Not a whole lot to talk about here. The Rangers went just 1-9 with runners in scoring position -- a run-scoring Shin-Soo Choo triple in the top of the 7th -- and ultimately fell 5-2 to the Angels on Friday night. The loss moves Texas to three games behind Houston for tops in the AL West, and 2.5 ahead of the Angels in the wild card race.
Jeff Banister didn't cost the Rangers the game tonight, but in the 7th inning he made a peculiar bullpen decision. Down by only a run, Banister summoned rookie Luke Jackson to make his major league debut. This isn't to say he didn't have confidence in Jackson to perhaps stun the Angels -- being they have never faced him before -- but in a contest that was still very winnable, LuJax was probably the last arm that should have been in the game in that moment. As it were, Luke managed just two outs, surrendering two runs on as many hits and a walk.
This, coming from the manager who sent out Shawn Tolleson to start a second inning of work last month in Seattle, while the Rangers were leading 11-3, while Jackson sat in the bullpen. Those are the times to break in rookie pitchers, not in the middle of one-run games against your postseason competition.
It seems more damning since Texas just had a day off, and Banister had an entire September bullpen to choose from. I might be a bit obsessive about this right now since the Rangers just lost, but we're down to 29 games and these types of self-inflicted losses can't happen down the stretch if this club intends on making it to Game 163 and beyond.