Texas Rangers continue to stay afloat

Joakim Soria has performed well as the team's closer this season. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs
Joakim Soria has performed well as the team’s closer this season. Photo Courtesy: Darryl Briggs

By Martin Iheke

Your Texas Rangers were looking to turn things around at home last Monday against the Cleveland Indians having previously lost the last two games against them. Let me just say this is one game they would like to forget as the Indians would pound them, 17-7, to take three of four. Rangers starting pitcher Nick Martinez once again was bad. He only lasted two innings giving up eight runs off six hits and walked three. “Nick just couldn’t command his fastball tonight,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said according to MLB.com. “When he did throw it over the plate, they hit it. At least he found his breaking ball and changeup. They just came out and swung the bat, no matter what we put out there,” as he continued. With the loss, the Rangers dropped their record to 2-5 on the current nine-game home stand.

Next up, the Miami Marlins visited the ballpark for a quick two-game set starting last Tuesday night. The Marlins were up, 4-1, going into the bottom of the sixth inning before the Rangers scored four unanswered to take a 5-4 lead. However, their lead did not last as the Marlins scored two in the 7th and 8th innings to go on and win, 8-5. Three of the four runs were off three errors committed by the Rangers. “We all want to win,” Rangers starting pitcher Colby Lewis said according to MLB.com. “That’s the bottom line. We’re all trying to win. …We’re all trying to do what we need to do,” as he continued. If you want to win, you have to stop playing pathetically on defense and get outs when needed the most. Fortunately for the Rangers, their next game had their ace Yu Darvish start. His first-career complete game shutout performance was what the doctor ordered as the Rangers ended an ugly four-game losing streak by winning, 6-0. “I wasn’t really conscious of throwing a complete game,” Darvish said according to MLB.com. “I thought I was going to be out of the game after the eighth inning,” as he continued. Good thing for the Rangers that he was able to go the distance. The Rangers finished the home stand with an awful 3-6 record.

After enjoying a day off, the Rangers opened a three-game series in Seattle last Friday night against the Mariners. They would face Mariners’ ace Felix Hernandez while the Rangers had starting pitcher Nick Tepesch on the mound. This game was scoreless until the top of the 9th when Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus scored a run after drawing a walk and stealing two bases in the process. Then, Rangers closer Joakim Soria shutdown the Mariners in the bottom of the 9th to get his 14th save of the season in a 1-0 win. For whatever reason, the Rangers seem to have Hernandez’s number as he is 0-5 with a 5.18 ERA in his last eight starts and has 21 career losses against the Rangers which is the most he has against any opponent in the league. The next night, the Rangers would squeak by the Mariners again by the score of 4-3. With the win, the Rangers moved back to .500 with a 34-34 record tying the Mariners for third place in the American League West Division. “Two tight games and we ended up getting the win, that’s an amazing way to start this road trip … with two wins like this,” Soria said after earning his 15th save according to MLB.com. “Any kind of a win is good as long as we end up winning the game,” as he continued. Unfortunately, the Rangers could not make it four in a row as they lose, 5-1, to the Mariners this past Sunday dropping their record back below .500 at 34-35.

The Rangers will travel to Oakland to take on the division-leading A’s for a three-game series starting on Monday night. After that, the Rangers will have Thursday off before traveling down to Anaheim to play the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in another three-game series starting on Friday night.

Upcoming Schedule
6/16   @A’s          9:05 p.m.
6/17   @A’s          9:05 p.m.
6/18   @A’s          2:35 p.m.
6/20  @Angels   9:05 p.m.
6/21  @Angels   9:05 p.m.
6/22  @Angels   7:00 p.m.