Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Ranger Reax: Wasted chances
By Richard Durrett
ANAHIEM, Calif. -- It seemed the theme of the night in a relatively quiet Rangers clubhouse was wasted opportunities.
The first thing Ron Washington said was that the Rangers didn't do enough with their bases-loaded chances while the Angels did exactly what they had to do with theirs in the sixth.
"We had the guys we wanted up there but couldn't get it done," Washington said. "We had a two-out situation with no one [on base] in the sixth and they put four on us. That big inning was the downfall for us."
It started with a single by Kevin Frandsen just after he had hit a ball down the right-field line that Nelson Cruz slid and nearly caught in foul territory. Instead, Frandsen ended up singling and went to second on a wild pitch. Two more singles tied the score and ended starter Scott Feldman's night.
"If I just made some better pitches in certain situations, the game might have been different," Feldman said. "That's just baseball. A lot of the hits they got in that sixth inning were on good pitches. They did a good job of keeping their eye on the ball and making some things happen."
After Feldman left, it was Darren Oliver's turn. He came in and walked Howie Kendrick on four straight pitches. Then he threw a curveball to Bobby Abreu in the lefty-lefty matchup that Abreu socked to right field to clear the bases. The Rangers were not playing Abreu straightaway, but Washington said even if the Rangers had played him to pull, the ball was so close to the line it wouldn't have mattered.
"He's a good hitter and I threw a curveball 3-2 and hung it a little bit, and he did what he's supposed to do with it," Oliver said. "He's tough. You definitely have to make your pitches with him. I'm sure there are going to be other matchups with me and him, and sometimes I'm going to get him and sometimes he's going to get me. That's why they are so much fun."
* Cruz was at second base in the eighth when Julio Borbon's one-out fly ball appeared headed to the gap. But Torii Hunter closed quickly as the ball held up in the air a little, and he was able to make the catch. Cruz was not able to get back to the bag in time to tag up and get to third. Elvis Andrus ended up hitting a high chop that loaded the bases with two outs. Michael Young grounded out to end the inning.
"I thought it was going to drop," Cruz said. "Hunter is a good outfielder and he ran it down. I was expecting the ball to fall. I was halfway with one out so I could make sure I could score if it dropped. He caught it stretched out and I wasn't sure. I couldn't get back on it."
Washington said he'd like to have seen Cruz not stray quite as far off so that he could get back to make sure he tagged up.
* Vladimir Guerrero didn't comment after the game, but he got a nice ovation from the crowd in his first at-bat. He was introduced and the fans stood and cheered, and Guerrero took off his helmet and acknowledged them.
"It was good," Oliver said. "You knew he would get a standing ovation. There were a lot of signs and stuff out there. It was good."
Guerrero ended up going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs in his first appearance as a Ranger in Angel Stadium. His 50 RBIs since April 28 rank first in the AL.
In talking with reporters before the game, Guerrero noted the thing he learned the most from his time in Anaheim.
"What I learned here mainly is to take heart in the clubhouse," Guerrero said. "Make sure I share with my other teammates. We had a lot of Latinos when I came to the Angels and that was a fantastic time for me, but I’m so proud that I’ve been able to share and be a part of the clubhouse culture with the Americans and with the Latino players no matter what."
* OF David Murphy got his third catcher's interference of the season in the eighth. He was behind in the count and it gave the Rangers two runners on with one out at the time. Murphy was pinch hitting for Matt Treanor at the time. "I thought Murph had a better shot to hit a two-run homer and give us the lead there," Washington said.
* Texas had the 3-4-5 hitters -- Ian Kinsler, Guerrero and Josh Hamilton -- up against closer Brian Fuentes but were not able to get any baserunners.
* It was a tale of two halves for the Texas lineup. The 1-4 hitters were 9-for-18 with two homers and four RBIs while the 5-9 hitters were 3-for-19 with an RBI.