The Texas Rangers lost tonight to the Tampa Bay Rays by a final score of 8-4 and while most fans want to say "you can't win them all" it still doesn't feel too well. Yes they won the series 2-1 but I really would have like to see a sweep. Honestly I can't remember the last Texas actually swept a team and I really don't feel like bothering to do the research.
Matt Harrison did not have his best stuff tonight as he gave up three home runs and allowed seven earned runs. It wasn't that Harrison had problems finding the strike zone. He was finding it "too" well leaving numerous pitches over the heart of the plate. He did settle down after giving up six runs in the first two innings and allowed Texas to pull back but it wasn't enough.
Offensively Mitch Moreland continued to hit the ball well and put Texas on the board with a two-run homer in the bottom of the second. Hamilton also hit a solo shot of his own in the fifth but lack of production elsewhere in the lineup kept the Rangers out of it. Ian Kinsler, Adrian Beltre and Michael Young combined to go 0-for-13. Yes, I realize that players are going to have bad days and Beltre and Kinsler have been hitting the ball well lately but Michael Young continues to beat me down.
Mike Napoli may not be having a repeat season a la 2011 but I really cannot wait for him to come back from the disabled list as Luis Martinez simply is simply not getting the job done. Texas definitely needs to look for a defensive catcher in the offseason. Take a look at their farm system and there aren't any catchers that jump out at you.
This brings me to another point and that is the lack of a right-handed bat off the bench. Either manager Ron Washington was giving up in the bottom of the ninth by having Geovany Soto pinch hit for Martinez or he was sending a message that he doesn't believe in Mike Olt. Wasn't Olt brought up for occasions like this or am I missing something?
I still believe in this team and I am confident that they can make a deep run in the playoffs with the roster of guys they have. Of course I'm speaking of a healthy Mike Napoli and not Martinez but you knew that.
Now Texas has a day off after having played a stretch of twenty games in which they went 12-8 and there's nothing wrong with that. They head on the road now where they'll face Cleveland, Kansas City and the Rays again before returning home and one has to feel confident that they'll return home with a winning record on that road trip. I know I do.
Oh and the last sweep by Texas was June 18th-20th against San Diego. You know I wouldn't let you down.
Until next time, I'll see you in the cheap seats!
James Holland is a lifelong fan of baseball and his hometown Texas Rangers. He is also a senior columnist for shutdowninning.com, clawandantlernation.com and a member of S.A.B.R. You can also follow him on Twitter @SDIJamesHolland.