The Texas Rangers game against the Tampa Bay Rays went about as expected. Joe Saunders didn’t pitch well during spring training or against the Rays. That was the same case yesterday for Saunders.
Saunders had a hard time finding the strike zone against the Rays. It seemed that everything was either wide, high or right in the middle of the plate. The Rays too every advantage of the Rangers yesterday. Saunders didn’t get much help yesterday from the defense. They combined for 4 errors yesterday, 2 of those errors happened during the same at-bat.
Even more uncommon, Adrian Beltre recorded his second error of the season. Last year he only had 14. With the offense shutdown and the Rays shelling Saunders, the Rangers did about as well as anyone would have expected, actually probably worse.
Many may have wondered why Ron Washington didn’t go to the bullpen to relieve Joe Saunders. With Nick Martinez making his major league debut today,I’m sure Washington didn’t want to dig in to it just yet. Also, Yu Darvish might be a little rusty and is an unknown for Sunday. Then the Rangers head to Boston to play a 3 game set against the Red Sox.
So it is hard to burn through the bullpen early on a road trip. If it wasn’t a line drive to nail Saunders, he probably would have been in the game longer. One positive note from yesterday game is that Alexi Ogando managed to pitch a 1-2-3 inning. That was a much needed positive after all of the things that went wrong yesterday.
If you missed the game, please don’t watch the replay. You’ll see Prince Fielder missing an easy pop fly, Joe Saunders hitting Sean Rodriguez with a pitch to allow the Rays to score, bad base running by Fielder and several more errors by the Rangers. If it could go wrong, it did. Just a horrible day for the Rangers.
But what could you do. Saunders was probably their best choice because of the recent injuries. Tommy Hanson clearly wasn’t ready and there is no need to rush Colby Lewis or Matt Harrison. Besides, neither Harrison or Lewis look game ready just yet. Lewis is probably the closest, but he’ll need another start or two in the minors.
Fielder entered yesterday’s game with a .167 batting average and no RBI. He finally recorded his first RBI last night, but that was over shadowed by errors and his bad base running.
This is one game everyone would like to forget, time to move on to game 5. Rangers are now 2-2, games like this make me glad baseball is 162 games.