A night after needing to come from behind to eek out a dramatic 8-7 victory, the Rangers pushed only 2 runs across in support of ace Yu Darvish (7-3), who juxtaposed another impressive double-digit strikeout effort (10) by allowing 5 runs on 6 hits in 6.0 innings of work.
With only 3 days before the summer solstice brings us back to summertime, the Rangers are back to a full 3.0 games behind the Athletics in the AL West standings.
On Tuesday night, Yu Darvish offered a mixed bag on the mound; obviously he had the stuff to strikeout 10 Oakland hitters, but when he wasn’t doing that, he was getting hit. Hard. 4 of the 6 Oakland hits went for extra bases, including the first two home runs Darvish has surrendered in the month of June.
Tomorrow morning when FanGraphs updates its list of who has the best pitching peripherals in the Major Leagues, Yu will only be helped by the 10:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio he posted against the A’s on Tuesday;
Though, at the same time, it was far from the performance we, as fans, expected out of him in a game of this relative magnitude, and certainly not anywhere close to what was needed for the team to win. Let’s be honest, in the last few weeks the offense has essentially been asking the rotation to provide flawless innings on the hill in order to deliver the club to the win column. It’s that simple.
We’ve watched the Rangers’ lineup through the lens of an increasingly depressing prism in the month of June — which is why tonight’s story is less about how Yu Darvish buried the team early on in the game, and rather the bafflingly chronic issues the offense has recently experienced.
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– Mitch Moreland is currently rehabbing with Frisco, tonight going 3-4 with two doubles. He should be back in the lineup on Friday in St. Louis, mostly likely taking the roster spot of Joe Ortiz, who was recently recalled from Round Rock.
– Mike Olt has hit .243/.341/.649 with 4 homers and 3 doubles over his last 10 games at Triple-A — a good sign after the bizarre start he had to his season. Right now the front office appears committed to letting Olt get his feel back at the plate, but plan on seeing Mike’s bat on the Rangers at some point in July or August.
– Last night Martin Perez threw another 6.0 innings of shutout baseball, lowering his ERA to 1.75 in 36.0 innings at Round Rock since returning from the disabled list. In that time he’s basically allowed a base runner an inning (29 hits, 8 walks), producing 28 strikeouts (3.5:1 K:BB) and permitting only 1 home run.
Today Mike Hindman tweeted this:
In a sense, it seems counterintuitive to intrinsically worsen the team by keeping Perez in the Minor Leagues, thus allowing AAAA pitchers like Josh Lindblom to consume meaningful innings during a meaningful portion of the season;
On the other hand, what reason — other than what Hindman posited — could there be to keep Martin at Triple-A for this long?
It doesn’t not make sense.
Less we forget, there were some who also questioned why Martin Perez was starting Game 160 of the 2012 season — wondering whether it was appropriate or not to bank one of the most important games of the season on his left arm. (For the record, I believe the intention to giving Perez that particular start was strictly for the high-leverage experience, and for that I can’t blame the Rangers. Not then and not now.)
Perez has been on the prospect map since he was 16 years old pitching in Spokane, Washington. It’s kind of remarkable that he’s only in his age-22 season.
– Tomorrow Tommy Milone pitches for Oakland opposite Justin Grimm, whom we could really use something positive from. Duh.