Crummy weather, crummy loss.
Former Rangers starter Kenny Rogers dominated Texas in Thursday afternoon's series finale, and the Detroit Tigers defeated the Rangers, 5-2. Texas mustered just one run off Rogers in six innings, and reliever Chad Durban gave up the other run in two innings of work. Todd Jones managed to overcome his confusion on the mound, after getting his signs mixed up on Tuesday night, and threw a perfect 9th inning for the save.
There's absolutely nothing worth noting about the Rangers' offensive performance on Thursday - they were just plain beaten by great pitching. Detroit walked just one Ranger hitter on Thursday, although it seems Kenny Lofton isn't quite ready and willing to tip his cap towards the Tigers pitching staff.
I missed the game, but apparently Lofton was nearly ejected in the 8th inning for "expressing his frustration" to home plate umpire Paul Schrieber over the calls Detroit's pitchers were receiving. Lofton was asked about Kenny Rogers after the game, and had this to say:
"He got the calls," Lofton said. "It's hard to explain. I can't explain. You watched the game, you saw what happened."
Kevin Millwood gave up three runs on five hits and six walks with six strikeouts in his six innings of work. Not particularly impressive, but hey, at least he feels like he's getting better each time out! Whatever.
At least Kevin kept the Rangers in the game, as they trailed just 3-1 after Millwood exited the game, but the thoroughly mediocre Scott Feldman came on and gave up a two run shot to Gary Sheffield, which made the score 5-1 and pretty much finished off the Rangers. Yeah, I think Feldman's trending in the wrong direction here.
Ian Kinsler suffered a mildly sprained left ankle during Thursday's game, which he injured in the first inning on a swing-and-miss. He was eventually removed from the game in the 6th inning, showing a noticeable limp as he walked. He was on crutches after the game. Kinsler could be out anywhere from three days to a week or more, and the Rangers hope to keep him off the disabled list. Gerald Laird also fouled a pitch off his right kneecap, and is day-to-day.
Brandon McCarthy will apparently skip his second and final rehab start at Double-A Frisco on Friday night, and will instead start for the Rangers on Monday against Boston. Presumably, he'll be on a pitch count, as he hasn't made a start in the majors since June 9th.
McCarthy's blister seems to have healed up quite nicely; hopefully he doesn't have any more issues going forward, because this whole thing is starting to remind me of Josh Beckett and his recurring blister problems. In other news, Willie Eyre's sore right hand isn't healing very quickly, and he won't be available until Saturday at the earliest.
Mark Teixeira, who is one of the hottest trade commodities in baseball right now, is on pace to begin some baseball activity when the Rangers return home from their seven game road trip on Tuesday. He has been medically cleared to begin swinging a bat at that time, but not to begin running - yet. Texas hopes to bring him back at the start of the second half, which is on July 13th in Anaheim. Teixeira has been on the disabled list since June 9th with a strained left quadriceps.
Richard Durrett of the Dallas Morning News did a chat session today, with lots of informative stuff that's worth checking out. Among other things, Sessions doesn't think the recent hot streak by the Rangers will make Jon Daniels reluctant to pull the trigger on any trades, and he doesn't want to see Hurley pitching in the majors this year.
Curious note from the DMN today: the Rangers have a .354 OBP for the month of June with two games remaining. They haven't had a team OBP of .350 or higher in a month since April 2004. Is Ron Washington's philosophy of improving plate discipline finally beginning to sink in?
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has a "20 Things To Know About Blake Beaven" piece out today, which talks about his love for golf and fishing, his musical preferences, and more. I can't say I'm too impressed with his list of favorite rappers, which includes the likes of Lil' Wayne, T-Pain and Akon.
The "No Freakin' Kidding" Quote Of The Week: Not to rag on Kevin Millwood unnecessarily, but this is what he had this to say after Thursday's loss:
"We lost, which is not what we wanted to do," Millwood said.
I know that postgame interviews are filled with mostly generic, useless remarks which are used as sound byte fodder, but is this really all that Kevin's got? I know he's not Mr. Personality, but come on.
Congrats to Frank Thomas, who hit his 500th career home run on Thursday in Minnesota, and Craig Biggio, who collected his 3000th career hit against the Rockies. The two games had rather different outcomes, however: Thomas was ejected in the 9th inning, and the Blue Jays lost 8-5. In Houston, the Astros took Colorado to extra innings, and after surrendering a run in the top of the 11th inning, Carlos Lee hit a dramatic two out, walkoff grand slam for the 8-5 win. Fittingly enough, Biggio was on base.
Texas will begin a four game set against the Red Sox on Friday night, with Jamey Wright facing the scuffling Red Sox lineup. Boston has lost 4 out of their last 5 games, and are averaging just 3.17 runs per game during their last six games.
I'm sure Jamey Wright is the perfect antidote for that.
Friday, June 29th Game Preview
Texas Rangers (32-46) at Boston Red Sox (48-29)
Jamey Wright (1-1, 7.43 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (7-8, 4.52 ERA)
6:05 PM CST in Boston, Massachusetts (Fenway Park)
TV: FSNSW | Radio: KRLD 1080 AM