Gut punch. 52 comments


Crew chief Sam Holbrook tosses an irate Jeff Banister out of the game after a balk call that cost his team a victory.

 

You have to give the Rangers credit. At least they are finding inventive ways to lose ball games.

After leaving a franchise-record seventeen runners on base to lose Saturday’s game, a balk that was so elusive neither the home plate or first base umpires saw it did in the Rangers on Sunday.

And the end result is the Rangers were swept away in four games by the Houston Astros.

It was a frustrating, lost weekend and the ideal punctuation to a frustrating, lost season.

Yesterday’s game, though, was a gut punch. A game in which they fought back from two deficits, only to have an uncharacteristically bad inning from Keona Kela unravel with a balk that scored the game-deciding run. In even weirder fashion, no umpire called it until Astros manager A. J. Hinche came storming out of the dugout to point it out. They conferred, agreed Kela didn’t come to a pause, called a balk, and the winning run waltzed home.

Jeff Banister, of course, went ballistic with the umpires and was quickly asked to leave the game. But who he should go ballistic with is his general manager for the steaming heap of a rotation he dropped in his lap.

The Rangers offense was once again put in the position of having to overcome another Matt Moore crash and burn. In a season of dreadful starts, this may have been his worst yet.

From the first pitch, he was throwing batting practice to the Astros. All six Astros batters crushed the ball off him in the first, but the last one of those rockets turned into a double play, so the Astros scored just two runs.

Nine of the first fifteen batters he faced reached. He left after three dumpster fire innings down 6-2, but the Rangers were facing an Astro pitcher who leads the league in losses and they were able to undo Matt Moore, tie the game off Dallas Keuchel, re-tie in the bottom of the eighth 7-7, only to watch Kela melt down in the top of the ninth and allow the go-ahead run to score in the top of the ninth.

Matt Moore’s ERA is now 7.88. And with Doug Fister going on the D.L. to join Martin Perez, the Rangers roster is so threadbare, they have no choice but to keep letting Matt Moore get his teeth kicked in.

There is simply no quality pitching anywhere in the system. And that is all on the general manager. Rather than sign or trade for any in the off-season, Jon Daniels tossed this putrid salad of a rotation.

Don’t expect reinforcements. There are none coming because there are none.

Since Matt Moore has to be run out there every fifth day, the Rangers get sixteen hits, score seven runs, go 4-for-10 with runners in scoring position, and still lose.

But look on the bright side, the Rangers have a new batting practice pitcher. They just have to get him to quit pitching BP to the other team.

*****
NO GAME TODAY.

  • Rowdy Yates

    Kela balked in a run at Dodgers Stadium for a Dodgers walk off 1-0 win in June 2015. How baseball ‘stupid’ do you have to be to do the same thing twice to lose games at the MLB level?

    • dearmidol

      That’s right. I forgot about that one. I read where A.J. Hinche said he does it all the time, and he was just waiting for him to do it with a runner at third. Credit Hinche with being aware.

    • GoRangers23

      I think they mentioned last night that this balk was different in some way from what he did before, but I don’t know how. But Banister said that he does that all the time and it has never been called before. I guess Kela has some work to do now.

      • possumrld

        They did mention it last night, 23. But I think the only difference was Kela’s balk was called immediately in LA. And being an way game, it was a “Walk off Balk”, or a “balk off” as I think Nadel put it. Whereas, theoretically, the Rangers had a chance to come back after Kela’s balk fiasco last night.

  • elkaba

    Missed the game yesterday, and from the sound of the recaps that’s not such a tragedy. Go, I saw where you mentioned that I said the stands were full of Astros fans on Saturday. That’s true! It was kind of creepy, and their cheering out did the home team’s more than once. Strange days.

    One thing I didn’t mention yesterday was how different the area around the ballpark looks these days. The construction is impressive (and more exciting than what passes for entertainment on the field most days.) It’s really coming along. The traffic is murder. The parking is distant. And the golf cart ride from your car to the front door is $5 a person, and in 90+ degree weather, absolutely worth it!

  • JacobMcCandles

    Meandering points…Kev you said TX would get 22 hits in your article, well thats pretty darn close. The few of us that were on yesterday discussed that balk call….and yes it was a balk but I’m disturbed that the balk was not called initially. Hinch played it perfect and is very intelligent Mgr in a highly intelligent organization. I am torn between being upset that the call was not made from the get go and accepting that it is ultimately right.

    Is there truly no one in AAA that can be brought up that can pitch better than Moore, or at least throw enough games to bridge the gap to Fister. ABD? Myself and others have been all over this farm less group of players but you can’t tell me there is no one that can’t out pitch Moore. He is not even eating innings. The Astros swung at the first 8 out of 10 pitches….it was like pad your stats day.

    No one wants to see Astro fans dominate the crowd but at least TX is getting their money.

    • dearmidol

      Yeah, I was joking about that and it almost came true. Except the shut out part.

      Hinch had seen Kela do that before and was just waiting for the right time. I will say, had the tables been turned and it was Banister who did that to an opposing team, I would have been okay with it. It’s really weird that the umpires missed it, though. And if they got together and confirmed it, then why didn’t the umpire who saw it call it in the first place?

      This isn’t much different than a couple of seasons ago when Banister went to instant replay to prove that Albert Pujols had taken his foot off second for a nano-second while Elvis still had a glove applied and he was called out.

      It’s a damn shame is what it is when it comes to the lack of pitching talent in the minor league system. And for that Daniels got an extension? He is not held accountable at all.

      • JacobMcCandles

        Lot of times people equate money to intelligence…not true of course. Hilbillies oviously know their businesses but don’t know Jackspit about BB….I could see keeping JD as to bridge the gap to the new stadium…but he could do that as a President. There are plenty of good BB brains out there and I would recommend someone younger after watching Hinch,Cora,Kapler,etc…whether you like it or not you have to have someone that accepts the Metrics, doesn’t make your decision but educates you to make a better decision. Even Maddon looks like old school but was the first to really apply game metrics heavily.

        You had Beanyball but that was more of a shift in BB Philosophy. But every GM it seems gets that taste like a addict after their first fix. Saw it with Dombrowski, JD chasing the dream, why it was so surprising to me that Theo went after Darvish…..he is smarter than that…now he has cramped the Cubs and he has young player contracts headed his way.

        • dearmidol

          Attendace is down. The team is about to suffer it’s third really bad finish in five years. It’s trending down not up. There’s not much talent int he minor leagues. Drafts have been sub-par. A total inability to develop pitching.

          Exactly what is it they see is the benefit of continuing along the same course?

          • JacobMcCandles

            Don’t blame them and quite frankly we are making a statement

          • dearmidol

            What do you mean?

          • JacobMcCandles

            By not showing up we as fans are saying we are not buying this product

          • dearmidol

            Ah, got it. Yes, you are right.

        • elkaba

          Personally I think JD sat the owners down last winter and laid down the facts, recited the errors he’d made in the previous few seasons, listed the trades he shouldn’t have made and the cost, and told them this season was over before it started. I think he had the same talk with at least Hamels and Beltre. And I think his plan to return to contention starts here in the next few weeks.

          First there was the draft. We seem to have drafted only pitchers and SS’s and many more than we could ever use, so there’s money in the bank for future trades (probably some more he shouldn’t make.)

          Then there’s the deadline. I think he’ll trade anything not nailed down for whatever he can get. We’re starting from scratch, no matter all the protests to the contrary. I think he laid out a multi-year plan for the owners that would return us to contention by the new digs opening up.

          And they bought it.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Let’s hope

          • elkaba

            I don’t see any other explanation that fits. The owners (your “hillbillies”) are hugely successful businessmen and not even a little bit stupid. They bought the team, because they want to see a winner before they die. They’ve said that publicly, and I don’t doubt they meant it. And their clocks are ticking down.

            If JD laid out any other plan for them than the one I’ve just outlined, I don’t see him getting that extension anytime this season. Or ever. BUT if he did lay out that plan, then an extension right before the draft and deadline makes sense. It makes JD look more legitimate and signals to anyone thinking of Texas as a destination that JD is the man to deal with, now and for the foreseeable future.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Well…there is no evidence to support that…and I cannot offer any evidence that you are not correct…..I think it’s more basic, and it’s like oil drilling. You can fail ten times but hit one well and make a ton. I think the Hillbillies are looking at the overall career not the most recent….betting that JD can do it again.

            Once again for me it’s that JD jettisoned all of his support.

          • elkaba

            I’m not agreeing with them. I’m just trying to divine their thinking. It’s been bugging me, the timing of the extension and what on earth could have moved them to do it when they did, and what on earth we’re going to do with a couple dozen baby pitchers and SS’s.

            I actually agree with you about JD’s support system vanishing, and what it’s done to his once vaunted track record as GM.

          • JacobMcCandles

            “Actually agree” was it tough?😘😎🍺

          • elkaba

            Not even a little bit.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Give a little bit…..good Supertramp song

    • possumrld

      Great point about Moore, and the Rangers minor league pitchers! I have said this before. And I cannot believe there isn’t one single solitary guy in our farm system that couldn’t out pitch Moore!

  • von_todwin

    Anyone notice Chris Davis’s season. Saw an MLB article that he’s technically on pace for the worst season, measured by WAR, ever.

    So…we could be worse?

    • JacobMcCandles

      And could’ve signed Darvish who is on the DL and only one win this year……

    • dearmidol

      I heard them talking about that Sunday on MLB Network Radio. The threw so much bad money at him that they can’t afford to sign Manny Machado.

  • JacobMcCandles

    It gets worse…two closest pitching prospects Mendez and Jurado both are getting rocked somewhat. Talking Gallardo right now…bad as he is…gotta be better than Moore. If he does not start, at least he could go in the BP and eat some innings.

    I say ABD first, then Gallardo.

  • JacobMcCandles

    JD iview….he stated “if you take shortcuts you will get set back” Really, wow I agree, why didn’t he practice that. He did something good to hear. Said Roogie Sat down with the staff and said I will do whatever to get better three weeks ago. Well it’s def showing think he has the second highest avg to Choo over the last two weeks and most importantly have witnessed his increased burning attempts going to the left and better contact.

    Certainly not cured but JD did mention missed training before two yrs ago with the WBC and this yr they wanted him in winter ball…regardless he is taking ownership apparently and we NEED him
    ..

    • JacobMcCandles

      Refresh for errors

      • elkaba

        I noticed that on Saturday night. He was Mr. Hustle both running and fielding.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Yeah
          …and being his sole defender my acumen is on the line. Unless I lost that with Mike Opt plus many others

          • dearmidol

            You simply have a heart of gold.

          • JacobMcCandles

            More used to insults…maybe you are doing a Neil Young reference

          • dearmidol

            Ha, I was merely pointing out that somehow you had a soft spot for Odor when everyone else didn’t.

          • JacobMcCandles

            Just don’t stubbornly want to admit I was wrong (bad taste in my mouth just uttering the words)

          • dearmidol

            Hitting two home runs on opening day of 2017 was the worst thing that could have happened to him. He thought he was Mike Trout or something.

          • elkaba

            And I think it was clocking Bautista. Made him think he was Mr. Incredible. 🙂

          • elkaba

            Sounds so much like someone else it’s scary…

          • JacobMcCandles

            Stay on target…..🍺🍺🍺

          • elkaba

            LOL, My good side is always just a decent effort away. 🙂 I don’t mind defending anyone who’s hustling and improving. The phone-it-in and easy-come-easy-go stuff I have no use for and never will.

          • possumrld

            You aren’t Odor’s sole defender, Jake. You are just the only one brave enough, or maybe foolish enough to admit it. 🙂 As you know, I haven’t exactly been a Roogie fan. But I have always said, no matter how much I may have disliked his demeanor in the past, we need him to be playing good baseball, so that is my hope. And I did say a while back that I thought he was improving, way before it was “cool” to be saying so out loud.
            I personally hope Roogie becomes an all star, and the quicker the better. Because that means the Rangers will be winning more games. And to me, that is that goal overrules any of my personal dislikes for any one player.
            .

          • JacobMcCandles

            Welcome aboard poss

    • dearmidol

      That’s good to hear. He has been improving, really going to the opposite field more instead of just trying to pull everything macho-style.

  • dearmidol

    Jake, the whole Darvish signing highlights something that has always bugged me about teams. They will go out and sign someone else and ignore the guy they had.

    They didn’t give Jake Arrieta the time of day in free agency and went hard after Darvish. Why? Arrieta was their guy, had done so much for them. Why do teams do that? Throw away their own guys and chase after someone else’s?

    • elkaba

      I’m not Jake, but I think the answer is bird in the hand vs. greener grass. And the greener grass usually wins. 🙂

      • dearmidol

        Yep.

        • JacobMcCandles

          Green grass and high times forever

    • JacobMcCandles

      Bingo….and what does that say to the rest of the team?? And didn’t Arrieta come cheaper.

      Largest point, look at all the large pitching contracts, it’s extremely rare when one works…Scherzer,Lester maybe, Verlander but Detroit paying some of the salary made it a no brainer. Pay for hitting, Grow the pitching

  • JacobMcCandles

    Good talk today….I find it very hard to believe that in MLB they are having mild discussions on eliminating the shifts…..is there anyone in here that subscribes to that and why?

    • possumrld

      I think they need to leave the game alone. If people don’t like the shift, they can bunt, or teach their hitters to all stop trying to pull the ball every time. And I hate this new “point and walk” rule, to “save time”, or “speed up the game”
      That is so absurd, and It just takes away a part of the game, like a possible steal or a passed ball on a pitch out etc. Those things may not happen often, but a pitch outs for balls on anintentional walk is how the game is suppose to be played.
      And I hate this new mound visit rule too. It has cut what, 3 minutes off of game time averages? Baseball is not supposed to be controlled by a clock, but that is exactly what they are trying to do by implementing these silly rules.
      I think baseball is falling victim to a form of “Time PC” thinking. And I am about fed up with these kinds of silly rule changes.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Well Sandler agrees with me, I like him more now😎 When EA returns..Alfalfa goes down for every day ABs and more catcher training.

    Best and closest offensive prospect seems to be Ibanez where we are log jammed
    All the more reason to trade Profar…got Roogie and Ibanez on deck…telling you. Bank it Elvis will not opt out.

  • JacobMcCandles

    Kev recanted a Neil Young song….as a individual my favorite of all time. This song was used in the movie Quiet Place….by far the best movie of 2018 to date!!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n2MtEsrcTTs

  • possumrld

    lol! “But look on the bright side, the Rangers have a new batting practice pitcher. They just have to get him to quit pitching BP to the other team.” Your humor always cracks me up, Kev!
    And “Gut Punch” is pretty accurate. Three games that could have been won with a little competence, were lost because of little competence. I thought it was a big mistake to pinch hit Beltre for Delino, and it proved out to be just that. I thought it was a mistake to put bring Kela into a non save situation. And that also proved out to be a bad move. Not that those moves were actually what lost the game, but…
    But the milk is spilled, the horses are out of the barn, it is too wet to plow, the other shoe has dropped, the brown stuff has hit the fan, and “hindsight” regardless of the numbers applied, doesn’t mean jack now. And that series was probably was the proverbial “last nail in the coffin”, as far as even any dim hopes as far as any miracle 2nd half comebacks are concerned.
    But to me, worse by far than not having any “prospects” for pitching help coming up on the farm, is the “prospect” of having to watch Bannister manage, and then to listen to the Rangers media personnel, trying to pretend like Banney is a real manger. Ugh.