Thursday, June 7, 2012
Rangers at loss for lack of offense
By Jeff Fletcher
OAKLAND, Calif. — Even a team as powerful as the Texas Rangers is prone to be shut out every once in a while, particularly when the guy on the mound has a Cy Young on his resume.
But this particular Cy Young winner is 39 years old, so not everyone in the Rangers’ clubhouse was ready to tip their proverbial caps to Bartolo Colon after he pitched eight scoreless innings in the A’s 2-0 victory over the Rangers on Wednesday night.
“I hate to not give a credit when he does that well but you’d think as good as our offense is that we’d get something done,” Rangers outfielder David Murphy said. “He didn’t try to trick us. He threw all fastballs. He changed the location and mixed it up in that sense, but he basically beat us throwing all fastballs tonight.”
The Rangers managed just five singles in eight innings against Colon, who won the Cy Young in 2005 but hasn’t had a full season with an ERA under 4.00 since then.
“He still knows what he’s doing,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “He’s a very smart guy. Some nights he gets away with it and some nights he doesn’t. Tonight, he did.”
What has happened to the Rangers offense?
Yes, they are leading the league in scoring. However, in the first six games of this trip they’ve been held to two runs or fewer four times. On Wednesday, they were shut out for the first time all season.
“We’ve got to be more consistent,” Nelson Cruz said. “We need to figure out a way to get in the zone again and do what we’re supposed to do.”
The critical moments in this game came in the early innings. In the second inning, Mitch Moreland came up with the bases loaded and one out. He grounded into a routine double play. Moreland, who is in a 1-for-24 slump, said Colon simply threw him a fastball on the inner half and he didn’t get the barrel on it. An inning later, Elvis Andrus hit into a double play after Ian Kinsler’s leadoff single. The Rangers didn’t have more than one baserunner in an inning the rest of the night. The last 14 hitters went in order.
“We didn’t have a great night offensively,” Murphy said. “We had one inning where we had an opportunity and we didn’t get it done. That happens. The rest of the game we really didn’t give ourselves many opportunities. That’s what’s crazy about this game. Everyone knows what this offense is capable of, but we can have nights like this. It’s happened more frequently lately than we like.”
Ironically, two of the coldest hitters on this trip have been players who were among the hottest before it began. Josh Hamilton is 4-for-25 and Adrian Beltre is 4-for-23.
“We just need to keep grinding,” Washington said. “There are nights we put it together and nights we don’t put it together. The only thing you can say is we’re inconsistent.”