Darvish survives Gardner, Jeter to win

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish didn’t have any command of his fastball on Monday night.

So he went to a slider, a pitch the Texas Rangers want to use against the New York Yankees' hitters to create matchup problems.

It worked well for Darvish, who earned his 10th win of the season in the Rangers’ 4-2 victory over the Yankees at Globe Life Park.

“He bent but he didn’t break,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said of his ace. “There were a couple of innings there where I could see he was getting a little upset by the results. He never gave in and he kept pitching, and he found a pitch he could go to.

[+] EnlargeYu Darvish
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images"He never gave in, and he kept pitching, and he found a pitch he could go to," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Yu Darvish's winning effort.
“He didn’t have command of his fastball tonight, so he had to go to his breaking pitches. He really didn’t have anything for [Brett] Gardner or Derek Jeter, other than that I thought he did a tremendous job.”

In Darvish’s last start against the Yankees, he threw his slider 34 percent of the time. Darvish has relied more and more on his breaking pitches in the second half of the season. He threw them 35.9 percent of the time in his first start of the second half at Toronto.

You just have to go with what works.

Against Gardner, nothing was working.

In the third, Gardner hit a two-seam fastball to center field for the first run of the game. In the fifth, Darvish tried a cutter and Gardner sent it 407 feet to center for a 2-0 lead. Darvish was behind the mound smiling in disbelief that Gardner hit the ball so far.

“Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to go out,” Darvish said through his interpreter. “But I just blame the parents of Brett Gardner. I just blame them for creating a great hitter.”

Gardner has four career home runs against Darvish, with three coming this year. In Darvish’s career, only three hitters have four homers against him: Mike Trout, Brandon Moss and Gardner.

But Darvish survived Gardner’s two-homer night, as well as Jeter’s three hits and a walk.

It was the seventh inning when Darvish excelled:

The Yankees were rallying from a two-run deficit and were down two outs but had two hits from, yeah, Gardner and Jeter before Darvish faced Brian McCann.

The count went 2-2 as Darvish threw a cutter in the dirt. And instead of someone hitting it out the park, McCann missed it.

Darvish pumped his arms twice and yelled as the crowd of 44,508 screamed with him.

Darvish tried to downplay the emotions of the evening by simply stating, “I’m just glad they didn’t tie the game.”

Washington was a little more expansive when describing the work of his pitcher who rarely shows emotions on the field.

“That was just an example of his competitive juices; that was a tough inning,” Washington said. “The game could have been tied right there if he didn’t get out of that inning. Once he got out of that inning, of course, he should show excitement. I’m glad he did. It was a tense time.”

Darvish struck out eight through seven innings of work, allowing the two runs on nine hits. He threw 108 pitches, including 80 for strikes, in what can’t be described as a dominant effort but one that was solid and offers additional evidence why he’s the Rangers’ ace.

Rapid Reaction: Rangers 4, Yankees 2

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28

ARLINGTON, Texas -- When his night was over, Rangers ace Yu Darvish pumped his arms twice and yelled as loud as he could.

The crowd of 44,508 let out a louder “Yuuuuuu” as he walked off the mound.

It’s nights like this that remind you how special baseball can be around here, especially with Darvish on the mound.

The Rangers ended a two-game losing streak with a nice 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.

By mixing up his pitches, including using an effective slider, Darvish (10-6) was strong in seven innings of work. He now has won at least 10 games in each of his first three seasons in the big leagues.

Rangers first baseman J.P. Arencibia had the big hit -- a two-out, two-strike single to break a 2-2 tie -- but it was Darvish with the bigger blow.

He struck out Brian McCann on a pitch landing in the dirt with two on and two out to end the seventh inning with the biggest out of the game.

The Rangers’ bullpen, Neal Cotts and Neftali Feliz (second save), kept things under control to conclude the game.

How it happened?: The Yankees jumped out to a 2-0 lead thanks to Brett Gardner’s solo home runs. In Gardner’s career, he’s produced four home runs against Darvish, tied with Mike Trout and Brandon Moss. On the season, Darvish has allowed 13 home runs. He allowed 26 last season. After Darvish gave up the second homer of the night to Gardner in the fifth, he smiled in disbelief.

The Rangers’ hitters responded for Darvish in their half of the fifth, all of it happening with two outs. Elvis Andrus drove in the first run with a single to left. An Alex Rios single to center set up Adrian Beltre, the Rangers’ best hitter. He ripped a double to left, bringing in Andrus to tie the game. Yankees starter David Phelps walked Jim Adduci to set up Arencibia, who left five runners on base in the loss to Oakland on Sunday night.

This time, Arencibia delivered with a solid single up the middle to drive in two runs that pushed the Rangers to a 4-2 lead. Arencibia has nine of the Rangers’ 30 RBIs in the second half of the season, including four on this six-game homestand.

History is made: Derek Jeter got a standing ovation from the crowd during his first at-bat, then was booed for stepping out of the box when he didn’t like a strike called against him. It doesn’t matter; Jeter had three hits and a walk. The biggest hit, of course, was his seventh-inning single to right that moved him past Carl Yastrzemski for seventh place on the all-time hit list at 3,420.

The first game is the thing: For the fourth time in the second half of the season, the Rangers won the first game of a series. They haven’t won a series since taking two of three against Minnesota June 27-29, but the Rangers have won the first game of series against New York (twice), Toronto and Oakland. Texas is 2-13-1 in the past 16 series and has lost its past seven since beating the Twins back in June.

What’s next?: RHP Nick Martinez (1-6, 4.73) takes on RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.45/5-10, 4.49) in Game 2 at The Globe.

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Yu Darvish struck out eight in seven innings for his 10th victory and J.P. Arencibia had a tiebreaking two-run single for the Texas Rangers in a 4-2 victory over the New York Yankees on Monday night.

Darvish (10-6) shouted out and pumped his fist after his final strikeout, when Brian McCann swung and missed to end the seventh with two runners on base.

Brett Gardner homered twice and Derek Jeter had three hits -- to pass Carl Yastrzemski on the hits list -- off the All-Star right-hander, who threw 80 of his 108 pitches for strikes five days after losing a rain-shortened game in New York.

David Phelps (5-5) lost for the first time in nine starts, allowing four runs and eight hits over six innings. The right-hander, like Darvish, was credited with a complete game last Wednesday in the 2-1 Yankees victory that didn't resume after rain in the bottom of the fifth inning.

(Read full post)

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers haven’t finalized their rotation for the weekend series in Cleveland, particularly Friday night’s starter.

It could be Nick Tepesch, but inflammation in his left knee forced him out of his start on Saturday night. Manager Ron Washington said Tepesch’s bullpen session will determine a lot.

“You want to see how he does,” Washington said of Tepesch. “He’s got to get through his bullpen and not have any issues afterwards.”

The Rangers could also use Jerome Williams, who earned a victory on Friday night against the Athletics. Of course, Miles Mikolas, Sunday’s starter, could take the turn as well on his normal four days rest.

“We’ll know more Wednesday and see how we’ll set it up,” Washington said.

Arencibia keeps swinging: First baseman J.P. Arencibia is improving in the field and continues to have ups and downs at the plate. He struck out twice, swinging, with men on base in Sunday’s loss to the Athletics.

Arencibia is 2-for-10 on this six-game home stand but has four RBIs in the last six games and seven of the Rangers' 26 RBIs in the second half of the year belong to him.

“It’s part of the game, it’s why that guy is an All-Star,” Arencibia said of Oakland pitcher Scott Kazmir, who recorded both strikeouts on Arencibia. “It’s going to happen to the best players in baseball and it happens to everybody.”

Arencibia was back in the lineup for Monday’s game against the New York Yankees and batting sixth.

Williams waits his turn: After a solid outing on Saturday night, Williams continues to wait for his time. Williams said he’s available in a relief appearance starting Monday night or he can get another start.

“I have no clue,” Williams said regarding his role. “Just playing it by ear. It doesn’t matter as long as I go out and perform. I’ve been doing the same thing the last three years. I know the rules, I just want to help the team as best as possible.”

Williams allowed one run on five hits in six innings of work as a spot starter while Tepesch was given an extra day of rest because he was an emergency reliever.

Base Hits: The Rangers enter the game having dropped 17 games in the standings since June 17. The Rangers went from seven games out to 24 behind the first-place A’s in the AL West. ... The Rangers have won their three series openers in the second half of the season.
ARLINGTON, Texas -- When the Texas Rangers placed left fielder Jake Smolinski on the 15-day disabled list prior to the three-game series with the Oakland Athletics it left the bench one player short.

Manager Ron Washington isn’t sweating it right now, because with the inconsistency of the starting rotation, the more bullpen help you have the better.

As of now, Jim Adduci, Adam Rosales and Chris Gimenez are coming off the bench. Adduci was a pinch hitter for J.P. Arencibia on Sunday against the Athletics and might get a start at first against the New York Yankees this week.

Rosales got a start on Sunday and hit a two-run homer on Sunday in place of everyday second baseman Rougned Odor.

Gimenez, who Washington joked is an emergency relief pitcher, will backup at catcher.

How long can the Rangers survive with three bench players is uncertain. When the non-waiver trade deadline passes on Thursday afternoon, the Rangers could lose one relief pitcher and maybe a position player.

Jerome Williams' spot start morphing into a victory on Friday gave Washington another long-reliever to use if necessary and he continues to hold onto two lefties in the bullpen in Neal Cotts and Ryan Feierabend. Cotts is the subject of trade talk so his status is uncertain.

Smolinski is hitting off a tee and doing soft toss. He hasn't run yet, so the Rangers could maintain a short bench for a while or make a roster move for a position player.

Some of these issues will be cleared up after Thursday.

Darvish faces the Yankees again: Staff ace Yu Darvish faces the Yankees on Monday night at Globe Life Park. It’s the second time Darvish will face the Yankees in less than a week. He pitched against them last Wednesday in a game that was called after 4 1/3 innings due to poor field conditions and the forecast of more rain.

“I try not to think about it and just want to go deep in a game as much as possible,” said Darvish, who was credited with a complete game.

Darvish only threw 67 pitches so he should feel slightly stronger for Monday’s contest.

The Rangers have received some quality starts from Nick Tepesch (six innings on Saturday) and Williams (six innings on Friday) of late which is something Darvish can build on. Miles Mikolas was pitching well until two bad innings forced Washington to yank him after 4 2/3 innings on Sunday night.

Darvish is 2-1 with a no-decision in his last four starts against the Yankees with a 1.85 ERA. Outside of the rain-shortened game, Darvish has pitched into at least the sixth inning in three of his last four starts against the Yankees.

The Jeet Sheet: Jeter's career vs. Rangers

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28

Ezra O. Shaw/Getty ImagesDerek Jeter gave the Rangers trouble with his bat, his glove and his hustle.
All season we'll be tracking Derek Jeter as he prepares to play in his final series against each team. Next up on the list is the Texas Rangers, against whom the New York Yankees start a series on Monday.

Career versus Rangers
Regular Season
.326 BA
.398 OBP
.513 Slug Pct
194 hits
111 runs scored
24 home runs
90 RBIs
146 games

.302 BA
0 HR
7 runs scored
2 RBIs
19 hits
17 games

By the numbers
Jeter’s .513 slugging percentage and .912 OPS against the Rangers are his highest such numbers against any American League team. His 24 home runs are tied for second-most, though his rate of home runs per at-bat is also the best against any AL team (other than the Houston Astros, against whom he’s had only 46 at-bats).

Jeter's .326 batting average versus the Rangers is the second-highest all-time against the franchise by any player with at least 575 at-bats.

Jeter had what could be called his best season against an opponent in 1998 against the Rangers, hitting .510 (26-for-51) with 13 runs scored, four home runs and 19 RBIs in 11 games. Only one other Yankee has hit at least .500 with 19 RBIs in a season against an opponent -- Joe DiMaggio against the St. Louis Browns in 1936 (.525 batting average, 27 RBIs in 22 games with 52 hits!)

AP Photo/Kathy WillensDerek Jeter's home run swing was a familiar site to the Rangers.
Jeter has hit .450 or better against the Rangers three times, with the other two instances being in 2012 (.483) and 2007 (.458). They’re the only American League team that he has done that against three times.

Jeter’s .455 batting average against the Rangers in the 1999 American League Division Series is his highest batting average in a postseason series that the Yankees won. His .111 batting average against them in the 1998 ALDS is the lowest of his postseason career.

Jeter’s first RBI against the Rangers came via a triple on April 12, 1996. The person who scored the run? Joe Girardi, who is now the Yankees' manager.

Jeter has never gone more than two regular-season games in a row without a hit against the Rangers. The last time he went two in a row was 2005.

Jeter’s .500 slugging percentage in Globe Life Park in Arlington is his second-best in an American League park, trailing only the now-no-longer Tiger Stadium (.547). He has exactly 100 hits in 70 regular-season games in the Rangers' ballpark, a pace that translates to 231 hits over 162 games.

Jeter had a 33-game on-base streak versus the Rangers from 1998-2001. The only shortstop to have a longer streak of reaching base safely against the Rangers was Julio Franco, who posted a 34-game streak from 1983-86.

Jeter's 19 career postseason hits against the Rangers are the most versus the franchise by any player.

The Yankees are 21-1 in regular-season games against Texas when Jeter homers. The only loss was on Aug. 23, 2002.

The Yankees are 91-55 in Jeter’s 146 regular-season games against the Rangers and 11-5 against them in the postseason. So over 162 games, he’s 102-60 against them.

They said it
"Class act. A true professional, has been his whole career. I saw him in the minor leagues, in low A-ball. The guy had the same arm. He wins championships, makes everyone around him better. A heady player, the ultimate example in the ultimate organization.

"Last night he hit that double and they put up there that he just passed Lou Gehrig as the all-time doubles leader for the New York Yankees. How old is he? Lou Gehrig and Derek Jeter ...

"I don't know if anyone in the Yankees' organization, when they drafted him, knew that this is where he would be at the end. It just goes to show you, they made one helluva choice. Not only was he a pretty good ballplayer, but an example for the type of organization they built."
-- Rangers manager Ron Washington

Jeter’s best moments
Jeter had arguably his best offensive game in his career against the Rangers on May 6, 1998, going 4-for-6 with a home run, a triple and a career-high-tying five RBIs in a 15-13 Yankees win.

On Aug. 11, 2010, Jeter had a game-tying hit in the ninth inning in a 7-6 Yankees win, a game in which the Yankees rallied from a 6-1 deficit.

W2W4: Yankees vs. Rangers

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
The Texas Rangers complete a six-game homestand with three against the New York Yankees starting Monday night.

Here's a preview.

Derek Jeter’s farewell: Jeter, the Yankees shortstop, is making his final appearance in Arlington over the next three days. The Rangers will honor Jeter at 6:40 p.m. CT Wednesday. In his career, Jeter has produced a slash line of .326/.398/.513 against the Rangers. In Arlington, Jeter is batting .327 with 10 home runs and 40 RBIs in 70 career games. You might see a little history: Jeter needs just two hits to tie Carl Yastrzemski (3,419) for seventh place on the all-time hits list.

Yu Darvish seeks revenge: When the Rangers ace most recently faced the Yankees, rain and the Yankee Stadium grounds crew’s failure to get the tarp on the field forced the game to be called in the fifth inning after an hour-and-49-minute rain delay. Darvish, despite going 4⅓, was credited with a complete game. Darvish allowed two runs and four hits in 67 pitches against the Yankees in that meeting. His only mistake was a high fastball to Brett Gardner, which was hit into the right-field stands for a home run.

What’s up with the Yankees?: Well, there’s always something with them. After taking three of four from the Rangers this past week, the Bombers lost two of three to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees had held a lead in 21 consecutive games, a streak that was snapped Sunday. They trailed the Blue Jays the entire game before eventually losing 5-4. Two of the Yankees' better hitters, Carlos Beltran (.228 BA) and Brian McCann (.243), have been performing poorly.

What’s up with the Rangers?: Same old stuff. This team has lost seven of 10 to start the second half and is 4-19 in July; the most recent time this club suffered 19 losses in a month was May 2007 (9-20). With a 41-64 mark, the Rangers are 23 games under .500. We haven’t seen that since 1985, when the club finished with a 62-99 record and 37 games back of first place. You have to wonder if manager Ron Washington is thinking of some lineup changes. He pinch hit J.P. Arencibia in the eighth inning of Sunday’s game with Jim Adduci. Could we see Adduci more at first?

Rangers hitters struggling

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
ARLINGTON, Texas -- There is only so much the general manager can do with the roster. The trade deadline is Thursday afternoon and Texas Rangers GM Jon Daniels isn’t looking to make upgrades to this roster for a late-season push.

Finding quality prospects to make an impact in the next year or two is the goal.

[+] EnlargeRangers
Rick Yeatts/Getty ImagesThe Rangers' loss to the October-bound A's on Sunday puts them 23 games under .500, and in line for the No. 1 overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft.
So what’s left of the Rangers' roster, through the injuries and ineffective play, are nights like this: The Rangers were beaten up pretty badly by a team headed toward October baseball in the Oakland Athletics 9-3 on Sunday night.

At this rate, the Rangers, 23 games under .500, are headed to the No. 1 overall pick in the first-year player draft and thinking about when pitchers and catchers report next February.

Manager Ron Washington is dealing with young, inexperienced pitchers, such as Miles Mikolas, who pitched well in New York on Monday and struggled with his mechanics on Sunday.

Mikolas suffered the loss in going 4⅔ innings, allowing eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits. He walked four and made a costly error by throwing to second base in an attempt to get a force play. The throw sailed wide of Elvis Andrus and it led Washington to second-guess the throw because, simply, it didn’t work out.

“We know and I know especially, young guys, they’re in a process,” Andrus said. “They’re learning about how to pitch and they’re facing different guys every single start and it's always going to be tough for them. Everything they can do is keep pushing and keep trying and at some point they’re going to figure it out.”

The error was part of a five-run second inning, and when you commit miscues against a team like the Athletics, everything goes down from there.

“I wouldn’t say it was the right play; if he hit his mark it would have been an out and the ball just tailed and we couldn’t get to it,” Washington said. “In hindsight, I wish he would have took the out at first base; you had speed on first -- [Craig] Gentry didn’t hit the ball too well and everything had to work out perfect right there. So I’m not going to second-guess what he did; if he hit his mark we would have gotten the out.”

You can’t put everything on Mikolas because at 25 years old, he’s expected to have his share of ups and downs.

The hitters, or what’s left of them, need to provide Washington and Daniels with something more.

Washington doesn’t have Prince Fielder or Mitch Moreland as a first baseman/DH in the lineup. So he turns to men such as J.P. Arencibia, who struck out twice in the third and fifth innings with men on base.

Washington ended Arencibia’s night by pinch hitting for him in the ninth inning. It wasn’t meant as a punishment, just more of giving someone else a chance.

When Arencibia had his own chance he swung and missed on two good pitches from Scott Kazmir to end the third and fifth innings.

“That’s J.P., what you see is what it is,” Washington said of Arencibia now hitting .147 on the season. “It’s something you got to live with.”

The heart of the order did its part in some ways; Alex Rios and Adrian Beltre got on base a combined five times.

Only Beltre scored when he hit a solo shot in the eighth.

“We have to play as a team,” Rios said. “I don’t think you put any kind of pressure on doing something that’s going to be harder to do than usual. We are still playing baseball; it's hard, as you can see, and when you’re losing it makes it a little harder. It’s not much to say. You have to keep grinding.”

Holland will pitch Wednesday

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas Rangers left-hander Derek Holland will make his first rehab start of the season on Wednesday at Double-A Frisco.

Holland has been on the DL since the start of the season, after undergoing microfracture surgery on his knee. Holland had a bullpen session and some fielding drills on Sunday.

Manager Ron Washington said before the Rangers' 9-3 loss to the Oakland Athletics that Holland didn't look smooth on the mound during fielding drills, but more evaluations would occur.

After the game, Washington said Holland was set for Wednesday's game.

"We'll take it an outing at a time and see how it goes," Washington said.

If Holland has a successful rehab stint of two innings, the Rangers will increase things by one or two more innings.

Jaso has 3 RBIs as A's beat Rangers 9-3

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27

ARLINGTON, Texas -- John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night.

Jaso had a run-scoring single during Oakland's five-run second inning and added a two-run double in the fifth.

The Athletics' first three batters -- Jaso, Stephen Vogt and Yoenis Cespedes -- each had a double and a single, and Josh Reddick added three singles.

Kazmir (12-3) moved into a tie for the American League lead while allowing seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out two.

Adam Rosales had a two-run homer in the second, and Adrian Beltre added a solo shot off reliever Evan Scribner in the eighth.

Miles Mikolas (1-3) allowed seven earned runs on seven hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings.

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ARLINGTON, Texas -- This isn’t about a young pitcher trying to finish an inning, because while Texas Rangers manager Ron Washington wants to see that, the reality of this portion of the Rangers' season is hinging more and more on the hitters' lack of production.

On the hottest day of the season -- it was 100 degrees at first pitch -- the Oakland Athletics, the best team in baseball it would seem, took two of three games here by winning the rubber game 9-3 on Sunday evening.

The Rangers have now lost two in row and seven of 10 to start the second half of the year. It has gotten so bad around here, the Astros (42-63), in the midst of a five-game losing streak, could have fallen into a tie with the Rangers for the worst record in baseball on Sunday.

The Rangers (41-64) maintain that, still.

The 25-year-old Miles Mikolas struggled, allowing five runs in the second inning when the A’s took control and he couldn’t get out of the fifth, but you can’t blame everything on him.

So where are the Rangers' hitters in key situations?

Nowhere apparently.

There was Adam Rosales’ first homer of the year, a two-run shot to left, cutting a 5-0 deficit to three. After that, not much else and that’s one of the problems.

The hitters' failures: Busting out of slumps is one thing and getting timely hitting is another. The Rangers had runners reach base in six innings and delivered a run twice: Rosales’ two-run homer and Adrian Beltre's solo shot in the eighth. Two of the biggest opportunities came in the third and fifth innings.

With two on and two outs, J.P. Arencibia had a chance to come through, but instead struck out. In the fifth, with the bases loaded, he was up again, but A’s starter Scott Kazmir (12-3) struck him out swinging on a belt-high, 93-mph fastball.

One note about this inning was a lack of patience by Shin-Soo Choo. After Daniel Robertson started the inning with a single, Choo attacked the first pitch and hit into a 4-6-3 double play. Why not work the count a little? At that point, Kazmir had thrown 75 pitches. With two outs, Andrus worked the count to 1-2 and singled to left. Alex Rios then singled to center and Beltre walked.

Arencibia of course ended the threat with a strikeout. Given the injuries to the Rangers this season, Mitch Moreland and Prince Fielder would be in this lineup and are better options than Arencibia. But this is what Washington has to deal with.

Mikolas’ night turns in the fifth: The right-hander pitched wonderfully in his most recent start in New York, where he beat the Yankees on a Monday night in the Bronx. He gave up five runs, four earned, while throwing 34 pitches in the second inning. The biggest mistake he made wasn’t throwing to a hitter, but to shortstop Elvis Andrus. Mikolas fielded a comebacker and while throwing to second in an attempt to get the second out, he threw wide of the bag, allowing all the runners to be safe. When the inning ended, he had walked two, allowed two doubles and was down 5-0.

In the fifth, he didn’t finish the inning after getting two outs. Eric Sogard kept the inning alive with a two-out RBI double to right. Former Ranger Craig Gentry walked, and Washington decided to make a pitching change. Mikolas allowed eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits in 4⅔ innings. It was the second-shortest outing this season.

Beltre did have a nice night, getting on base three times, and he smashed his 15th homer of the year in the eighth.

What’s next? Yu Darvish looks to end this two-game losing streak by facing the Yankees for the second time in less than a week. Darvish (9-6, 2.92) takes on David Phelps (5-4, 3.77). It’s a rematch of Wednesday’s rain/grounds crew fiasco, which the Yankees won 2-1 when the game was called in the bottom of the fifth due to rain/grounds.

Callaspo not starting in return

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Alberto Callaspo was activated by the Oakland Athletics on Sunday, the first day the infielder was eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.

To make room for Callaspo on the active roster, Oakland optioned first baseman Nate Freiman to Triple-A Sacramento.

Callaspo had been on the DL since July 12 because of a strained right hamstring. He has started more than a dozen games each at first, second and third this season.

The 31-year-old switch-hitter was not in the starting lineup against rookie right-hander Miles Mikolas. Eric Sogard, a left-handed batter, made his 53rd start at second base.

Another Athletics switch-hitter, center fielder Coco Crisp, did not start because his neck was bothering him, according to manager Bob Melvin. Craig Gentry was in center field.

(Read full post)

Pregame Notes: Holland not smooth

July, 27, 2014
Jul 27
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The return of Derek Holland has some issues.

The starting left-handed starter has missed the entire season after undergoing microfracture surgery on his left knee in January.

Holland threw a bullpen session and conducted some fielding drills on Sunday, but manager Ron Washington wasn’t totally convinced about everything.

“We’ll sit and discuss,” Washington said. “He still wasn’t smooth."

Holland is projected to return from the DL and make a two-inning rehab start Wednesday for Double-A Frisco. His ability to move on the mound raises issues with him with roughly two months to play in the season.

Washington will meet with GM Jon Daniels, pitching coach Mike Maddux and bullpen coach Andy Hawkins to discuss the next steps with Holland.

“My pitching has always been pretty good,” Holland said. “It’s a matter of fielding and I feel like I’m good to go, but it’s up to them.”

Tepesch feels fine: RHP starter Nick Tepesch left Saturday’s start in the seventh inning when he felt something in his left knee. Tepesch said a team doctor examined him and determined there was some inflammation but nothing structurally wrong with the knee.

Tepesch said the front of the knee didn’t feel good after he planted it while throwing a pitch in the top of the seventh. He left with a 2-1 count to Josh Donaldson.

“I don’t think it’s something that’s going to affect me down the road,” Tepesh said.

The Rangers might skip his next scheduled start as a health precaution or based on who's left on the staff after the trade deadline on Thursday.

“We haven’t made a decision as to whether he’s not going to start,” Washington said. “We’ll just continue to see how things look. He said he felt good.”

Who starts Friday?:Tepesch could start but this Thursday’s off day complicates matters. Jerome Williams pitched well last Friday against the Athletics and Washington said he deserves another chance to pitch. Miles Mikolas, Sunday’s starter, is on target to pitch Friday based on his normal four days of rest.

Washington ruled out a six-man rotation and how his young hurlers perform is also a factor. Williams is a favorite just because he’s a veteran, yet, the Rangers want to make sure the younger pitchers get a chance to start as many games possible.

“He can fit two ways,” Washington said of Williams. “He can be a long guy and he can start, so I just think we need to wait until we get closer to when he’s available again.”

Adcock settles down: RHP reliever Nate Adcock made his debut on Saturday night and struggled in his first inning of work where he allowed two home runs. His 30-pitch evening ended with no troubles in his second inning of work where he had a 1-2-3 eighth inning.

"I was just too excited and overthrew that first inning, try to blow guys away," he said. "(Andy Hawkins) calmed me down in the dugout and told me to trust my stuff and it definitely helped out and I had a good second inning.

Base Hits: LF Jake Smolinski (15-day DL with left foot bruise) said the swelling has gone down but he still hasn’t started running yet. ... The Rangers wore a patch on their white jerseys for Sunday’s game against the Athletics, honoring the 75th anniversary of the Hall of Fame. The voice of the Rangers, Eric Nadel was the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award and team special assistant, Greg Maddux was inducted into the Hall of Fame on Sunday. Greg Maddux is the younger brother of Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.



Yu Darvish
10 2.90 167 133
BAA. Beltre .323
HRA. Beltre 15
RBIA. Beltre 56
RA. Beltre 54
OPSA. Beltre .887
ERAY. Darvish 2.90
SOY. Darvish 167