You know, it's hard to write anything about the Rangers after a couple of days like that.
Texas won their series opener against Seattle on Friday night, but then proceeded to drop the final two games of the series to fall to 5-7 on the year. They're now in the AL West cellar, two games behind the first place Mariners, and have lost five of their first six games against their divisional rivals. Sigh.
Here's a few notes on the most noteworthy events of the weekend:
? Ian Kinsler clubbed his 5th and 6th home runs of the year. This guy is simply unbelievable. Ron Washington batted him second against the lefties Jarrod Washburn and Horacio Ramirez, but ninth against right-hander Miguel Batista. At the pace he's going, Washington will have no choice but to move him up in the order against righties.
? The starting pitching was not what it needed to be this weekend. Kevin Millwood was his usual solid self, allowing just one earned run in his six innings of work on Friday night, but the #2 and #3 starters didn't hold up their end of the bargain. I didn't see the Saturday afternoon game, but judging by the stat line Padilla was rather shaky. I'm not really concerned about the possibility of Padilla being injured anymore, but in any event he really needs to pick it up. He's now 0-3 with a 6.62 ERA.
Brandon McCarthy was shelled to Timbuktu and back in Sunday's rubber game, allowing six earned runs in just two innings. It was the shortest start of his young major league career. Brandon surrendered three home runs, one to Ichiro and two to Jose Vidro, who had come into the game with a .343 OPS in his first 28 at-bats. We had heard about McCarthy being home run prone, but good grief. Evan Grant notes that McCarthy believes he may have been tipping his pitches, and that he's going to review video of his performance.
? Six errors in the final two games for Texas, including two from Matt Kata on Sunday as he filled in for Hank Blalock at third base. Absolutely brutal, and not something you like to see when Ron Washington has been preaching defense all spring. Evan Grant does mention that Washington had a closed-door meeting with the team after the game to discuss what went wrong and how to fix it. Hopefully whatever Ron says works, especially because the Rangers have an off day to think about their shoddy performance.
? Eric Gagne was absolutely filthy in saving Friday night's game. He allowed a leadoff base hit but struck out Ichiro and then forced Adrian Beltre to ground into a double play to end the game. His fastball was primarily at 93 MPH, touching 94 MPH, and his secondary pitches looked equally nasty. His curveball to begin Beltre's at-bat was honestly as sick a pitch as I have ever seen. The only question as far as I'm concerned is whether he can stay healthy, because I don't see any reason to doubt his stuff or command.
There isn't much else to say about this disappointing series, other than that with the Rangers missing "King" Felix Hernandez they really should have won this series. Let's hope the Rangers can move forward and play better in the Windy City.