G160: Rangers lose first try as A’s clinch playoff spot

Coming into this game was not easy.  A day after facing a double-header that felt more like a roller-coaster ride, the Rangers would be tasked with winning only one of three games against a very close number 2 team in the West.  Whether it was fatigue or frustration, we didn’t get it done.

Sending a rookie to the mound is never an easy decision, but one Washington made for this crucial Monday night game.  The first inning didn’t come easily for Martin Perez, and only 3 innings (and 2 batters later), he was done.  It’s hard to be frustrated with a guy who was born post-1990 and is being asked to be the game 1 pitcher of what amounts to a playoff series, so that may be why the majority of fans (me included) would instead be disappointed by Feldman.

After Perez left having only thrown 69 pitches, Feldman stepped up in relief.  Unfortunately, things didn’t get better.  In fact, aside from the 3 strikeouts he managed to post, the rest of his line is rather disappointing.  Needless to say, a 5.09 ERA isn’t what we needed out of a guy who, a couple years ago, was supposed to be our ace.

However, all that being said, it’s easy to focus the blame on a small few when the fact is that the offense didn’t come alive either.  6 measly hits from the best lineup in the league isn’t good.  Kinsler, Hamilton, Cruz, and Murphy – all of whom are usually solid hitters – came up empty against the Athletics’ pitching.  It was good to see continued life out of Napoli, the hero from the final game against the Angels, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the pitching blunders and general lack of offense by the Rangers.

All negativity aside, however, there was one bright spot coming out of the previous games with the Angels.  Uehara performed very well, pitching a full inning and only allowing 1 hit in his appearance.  Given the state of things lately, we need to cling on to every piece of good news we get!

Onto game 2 vs. Oakland, where hopefully a full night’s rest and a more seasoned pitcher can make the difference.