By Martin Iheke
At this point, I am sure the Texas Rangers are counting the days until the All-Star break or when the season ends. Either way, it has been a miserable time and it does not look like it will get any better. Case in point this last road trip to Baltimore and New York where the Rangers took on the Orioles and the Mets. Last Monday night, the road woes continued as the Orioles hammered starting pitcher Joe Saunders and the Rangers, 7-1. Saunders lasted five innings giving up seven runs off nine hits. He has an 11.19 ERA in his last three starts and is winless on the season with a 6.13 ERA. The Rangers have seen enough as they went ahead and designated him for assignment. Things did not get better the next night as the Orioles would win again, 8-3. Starting pitcher Nick Martinez had yet another rough outing giving up eight runs (six earned) in five innings.
The Rangers would turn to starting pitcher Miles Mikolas, who they called up from Triple-A making his first career big league start. He pitched five scoreless innings carrying a 4-1 lead for the Rangers going into the sixth inning until things fell apart. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Mikolas walked the next two batters before Rangers manager Ron Washington pulled him and put in reliever Jason Frasor. Frasor then gave up three runs to tie the game. In the next inning, Rangers reliever Neal Cotts gave up another two runs leading to another Orioles’ victory, 6-4. This time, the Rangers’ bullpen was responsible for the loss instead of the starting pitching. “A bad day,” Frasor said according to MLB.com. “We didn’t do our job. I made it hard on Neal because I let our momentum slip away,” as Washington continued.
The Orioles would complete the four-game sweep of the Rangers winning, 5-2, last Thursday evening. The Rangers have now lost 14 out of their last 17 games and are in the midst of a nine-game road losing streak. “We are very frustrated,” Rangers outfielder Alex Rios said according to MLB.com. “It is tough to deal with a situation like this. The only thing we can do is keep playing. There is nothing else we can do really, just enjoy our time on the field and make the best of it,” as he continued. No kidding, Rios. Maybe you guys will have better luck in New York against the Mets who are just as bad, especially with your ace Yu Darvish taking the mound last Friday night? Maybe not. Darvish was roughed up early and the Rangers could not recover losing again, 6-5, making it 10 straight losses on the road. Thankfully, the skid would end at ten games as the Rangers would get a rare win, 5-3, thanks to a solid pitching performance from starter Colby Lewis. “It’s no relief, because we still have games to play,” Washington said according to MLB.com. “We finally won a ballgame, but we have to win more than just one game. It’s nice to win, but we’ve got to come back tomorrow and be consistent. … Score some runs and pitch,” as he continued.
Yeah…. about that consistency thing? That did not happen in the rubber match of the three-game series as the Rangers returned to their losing ways with the Mets winning, 8-4. The Rangers completed the seven-game road trip with a 1-6 record and are currently 38-50 on the season. They will return home on Monday night to take on the Houston Astros in three-game series then the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will be in town for a four-game set leading up to the All-Star break which could not get here soon enough.
7/7 vs Astros 7:05 p.m.
7/8 vs Astros 7:05 p.m.
7/9 vs Astros 7:05 p.m.
7/10 vs Angels 7:05 p.m.
7/11 vs Angels 7:05 p.m.
7/12 vs Angels 6:15 p.m.
7/13 vs Angels 2:05 p.m.