Listed below is Jamey Wright's final pitching line in tonight's 8-4 loss to the Cincinnati Reds:
5 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 3 HR
The fact that Jamey Wright is still sparing up this team in mid-June is a testament to the lack of depth and lack of effectiveness of the starting rotation this year. If we're going to basically concede games before they even begin, I'd at least like to see John Koronka out there on the mound instead.
To be fair, Koronka hasn't shown much of anything at the major league level this year either (especially against right-handed hitters), but he's 26, left-handed and has been pitching well lately in Oklahoma (1-0, 2.04 ERA in three June starts). Unfortunately, Wright's probably being kept around on the 25-man roster for two reasons:
- Koronka can be stashed in Oklahoma since he has options remaining, while Wright would probably declare free agency if he were designated for assignment in an attempt to get him through waivers to AAA. With Mike Wood currently shut down, keeping Wright around gives the Rangers an emergency reserve for the starting rotation in the event of another injury. I hate that things have deteriorated to this point, but I can't argue with the logic here.
- Mark Connor is probably still convinced he can unlock Jamey Wright's "electric" stuff. This I can argue with. Give me a break.
Richard Durrett of the DMN says Wright was decent and "kept the Rangers in the game," while manager Ron Washington was apparently pleased with Wright's ability to work out of some jams and get through five innings in 88 pitches. I suppose you have to give Wright a certain amount of leeway, considering he hasn't pitched in the majors since April 10th, but it's not like he's very good even when fully healthy.
Texas came back to cut the deficit to 4-3, but a three run blast from David Ross off Frankie Francisco in the 6th inning proved to be the eventual deathblow. There's not much else worth noting offensively, other than that Travis Metcalf picked up his 2nd and 3rd major league hits (both doubles), and Sammy Sosa went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts.
To make room on the 25-man roster for Jamey Wright, the Rangers optioned Wes Littleton to AAA and placed Josh Rupe on the 60-day disabled list, thereby rendering my Freddy Guzman DFA prediction null and void.
Kevin Millwood has made some minor adjustments in his delivery during his last two bullpen sessions, and is working on trying to locate his fastball lower in the strike zone, in the hopes that the rest of his pitches will follow suit.
Vicente Padilla's sore right elbow apparently didn't bother him during Friday night's start, as he threw 102 pitches and yet was throwing in the mid-90's in the 5th inning. You still have to be concerned that his elbow's a ticking time bomb, though.
I forgot to mention this last night, but the bottom of the 9th inning of Friday night's game was one of the more bizarre endings to a baseball game I've seen in a while - and not for the action on the field, either. Thousands of flying insects that Josh Lewin referred to as "mayflies" descended on Great American Ballpark, with hundreds of fans in the upper decks waving their arms wildly to try and drive them off.
Some could be seen flying around at field level, but they weren't a serious enough distraction to affect the players. However, fans in the upper decks could be seen leaving the game early to escape the swarm of insects, despite the fact the Reds were only down one run. Oddly enough, the FSN Ohio crew didn't mention the incident once, nor did they pan to any shots of the squirming spectators.
Former Rangers pitcher Chris Young was involved in a bench clearing brawl Saturday with Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee, after Young drilled Lee in the left arm and knocked him down with a fastball in the 4th inning. As Lee walked to first, he muttered something at Young, Chris responded, and Lee threw a punch that Young ducked out of the way of.
Young retaliated with a punch of his own, which missed, and then Lee and Young simultaneously threw punches at each other, which sort of missed as well. By this time, both San Diego's and Chicago's dugouts had emptied and the two fighters were separated. Young only threw three shutout innings before being ejected, but the Padres still won 1-0, despite Carlos Zambrano pitching a no-hitter into the 8th inning. No word yet on how long the suspensions will be for Lee and Young.
Kevin Millwood will take the hill in Sunday's rubber match, as the two worst teams in baseball fight for the right to be called slightly less rotten than the other.
Sunday, June 17th Game Preview
Texas Rangers (25-43) at Cincinnati Reds (27-42)
Kevin Millwood (2-6, 7.82 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo (2-7, 4.98 ERA)
12:15 PM CST in Cincinnati, Ohio (Great American Ballpark)
TV: KDFI/My27 | Radio: KRLD 1080 AM