Slumps, And Rants
By Eric Reining
On a steamy Thursday night in Arlington, Ranger-ace Yu Darvish took on Toronto RHP Esmil Rogers. That’s Yu Darvish. And Esmil Rogers. This one was supposed to be the gimme of the four-game weekend home-stand.
Unfortunately that’s not how baseball works; it’s instead a sport for the hot and the cold, the lucky and the unlucky. It’s a sport where the more talented team really doesn’t have that much more of an advantage over the other on a given night. Yeah, if you tell me my best pitcher is on the mound against — no disrespect, but — a young arm who isn’t in 95% of Major League rotations, then I’ll pick Yu Darvish and the Rangers to win 10 times out of 10.
However, baseball games aren’t played through computer simulations, and we only get one crack at each of the 162 games on the schedule.
On Thursday, Darvish posted another TORP-quality pitching line: 7.0 IP, 1 run, 3 hits, 2 walks and 9 punch outs — in his last 5 starts he’s 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA, and a 41-to-10 K-to-BB ratio in 34.2 IP. Dude is still a horse, just a horse without an offense to support him.
The lineup again produced at a frustrating level, tallying only 6 hits and 3 walks — ultimately scoring its only run on a Nelson Cruz solo blast to the opposite field. And in a strange twist in the plot, the Rangers have hit into some form of a double-play 7 times in their last 3 games, which doesn’t really mean anything, but it’s still worth noting. I guess.
The Rangers (38-28) have now lost their last 3 home games — scoring a total of 5 times (1.67 runs/game) — and are now a full 2.0 games behind the Athletics (41-27) in the American League West.
Last night, ESPN’s David Schoenfield wrote an article aptly titled A’s Looking Like Best Team In The AL West, which is basically a rundown of how hot they’ve been, and how he picked Oakland to win the division before the season started.
Who knows, maybe he has just been waiting for the Rangers to fall 2.0 games out of 1st place so he’d be able to say that Oakland was his pick this year.
As for the article, it’s fine; I don’t hate it. Well, I mean, I might hate the conclusion, as well as some of the content that’s led him to his conclusion, but that’s probably just the Ranger fan within me. The biggest issue I have with Shoenfield is the lack of impact he seemed to put in all the injuries Texas has experienced.
It’s kind of like:
Yeah, Oakland has a better record than Texas right now, therefore they are the better team, and here let me not mention that the Rangers are 6-11 in their last 17 games and that the A’s are 21-5 in their last 26.
To me, there needs to be some discourse about how 60% of our rotation has seen significant time on the DL, how arguably the team’s most valuable all-around player (Ian Kinsler) has been out of the lineup, and how some 5 Triple-A players regularly see high-leverage innings.
Anyway, rant rant rant. Time to pop open a Coca-Cola.