Texas Rangers: Pablo Sandoval
June, 9, 2012
By Bryan Dolgin | ESPNDallas.com
How it happened: After starting pitching headlined in Game 1 for the Texas Rangers during thos three-game series in San Francisco, fielding came into focus with three errors for the visitors Saturday.
Hard-luck starter Scott Feldman and the Rangers fell 5-2 to the Giants.
Miscues once more haunted Feldman. In his starts on May 14 and May 29, third baseman Adrian Beltre made errors that led to runs. On Saturday afternoon, Ian Kinsler committed his seventh error of the season in the third. After picking up Ryan Theriot's grounder to second, Kinsler went to tag baserunner Gregor Blanco, who was running from first base to second. But Blanco stopped in his tracks to avoid the tag, forcing Kinsler to throw wild to first base. Ryan Vogelsong scored on that play and gave the Giants a 1-0 lead.
The fifth inning began with left fielder Josh Hamilton battling the sun and not being able to catch Brandon Crawford's fly ball. That was Hamilton's third error of the season. Two outs later, Theriot singled to right field for a 2-0 Giants lead.
A failed pickoff attempt by Koji Uehara in the seventh inning moved Blanco from first to third. One out later, Pablo Sandoval drove in Blanco with a single for a 4-0 Giants lead.
A Giant step: Feldman did not make it past 1 2/3 innings in his last start, which was across the Bay in Oakland. Feldman, who grew up a Giants fan in nearby Burlingame, Calif., made it through five innings for the first time in six starts this season. He walked one, gave up four hits and struck out six in 5 1/3 innings against the Giants.
Inherited runner gets best of Ross: Rangers left-handed reliever Robbie Ross inherited a runner when he entered the game in relief of Feldman. Ross retired the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning, but then Nate Schierholtz tagged him for an RBI triple. Ross has allowed just three of 20 inherited runners to score against him this season, and he holds the lowest percentage among Rangers relievers at 15 percent.
Stranded Rangers: The Rangers left 13 on base in Friday night's win against the Giants, and they continued that trend in Saturday's loss. In each of the first two innings, the Rangers left two on base. Michael Young grounded into a fielders' choice for the final out of the first, and Ian Kinsler grounded out to third base to end the second. After getting two hits in the first inning, the Rangers did not manage another until the eighth.
Splash landing: Mitch Moreland had a pinch-hit lead-off home run in the eighth that landed in McCovey Cove. It was Moreland's ninth home run and 21st RBI. It was also the 25th splash landing for an opponent at the ballpark. The Rangers have four pinch-hit home runs this season. That was the third and final hit allowed by Ryan Vogelsong who pitched 7 2/3 innings.
Road weary: Hamilton has not had a good road trip. He was 1-for-3 with a walk and double Saturday. For the trip, he is 6-for-37 (.162).
Cruz leaves game: Right fielder Nelson Cruz left before the bottom of the eighth inning. David Murphy replaced Cruz in the field and took his spot in the lineup.
Facing a righty: When there is a right-handed opposing pitcher, left-handed hitting David Murphy starts in left field and Josh Hamilton plays center field. On Saturday, right-handed hitting Craig Gentry started against right-handed pitcher Ryan Vogelsong. Gentry entered this game with as a .289 hitter (.710 OPS) against righties. Gentry was 0-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch.
Worlds apart: The first two starting pitchers of this series were not on the Rangers' World Series roster in 2010 when the Rangers faced the Giants. Matt Harrison and Feldman did pitch for the Rangers in that regular season.
July, 12, 2011
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
PHOENIX -- American League manager Ron Washington made sure to talk to his squad prior to Monday's workouts and stressed having fun, but also playing a smart, aggressive baseball game. In other words: business as usual for Washington.
That's how Washington has managed the Rangers for 4 1/2 seasons now. He keeps things loose, supports his team, but stresses doing the little things to win games. The past two seasons in particular, the Rangers have improved on moving runners over, taking the extra base on balls in the dirt and having productive outs. Washington wants the same thing from his AL squad in tonight's All-Star Game.
"I want them reading balls in the dirt," Washington said. "I want them going from first to third. They can steal bags -- if they get an opportunity, take it. The way I put it in a nutshell was: 'Play the game of baseball unrestricted.'"
Washington said he has a bunch of run producers, so he'll just "stand out of the way and watch them score runs." And, of course, he wants to win.
“That’s what we’re here for,” Washington said. “Anytime you compete, that’s what it’s about: winning. I want them to understand that it’s about homefield advantage and one of their teams is going to the World Series.”
Washington said Monday was a normal day for him. He threw batting practice during the workouts as he always does and walked around talking to players.
Washington talked just after Monday's workout about some of his plans for the game and his interaction with some players. Here are some of those notes:
* Rangers third base coach Dave Anderson and first base coach Gary Pettis will coach at their respective spots. Washington said Manny Acta will help him and Jackie Moore on the bench and John Farrell will help Rangers bullpen coach Andy Hawkins and pitching coach Mike Maddux handle the pitchers.
* Michael Young is the designated utility player for the American League, which means Washington can bring Young back in the game if needed. Pablo Sandoval is the National League's utility player. Young said he's ready to play any position Washington needs.
* The AL won't use signs -- it will be up to players when they think they can steal. But when the time calls for a bunt, Washington will use signs to tell Anderson, and Anderson will talk to the hitter.
* The pitchers will mostly get one inning, though Washington said he's got some guys that can go longer than that if needed. He expects Alexi Ogando to get in the game later because he has other pitchers he knows he has to get in first. That means Ogando might be working closer to his 2010 role than his 2011 one.
* Washington got a chance to talk to some of the young players like Michael Pineda and Chris Perez. He said they were “wide-eyed” and excited to be here.
* Washington asked Justin Verlander if he thought he could sneak him in the game without Detroit noticing. Verlander laughed. But the Tigers’ ace, who started Sunday so isn't eligible for the game, did thank Washington for getting Jhonny Peralta on the team. “That’s amazing,” Washington said. “That’s a class act for him to take up for his teammate like that.”