Maybe the Rangers needed a game like this to remind them that this roster isn’t perfect, that there are flaws that need to be addressed in the next few weeks (actually, they needed addressing months ago) before the trade deadline on August 1.
Just as quickly as it too for Alex Speas to endear himself to Rangers fans, he picks up his first major league loss in his second appearance.
Andrew Heaney deserved the be pinned with the loss as well but it was 4-4 when he left. In five innings, he gave up four earned runs on five hits and three walks. He was not sharp.
Neither was Jose Leclerc, for the second outing in a row after fooling everyone into believing he had righted the ship. He got through five batters, three reached, before being bailed out by Brock Burke.
But if it’s not Adolis Chapman or Will Smith, the Rangers bullpen is ineffective. And last night, they gave the Dodger seven runs in the final three innings. It was just outmanned.
It started with Speas in the seventh, with the Rangers holding onto a 5-4 lead. He walked Mookie Betts to start the inning, never a good sign. After throwing a wild pitch that got Betts to second, he walked Freddie Freeman to set up the double play. Then gave up a hard single to Will Smith to load the bases and set up the double play. Then he walked JD Martinez to allow the tying run to score, and he was done for the night. Cody Bradford had the unenviable task of coming in with bases loaded and no outs. He got out of the inning with only one of the inherited runners scoring.
But the floodgates were open. They scored three more in the eighth off Bradford and Anderson, then two more in the ninth off Anderson.
Surprisingly, when the score was only 9-5, the Rangers had the tying run at the plate with one out. But that was bungled into an inning ending double play when Nathanial Lowe fell down.
After so many great games in a row, the Rangers were due a clunker. You never want to see anything that awful. But, looking for a silver lining, it was a helpful reminder that the bullpen is about four arms short of being reliable. And the rotation needs one more arm as well.
Because this team won’t go deep into October with this mess.