Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Extra Bases: Grimm has to pick up Tepesch
By Todd Wills
For the second straight start, Justin Grimm attempts to pick up Nick Tepesch after a Rangers loss.
It's the risk the Rangers run pitching rookie starters consecutively in the rotation.
The Rangers have lost consecutive games twice this season. It happened for a second time last Wednesday and Thursday to the Chicago White Sox. Tepesch and Grimm made those starts.
Grimm pitched well in his start last Thursday, allowing three earned runs in 6 2/3 innings. The Rangers lost 3-1 as the offense failed to produce in the late innings with runners in scoring position.
Grimm and Tepesch are as big a reason as any why the Rangers are 20-12. Their ability to fill in while the club waits for Colby Lewis, Matt Harrison and others to return has been remarkable.
Don't expect manager Ron Washington to break the two rookies up in the rotation. But as long as they are pitching consecutively, the risk is there as opponents adjust and get a scouting report on the Rangers' new pitchers.
Washington's visit: Rangers pitchers have had a high conversion rate of executing and getting out of innings after one of manager Ron Washington's visit to the mound. Monday wasn't one of those nights. With two runners on and two outs and Scott Feldman at the plate, Washington visited Tepesch to remind him not to let down against a pitcher hitting for himself. It didn't work. Feldman delivered a hit that ignited a five-run inning, leaving the Rangers with a 6-0 deficit.
Still an interleague giant: The Rangers dropped to 38-19 in interleague play since 2010, baseball's best record behind the New York Yankees. Next up is two games at Milwaukee against the Brewers, who are riding a five-game losing streak.
Short trip: The Rangers took an hour-and-half bus ride from Chicago to Milwaukee after Monday's game. It's the first time the Rangers have played back-to-back games in Chicago and Milwaukee since 1991. They played Aug. 1 at then new Comiskey Park and Aug. 2 at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The Brewers play in Miller Park now.