Rangers fail to execute in all facets
The end result? A 3-1 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, the Rangers' first game back after the four-day All-Star break.
Derek Holland had another strong performance on the mound, but his efforts were wasted by a forgettable effort by the Rangers in the other phases of the game.
Where to start with this one.
How about a Texas offense that produced numerous scoring opportunities, and finished the night 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position. The Rangers entered the game 13th in the American League in those situations, and the All-Star break didn't do anything to change their mojo.
A bad omen was delivered in the bottom of the first when A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-out line drive over first base that appeared to bring up chalk but was ruled foul by first base umpire Rob Drake. Elvis Andrus, who was on second base, would have scored easily for a 1-0 lead.
"If that's a half an inch left," said Pierzynski, who was 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position. "We couldn't get a hit. It was one of those nights."
The Rangers were the victim of a great play by Orioles right fielder Nick Markakis, who went over the fence to rob Adrian Beltre of a home run to start the bottom of the fourth.
But the Rangers also victimized themselves. It happened on defense in the top of the fifth, when Baltimore took a 3-1 lead on two plays the Rangers didn't make after Derek Holland got two quick outs to start the inning.
|Todd Wills joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the possible Matt Garza trade, Mike Olt, Manny Ramirez, Rangers injuries and potential moves before the trade deadline.
Moreland was disappointed for Holland, who pitched eight strong innings as he continues to throw like the Rangers' ace, allowing four runs or fewer in 19 of his 20 starts this season.
"It's a play I have to make," Moreland said. "Kinsler did a great job. Holland threw his butt off the whole game. In that situation, Ian makes a great play up the middle and the ball was a little short, but it's a play I have to make every time. I didn't make it there and it ended up coming back on us."
The game didn't just come down to Moreland not scooping a throw at first base. The Rangers had a chance to have runners at second and third with one out in the sixth inning, still trailing 3-1. But third-base coach Gary Pettis was late stopping Jeff Baker as he came steaming around third base. He was an easy out as he scurried back to the base.
"I'm not going to question that," manager Ron Washington said after the game. "If I question that, I'm going to throw someone under the bus."
The game ended in the bottom of the ninth with the tying runs on base and two outs with Andrus up. Andrus has struggled all season -- he entered the game with a .242 batting average -- but had two hits on the night when he stepped into the batter's box against Orioles closer Jim Johnson.
Andrus grounded out to shortstop to end a dismal first game back from the break for the Rangers.
“When you’re that close and not able to execute, for sure you get a little mad," Andrus said.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.