Starting Pitching, Quiet Bats, and the Trade Deadline (Oh my!)

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In a move I kind of totally saw coming, John Daniels has proven me wrong once again. Leaving me saying, “What the hell do I know?”

You win JD. You win.

2016 JD vs Me Standings:

JD: 2

Me: 0 (but let’s be honest, it feels like -47)

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a look at this post and this post.

Well Desmond is the everyday center fielder, batting almost .300; Lucroy is wearing a Ranger uniform… so is Gallo, Profar, and Mazara.

I saw a lot of buzz about how the Rangers didn’t get a starting pitcher. Yes starting pitching is a big issue. But you can win the postseason with a stacked lineup and bullpen even if your starting rotation is kind of eh. The bullpen is a big part of post season. If come postseason, Yu and Cole can go six innings plus and the bats get going, Rangers will be fine for games three, four, and possibly five.

I also saw the argument (on MLB network) “Well the Rangers still have Gallo, Mazara, and Profar, why didn’t they make a trade for a starter with one of them, it’s not like their first round picks.” Seriously? The starting pitching market was AWFUL. Personally, I think JD was smart to hold out on trading either of the three, have a better chance of making a trade in the off season for a starting pitcher without teams having outrageous demands.

And I don’t mean to sound like the Rangers wouldn’t do better with another starting pitcher, but I don’t see that as the biggest problem right now. My point is, you can’t win a game if you don’t score runs. Starting pitching can’t win the game by itself, your bats have to do their part.

ranger stats

The four games since the trade deadline haven’t been great. Rangers lost Darvish and Hamels’ starts, won Griffin’s, lost Martin’s. But let’s be real for a second here, none of those were blow out games and our starting pitchers didn’t exactly make the game out of reach. Sure Darvish gave up three solo homers, Cole couldn’t settle down in that first inning after a Moreland blunder, and Martin had a meltdown in the third inning. I’m not denying that. But it’s not like the bats were exactly doing anything to take the lead.

All those games were winnable.

Tuesday’s game, Rangers were being no hit for 5.2 inning by a good pitcher. It happens. However down 4-0 in the 8th, Rangers get bases  loaded with one out.Score on a sac fly. Reload bases. Nothing. Lose 5-1. Darvish went 6.1 innings.

Wednesday’s game, Rangers scored a run in the first, Cole gives up 3 in the bottom of the same inning. Rangers score a run in the second with no outs and runners on first and second. Score is 3-2 (which also ends up being the final score.) Moreland lines out, and then Elvis hits into a force out, runners on the corners 2 outs. Nothing. Top of the 4th, Odor gets a leadoff double. Nothing. Top of the 5th, Elvis gets a lead off single. Nothing. Top of the 6th, Beltre hits a single with one out. Nothing. Top of the 7th, Mazara hits a single with one out. Nothing. Rangers went 1 for 7 with RISP. Hamels went 7 innings, aside from that first inning, he kept the Rangers within reach of a win.

Thursday’s game was a win. However they left 6 on base, and went 3 for 16 with RISP.

Friday’s game, Rangers started off good. Leadoff single by Choo but then Desmond hit into a double play. With two outs, Beltran doubles and Beltre walks. Wild pitch moves runners to 2nd and 3rd. Nothing. Rangers didn’t get another hit until the top of the 9th when Beltre doubled with two outs. And sure I get it Keuchel is the reigning AL Cy Young winner, but it’s not like he’s pitched like it this season. Rangers left 5 on base and went 0 for 2 with RISP. Houston went 3 for 12 with RISP, so it really could’ve been worse.

If the bats really get on fire here soon, Rangers can make a really great run in the postseason with what they have.

 

 

P.S. If you want to feel better about the Rangers, the Cleveland Indians opponents out up double digit runs. 3 of those games against the Twins and last night against the Yankees. So at least the Rangers rotation has calmed down from blow out games right? #optimism

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