By Martin Iheke
Injuries continue to be the issue of the 2014 season for your Texas Rangers. Catcher Geovany Soto, who just came off the disabled list after missing the first half of the season, went back on there again because of a groin injury suffered during the game against the New York Yankees last Monday night. “It’s heartbreaking,” Soto said according to dallasnews.com. “For the past three months, I’ve worked really, really hard to get back. But there are some things you can’t control. When your body starts talking to you, you have to listen,” as he continued. It was just the third game for Soto before the injury bug struck him again. If matters were not worse already, starting pitcher Nick Tepesch would leave the game last Saturday night at home against the Oakland Athletics due to pain he felt in his knee. “I’ve never felt anything there before,” Tepesch said according to dallasnews.com. “I don’t want to continue to pitch if it’s going to affect how I’m pitching and affect the rest of the guys in the room,” as he continued. His status for his next start remains uncertain.
While injuries continued to pile on for the Rangers, they would continue to make some news off the field as they traded closer Joakim Soria to the Detroit Tigers for two pitching prospects last Wednesday. Right-handers Corey Knebel and Jason Thompson are the prospects who are both from Texas. Knebel made his MLB debut earlier this season so chances are we could see him with the ballclub later this season. He was the 39th overall pick in last year’s draft and moved up rapidly in the Tigers’ farm system reaching Triple-A. For Thompson, he was drafted in the second round of the 2012 draft. He is likely going to Double-A Frisco. This is all according to dallasnews.com. These moves made by General Manager Jon Daniels are an obvious sign that the Rangers are playing for next season.
As for this season, the Rangers are playing for pride. Last Monday evening, they beat the Yankees in New York, 4-2. Starting pitcher Miles Mikolas notched his first win of the season going 7 1/3 innings allowing only two runs off four hits while striking out three. “Mikolas did a great job; we certainly needed that,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said according to MLB.com. “If we can get our starters to go deeper in the game, it would certainly take the pressure off the bullpen. It was nice to see him get out of that situation with the ground-ball double play. That was the biggest play of the game. It was a chance for them to open it up, but he hung in there and made pitches,” as he continued.
The momentum from the win would not last long as the Rangers would go on to lose, 2-1, in a heartbreaker in 14 innings the next night. They would lose again the following night, 2-1, after the game was called in the bottom of the fifth inning because the Yankees ground crew could not properly get the tarp over the infield quickly because of rain. Go ahead and add this to just another bad break for the 2014 Rangers. They would also lose the finale of the four-game series, 4-2, to close the seven-game road trip with a record of 2-5.
The Rangers returned home last Friday evening to begin a three-game series against the division-leading Athletics. Just like the last two series, the Rangers would take the first game beating the A’s, 4-1. Rangers reliever Neftali Feliz would get his first save since Game 5 of the 2011 World Series. “The emotions the fans gave me, I like to feel them,” Feliz said according to MLB.com. “Feeling the fans roaring for me to finish the game, I enjoy it,” as he continued. However, once again the Rangers could not build on the win as they would lose, 5-1, the next night and, 9-3, this past Sunday dropping their overall record to 41-64 which is the worst in the MLB. The Rangers will try to bounce back again when the Yankees come to town for a three-game series starting Monday night. They are off on Thursday before traveling to Cleveland to take on the Indians for three-game set starting Friday night.
7/28 vs Yankees 7:05 p.m.
7/29 vs Yankees 7:05 p.m.
7/30 vs Yankees 7:05 p.m.
8/1 @Indians 6:05 p.m.
8/2 @Indians 6:05 p.m.
8/3 @Indians 12:05 p.m.