MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH
This does not bode well for the Rangers.
If rotations hold up, when the Rangers host Oakland for the final time this season on Sept. 15, the Rangers will send ace right-hander Yu Darvish to the mound against Oakland's Jarrod Parker. It will be third time this year the aces have squared off.
For now, though, there is a very disturbing pattern for the Rangers. Their best pitcher is no match for their top rival.
A little context: After allowing five runs in five innings Wednesday that included six walks and a pair of homers that followed walks, Darvish is 1-5 with a 4.86 ERA against Oakland. Parker, who went six innings Wednesday in Oakland's 11-4 win over Texas, is 6-1 with a 2.93 ERA against the Rangers.
Darvish does have an advantage in strikeouts despite pitching fewer innings, but he also has more walks (22-13) and home runs allowed (7-5).
Both walks and homers were problems on Wednesday, right from the start. Darvish acknowledged that he felt a "little off mechanically and mentally."
The A's are the most disciplined team in the league when it comes to working pitchers.
"Yes, they are disciplined," manager Ron Washington acknowledged after the Oakland loss. "But that is not the cause. He threw a pitch in the first to (Brandon) Moss and he hit it out. He settled down, then threw a pitch to (Daric) Barton in the sixth and he hit it out. We don't make any excuses."
It may not be an excuse, but Darvish's unwillingness to trust his fastball and overreliance on the breaking ball lead to him being a target for selective, disciplined teams.
Against the five teams that lead the majors in pitches per plate appearance over Darvish's career -- Oakland, Minnesota, Boston, Cleveland and the New York Mets (whom he hasn't faced) -- there is real tarnish on Darvish's armor.
He is 1-9 against those teams with a mediocre 4.44 ERA. Wins and ERA, some may argue, don't tell the whole story, but then there is the number of baserunners he's allowing and the homers that follow. Against the top five, Darvish allows 1.45 baserunners per inning compared to his overall average of 1.17. He allows 1.56 homers per nine innings compared to an overall number of 0.92.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost one
PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5
NEXT: Rangers (Matt Garza, 9-3, 3.55) at Angels (C.J. Wilson, 14-6, 3.35)
--SS Elvis Andrus (back spasms) was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game Wednesday at Oakland but expects to return Friday when the Rangers open a three-game series at Anaheim against the Angels. "I feel good today," Andrus said before the game. "I feel pretty great. I feel at least I can DH today, but I guess they want to give me an extra day off plus we're off tomorrow, so it's going to be two days off in a row. I'm sure I'll be 100 percent Friday." Andrus was available to play off the bench Wednesday, Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
--RHP Matt Garza will start Friday night when the Rangers open a three-game series at Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels. Since coming to the Rangers from the Cubs in a trade, he is 3-2 with a 4.04 ERA in eight starts. He has struck out 53 and walked 13 over 55 2/3 innings as a Ranger. For his career against the Angels, Garza is 0-1 with a 5.45 ERA in six starts. He's 0-0 with a 2.73 ERA in two starts against the Angels this season, including one as a Ranger. Garza got a no-decision in his last start, allowing just one run over seven innings in a 2-1 Rangers loss to Minnesota. He struck out nine and walked three.
--RHP Yu Darvish (12-7) had one of his worst starts of the season Wednesday, taking the loss as the Rangers fell 11-4 to Oakland. Darvish allowed five runs and five hits over five innings, matching his shortest stint of the season. He walked a season-high six and struck out just four, matching his season low. "I think mechanically and mentally I was a little bit off today," Darvish said. "I think the slider command was good, but the fastball command was totally off." He fell to 1-5 with a 4.86 ERA for his career against the A's.
--OF Craig Gentry went 2-for-4 with an RBI Wednesday in an 11-4 loss to Oakland. He is batting .345 (10-for-29) over his past 11 games and .338 (25-for-74) over his last 35 games since coming off the disabled list. He started the past two games against Oakland and had two hits each game.
--LHP Robbie Ross gave up four earned runs and hits to all four batters he faced in the sixth inning Wednesday in an 11-4 loss to Oakland. Ross' ERA jumped from 2.57 to 3.21. He gave up a single to 2B Eric Sogard, a double to C Stephen Vogt, an RBI single to CF Coco Crisp and a three-run homer to 3B Josh Donaldson.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We lost two out of three. We're even. There are (23) games left and we need to win one more than they win. There's nothing really more to make of the series." -- Second baseman Ian Kinsler, after Wednesday's 11-4 loss to Oakland dropped the Rangers into a first-place tie with the Athletics in the American League West.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - ROSTER REPORT
--SS Elvis Andrus (back spasms) left the Aug. 31 game and did not play Sept. 1-4. He is expected to return to action Sept. 6.
--RHP Matt West (Tommy John surgery in August 2012) was recalled from Class A Myrtle Beach and placed on the 60-day disabled list Aug. 20. He began a rehab assignment in the rookie-level Arizona League on Aug. 27.
--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 began a rehab assignment July 31 with Double-A Frisco, then pitched for the same team Aug. 4. He left a rehab start on Aug. 9 after 63 pitches with some tingling in his fingers. He was declared out for the season Aug. 13 after doctors determined his back was not yet strong enough to allow him to pitch.
--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, then threw bullpen sessions in late June and early July. He threw live batting practice July 9. He started a rehab assignment on July 17, and he pitched in the minors through Aug. 3. On Aug. 6, he announced he would have season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs and resurface his right hip. The operation will be performed during the week of Aug. 19-25.
LHP Derek Holland
LHP Martin Perez
RHP Yu Darvish
RHP Matt Garza
LHP Travis Blackley
RHP Joe Nathan (closer)
RHP Jason Frasor
LHP Robbie Ross
RHP Tanner Scheppers
LHP Neal Cotts
RHP Joakim Soria
LHP Joseph Ortiz
RHP Cory Burns
LHP Michael Kirkman
RHP Nick Tepesch
RHP Neftali Feliz
RHP Alexi Ogando
RHP Ross Wolf
1B Mitch Moreland
2B Ian Kinsler
SS Elvis Andrus
3B Adrian Beltre
DH Lance Berkman
INF Jurickson Profar
INF Adam Rosales
LF David Murphy
CF Leonys Martin
RF Alex Rios
OF Jeff Baker
OF Craig Gentry
OF Jim Adduci
OF Engle Beltre
OF Joey Butler