Stock watch: Joe Nathan up; Derek Holland down
Joe Nathan: The closer has put all of his first-week issues behind him and has been rock solid. He's retired 21 of the last 23 batters he's faced and has worked eight scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts in his last eight games. ... Nathan pitched in a blowout loss to the Mariners for the second consecutive night after telling Ron Washington he'd do it if the skipper needed him to save some other bullpen arms (like Koji Uehara and Yoshinori Tateyama). That's a team player.
|Rangers closer Joe Nathan talks about why he was never worried about his abilities after struggling in spring training, the Angels' recent surge and more.
Mike Napoli: After a 3-for-25 slump that had him as a down stock a week ago, Napoli is 4-for-12 in his last three games with two homers and seven RBIs. And he loves hitting against his old team.
Derek Holland: After breezing through the first inning Wednesday, Holland couldn't get through the second. He faced 12 batters, gave up eight runs on eight hits and walked the final two hitters he faced on nine pitches, ending his night. Holland's ERA jumped more than a full run. It will be interesting to see how he responds.
Craig Gentry: The outfielder made an ill-fated dive attempt in the eighth inning of Monday's game against the Mariners, nearly allowing Brendan Ryan to score on an inside-the-park homer (but Cruz was backing it up and the Rangers executed some nice throws to get him). He was just 2-for-10 on the homestand at the plate.
Pitching: We'll lump the staff together when it comes to the last two games, allowing 31 runs to the Seattle Mariners, who has scored just 11 in their five-game losing streak before Tuesday and Wednesday. It was a rough patch for the arms, who look to rebound this weekend.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.