<
>

Rapid Reaction: Yanks 12, Rangers 4

6/15/2011

NEW YORK -- The Rangers are reeling right now as they lost for the seventh time in the last nine games. They are 1-5 on this road trip. Pitching let them down again Wednesday at Yankee Stadium, where the Rangers are 1-4 this season. The 12-4 score was just like Tuesday's game. Some quick thoughts (more to come from the clubhouse later):

* Derek Holland had command troubles from the very beginning. He couldn't hold an early lead and, outside of the second inning, was anything but efficient. His breaking stuff wasn't working and his fastball command wasn't good enough for him to get away with it. It continues an inconsistent season for Holland, who had a complete-game shutout in Cleveland on June 4. He had five walks and no strikeouts (he had 10 strikeouts in his last start in Minnesota ... again, the inconsistent theme). That's the first time he hasn't had at least two strikeouts this season. He just didn't have stuff that missed bats. Holland threw 103 pitches, only 52 for strikes.

* Holland was staked to a first-inning 2-0 lead and it lasted one out. He hit Curtis Granderson on a 1-1 curve and then gave up a big blast to Mark Teixeira on a 2-1 pitch. It was Teixeira's 20th homer and at the time put him at 7-for-13 with three HRs and eight RBIs off Holland, who has allowed 12 homers this season.

* Holland got a huge break to end the first inning and keep the game tied despite balky command and the bases loaded with Yankees. A hard hit ball up the middle by Eduardo Nunez (at SS for Derek Jeter, who is on the DL) went off Holland's glove and right to Elvis Andrus, who stepped on second and threw to first for the double play. If the ball doesn't hit Holland's glove, it likely goes into center for a two-RBI single.

* Ian Kinsler's line drive single to left on the first pitch of the game was the first hit for the Rangers the first time through the order since Friday in Minnesota. They had gone 0-for-27 in the first three innings combined the last three games.

* One thing about not getting hits consistently is that it doesn't allow the Rangers to run the bases as aggressively as they like. So with Kinsler at second and Andrus at first after a walk in the first, they were on the move (Kinsler stole second before Andrus walked). With the runners going, Josh Hamilton hit an opposite-field single in the hole vacated by shortstop Nunez, who started to cover the bag. Not sure if that was a double-steal attempt or a hit and run, but the Rangers executed. Michael Young knocked in the second run on a fielder's choice.

* Maybe Wednesday is the kind of night Kinsler needs to get going. Besides the single and stolen base in the first, he had a home run to straightaway center in the third and walked twice. Kinsler had been 7-for-40 (.175) in the previous 10 games and just 2-for-13 on the trip.

* Young's infield single in the third extended his hitting streak at (new) Yankee Stadium to 17 games. He has a 20-game hitting streak in New York if you include the final three games the Rangers played at old Yankee Stadium.

* Hamilton had a good day at the plate. And he sure needed it. Hamilton was 4-for-20 with one RBI on the road trip (2-for-16 in his last four games) coming into the game, but had a single in the first to score a run and a double that bounced and went over the center-field wall in the third. Hamilton later scored to make it 4-3.

* Third-base coach Dave Anderson sent Yorvit Torrealba on a single to center by Andrus with two outs in the sixth, but he was out at home. If he held Torrealba, he would have had Hamilton up with the bases loaded. It took a perfect throw by Curtis Granderson and a great job of blocking the plate by Francisco Cervelli to get him. What did you think of the decision? Should the way Hamilton was swinging Wednesday play a part in the decision? (I actually had no problem with it. It's aggressive and it forced the Yankees to make a tough play perfectly, and they did.)

* Nelson Cruz is 0-for-18 with 10 strikeouts in his last five games. His average has dipped to .221 and he's just 2-for-22 on this road trip.

* In the fifth inning, Robinson Cano hit a slow roller to second baseman Kinsler with Alex Rodriguez running to second. Kinsler approached Rodriguez but, when he realized he couldn't make the tag, threw to first instead of second. So instead of getting the lead runner, Rodriguez was at second with two outs and ended up scoring when Andruw Jones singled. It seems like the little things have hurt this team lately.

* Mark Lowe came in for the sixth inning and gave up a home run to the No. 9 hitter, Ramiro Pena. That's not the kind of thing you want to see from the bullpen. Lowe has given up nine runs in his last four outings.

* Teixeira hit a long homer off Lowe, meaning he homered from both sides of the plate for the 11th time. That ties Chili Davis and Eddie Murray for most career games with at least one homer from both sides of the plate. It was the sixth time he did it as a Yankee.

* Neftali Feliz got some work in after not pitching in a game since last Wednesday (before the Rangers left to go on the road), and it didn't go well. He had a walk to start the eighth and then after a single and an out, Cano blasted a three-run homer to right. Maybe the long layoff had an impact.