Neftali Feliz started this game, and after his past outings, I think several Ranger fans (myself included) were watching this kind of expecting a bad outing, and leading to a big round of “can he really do this”? Well, he answered that with a great outing. Went three innings, allowed just two hits and a walk, punching out two. No runs being the biggest stat. But he came out after just three innings. That was not intentional, he was taken out for precautionary reasons. Later on it was said it was due to right shoulder stiffness. That’s one of those generic injuries that can be nothing, or a mask for something huge. I don’t think anyone likes seeing a player come out, but one that had something to prove like Neftali.. I bet he wasn’t interested in coming out of the game, either. We’ll see what happens with him over the next week or so, but it would be fairly annoying if he had to go on the DL. The obvious answer to that is Ogando in the rotation, and someone new in the pen. But we don’t want to “Joba” Ogando, either, so it might be best to pick one and leave him there.
Former Ranger farmhand Ryan Dempster started for the Cubs, and went six. He allowed four hits and two walks, and a two run spot in the second to Texas. That was a decent, if not great pitching line. However, the Cubs pen let them down, as the Cubs had tied it up with two runs in the bottom of the fourth, and was riding that into the late innings. Lendy Castillo allowed Ranger runs 3 & 4 in his 0.2 innings of work, and then Alberto Cabrera gave up runs 5 & 6 in his 1.2 innings of work on three hits. So their pen let them down in the back end of the game.
The only two runs the Rangers gave up were by Neil Cotts, who is unlikely to make the club. Feliz’ injury aside, we had good outings from Koji Uehara, Michael Kirkman, & Sean Green. Uehara lowered (!) his spring ERA to 12.46 after that outing. Kirkman’s is still too high (even for spring) at 7.88. Sean Green has the best era of the four relievers in this game with 6.35 (Cotts was 7.11). Still, three scoreless innings from guys who are likely to break camp with the club is a good thing, as the calendar gets into the 20th on March.
The Rangers offense consisted of nine hits. Two of them were home runs – one by Leonys Martin, and the other by Dusty Brown. Both were two run home runs. Everything else was a single. Craig Gentry appears recovered from his injury a week ago or so, and went 2-4 plus a walk and a run scored this game. Martin also had two hits – the rest were all scatted through the lineup; only these two had more than a single hit.
Was nice to get a win, as our spring record is looking pretty garish. Would be nice to start stringing together some wins as we get to the back end of March, and the breaking of camp.