Texas Rangers: David Phelps
NEW YORK -- Outside of Josh Hamilton, the Rangers couldn't muster much offense in their 3-2 loss to the Yankees on Wednesday. They have lost the first three games of their four-game series in the Bronx and will need to win Thursday afternoon to avoid a sweep.
What it means: The Rangers entered this series leading the majors in runs scored and batting average. But they've managed just four runs in three games in the Bronx. They've been silenced by the Yankees trio of David Phelps, Hiroki Kuroda and Freddy Garcia.
Oh my Josh! Hamilton's 11-game hitting streak ended Tuesday night. But he started another one Wednesday night in impressive fashion. Hamilton hit two homers off Yankees starter Garcia and finished 2-for-4. Hamitlon's first homer -- a solo shot in the fourth -- broke Texas' 19-inning scoreless streak. His second homer was a blast to right reminiscent of the moon shots he hit in the old Yankee Stadium. It traveled 447 feet.
Hamilton has a career-high 34 homers on the season. He also has three multi-homer games and 101 RBIs on the year.
A little help? Other than Hamilton, the Rangers struggled to get to Garcia.
In 6 2/3 innings, Garcia allowed just two hits to Rangers other than Hamilton. Designated hitter Mitch Moreland doubled in the third and Adrian Beltre followed Hamilton's fourth-inning homer with a single. The Rangers left the bases loaded in the fourth when Geovany Soto grounded into an inning-ending double play.
Kinsler tossed: A frustrated Ian Kinsler was ejected by home plate ump Vic Carapazza for arguing Carapazza's called third strike in the eighth inning. The ball appeared to be a strike on the inside corner. Manager Ron Washington came out to argue alongside Kinsler. It was Kinsler's fourth ejection of the season.
Feldman falters: Aside from the third inning, Scott Feldman didn't pitch poorly Wednesday. But the third frame was enough to ruin his night.
Feldman allowed four hits and three runs in the third. The big blow was Nick Swisher's flare down to left that turned into a double because the Rangers were playing the lefty to pull. Eric Chavez's two-out RBI single also hurt Feldman. In all, Feldman allowed three runs on seven hits in six innings. He struck out seven and walked four.
Ogando holds: A night after giving up crushing back-to-back homers in a Rangers loss, Alexi Ogando rebounded by getting Russell Martin to line out to right with the bases loaded to end the seventh.
Young sits, pinch hits: Washington gave struggling veteran Michael Young his first day off since June 10. But Young was inserted in the bottom of the seventh as a pinch hitter for Moreland. He flew out to center. Since Young was pinch-hitting for the DH, Texas lost its DH spot. The pitcher was forced to hit in the leadoff spot. And Young went to second base to replace the ejected Kinsler.
A little late: The game was delayed an hour and forty-five minutes by rain.
What's next: The Rangers wrap up their four-game series in the Bronx on Thursday afternoon as lefty Derek Holland (7-6, 4.92 ERA) takes on right-hander Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.70). The Rangers then travel to Toronto for a three-game series starting Friday night.
But, as left fielder David Murphy noted, “Sometimes it works out for us. Sometimes it doesn’t.”
In Monday night’s 8-2 loss to the New York Yankees, it didn’t, as both Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus were picked off by starter David Phelps.
“You don’t like to get guys picked off the base, but it happened,” manager Ron Washington said. “We just were trying to make something happen, and they picked us off. Yesterday, (our aggressive baserunning) was all beautiful. When you run the bases, that’s what happens.”
Kinsler was picked off at first to end the second inning, while Andrus was picked off at second with two on and one out, essentially ending what could’ve been a big frame in the third.
“I was trying to steal,” Andrus said. “He was giving me one look, two looks and I was ready. He just didn’t do what he was supposed to do, then did a pretty good job with the inside move.
“It’s not a good feeling for sure, especially in that situation. I was a little too aggressive, but I’m learning from that.”
Said Murphy: “I guess in the situation where Kinsler got picked off, it’s a runner on first base, I mean you might be able to say no harm done there. But the situation with Nelson [Cruz] at the plate and first and second, you’d like to see how that situation turned out instead of getting picked off at second.”
NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers opened their four-game series at Yankee Stadium with an 8-2 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday night.
What it means: Like so many pitchers before him, Ryan Dempster is having an extremely difficult time making the transition from the National League to the American League. The Rangers’ prized trade-deadline acquisition was tagged for eight runs (all earned) on nine hits in six innings. In three starts with Texas, the 35-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with an 8.31 ERA (16 earned runs in 17 1/3 innings).
Throttled in the third: During a 31-pitch third inning in which he faced 10 hitters, Dempster allowed five runs on five hits and walked two. The big blow during the frame came off the bat of Nick Swisher, who pulverized a 1-0 fastball into the second deck in right with one out for his sixth career grand slam -- and 200th career homer -- to put the Yankees ahead 4-2.
Consider: Dempster had given up six runs only once in 16 starts with the Chicago Cubs this season (2.25 ERA). He’s already done so twice with Texas (also eight earned runs in 4 2/3 innings in his Rangers debut Aug. 2 versus the Angels).
Elias says: Dempster has given up 10 career grand slams, one shy of tying Kenny Rogers for the all-time record. Nolan Ryan and Mike Jackson also have given up 10.
Can’t beat 'em: Dempster is 0-4 in five career starts against the Yankees with a 7.62 ERA (24 earned runs in 28 1/3 innings).
And so it continues: Josh Hamilton extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a bloop single down the left-field line in the eighth.
Murph Dog: David Murphy, the team’s leading hitter since the All-Star break, slugged his first homer since July 27 -- and 10th of the season -- leading off the second. He also doubled in the fourth.
King of the diamond: Elvis Andrus went 2-for-4 with a run scored Monday night and is hitting .400 (20-for-50) in his past 11 games.
Baserunning blunders: David Phelps picked off Ian Kinsler at first in the second and Andrus at second in the third.
Cruuuuz: Nelson Cruz had two hits and an RBI to extend his hitting streak to a season-high eight games.
Up next: LHP Matt Harrison (13-6, 3.31 ERA) looks to get the Rangers back on track against Yankees RHP Hiroki Kuroda on Tuesday night in the Bronx.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.