"But we'll never beat the Royals..."
Royals 6, Rangers 3
Colby, Colby, Colby. In a season where most of the pitchers on the roster are pitching to show they are worthy of a spot on the 2015 Rangers team, Colby Lewis, as a veteran, would seem to be in the category of "he is what he is." And yet, coming back from tendon surgery and hip surgery, he's still something of an unknown, particularly with those covering the team saying he's still re-discovering how his new hip works, and has just recently started throwing between starts again. Once again, Colby threw strikes (66 of them, in 102 pitches), showed enough to make you think he might be back, that there may still be another good season or two left in him. But the end result was, once again, disappointing...4 runs allowed in 6 IP (including 2 home runs), and an ERA now at 5.54.
By all accounts, Colby Lewis wants to return to Texas in 2015. And the Rangers are supposedly interested in bringing him back. But the question is going to be, what can the Rangers expect from him in 2015? In an ideal world, Lewis would show enough the rest of the way for Texas to bring him back as their #4 starter, with Nick Tepesch slotting in as the fifth starter. That would mean the Rangers would need to go target a #2 or #3 guy to slot behind Yu Darvish, with Derek Holland rounding out the rotation. They could go try to trade for, say, Mat Latos from the Reds, or chase after Cole Hamels. But that seems like it may be -- or probably is -- overly optimistic.
Phil Klein pitched an inning and a third, and allowed a run on a hit. Its the first run he's allowed on something other than a home run to the first batter he has faced in a game, although the runner that scored got on base with a leadoff double, so that's something. Klein's ERA is at 3.00. Its a small sample, but Klein has looked good thusfar, and my initial feeling is that I'd be comfortable with him in the major league pen in 2015.
Alex Claudio allowed a pair of baserunners, on an Adrian Beltre error and a Mike Moustakas double, but managed to wiggle out of trouble in his .2 innings of work. Claudio still hasn't allowed a run in the majors.
Jon Edwards allowed a run in his one inning of work, on a walk and an infield single, but like Klein and Claudio, he looked pretty decent tonight. The Rangers have a lot of issues to deal with in 2015, but having viable options to round out the bullpen doesn't appear to be one of them.
Once again, the bats were largely silent. Adrian Beltre was 2 for 4 with a double, and Elvis got on base three times with a single, a walk and an HBP. But otherwise, no one else got on base more than once, and it is kind of remarkable the Rangers actually scored 3 runs.
Just 35 more games to go, and then we reach the offseason. This season can't end soon enough.