Texas Rangers: Mark Buehrle

Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 4, Rangers 2

May, 17, 2014
May 17

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Toronto Blue Jays got the lead three separate times Saturday night and finally kept it for good after scoring in the eighth inning to beat the Texas Rangers 4-2. Some quick thoughts:

How it happened: Toronto got typically solid starting pitching from Mark Buehrle, who got a no-decision after going 6⅔ innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with one walk and four strikeouts. The Rangers tied the game twice but couldn't ever get the lead. A two-out double by Jose Reyes off Rangers reliever Neal Cotts in the eighth drove in the eventual winning run.

What it means: The Rangers have lost six of their past seven and are 5-10 in May. The Oakland A's beat Cleveland on Saturday, so Texas is seven games back of Oakland in the American League West at 20-23 overall. … The Rangers are now 0-3-1 in their past four home series and have lost six consecutive home games to the Blue Jays, which includes a four-game sweep last season.

Big arm: Leonys Martin showed off his impressive arm in center field again Saturday, firing a strike to catcher Robinson Chirinos to end the fifth inning and keep the score tied. Edwin Encarnacion hit what he hoped would be a sacrifice fly to center, but Reyes was thrown out at home thanks to Martin's throw and a nice play by Chirinos. The catcher waited to block the plate as he was catching it, tagging Reyes before he could get there.

High pitch count: Robbie Ross allowed only one run in his start Saturday -- but the lefty was working out of jams most of the night, needing 91 pitches to get through 4⅓ innings. He also got a rare early-game visit from manager Ron Washington himself, probably to get him refocused. Ross walked four batters and gave up a home run -- a solo shot off the bat of Jose Bautista with two out in the first.

Missed challenge: The Rangers are 4-for-9 on replay challenges this season. In the seventh, Anthony Gose stole third base with one out. The throw by Chirinos was on time and on the bag, but Adrian Beltre's tag was late. Third-base umpire Hal Gibson called him safe, and the replay confirmed that call, meaning the Rangers lost the challenge.

Speed helps Jays: Gose's speed was crucial to giving Toronto the lead in the seventh. Gose hit a double to lead things off, then stole third base. On a dribbler down the third-base line by Melky Cabrera, Gose didn't hesitate and Beltre was forced to throw to first instead of home. The run likely wouldn't have happened without Gose's speed.

RISP lead: Michael Choice drove in the Rangers' first run with a third-inning single. He is hitting .416 with runners in scoring this season, tops on the team among those with at least four at-bats. Luis Sardinas plated the second Texas run, in the seventh, with a two-out RBI single. He's now 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position.

Finger issue: Alexi Ogando's fingers saved a run in the seventh inning, but he was forced to leave after Brett Lawrie's ball nicked off those fingers, on his pitching hand, and landed in front Elvis Andrus. Ogando ended up pitching to three batters, allowing a hit and two walks (with a wild pitch). Ogando was diagnosed with a bruised hand, and X-rays were negative. The ball hit him above the palm.

Insurance run: The Blue Jays increased their lead to two runs thanks to an error by Mitch Moreland in the ninth. Moreland dropped the relay throw on what looked like a routine double play. A double and a sac fly later, Toronto had a 4-2 lead.

Up next: Nick Martinez (0-1, 2.38 ERA) goes up against fellow right-hander R.A. Dickey (4-3, 4.53 ERA) at 2:05 p.m. CT in the finale of this three-game series.

Rapid Reaction: Blue Jays 8, Rangers 0

June, 14, 2013

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers' tailspin continued as the Toronto Blue Jays' Mark Buehrle and two relievers handcuffed Texas on five hits for an 8-0 victory Friday night in front of 37,203 fans at Rangers Ballpark.

Only once did the Rangers manage to get a runner as far as second base.

Texas lost its fourth straight and was shut out for the fourth time this season.

The Rangers have been held to five runs in their longest losing streak of the season. At least it was over quickly. The game required only 2 hours and 8 minutes, the quickest at Rangers Ballpark in two years.

Bad to worse: No sign of a letup in the Rangers’ scoring futility. Texas went 0-for-2 with runners in scoring position and is 2-for-13 in its four-game losing streak.

Most alarming is that in four games, the Rangers have had only 13 chances with a runner in scoring position, a shade more than three per game.

Adrian Beltre singled and Nelson Cruz walked in the second inning, but with a chance for the Rangers to score first, Geovany Soto flied out to right and Chris McGuiness grounded into a double play.

Elvis has left the game: Elvis Andrus was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Eric Cooper after being called out on strikes. Andrus vehemently protested the third strike and kept up a dialog after returning to the dugout.

Andrus went 0-for-3 and is 10-for-57 in his past 14 games. His average, now at .251, has fallen more than 30 points in the past 22 games.

Cooper also rang up Cruz, Craig Gentry (twice) and Soto on called third strikes.

Wake-up call: Toronto’s four-run fourth was like a bolt out of the blue to Rangers starter Justin Grimm.

Through three shutout frames, the right-hander limited the Blue Jays to one inconsequential single. But at the start of the fourth, a streak of lightning from the dark clouds beyond right field either shook Grimm or awoke the Toronto batters. More likely, the Blue Jays took advantage of a second time through the batting order.

With some fans from the lower deck starting for cover, Edwin Encarnacion began the fourth-inning barrage by bouncing a double into the right-field seats.

After an Adam Lind ground-ball single to left, Colby Rasmus lined a home run, his 11th, over the wall in right for a 3-0 lead.

J.P. Arencibia added a 396-foot solo homer later in the inning.

Grimm was nicked for runs in the fifth, seventh and eighth, but made it through 7 2/3 innings and was charged with seven runs on 10 hits.

Matchup: Justin Grimm vs. Mark Buehrle

June, 14, 2013
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers try to even their series with Toronto when Justin Grimm faces Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle at 7:05 p.m. Friday night on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM (1540 AM in Spanish).

General manager Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons & Durrett to discuss the Rangers' offensive struggles, injuries and the plan for Jurickson Profar once Ian Kinsler returns from the disabled list.

Listen Listen
Grimm (5-4, 5.25 ERA): Grimm makes his second straight start against the Blue Jays. He took a no-decision in the Rangers' 6-4 comeback victory at Toronto on Sunday. He allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings, with all four runs coming in the third inning. He got two outs before allowing a walk and later a three-run home run by Adam Lind. ... He has a 14.73 ERA for his two starts in June to raise his ERA from 3.93 to 5.25. ... Grimm has three wins since May 17, more than any other Rangers pitcher. ... Grimm leads American League rookie pitchers with five wins and 51 strikeouts.

Buehrle (2-4, 5.06 ERA): Buehrle dominated the Rangers in his last start, allowing one run in seven innings, but didn't get a decision in the Jays' 4-3 victory. ... He has four consecutive starts where he was allowed three earned runs or less. ... The changeup specialist works quickly and throws strikes. ... Opponents are batting .273 against him. ... Buehrle is 12-5 with a 3.31 ERA in his career against the Rangers.

Hitters: Jeff Baker (6-for-14, 1 HR, 1 RBI) and A.J. Pierzynski (8-for-20, 2 RBIs) have had success against Buehrle. Jose Bautista had hits in both of his at-bats against Grimm on Sunday.

Matchup: Yu Darvish vs. Mark Buehrle

June, 8, 2013
Yu Darvish will try and snap a Rangers' losing streak for the ninth time this season when he faces off against Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle at 12:07 p.m. Saturday afternoon on Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN-FM 103.3 and 1540-AM.

Darvish (7-2, 2.77):
Darvish has an extra days' rest as he tries to end a two-game losing streak for his team ... He hasn't won in his last three starts, going 0-1 despite a 2.18 ERA ... It's only the second time in his Rangers' career that he's gone three starts without a victory ... Darvish is 15-4 with a 3.35 ERA pitching on five days or more rest ... This is Darvish's fourth consecutive start following a Rangers loss ... He's getting used to being in this position ... Eight of his first 12 starts have come after a team loss ... He is 5-1 with a 2.03 ERA ... Darvish is the first Rangers with five or more strikeouts in his first 12 starts ... He leads the major leagues with 111 strikeouts and a 12.28 strikeouts/per nine innings ratio ... He is tied with Detroit's Justin Verlander for the big league lead in strikeouts since the start of 2012 with 332 Ks ... Darvish has the majors' second highest run support average at 7.30 per start ... He took a no decision in his last start, allowing no runs in seven innings ... Darvish is 2-1 with a 3.32 ERA for three career starts against Toronto ... He is 1-1 with a 2.57 ERA at the Rogers Centre ... Darvish has allowed 11 of his 25 runs in the first inning. ... He is fourth in the AL with a 2.55 ERA for five road starts.

Buehrle (2-4, 5.42): Buehrle was acquired in a blockbuster trade by the Blue Jays from the Miami Marlins in the offseason ... He will be working on six days' rest ... The left-handed change-up specialist has pitched at least six innings in seven straight starts ... He allowed three earned runs on a season-high 10 hits in six innings in a loss to San Diego in his previous outing ... That included four infield singles ... Buehrle has allowed 11 home runs in 73 innings ... Opponents are batting .282 against him and have a career .272 batting average off the left-hander ... Buehrle's walks are up with 21 for the season ... Right-handed batters are hitting .302 against him ... Buehrle is 2-1 with a 4.23 for six starts at the Rogers Centre this season ... Buehrle is 12-5 with a 3.42 ERA for 17 career starts/20 games against the Rangers.

Hitters: Blue Jays first baseman Edwin Encarnacion (5-for-8, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) has give Darvish fits and Colby Rasmus (3-for-6) has too. Jeff Baker (5-for-11) and Adrian Beltre (9-for-27, 1 HR, 4 RBIs) have handled Buehrle.

Lobby talk: Mark Buehrle heads to Miami

December, 7, 2011

DALLAS -- The Miami Marlins, according to various reports (including Jayson Stark at ESPN.com), have agreed to terms with Mark Buehrle on a four-year, $58 million deal. (Amazingly, that means they've spent $191 million on Heath Bell, Jose Reyes and now Buehrle).

So what does that mean for C.J. Wilson? It certainly makes it appear that the Marlins won't still be aggressive on Wilson, but with the kind of splash they are making this week, you never know.

That would likely make the Wilson sweepstakes a duel of AL West contenders: The Rangers and Angels.

Texas will not go six years for Wilson and it reports are that he has a five-year offer from the Angels. That likely puts them in the lead for his services, though Wilson is happy in Texas. Wilson texted earlier this afternoon that the decision is "very" difficult and that he has not made up his mind. The Rangers weren't optimistic about signing Buerhle or Wilson earlier in the day.

Buehrle had narrowed his choices to three teams, one of which was believed to be the Rangers, who were not comfortable even a few days ago talking about four years for Buehrle.

Rangers zero in on C.J. Wilson tonight

December, 6, 2011
DALLAS -- Once the Rangers affiliate dinner is completed (an annual dinner for all of the coaches, scouts and officials that deal with the minor-league affiliates), general manager Jon Daniels and his front office staff will turn their attention to a late-night meeting with Bob Garber, C.J. Wilson's agent.

The sentiment within the Rangers' camp is that if the annual salary on Wilson is about the same as Mark Buehrle, they need to explore exactly what kind of term Wilson could get. It's that term that could decide Wilson's fate in Texas. You won't see Texas making any six-year offers and five may be out of the comfort zone too.

But, as Nolan Ryan said earlier Tuesday, the club is comfortable with Wilson and knows what he can do. He proved that he can pitch innings, yet is still learning his craft as a starter. Buehrle has a much longer track record -- 11 full seasons of 200-plus innings -- and is 20 months older. And he's likely to get a contract that is shorter-term, which the club prefers.

"We know what C.J. is capable of doing," Ryan said. “We really, truly believe in C.J. that he can handle the workload, that he keeps you in ballgames, that he’s competitive. You don’t have to worry about him being in shape. We’re more familiar and more comfortable with him than anyone else.”

But it has to be the right deal. So the club will meet tonight and see what happens. Daniels wouldn't say whether an offer would be extended, but it appears the process is moving along where offers would be exchanged at some point soon.

"He might get an offer he can't refuse tonight, and vice versa we might get an opportunity we can't refuse," Daniels said. "We've just agreed to stay in touch and keep each other posted, keep the dialogue going. We're not holding him up. He's not holding us up."

Daniels said the fact that the Angels and new GM Jerry DiPoto have shown interest in Wilson won't impact how the club goes about dealing with Garber.

"If we don’t sign him, I’d prefer he’s in the National League hitting doubles and running around the bases," said Daniels, who chuckled and said that he likes DiPoto and assistant GM Scott Servais, but doesn't want them winning the division. "We try to stay disciplined and not try to make that kind of decision [based on what another team may do]. We have to stick to our plan."

One side note: I think the Rangers want to be sure all options are open. If the market for Wilson doesn't end up being as long as he's looking for (six years, for instance), they want to be ready to get involved. If it's the right contract, they'd like him back in the rotation. But if it's not a contract that works -- including term and AAV -- than they'll move on to other options. The next one would be Buehrle.

Lobby talk: Wilson, Buehrle, Pujols

December, 6, 2011
DALLAS -- The lobby is still pretty busy this afternoon at the Hilton Anatole. Some of the buzz from a quick trip through it:

* C.J. Wilson's agent, Bob Garber, confirmed that he has a meeting with the Rangers tonight. Wilson said earlier on 103. 3 FM's Ben & Skin Show that GM Jon Daniels and Garber were scheduled to have dinner. We'll see if the Rangers jump into the act with an offer and if possible destinations narrow this week.

* The Rangers continue to have heavy interest in Mark Buehrle, who would likely command a shorter contract. Reports are that teams are looking at three years at something just under $40 million. Perhaps the team that jumps to a fourth year lands Buehrle. ESPN.com's Buster Olney tweeted that Buehrle has narrowed the list to five teams.

* Angels manager Mike Scioscia complimented C.J. Wilson in his scrum with the media (more on blog later). But the general thinking in the lobby is that the Angels aren't going to pay Wilson more than the deal Jered Weaver got and that they aren't going to six years. The Angels are clearly interested, but it may come down to price.

* Albert Pujols sure is the talk of the Hilton Anatole today. Sources told Olney that he has a 10-year offer in hand from the Miami Marlins, who sure are spending money in Dallas. One key would be if the Marlins are willing to put in a no-trade clause for Pujols. Anyway, that story is certainly heating up.

* Saw Darek Braunecker in the lobby moments ago and spoke with him briefly. Last year, it would have been nearly impossible to speak with Braunecker privately with Cliff Lee on the market and the Rangers in hot pursuit. This year, his group (Jim Lindell) has Jeff Francis. They've also got some players they hope to find some homes on minor league deals with invites to spring training.

* Toronto GM Alex Anthopolous (who went to high school with me) was in the media room talking about trading for closer Sergio Santos from the White Sox for pitching prospect Nestor Molina. Lots of chatter about what this may mean for future deals involving Chicago. Could John Danks get moved? He's a former Ranger and the club still likes him. Maybe Gavin Floyd and Carlos Quentin could be on the market too. Stay tuned.

More to come later.

Lobby talk: Wilson, relievers, Mike Olt

December, 6, 2011
DALLAS -- Good morning from Day 2 of the Winter Meetings. It's a slow morning, but here are some tidbits from late last night and early this morning.

* Plenty of buzz in the lobby last night about C.J. Wilson. We'll see what kind of developments occur, but the overall sentiment from various folks in the lobby is that Wilson isn't likely to end up in Texas. Could he end up with a six-year offer? If he does, don't expect the Rangers to stay in the hunt for long. He does have apparent interest from the Nationals, Marlins (owner Jeffrey Loria told reporters he was impressed by Wilson on Monday) and Angels. Maybe even the Cubs and Red Sox are interested.

* Texas remains interested in Mark Buehrle and that makes plenty of sense, if you ask me. Ken Rosenthal reported he's getting looks at three years and $36-38 million. If there are indeed as many as 14 teams interested, it may come down to whether someone steps up with a four-year offer.

* An official with an NL team wondered out loud if LaTroy Hawkins wouldn't make sense for the Rangers bullpen. The official believed he could come cheap and still had something left. Hawkins turns 39 later this month and is a right-handed pitcher. But he's a righty that gets left-handed hitters out. They batted just .207 against him last year as he pitched for Milwaukee. He was 3-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 48 1/3 innings for the Brewers in 2011. The Brewers reportedly don't have much interest in bringing him back. This official did not know if the Rangers were interested, but floated the name and I thought it sounded interesting (certainly an affordable option).

* Texas wants to strengthen that bullpen and would prefer a left-handed pitcher. But GM Jon Daniels said Monday that they'll go with the best pitcher -- whether that's a righty or a lefty.

* Two scouts have raved to me about Mike Olt. One saw him the final week of the Arizona Fall League and was impressed not only with is power, but the way he was driving balls up the middle and the other way. Oh, and one of them said he's showing plenty of promise in the field at third base too.

More to come later.

Mark Buehrle makes sense for Texas

December, 6, 2011
DALLAS -- As Day 2 at the Winter Meetings begins, the two biggest free agent starting pitchers remain on the market.

The Rangers are interested in both and are expected to meet with C.J. Wilson's agent, Bob Garber, today. They should also meet with representatives of Mark Buehrle this week as well.

Texas could certainly bolster its staff by adding one of the two pitchers and if the market for Wilson ends up including six years, that means Buehrle makes even more sense. The Rangers have always been hesitant to give pitchers long-term deals of that length and Buehrle, who is 20 months older than Wilson, won't likely require such a long deal. If he could be signed in the 3-year range at $40 million or so, that might fit in with the club's budget and still allow them the future flexibility to address the core players that will need to be re-signed.

Buehrle has a 5-2 mark and a 3.86 ERA in 51 1/3 innings in eight games (seven starts) in his career at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. That includes a complete game. He also threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in Chicago on April 18, 2007.

Buehrle was 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 2011, pitching 205 1/3 innings in 31 starts. It was his third consecutive season with 13 wins (he's had at least 13 wins in nine of his 11 full seasons and at least 15 wins five times).

What makes him even more attractive is his durability. Buehrle has thrown at least 200 innings and made 30 starts in all 11 of his full seasons. He's a ground ball pitcher that fields his position well, something the Rangers are especially focused on with their pitchers this season (see Greg Maddux's hiring as a coach that will help with fielding in spring training). Buerhle has induced 274 double plays and has 230 quality starts since 2001, the most of any pitcher in the league in that span. He also leads the league in starts and innings pitched since 2001.

In other words: He's a logical pitcher for the Rangers to pursue. He apparently has interest from 14 teams, but I wonder if the lure of pitching for a team clearly capable of winning the championship might get the Rangers closre to the top of that list before negotiations get really serious. We'll see.

Free agent talk: Mark Buehrle

November, 29, 2011
With the Winter Meetings less than a week away, let's take a look this week on the blog at some of the potential free agents that might make sense for Texas.

Today's free agent: LHP Mark Buehrle

Buehlre, 32, is one of the top starters on the market. The question is what he'll command once offers start flying and whether the Rangers are willing to commit those kinds of dollars (some speculation has him as possibly a guy that gets at least four years and around $50 million). But the club is always looking to get better and Buehrle would give them someone that can eat innings, induce ground balls and help front the rotation.

Buehrle has compiled a 5-2 record and a 3.86 ERA in 51 1/3 innings in eight games (seven starts) in his career at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. That includes a complete game. He threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in Chicago on April 18, 2007.

Buehrle was 13-9 with a 3.59 ERA in 2011, pitching 205 1/3 innings in 31 starts. It was his third consecutive season with 13 wins and he's had at least that many in nine of his 11 full seasons. What's perhaps most impressive about Buehrle is his durability. He has thrown at least 201 innings and made at least 30 starts in all 11 of his full seasons (all with the White Sox). He threw a career-high 245 1/3 innings in 2004, winning 16 games. He's won at least 15 games five times.

Buehrle is a ground ball pitcher that fields his position well, as evidenced by three Gold Gloves. He has a strong understanding of the batters in the American League and isn't intimidated by anything. He has induced 274 double plays and 230 quality starts since 2001, the most of any pitcher in the league in that span. He also leads the league in starts and innings pitched since 2001.

Interestingly, he was involved in one of the more strange stories at the ballpark in recent years. In August 2005, Buehrle accused the Rangers of cheating by using a light system in center field to let batters know what pitches were coming. The Rangers laughed it off and Buehrle didn't really talk about it after that. (It came after he allowed seven runs (four earned) on nine hits.)

Lights aside, Buehrle would certainly strengthen the Rangers' rotation and give them a proven innings eater, a guy with no injury history and another veteran in a young starting rotation. He is a team player and a leader. The question will be his price.

Notes: Free agents, C.J. Wilson, Joe Nathan, etc.

November, 23, 2011

ARLINGTON, Texas -- A few other random notes that came out during or after the Joe Nathan news conference:

* Nathan's current Texas Rangers number is 63. He wore 36 in Minnesota, but that's C.J. Wilson's number. If the Rangers don't re-sign Wilson, Nathan would get that number. It's clear the Rangers are preparing for life without Wilson. GM Jon Daniels said Tuesday that the club is still interested, but they acknowledge he is exploring a market that isn't flush with starting pitching. He's going to get a well-deserved raise and the Rangers will have to decide if they can afford it. If not, they need to be prepared. No meeting is planned with Wilson at this point, but Daniels did let Bob Garber know about the Nathan signing and Neftali Feliz's move to the rotation. And the two sides could certainly meet in Dallas in a few weeks at the Winter Meetings.

* Daniels said bullpen help remains on the club's list of priorities. But don't take that to mean they aren't still looking at starters. That could mean free agents, though that list isn't particularly long (Mark Buehrle is in there and so is Roy Oswalt, though I think the Rangers will have more interest in Buehrle than Oswalt in part because of Oswalt's back issues) or trades. This team is creative when it comes to deals and if certain pitchers are available (like Matt Garza, for instance), they'll at least look into it.

* At this point, the Rangers don't appear to be ready to jump into the Albert Pujols or Prince Fielder sweepstakes. Daniels has said repeatedly that Mitch Moreland is the club's first baseman. His right wrist, which bothered him for the second half of 2011, was checked out by a doctor before Moreland went on his honeymoon. The doctor prescribed rest and will check Moreland out after his honeymoon ends. He's expected to be fine and fully ready for spring training. The Rangers want to find out exactly what they have in Moreland and the wrist soreness hampered their ability to fully evaluate him. Daniels said if Moreland's wrist is healthy, the job is his. He added the club always looks at ways to get better, but "is comfortable" where they're at in terms of first base. Jeff Caplan talked about Moreland in his post earlier this morning.

* We'll see if Yu Darvish gets posted (I would think he would with relatively thin crop of free agent starters on the market). Daniels himself, in addition to his scouts, have seen Darvish. If the Rangers add to the pitching staff, it's for a frontline starter. Darvish fits the bill, though it will be costly.

* Don't forget about Scott Feldman. Daniels even mentioned him in Tuesday's news conference after listing the current rotation, saying Feldman could get into the mix. He pitched well in the second half of the season in long relief and spot started some. The club always needs depth in the rotation and he is at least a guy who has had success that could be in long relief or in the rotation depending on what happens in the spring (And something always happens. See Tommy Hunter's groin).

Mound matchup: Feldman vs. Buehrle

July, 4, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Rangers are still waiting for Scott Feldman to return to his 2009 form and Texas manager Ron Washington believes he will as soon as he regains control of his sinker ball. Perhaps he will in Sunday's series wrap-up against the Chicago White Sox.

LHP Mark Buehrle (6-7, 4.58 ERA): Making his 17th start of the season, Buehrle has been at his best recently, posting a 3-1 record with a 2.39 ERA (7 ER/26.1 IP) over his last four starts. But, on he's a different pitcher on the road than at home. On the road, he's 2-5 with a 4.27 ERA (22 ER/46.1 IP) in eight road starts. Now for another but...Buehrle pitches well at Rangers Ballpark. He owns a 4-2 record with a 3.86 ERA in seven games (six starts) in Arlington. Overall, he's 11-5, with a 3.39 ERA and a .249 opponents average in 19 career starts against Texas. He did lose his only start to the Rangers this season on June 1 in Chicago. He allowed six runs over 5 1/3 innings.

RHP Scott Feldman (5-7, 5.48 ERA): Opponents have batted .412 (21-of-51) against Feldman over his last two games, raising season average from .300 to .315, the second-highest mark in the American League. Still, he continues to eat innings, having gone at least six innings in three consecutive games and in seven of nine. In four career starts against Chicago, he is 2-0 with a 3.51 ERA. He got a no-decision on April 29 in Arlington and earned the victory on June 2 in Chicago when he went eight innings. The White Sox have batted just .191 in the four starts against Feldman.

Hitters: Feldman could get in trouble he doesn't find a way to retire lead-off man Juan Pierre, who has four singles in seven at-bats against him. Center fielder Alex Rios is batting .375 against Feldman with three hits, including a home run, in eight at-bats. No surprise, Vladimir Guerrero is a lifetime .367 hitter against Buehrle with four home runs in 30 at-bats. Perhaps Texas manager Ron Washington will think hard about starting catcher Matt Treanor, who is 3-of-6 lifetime against Buehrle with a double and a homer.

Feldman searching for consistent sinker

July, 4, 2010
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Rangers manager Ron Washington said pitcher Scott Feldman will return to his 2009 form when he rediscovers his sinker ball.

It would certainly help the Rangers, who have been rumored to be interested in adding a top-shelf starting pitcher such as Houston's Roy Oswalt or Seattle's Cliff Lee. Of course, with the sale of the team in limbo, the club might not be able to make a big splash before the trade deadline later this month.

So, if Feldman (5-7, 5.48 ERA) can find his groove, the Rangers will get a major boost from the pitcher they tabbed as their ace at the start of the season. Feldman faces Chicago's Mark Buehrle (6-7, 4.58 ERA) today to wrap up the three-game set with the White Sox.

"Once he gets his sinker back, I think he'll tell everybody where he is," Washington said. "His sinker is the key. He gets his sinker back, I think all the questions that you guys want to know about Feldman will be answered."

Feldman is coming off Tuesday's 6-5 loss at Anaheim in which he gave up five runs on nine hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. The Angels tagged him for three runs in a four-run sixth inning. Clearly, hitters are not having trouble figuring Feldman out; they're hitting .412 off him in his last two starts.

But, Feldman said he feels good and is studying his outings to make corrections.

"Just working on stuff in the bullpen, looking at video and all that kind of stuff," Feldman said. "You've got to go out and actually do it on the field, but I know I've been putting the work in to try and get better. I think as long as I continue to do that and try to get better, things will turn around."
For the fifth consecutive start, Rich Harden failed to make it beyond 5 1/3 innings. He didn't come out to start the sixth inning, replaced by Darren O'Day.

Harden, however, is in line to improve his record to 3-1 after after allowing four runs on seven hits and three walks in five innings. He struck out a season-low one and threw 95 pitches, only 59 for strikes. It's hard to believe he's lost only one game this season with a 5.33 ERA.

The offense bailed him out again Tuesday, putting a pretty good whoopin' on Mark Buerhle, whose final line was six runs on 12 hits and one walk in 5 1/3 innings.

Third time with bases loaded is charm

June, 1, 2010
Leave it to the replacement to finally get a bases-loaded hit.

Craig Gentry, starting in center field in place of Julio Borbon and on the major league roster only because of Nelson Cruz's injury, hit a two-run single up the middle with one out in the sixth.

It was the third time the Rangers had loaded the bases, but the first time they got a hit in the situation. Gentry, hitting in Borbon's customary ninth spot in the order, tied the score with his hit and ended White Sox starter Mark Buerhle's night.

The Rangers then loaded the bases again off reliever Sergio Santos. Michael Young didn't get a hit, but his sacrifice fly put the Rangers ahead, 5-4.

All the runners moved up on Young's sac fly, including Elvis Andrus, who was at first. This was important because Andrus was able to score easily from second when Ian Kinsler followed with a double down the left-field line.

Quite a turnaround. It's 7-4 Rangers heading into the bottom of the sixth.



Adrian Beltre
.327 17 68 68
HRA. Beltre 17
RBIA. Beltre 68
RA. Beltre 68
OPSA. Beltre .880
WY. Darvish 10
ERAY. Darvish 3.06
SOY. Darvish 182