The Seattle Series
By Eric Reining
Here are my notes from games 1 and 2 against the Mariners:
G1 (7/2): Last night the Mariners crushed the Rangers, 9-2, and since nothing especially exciting happened — other than Seattle’s 2-hour, 49-minute batting practice display — I don’t really have much else to say about it.
Justin Grimm probably shouldn’t be a Major League pitcher right now. Not for the Rangers, at least. If you injected Jon Daniels or Ron Washington with truth serum they would tell you the same thing. Yet, he is, because circumstances — or in other words, injuries — have made it so. Ideally Matt Harrison and Alexi Ogando and Colby Lewis would all be healthy, and we wouldn’t have to rely so heavily on pitchers like Justin Grimm, and Nick Tepesch, and Martin Perez. But it’s baseball, and attrition can be a serious problem if the numbers stack against your roster in the wrong places. Since nothing is more important than starting pitching, you can do the math yourself as to the kind of adverse impact it has on a team.
G2 (7/3): The Rangers have lost consecutive games to the Mariners, and I don’t have the energy or wherewithal to talk about baseball right now, so I’m not.
And here is game 3:
I’m not gonna lie, I did not see one goddamn pitch of this game. Around 1:00 in the afternoon I got to my aunt’s house to celebrate my mom’s birthday — as well as the 4th of July, obviously — and thought it would be a smart idea to abuse the Newcastle sitting frostily in the ice chest all day. Throw in a good ole American cheeseburger a couple hours later, and you would have been looking at a pretty worn out guy. Especially because I hadn’t slept the night before, anyway.
Basically I got home and crashed and didn’t wake up until the game was over. Based on the graph, as well as some pretty awesome highlights, it appeared to be a pretty fun Independence Day baseball game. So I hope all of you got to enjoy it, at least.
Martin Perez spun his 3rd consecutive promising start, and I’m really loving the fact that his control has not materially been an issue at any point. Since being recalled from Round Rock on June 22nd, Perez has pitched 19.0 innings, while allowing 2 earned runs on 19 hits — good for a sub-1.00 ERA. The strikeout has yet to be a weapon (12 in 24.1 IP in ’13), but he has not killed himself with walks, either (6 in 2013), which gives one reason to believe the brief patch of success he’s experienced lately could actually continue, and perhaps improve as the season moves forward.
If I remove my Ranger-fan goggles, I would say the way to manage expectations for Martin Perez is the same as Justin Grimm, or Nick Tepesch; greatness is not the objective; if they have a good start, take it and hope for the best the next time around.
The star offensive player in the game was Adrian Beltre, who went 3-4 with 2 key home runs. Despite the expected decline at his age, Beltre is showing no signs of letting up from another 30-HR, 100-RBI campaign.
To conclude the current 9-game home-stand, the Rangers will take on the Astros in a 3-game series. Expected to start for the Rangers are Nick Tepesch (Friday), Yu Darvish (Saturday) and Justin Grimm (Sunday).