Lefty-righty offensive shuffle backfires on Rangers

The SportsXchange

Mitch Moreland was the Texas Rangers' offense on Thursday.

And at the moment when the team most needed its offense, Moreland was nowhere to be found.

In a 5-4, 10-inning loss to the Oakland A's, manager Ron Washington elected to pinch-hit for left-handed-hitting Moreland in the seventh when Oakland brought in left-handed reliever Jordan Norberto with a runner on second and two outs.

Right-handed-hitting Brandon Snyder, who had a pinch-hit homer early in the week, ended the inning with a fly ball to right. He also grounded out with the bases loaded to end the ninth. Snyder had been 8-for-22 (.364) with three homers against left-handed pitchers.

Moreland is 3-for-16 (.188) with one homer against left-handers this season and is hitting .228 with two homers in 127 at-bats against them since the start of last season.

"When Moreland faces left-handers, what's it look like? " Washington said. "I felt comfortable with Snyder against the lefty."

Since early last year, Moreland has struggled to convince Washington he can hit lefties. As time has passed, he's gotten less and less time against left-handed pitchers. It's become something of a self-fulfilling prophecy. The less chance he gets, the worse his struggles become.

"The few times I've been in there, it's been kind of spotty," Moreland said. "I've felt good sometimes, and sometimes I've felt a little uncomfortable. I think (comfort) comes with experience."
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