A few things:
- It seems a bit uncouth to care much about baseball right now in wake of the news of Richard Durrett's passing. Sometimes, people are taken away from us far too early, and Richard was one of those. If you'd ever read, seen, or heard Durrett, you're likely aware that he was always a positive personality, and in a sports media world in which it's easy to focus on the negative, that wasn't his style. Prayers go out to Richard's family during what is, I'm sure, a very difficult time.
- There was a baseball game played tonight, and the Rangers came out on the wrong side of things. The offense once again put up a solid effort, led by Rougned Odor, who had a home run and a triple with 3 RBI. Alas, 6 runs just wasn't enough.
- Yu Darvish still can't seem to crack the code of the Oakland A's lineup. His line on the evening was 5.0 IP, 8 hits, 5 walks, 8 strikeouts, and 7 runs, 4 of which were earned. Yu Darvish is a fantastic pitcher, one of the top 5 in all of baseball, as Eric mentioned earlier today. Yet, for whatever reason, he just can't seem to pitch well against Oakland, likely due to Oakland's ability to lay off of pitches outside of the strike zone. 5 walks isn't a very good thing either. While it's tough to complain about a pitcher like Yu Darvish when he's been fantastic this season, the Rangers needed him to be at the top of his game to win this game, and it just didn't happen.
- This 2014 bullpen... It's just been a rough thing. When guys like Robbie Ross, Shawn Tolleson, and Alexi Ogando have either been ineffective, hurt, or both, it's forced guys like Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts into more action that you'd like to see. Ross was sent down to AAA, and Ogando is on the DL for the time being, but you'd be hard-pressed to imagine that Aaron Poreda and Tolleson will provide significant value moving forward, and Ben Rowen is still enough of an unknown to leave me a bit uneasy about it all. Cotts and Frasor can't do it all, and Soria won't be getting many meaningful innings in games the Rangers don't have a lead at the end.
- Shin-Soo Choo is mired in a pretty bad slump right now. From May 27 through tonight, Choo has compiled an OPS of .448, bringing his OPS on the season down to .769. Some have been quick to point out that perhaps he isn't comfortable in the #3 spot in the lineup, but I just can't let myself believe that's the reason for his struggles. He hasn't looked anything close to the player he was to start the season. If his ankle has gotten to the point that it's affecting every part of his game this badly, then I'm beginning to think that perhaps the most prudent course of action for the organization would be to play him on the 15-day DL to try to get the ankle better. Right now, however, a really good player looks very lost at the plate, and I have to think that the ankle has a lot to do with that.
- Nick Tepesch takes the ball tomorrow afternoon against Sonny Gray. The Rangers will need a strong performance from Tepesch to have a chance to win this game. The bullpen is just too gassed to pitch 4-5 innings tomorrow coming off of a night game.