Buzz: Wash doesn't see joy in Arlington
He wants the fans to be excited, to enjoy these last five games.
Yes, if the season ended today, the Rangers would be out of the playoffs for the first time in four seasons.
|Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
"It's fun, it's nerve-wracking, it's all of the above," Washington said. "No matter what, I'm proud of these guys for the way they have fought all year with all the adversity. They never complained.
"It's fun, it's nerve-wracking and your stomach gets in knots. But what doesn't get in knots is your focus. You have to do what you have to do. You've got to live with what's going on in front of us."
The Rangers may be victims of their own success when it comes to perception with their fans and some of those that opine about the club. One local columnist compared this week to a funeral procession.
National and local columnists and talk shows are already playing the blame game with the Rangers a game out of the second wild-card spot.
The Rangers are 7-15 in September and another final month fade could be happening in Arlington. Texas had a two-game lead in the AL West when September started and Oakland clinched its second consecutive division title on Sunday as the Rangers faltered.
Still, the Rangers could win their final five games -- all at home -- and make the playoffs. Maybe even make the World Series for a third time in four years.
“You look at every other city that has a chance of being in the playoffs now, and there’s joy,” Washington said. “I don’t see a whole lot of joy in Arlington. I’m not knocking anybody. I just don’t see it. All they can talk about is how we collapsed. That’s not right.”
Moreland back at first: Mitch Moreland drew Wednesday's start against a left-hander, Houston's Dallas Keuchel. He has hits in two straight games after going though an 0-for-14 stretch.
Remember that Moreland hit a home run off the last left-handed starter the Rangers faced, Tampa Bay's Matt Moore, on Thursday in an 8-2 victory.
"My options are limited, so I put him in there," Washington said. "He may catch one. He is my best first baseman, so I'm going to take my chances and see what happens."
Wash trusts Frasor: There was still much discussion Wednesday about Washington opting for reliever Jason Frasor with runners at first and third and two outs in the bottom of the eighth with the Rangers clinging to a 3-2 lead over Houston and not closer Joe Nathan for a four-out save.
Washington trusts Frasor, and the veteran reliever came through for him after taking the loss Friday in Kansas City.
"Early on he was just having trouble getting going," Washington said. "But the more we've been able to get him the ball, the more in tune he has become with his stuff."
Frasor, who first starting warming up in the fourth inning with Yu Darvish struggling, entered the game four innings later.
"I've pitched in the fourth (inning) and the ninth in my career," Frasor said. "I was ready to go."
Short hops: The Rangers have won 86 games for a club-record five consecutive seasons. They had won 86-plus games just twice in franchise history before this winning run. ... Darvish has a major league-league leading 269 strikeouts, equaling the most in a single season since Randy Johnson had 290 Ks for Arizona in 2004. Justin Verlander also had 269 punchouts in 2009.
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.