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G45: Rangers drop finale to M’s, 5-3

Bah.  The Rangers lost to Kevin Millwood.  Not that I hated Millwood.  I liked him doing his time here.  If you go back and look at the commentaries I wrote when he was a Ranger, I was generally supportive.   Still, one never likes losing to their own former pitcher.  Kevin went six innings, didn’t allow any runs, only three hits and a walk.  Safeco field fits him well.  He’s a flyball pitcher, and Safeco eats fly balls.  He’s only 3-4 after this game, but has an OK era.  I suspect he’ll probably get to about 10 or 12 wins there.  Not anything like his year in Cleveland, but still.

He easily outpitched Scott Feldman, who was pitching in place of Neftali Feliz who went to the DL.  Interesting quote about Feliz by Wash.  Wash made a remark that Feliz shoudln’t be assured of his starting rotation job when he comes back – OUCH!  If that’s accurate, I wonder what we’re gonna do long term for the fifth starter spot.  So far, Feldman hasn’t gotten it together terribly well in his spot starts.   This one is somewhat typical.  4.1IP, 3H, 5R, 5BB, 1K, 1HR.  There it is again – more walks than innings pitched.  That’s never ever good.  Feldman’s ERA is 4.66.  I suspect he won’t be back next year.  He had a great year a few years ago, parlayed that into a nice contract (which I thought he deserved at the time).  Since then, he’s been hurt, and hasn’t come anywhere near the 17-8 record he had in 2009.    There’s a team option on Feldman for 2013 for $9.25 Million.  I suspect the $600k buyout will be taken instead.  Unless Feldman ends up with 15 wins (he has zero now), I can’t see the Rangers bringing him back next year.   I suspect by then one of the studs in the minors will take over that spot.  Or one of them will bump someone to the pen, much like Feldman got bumped.

As a footnote, I actually gave up listening to this game when Feldman gave up the grand slam to Liddi in the fifth inning.  That’s the first time that’s happened this year where I’ve intentionally given up on a game after a single play.

Offensively, we got all three of our runs in one inning again like the last game.  Only this time it wasn’t enough.  And it wasn’t until late, when one of the “Who the heck is that” relievers for Seattle came on and gave up all three in 0.2 IP.   The runs came on a single, then a double, then a home run.

Not a good series in Seattle.