Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Ranger Reax: Hurdle expects adjustments
By Richard Durrett
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers hitting coach Clint Hurdle said his club is going through one of those stretches where the hits aren't quite coming as often as they should. Despite the sweltering heat in Arlington, the Rangers' offense is in a cold spell. They have 17 runs in the last 64 innings and are averaging just 2.6 runs per game in this homestand.
The good news: Texas is 4-2 in Arlington in that stretch. But they weren't able to put any runs on the board Wednesday until the ninth inning when it was already 3-0 A's. In the process, they couldn't cash in on a chance to go 9.5 games up on both the A's and Angels in the AL West.
"I think it's a combination of we're seeing good pitching, but we're at home and we need to find a way to stay focused, use the big part of the field and be patient and stay with our strengths," Hurdle said. "There has been some times where we've had some guys get outside themselves some."
Hurdle says sometimes the lineup is getting on a "pull mode" instead of going with pitches.
"We need to continue to focus on the things that have brought us success at this point," Hurdle said. "It's a grind. Hitting is contagious and non-hitting is contagious. We just have to stay focused on our strengths, have better at-bats, see more pitches."
Hurdle gave Trevor Cahill a lot of credit and noted that he was throwing a lot of first-pitch strikes, making a patient approach more difficult. Michael Young was complimentary of Cahill, too, but feels like the offense can do better.
"We expect to score no matter who we're facing," Young said. "We have a lot of respect for the pitchers we've faced, but nothing is more important than the way we think about ourselves. We expect to score. It's our job to score no matter who we're facing. We'll come out and make some adjustments."
David Murphy sees a team just not quite getting the key hit often enough.
"You go through these streaks a few times a year," Murphy said. "It happens with every team. We know we'll start putting up some runs and having better at-bats. We're facing quality pitching. But it's time to challenge ourselves and come out and do what we're capable of."
* Young said from a defensive standpoint that it "wasn't our cleanest game." Texas had three errors, tying a season high. Two of them came from the outfield. Josh Hamilton bobbled a ball after getting to it and Nelson Cruz wasn't able to transfer from his glove to his hand. Both errors allowed baserunners to advance and both scored. "Josh was trying to make a quick play against Coco Crisp, who is fast, and Nelson played the bounce and didn't grab it all the way," manager Ron Washington said. "I can live with that because I know I won't see that every night."
* Vladimir Guerrero got his second RBI in as many nights and did so on a hard-hit ball. He had gone nine games without an RBI before the A's series. "We don't worry about Vlad," Young said. "He just needs some more at-bats and he'll be barreling balls more often again."
* Colby Lewis was solid again. He said he had good fastball location,but hung a slider that Kurt Suzuki turned on for the homer that gave the A's the lead. "If I bury that, he's out," Lewis said. "You move forward. You keep giving quality starts, and that's all you can do is keep your team in the game."
* Cahill deserves a bunch of credit. He likes pitching against Texas. He's now 5-1 with a 1.83 ERA in seven career starts against the Rangers. "It was like he was throwing a bunch of split-fingers against us, but I guess it was changeups," Washington said. "He had great location." Cahill is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in three starts in Arlington.
* Still no decision on whether Rich Harden will pitch on Saturday. The club is expected to decide something on Thursday. Washington said they just didn't get a chance to meet with everyone about it on Wednesday.