MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH
Right-hander Yu Darvish's winless streak continues and it appears a pattern is developing.
Darvish, like many Japanese pitchers, may be falling into the habit of trying to trick batters with his secondary pitches rather than use the 96 mph fastball he brought to the U.S. with him. On Tuesday, that led to three home runs in 5 1/3 innings against New York, which beat the Rangers' 4-3 on a walkoff home run by Ichiro Suzuki.
The Yankees were willing to take fastballs early in the count, seemingly knowing that Darvish would throw his breaking ball when he got to two strikes. Then they teed off. Darvish threw 110 pitches: 56 were fastballs and cutters, 54 secondary pitches. Since beating Detroit on May 16 for his last win, Darvish has thrown more secondary pitches (381) than fastballs (375).
"That's his style of pitching," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "When he's throwing those pitches and getting swings and misses, people are hooraying. That's just the way he pitches. He's doing the same thing he's done all year. At times he gets away with it. Tonight he didn't."
During his post-game press briefing, during which Darvish rarely discusses specific pitches, he noted that his four-seam fastball was "running a little bit."
That may have played a part in his heavy reliance on breaking pitches. Last year, there were questions about his confidence in command of the fastball, as well. Darvish said he doesn't believe he's become too breaking-ball reliant.
"I wasn't really concerned or cautious with what I pitches I threw," Darvish said through an interpreter. "I planned to adjust to each hitter based on how I felt. That's how I go after them."
A year ago, Darvish went on a dominant run over the final eight weeks of the season. During that time, he broke from heavy reliance on the secondary pitches to challenge hitters regularly. He threw fastballs or cutters 70 percent of the time and breaking balls/changeups 30 percent of the time.
He began this year relying on a cutter heavily against Houston and came within one out of a perfect game, but has since regressed toward throwing more and more breaking balls. Each of the home runs hit against him Tuesday came on a breaking pitch during an at-bat to lead off the inning.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
PAST 10 GAMES: 6-4
NEXT: Rangers (Justin Grimm, 6-5, 5.57) at Yankees (Andy Pettitte, 5-5, 4.20)
--CF Leonys Martin had his first career multi-homer game and also extended his hitting streak to a career-best 10 games. He is hitting .441 (15-for-34) since the streak began on June 15. He also was the first Texas ninth-place hitter to have a two home-run game since Ramon Vazquez had two home runs and seven RBIs in a 30-3 win at Baltimore on Aug. 22, 2007.
--RHP Justin Grimm has struggled since opening the season 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in four April starts. Grimm had a 5.05 ERA last month but that number has skyrocketed to 9.90 in four starts this month. Grimm has pitched well in his wins, by posting a 2.84 ERA in those games and that includes last Wednesday against Oakland when he allowed three runs and three hits in five innings of a 9-4 win. He also has been aided by 49 runs of support in those wins. Grimm will be making his first career start Wednesday night against the Yankees.
--RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery) will make his next rehab outing Wednesday night with the team's Arizona Summer League affiliate. The appearance will consist of one inning and comes after he struck out three in two hitless innings for Double-A Frisco last week. If that goes well and other rehab activities progress well, the Rangers said he could return before the All-Star break.
--DH Lance Berkman returned after taking the previous four games off to treat nerve irritation in his back. The irritation required Berkman to take an injection in his back. On Sunday, he took some swings in the batting cage for the first time since the injection and before Tuesday, he said the injury was not something he would consider significant.
--RHP Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) has been on the DL since June, and before Tuesday's game, he threw his second bullpen session.
--IF Jeff Baker (sore right thumb) hit off the tee before Tuesday's game. He has been on the DL since June 17, retroactive to June 13 and is eligible to return Friday.
--RHP Colby Lewis (back soreness) did some long-tossing Tuesday in Arlington. Lewis was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 6.
--LHP Matt Harrison, who has been out since April following back surgery, also long-tossed in Arlington.
--RHP Neftali Feliz continues to rehab from his injured right elbow by throwing bullpen sessions in Arizona. Feliz will throw his third bullpen session Wednesday but will only throw fastballs.
--RHP Yu Darvish hasn't won in his last six starts, but it's not because he has pitched poorly. Darvish is 0-2 with a 2.66 ERA in that span, but has received zero or one run of support four times. Darvish gets the ball Tuesday night in Yankee Stadium against another Japanese right-hander, Hiroki Kuroda.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "I think it was just the wrong pitch at the wrong time. He's a great hitter. I probably showed him too many fastballs in that at-bat. Probably should have went with something different." -- RHP Tanner Scheppers, after giving up the solo game-ending homer to RF Ichiro Suzuki in the Rangers' 4-3 loss to the Yankees Tuesday.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - ROSTER REPORT
--OF Craig Gentry (fractured left hand) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 21.
--INF Jeff Baker (sprained right thumb) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 13. He hit off a tee on June 25 for the first time since going on the DL.
--RHP Joakim Soria (Tommy John surgery in April 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 9. He began throwing live batting practice April 8. Soria suffered a setback in his recovery when he strained a muscle in his chest throwing live batting practice April 19. He began a rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on June 20. He's was scheduled to pitch for the Arizona Rangers in the rookie level Arizona League. After that, he will go to Triple-A Round Rock.
--RHP Colby Lewis (right flexor tendon surgery in July 2012) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 22, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 6. He began throwing live batting practice April 8, and he pitched in extended spring training May 4. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on May 9, but his rehab was then shut down due to triceps soreness. Lewis began a new rehab assignment with Double-A Frisco on May 20, and he started for Round Rock on May 25. On May 28 the team shut him down due to muscular soreness in the back of his right elbow. He was given a platelet-rich-plasma injection. He threw a bullpen session June 17. He did some long-tossing June 25 in Arlington.
--LHP Michael Kirkman (recurrence of cutaneous lymphoma on right triceps) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on June 12. The cancer, which will be treated with radiation sessions, was found during a routine screening in May by Rangers doctors. He was first diagnosed with skin cancer in the same area in January 2012.
--RHP Alexi Ogando (right shoulder inflammation) went on the 15-day disabled list June 9. He was out May 16-June 4 due to right biceps tendinitis. He began throwing June 14. He threw 40 pitches off a mound June 25 and will repeat it June 27. If he clears that obstacle, he could go on a rehab assignment.
--LHP Matt Harrison (lower-back soreness) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 7, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 25. He had surgery April 23 to repair a herniated disk. He underwent a second operation May 1. He was playing catch from flat ground as of June 18 and is shooting for an August return.
--RHP Neftali Feliz (Tommy John surgery in August 2012) went on the 60-day disabled list March 24. He has started throwing off a mound in Arizona. Feliz will throw his third bullpen session June 26 but will only throw fastballs. He is not expected to return until after the All-Star break.
RHP Yu Darvish
LHP Derek Holland
RHP Nick Tepesch
RHP Justin Grimm
LHP Martin Perez
RHP Joe Nathan (closer)
RHP Jason Frasor
RHP Kyle McClellan
LHP Robbie Ross
RHP Tanner Scheppers
LHP Neal Cotts
RHP Ross Wolf
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Lance Berkman
INF Jurickson Profar
LF David Murphy
CF Leonys Martin
RF Nelson Cruz
OF Engel Beltre