaukee

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Ian Kinsler and Mitch Moreland smashed a solo homer apiece on their way to multi-hit games, Derek Holland threw 7.0 innings of 1-run baseball, and Joe Nathan pitched a scoreless 9th to secure the Rangers’ 1st win on this 9-game, 4-city road trip. The final score was 4-1.

– Holland wasn’t his sharpest as he allowed double digits in hits (10) for only the 4th time in his career, the last of which coming last September against the Angels where he gave up 7 runs on 12 hits in 6.2 IP — in a game he inevitably got the winning decision. Go figure.

I remember vividly that game against the Angels, because it was both (a) a victory in the midst of a terrible Rangers’ collapse down the September stretch, and (b) a game I saw very little of, because I was at the memoriam for my uncle that died in a motorcycle accident a week earlier.

Nonetheless, contrary to the defense exhibited by Texas in the opening 6-3 loss in Milwaukee, it was stellar for Holland last night. Leonys Martin gunned a man down at the plate to end an inning and Geovany Soto sniped a base runner trying to advance to 3rd on a wild pitch. These are gaffs we typically lament when they go against our favor, but after back-to-back losses to teams the Rangers are better than, it’s nice to see some breaks going in our favor again.

I’m sure Derek Holland isn’t complaining.

– I talk about my unconditional man-love for Ian Kinsler at least twice a week, so let’s talk about someone I don’t like, shall we?

Well, to be precise, the point isn’t that I don’t like Mitch Moreland, it’s that he’s been damn good lately. Baseball is samples. Samples samples samples.

Dating back to the 2nd of 4 games in Minnesota, Mitch has gone 18-44 (.409/.500/.795) with 3 homers, 4 doubles and 4 walks. He’s been the shit, basically. Before that stretch he was hovering around the troubled waters of being a below-replacement-level player (I believe he got as low as -0.3 fWAR), but in this mere 48 plate-appearance snapshot in the season, he’s added north of a half-win in value to the Rangers (currently at +0.4 fWAR).

– Thanks to an egregious non-home-run call in Cleveland (which would have tied the game), Oakland instead failed to bring the tying run home in the 9th inning, thus losing to the Indians 4-3. Now, I’m not one of those people apt to throw out language like “they were robbed of a win” or “it cost them the game” with regards to the bad call, because, yeah, they had the whole game to seize an advantage, and even with the home run the game would only have been tied. They would have had to win the game after that either way.

That said, as a fan of baseball and the Rangers and competition in general, I hate for the A’s to lose a game in such a fashion where controlling the outcome of the game was essentially taken out of their hands.

I don’t have loyalty to any team in baseball aside the one I write about, however, objectively speaking, I believe in fairness. It’s fun to laugh at Oakland because it very directly and very positively affects the Rangers in the standings for one night, but with how prehistoric Major League Baseball implements its instant replay process, don’t be especially surprised if something like this pops up again in a way that no Rangers’ fan will be jovial about.

Just dump all the umpires. Dump anything that takes control out of the players’ hands. Give me robot umps or give me death.

– Yesterday A.J. Pierzynski went on the 15-day DL with an oblique problem, which is mildly disconcerting given the variance of those types of injuries, along with the fact that Geovany Soto will now assume the heavy bulk of the catching duties.

To supplement the transaction the Rangers have recalled catcher Robinson Chirinos from Triple-A Round Rock. I’d like to lie and say I know the book on Robinson, but to be completely honest I didn’t even know he was in the organization until 5 minutes ago.

Apparently he’s 28 years old and has a whole 60 Major League plate appearances under his belt. Here’s what Jon Daniels had to say about him:

“Been good reports from the staff there as well as the scouts that have gone in and seen him,” general manager Jon Daniels said of Chirinos. “Give you a good at-bat, really handling that staff well. It was between him and [Eli] Whiteside. It really could have gone either way, but that was the recommendation from the guys that have seen [Chirinos]. Give him a chance.”

Fair enough.

The Rangers are off tomorrow in route to Houston to take on the 10-24 Astros. Alexi Ogando, Yu Darvish and Nick Tepesch are scheduled to pitch for Texas, in that order.

 

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Tags: A's Athletics Brewers Derek Holland Ian Kinsler Mitch Moreland Rangers

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