For the Texas Rangers things started off on a bad note. The day was filled with overturned plays, MRI results, injury reports and a series loss.
The first punch: Major league baseball reviewed the request from David Ortiz and the Boston Red Sox to overturn an error against Alex Rios (E9) and count it as a hit instead. The ruling from MLB was to overturn the error, award Ortiz a hit and give Yu Darvish a 2-hitter instead of a 1-hitter. That was the first punch of the day was easy to swallow, more hits were coming.
One, two combo: Next, the Rangers had news about Matt Harrison and Martin Perez. The reports about Matt Harrison basically indicate that he’ll likely need back surgery again and his career is over. For Martin Perez, he could possibly be placed on the disabled list and work through his injury, but it is more than likely going to lead to Tommy John surgery.
That means the starting rotation has taken another huge blow. Harrison’s career is done and is possible that the Rangers might not see Martin Perez until late next year or even at all in 2015. You might wonder why? Look at Neftali Feliz, he’s a great example. Feliz was a star pitcher before Tommy John surgery. He did manage to pitch 6 scoreless games last year, and did okay in the Dominican Winter League, but he hasn’t bounced back. He’s suffered from general soreness this season and has spent a lot of time on the minor league disabled list.
Recovering from that combo: One thing does separate Martin Perez from Neftali Feliz, Perez has several pitches he can use and use the effectively. Feliz was a hard fastball thrower who relies heavily on that one pitch. Without that pitch, Feliz is about what the Rangers are seeing now. He’s an about average pitcher now. That should mean things will be more optimistic for Perez on returning next year. But, one punch in the morning and two powerful blows in the afternoon made for a bad day for the Texas Rangers.
Knockdown punch: To make thing worse, the Texas Rangers bullpen blew the lead in the 6 inning. Nick Tepesch was called up from triple-A Round Rock and managed to pitch a decent game. Over 5.1 innings he only allowed 1 earned run off of 2 hits. He was relieved by Aaron Poreda who at the time had not given up an earned run this season. But, Poreda didn’t have his stuff and quickly gave up 3 hits. Jason Frasor looked solid for a bit, striking out two. But, he allowed 2 earned runs to tie it up. Enter Nick Martinez, who I assume will soon be in the starting rotation, he pitched in the 9th and gave up the walk-off single to Matt Dominguez.
The Houston Astros won their first series against the Texas Rangers at home since June 22-24, 2008…2008!!!!!!! If the other three hits were not hard enough, then this has to be the knockdown blow. The Rangers have been hit hard and right now they appear to be down and out of the race for a playoff spot. With a day off to recovery, hopefully they will stand back up on both legs and finish the fight. The American League West won’t be easy to win, and it can be won on the ground.