Thursday, April 18, 2013
Rangers' bats go dormant in loss
By Sahadev Sharma | Special to ESPNDallas.com
CHICAGO -- On top of Alexi Ogando's struggles, the Texas Rangers' offense was once again an issue.
After a 6-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, the Rangers now have scored 55 runs on the season. Their 3.67 runs per game puts them 12th in the AL.
“It’s just a matter of time,” manager Ron Washington said. “We have some guys in the lineup that we’re depending on that are just not swinging the bat the way they’re capable of. You just gotta keep getting them at-bats and it’ll finally fall into place. Right now we just got to continue to do the things we can in the game. Our pitching has been keeping us around. This is the first day our starting pitcher didn’t really keep us in the ballgame.”
Washington added that getting Lance Berkman back will be a boost to the bats as they return to American League play. Berkman, who didn’t play in the Cubs series because of the lack of DH, is posting a robust .389/.500/.611 line on the season and is one of the few Rangers who has avoided any early season adversity.
Ian Kinsler, who went 2-for-4 on Thursday with a home run, admitted that it’s time for the bats to get going to give the Rangers' normally dominant staff a boost on their rare off days.
“You can’t rely on your pitchers every day. You have to be able to put up runs and give those guys a little bit of a cushion early, and we haven’t been able to do that lately,” Kinsler said. “We have to get off the blocks a little bit better offensively early in the game and give our guys a little bit of a cushion. They’ve been throwing the ball really well, and I think that can only help.”
Kinsler said the bad weather can make it a little more difficult for the offense, and Wrigley Field’s lack of modern player facilities didn’t help, either. However, Kinsler refused to use it as an excuse and was just happy to be heading back to Texas, where better weather surely awaits.
Kinsler and Nelson Cruz were the only Rangers to record a hit on the day, combining to go 4-for-7 with two home runs and two singles. The rest of the team went 0-for-21 with eight strikeouts and one walk against Cubs pitching.
Catcher A.J. Pierzynski didn’t seem concerned with the Rangers' lack of offense, saying it was more about bad luck then a bad approach.
“I mean, in the first inning Ian gets on to lead off the game and we hit into a double play,” Pierzynski said. “In the second inning, Nellie gets on, we have a hit-and-run on, I hit a liner and we would’ve had first and third and Villanueva sticks his glove out and catches it. The other inning (Kinsler) hits a rocket for a double play. It was just one of those days where it seemed like things weren’t meant to go our way. But that’s baseball, that’s the way things work. There’s no hanging your head because there’ s no time for it, no one feels sorry for you so you gotta be ready to go tomorrow.
The Rangers left no men on base for the only the eighth time in club history, as all three base runners they had on the day were erased on double plays. It was the first time the Rangers had done that since July 7, 2007 against the Baltimore Orioles.