A few thoughts on tonight's game:
- Yu Darvish had his 2nd straight rough outing on this road trip. The first was somewhat expected, as Yu hasn't had a ton of success against Oakland, but tonight's outing was disappointing to say the least. Once again, Yu struggled with his fastball command early, and as a result, the Angels were able to withstand breaking ball offerings. In the end, it's just one start, and on the whole, Darvish has been exceptional on the season, so it's hard to really be too worried about him before the All-Star Break. (Note: There was something more substantial about Darvish here, but my publishing platform decided to delete it, so there's that)
- Brad Snyder had a home run with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th inning, which brought the Rangers to within 5-2, but other than that, the Rangers never really threatened in this one. No, Darvish wasn't sharp, but he'd have needed to be damn near perfect tonight for the Rangers to have a shot at winning.
- Now at 35-40, we may have finally reached the point of no return. By that, I mean that I'll be legitimately surprised if the Rangers get back above .500 this season. Too many injuries have forced the Rangers to exhaust plans B, C, D, and E, and what's left isn't conducive to a productive and winning season in baseball.
The catcher was not in the act of receiving the throw, nor did he have possession of the ball. As a result, the runner did not have a lane to the plate.
As far as explanations go, Major League Baseball can take this one and shove it, for all I care. If the intent of the home plate collision rule was to prevent injury, then someone should inform the replay crew of this. Gimenez was clearly in the act of receiving the ball, had a chance to easily apply the tag, and Calhoun never had to alter his slide to reach home plate, which he never got close to before being tagged.
Instant replay, having finally been implemented this season, has overall been a great thing for baseball. With that being said, there's little to no transparency behind the reviews, and from where I sit, there seems to be a definite bias against the Rangers for whatever reason there might be. It could be that I'm just a bit irritated about yet another blown replay that has gone against the Rangers, but we're almost at the halfway point of the season, and it seems like at least once a week, the crew in New York makes a dubious ruling that hurts the Rangers. In fact, the Rangers have had the most calls overturned on them in baseball this season, with tonight's ruling being the 18th such instance. Worse yet? An error was charged to Gimenez on the play. Just mind-boggling.
No, this call by itself didn't cost Texas the game, but it certainly shifted the momentum and provided further reason for Darvish to feel frustrated on the mound. It's a call you'd like to see handled the right way, but when it comes to Major League Baseball, I'd imagine it'll be another five years before this type of thing is cleared up. After all, we've got to keep the human element, right?