ST17: Darvish better; Rangers still lose, 5-3

Well, it was another game affected by the presence of #11 on the mound.  This game was not originally scheduled to be broadcast.  However, since Darvish was toeing the hill, it was added on.  Before I get into anything about this game, given it was a last minute, apparently the broadcasters were last minute, too.  This had what I consider to be the dream team.  We had Eric Nadel on play by play, and Tom Grieve on color.  If it were up to me, THIS would be the broadcast team for BOTH radio and TV.  Do what some other teams do – don’t have separate broadcaster teams.  That’s unlikely to happen though, given Nadel’s lack of desire to be on TV.  Oh well.  At least I got to see it for a few innings anyway.    That was before I got bored with the game and started tweeting people’s phone numbers.  ;)

Darvish’s first inning was quite good!  Got a called looking, a groundout, and a popup.  On the groundout, Darvish looked great coming off the mound to cover.  A lot of pitchers handle that poorly, or not at all.  Darvish looked quite good.   His second wasn’t so good.  While he did allow just one run, it was sloppy, including a hit by pitch, a 26 pitch inning, and a walk.   Still, one run over the first two innings isn’t anything to sneeze at.   He continued to flip flop, as he had a dominant 1-2-3 third inning, but had issues again in the fourth.  He did walk two in the fourth, but got out of it with an inning ending double play.  So he allowed only one run over four innings.  But definitely took a roundabout way to get there.  Was not sharp the whole time.  When he was good, he looked like as advertised.  When he wasn’t, well, he looked pretty plain.  Hopefully it’s all adjustments, as I’d love for him to come out there and smoke everyone, making the signing worth it.  :)

We sent six other pitchers out there after Darvish.  The first was Scheppers, who walked two, and was pulled.  Ben Snyder cleaned that mess up.  Joe Nathan was next up, and pitched quite poorly, actually.  One inning of work, allowed three hits and a walk, and three earned runs, which gave the Brewers the lead, and eventually the win.  He looked pretty “blah” out there.  He’s one of the parts that nobody seems to question whether it will work or not, but it does concern me.  He’s sitting here on March 19th, with an ERA of 18.00.  Not good at all.  Not good.

Joe Beimel was next up, and looked pretty good.  I’d say his stock has grown recently to the point where he could be considered part of the 25 man, but it’s probably a long shot still.  Tateyama & Lowe finished up with Tateyama allowing the final MIL run.

Offensively, the Rangers got out early on Milwaukee pitcher Randy Wolf.   He stayed out there for five innings, and overall allowed ten hits and two walks.  Three earned runs – two in the first and another in the third.   The Rangers didn’t have much in the way of power, only one hit was anything other than a single.   That double was by Ian Kinsler.

Kinsler & Elvis continue to smoke spring training pitching.  Kinsler went 2-4, bringing his average to .429.  Elvis went 3-4, bringing his average to .455.  I don’t think anyone believes those kind of numbers are sustainable long term, but man is it fun to write batting average numbers like THAT.   Michael Young isn’t too far behind at .385 for the spring (going 2-3 today).  David Murphy’s up there as well, batting .387.  So there’s definitely some gaudy numbers being floated around in Arizona this March.  But that’s the point.  It’s March.  It’s ARIZONA, where it is inflated.  But some of these numbers will still be darned good come the regular season even if the extra padding given by Arizona is gone.

Can’t wait.