Loss dropped on Heaney.

Andrew Heaney struck out seven with no walks in 4.2 innings.

Sometimes a starting pitchers earns the loss. Sometimes, a loss is just dropped on them.

Last night, it was dropped. In the form of a popup and an ineffective bullpen.

Down 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, Andrew Heaney wasn’t exactly cruising—he was inefficient with his pitches—but he was keeping the Rays close, just waiting for the Rangers offense to kick in. But it’s an offense missing Jung, and missing last year’s Evan Carter. 

Heaney struck out the first two batters he faced in the bottom of the fifth. Then, Yandy Diaz hit a pop up into the no man’s land part of Tropicana Field (which is actually the entire dreadful place) that Jared Walsh, a normally adept defender, had but let slip out of his glove. 

The next batter singled on Heaney’s ninetieth pitch, and he was quickly removed from the game. That’s when the game was quickly removed from the Rangers’ clutches.

Yerry Rodriguez entered the game. Victory exited. A single and a home run later and the Rangers’ night was over. Just like that, it was 5-0. Texas scored a single non-threatening run in the seventh and another in the ninth to lose the second of three in Tampa Bay 5-2.

The top of the order went 0-for-11, including 0-4 from Carter, who has yet to get a hit this season. He is drawing his share of walks, though, but eventually he has to start hitting.

In fact, the top five hitters in the Rangers lineup went a combined 1-for-19. That just goes to show that this lineup, while capable of doing serious damage, can also succumb to great pitching. 

You can’t win them all. But Andrew Heaney deserved better than to take the loss last night. That was squarely on Yerry Rodriguez.