Texas Rangers: Freddy Garcia

Rangers' bats go cold in New York

August, 15, 2012
NEW YORK -- The Rangers have one of the most formidable offenses in baseball, though you wouldn't know it if you watched them over the last three nights in the Bronx.

Texas' offense was silenced again Wednesday in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees.

Outside of Josh Hamilton's two home runs, the Rangers couldn't get anything going against Freddy Garcia and the Yankees' bullpen, mustering just two hits other than Hamilton's bombs.

In all, the Rangers have scored just four runs in the last three games.

"The Yankee pitchers have just shut us down," Ron Washington said after his team's third straight loss. "…That's what it was. We'll bounce back [Thursday]. Maybe we need the challenge of facing [starter Ivan] Nova."

Maybe so. But if Nova pitches like his predecessors, the Rangers may be in trouble.

Yankee hurlers have held the Rangers to a .199 average (37-for-186) in 2012.

"Once again, pitching stops everything," Washington said.

The Rangers had their chances against Garcia on Wednesday.

They loaded the bases with one out in the fourth after Hamilton's first homer -- a solo shot to right. But catcher Geovany Soto grounded into an inning-ending double play.

"Once again, Freddy made a pitch," Washington said.

The Yankees have made plenty of big pitches in this series.

New York starters have combined to limit Texas to four runs on 12 hits in 20 2/3 innings in the last three games. If you're scoring at home, that's a 1.74 ERA.

"It's not like we're not giving effort or putting forth effort," Hamilton said. "They've just been swinging the bats pretty good and it seems like we're not swinging the bats well."

Hamilton was the lone star for Texas on Wednesday. He clubbed two homers off Garcia, the second traveling an estimated 447 feet.

Garcia allowed the Rangers' four hits. The other two: Designated hitter Mitch Moreland doubled in the third and Adrian Beltre followed Hamilton's fourth-inning homer with a single. And that was it.

"We're a team that can score runs, but we just haven't scored any right now in these three games here," Washington said. "Maybe tomorrow we'll bust out."

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Rangers 2

August, 15, 2012

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.

Buzz: Michael Young's off day not based on performance

August, 15, 2012
NEW YORK -- For the first time in more than two months, Michael Young is getting a day off.

Not that he was looking for one.

"I definitely would prefer to keep playing," Young said. "But at the same time I understand (manager Ron Washington's decision). It's August, the heat, dog days ... you have to make sure guys get rest."

Washington decided to give the 12-year veteran the day off Wednesday with the Rangers playing the third game of a four-game series against the New York Yankees.

"I felt it was time that he got one," said Washington, who noted that Young will be back in the lineup Thursday.

Young has played every day since June 10. He is hitting .269 with three homers and 45 RBIs in 112 games but has suffered through a significant power drought of late.

Young hasn't homered in 84 games, which is the longest streak of his career (his last homer was May 7). Only one player in the American League has fewer extra-base hits than Young (24 XBH in 476 plate appearances). Young's single in Tuesday's game ended an 0-for-12 streak.

"It's not Michael Young-like," Washington said of Young's recent stretch. "But he brings more than just what the numbers say and there's no one more upset about what's going on than Michael Young. But I believe in him and I feel in a minute (Young's turnaround) can happen."

Adrian Beltre will start at third base and rookie Mike Olt will start at first against Yankees righty Freddy Garcia on Wednesday.

Washington said Young's day off was for a combination of physical and mental rest.

"It's not performance," Washington stressed, "It's just being a manager and (I) decided to give him a day off. It's not performance."

The manager also said that he wanted to play Olt at first base at some point over the next two days before the Rangers head to Toronto, where they are expected to face left-handed starters. Olt is expected to get playing time against lefties.

And Washington added that he preferred Young in the lineup Thursday, when the Rangers face Yankees righty Ivan Nova.

Young insisted Wednesday that playing in every game since June 10 has had no bearing on his performance.

"I've been playing every day for my entire career, so it doesn't really do anything for me," Young said. "At the same time, I understand what Wash is doing. He's trying to keep everybody rested and ready to go."

Asked if he felt he needed a day off, Young said, "No, I never feel that way."

Washington acknowledged that Young, who has a career average of .302, may be in the middle of a down year.

"You can't play this game where a year don't come where things don't go right," Washington said. "Babe Ruth had down years, Mickey Mantle had down years, everybody has down years."

The manager also commended Young for not allowing his poor performance to affect his demeanor.

"If you didn't look at the numbers, you wouldn't know that Michael was not having a Michael Young-type year," Washington said.

For what it's worth, Young seemed optimistic about being his ability to turn things around over the final weeks of the regular season.

"I feel like for the rest of the season I'm going to do what I usually do, which is make hard contact," Young said. "The year's not over yet. The most important part of the season is still to come."

* Washington reiterated that the team will make a decision about carrying eight pitchers when it returns home Aug. 20. The manager said the team will continue to carry eight pitchers through the current seven-game trip. As far as the bullpen goes, Washington said he views Roy Oswalt as a two-inning reliever. If the Rangers need a reliever to throw three or four innings, Michael Kirkman is the lone pitcher who can do so. The lack of options for a long man may factor in the team's decision, Washington noted.

* Yu Darvish is looking to build off his quality start Sunday against Detroit.

Prior to allowing three runs in 6 2/3 innings against Detroit, Darvish had struggled. He was 1-4 with a 7.04 ERA in his last six starts with 24 walks and 48 strikeouts. But he pitched in and out of trouble against Detroit, and drew confidence from the start.

"I'm just recalling the good parts of my prior outing and (I) just take that into my next start and prepare properly," Darvish said through an interpreter Wednesday.

Darvish's next start is Friday against Toronto.

"Mentally, I'm in a good state and physically as well," Darvish said. "Everything is going in the right direction."

* Mitch Moreland spent another day at designated hitter Wednesday, in part to rest the bruise on his right big toe. Washington did not seem concerned about the injury. Moreland said that, if necessary, he could have been on the field. Washington also penciled Moreland as designated hitter because he wanted to play Olt on Wednesday and he didn't want Olt to serve that role.

"If (Olt is) more involved in the game, he doesn't really have time to think about anything. (He can) just play," Washington said of the 23-year-old Olt.

Speaking of Olt, Washington said the rookie has worked out at shortstop and in the outfield to prepare for playing those positions in an emergency situation.

* Koji Uehara (ribs) threw 20 pitches of live batting practice at Double-A Frisco on Wednesday. A Rangers spokesman said Uehara felt 'good' after the session and will throw 30 pitches Saturday at Frisco. If all goes well and he doesn’t have any setbacks, he could be activated from the DL on Aug. 26. ... Jon Daniels was honored at Hunter College High School in Manhattan on Wednesday. The GM, a Queens native, is an alumni of Hunter College HS.

Matchup: Scott Feldman vs. Freddy Garcia

August, 15, 2012
NEW YORK -- The Rangers and Yankees play Game 3 of their four-game series tonight in the Bronx. The game starts at 6:05 p.m. on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and can also be seen on ESPN and FSSW. Here’s a look at the pitching matchup featuring RHP Scott Feldman vs. RHP Freddy Garcia:

Feldman (6-7, 4.64 ERA): The 29-year-old right-hander, who will be making his 15th start of the season, is 6-1 with a 3.23 ERA in his last eight games (seven starts). ... During that span, his ERA has dropped from 6.50 to 4.64 ... Feldman suffered his first loss since June 14 in his last start Friday night in Detroit, when he allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. ... He had won his last six decisions after losing his first six. ... Feldman is 3-2 with a 4.85 ERA in seven regular-season appearances (five starts) against the Yankees in his career.

Garcia (6-5, 4.85 ERA): The 35-year-old right-hander, who was inserted into the rotation after Andy Pettitte was placed on the disabled list, is 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA since July 2. ... Garcia, no longer possessing the mid-90s fastball velocity he once did, relies on guts, guile and a lot of junk. ... In his last two starts, he’s 2-0 with a 3.27 ERA (four ER/11 IP). ... Garcia is 8-5 with a 4.10 career ERA against Texas.

Hitters: The Rangers, for the most part, don’t like facing Garcia. Josh Hamilton is hitting .222 with a homer off of the veteran, while Ian Kinsler has just one hit in 13 at-bats (.077). ... Michael Young’s .273 average (44 at-bats) represents the most success against Garcia among regulars with more than three at-bats. ... Curtis Granderson owns Feldman. In nine at-bats, he’s hitting .556 with three homers and six RBIs. ... Derek Jeter (.385, two homers), Raul Ibanez (.400, homer) and Mark Teixeira (.400, homer) also have had success against the righty. ... Nick Swisher (1-for-8) and Eric Chavez (0-for-4) haven’t.

Up next:

Thu. at NYY: LHP Derek Holland (7-6, 4.92) vs. RHP Ivan Nova (11-6, 4.70), 12:05 p.m., ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM/1540 AM/FSSW

Baseball Tonight: Rangers-Yankees preview

August, 15, 2012

Baseball Tonight previews Wednesday night's Rangers-Yankees matchup.

Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Rangers 0

August, 14, 2012

NEW YORK -- The Texas Rangers avoided being no-hit, but they couldn’t avoid being shut out in a 3-0 loss to the New York Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium.

What it means: Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda flirted with a no-no, dominated the best offense in baseball and finished off a complete-game two-hitter. The Rangers, who came in leading the majors in both runs scored and batting average, must now win their next two games to earn a split in the Bronx.

Ughando: Alexi Ogando had worked 6 2/3 scoreless innings in his previous six appearances. That’s history now. Brought into a scoreless game with a runner on first and one out in the seventh, Ogando served up back-to-back homers to Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira that gave the Yankees a 3-0 lead. Prior to those homers, left-handed hitters were 15-for-70 (.214) off the 28-year-old right-hander.

Jinxed: Elvis Andrus ended Kuroda’s no-hit bid with an infield single up the middle to lead off the seventh. In the first six innings, only Andrus (first-inning walk) and Mitch Moreland (third-inning walk) reached base.

Tough-luck loser: Matt Harrison deserved a better fate. The 26-year-old left-hander gutted through 6 1/3 innings of one-run ball, but received no run support -- or help from his bullpen. Harrison (13-7), who threw 106 pitches, scattered five hits, walked three and struck out two. He was pulled by manager Ron Washington in favor of Ogando after surrendering a single to Derek Jeter with one out in the seventh. The move proved costly.

Remember: Harrison had gone 1-2 with a 5.55 ERA in his previous four starts since throwing a complete-game shutout July 15 in Seattle. He was plagued by a stomach virus in his last outing -- a 4 2/3-inning, five-run no-decision -- Aug. 8 in Boston.

MY got a hit: Michael Young snapped an 0-for-12 drought with a single up the middle to lead off the eighth.

Donezo: Josh Hamilton’s 11-game hitting streak and Nelson Cruz’s eight-game hitting streak both came to an end.

E-6: Andrus committed his 11th error of the season in the sixth inning.

Back in the bigs: Backup catcher Luis Martinez went 0-for-3 in his first start of the season, but called a tremendous game behind the plate.

Ouch: Reliever Tanner Scheppers was struck by a liner off the bat of Russell Martin in the eighth, but remained in the game to record the final out of the inning.

Up next: RHP Scott Feldman (6-7, 4.64 ERA) tries to rebound from his first loss in his last seven decisions when he takes on RHP Freddy Garcia on Wednesday night in the Bronx.



Adrian Beltre
.322 18 71 77
HRA. Beltre 18
RBIA. Beltre 71
RA. Beltre 77
OPSA. Beltre .874
WC. Lewis 10
ERAC. Lewis 5.12
SOY. Darvish 182