MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - INSIDE PITCH
There has been a lot of debate just how good Yu Darvish has been this season.
One thing that is not debatable: His luck.
He's had none.
On Monday, Darvish suffered a 1-0 loss to Pittsburgh. It was his third 1-0 loss of the season. He became the second American League pitcher in the Designated Hitter Era to suffer three such losses in a single season. Baltimore's Dave McNally, in 1973, was the other.
In Darvish's last 19 starts, the Rangers have scored a total of 40 runs with him in the game. That helps explain why they are a .500 team (14-14) in his starts. He has gone five straight starts without a win.
"All he can do is pitch," manager Ron Washington said. "And he did a good job of doing that."
There were two changes that were significant in this most recent outing that may pay dividends over the final three -- or possibly four -- starts of the regular season. Darvish, who could start the last day of the season or a one-game playoff or the first game of the postseason, attacked more with his fastball and he worked with catcher Geovany Soto.
The former is necessary for a pitcher to have long-term success against disciplined-hitting teams. The latter is something of a security blanket for Darvish.
It was the first start with Soto catching him since late July. He had paired seven straight times with A.J. Pierzynski. He's held opponents to a .189 batting average with Pierzynski and has a 2.80 ERA, but has allowed 1.28 homers per nine innings in his 17 starts with Pierzynski. With Soto, he has a 2.67 ERA, .187 opponents' batting average and has allowed only 0.68 homers per nine innings in 20 starts.
"He was attacking and putting them away," Soto said. "He was having a lot of early outs, which he didn't have in his previous starts. He was not afraid to pitch to contact."
Darvish may have corrected one issue Monday. The rest is now up to the Rangers' hitters.
On Wednesday, the hitter came through with five runs but still lost to Pittsburgh 7-5.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - NOTES, QUOTES
STREAK: Lost three
PAST 10 GAMES: 2-8
NEXT: Friday -- Athletics (Dan Straily, 9-7, 4.15) at Rangers (Derek Holland, 9-8, 3.17)
--OF Nelson Cruz began workouts Wednesday at the Rangers spring training facility in Surprise, Ariz., with the hopes of joining the postseason roster, if the Rangers make it to the postseason. Cruz, who is serving a 50-game suspension for violating the league's PED policy, is eligible to return for the start of the playoffs.
--LHP Derek Holland is scheduled to make his 30th start of the season Friday against the Athletics. Holland is 0-2 in his previous two starts, giving up 12 runs (seven earned) and is winless in his last six starts overall. Holland has won five of his last six decisions against the Athletics as a starter dating back to 2010 and is 2-0 against the A's in his career at home.
--2B Ian Kinsler (undisclosed injury) started as the Rangers designated hitter Wednesday. Kinsler said "I'm fine. It should be fine after tomorrow. Rangers manager Ron Washington said that it was not a big deal. Kinsler was 2-for-5 from the plate with an RBI.
--LHP Joseph Ortiz completed his third longest outing of the season Wednesday in a 2 2/3 inning relief effort. Ortiz gave up three hits and two earned runs out of the pen.
--C A.J. Pierzynski matched a season-high with two doubles against Pittsburgh on Wednesday afternoon. Pierzysnki was 2-for-4 from the plate, adding a run.
--RHP Matt Garza matched his shortest outing of the season with four innings pitched in a start against the Pirates on Wednesday. Garza struck out six and gave up five hits, three earned runs and walked four. Garza has dropped his previous three starts.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We just haven't been able to get the job done. Any time we put runs on the board, we couldn't slow them down." -- Manager Ron Washington, after a 7-5 loss to Pittsburgh on Wednesday.
MLB Team Report - Texas Rangers - ROSTER REPORT
--LF Jim Adduci (right biceps strain) left the Sept. 9 game, and he didn't play Sept. 10-11. He is day-to-day.
--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 back 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. He had surgery Sept. 9 to remove a rib in an effort to alleviate thoracic outlet syndrome. Harrison is expected to be ready in time for spring training.
--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.
--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. 22, he had season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs and resurface his right hip.
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