Back to .500. Another bullpen implosion.
I originally had a whole different post written, as it looked like the Rangers had the series win in the bag. Alas, baseball happened.
Ariel Jurado got the start for the afternoon start time and was, overall, effective. Effective enough to deserve a better result, at least. He didn’t — as is his profile — overpower hitters. In going 6.1 innings, he allowed 2 earned runs, although one of those runs was given up by Jeffrey Springs in relief. Jurado struck out three, walked two, and gave up six hits. Overall, not a bad start for someone who profiles to be a 4th-5th starter moving forward. You’ll absolutely take it.
Springs came in for relief, and was mostly awful. He gave up four earned runs of his own on four hits, and in a questionable decision, was left in to face Mike Trout with the Rangers still clinging to a 5-3 lead. To me, it seemed that leaving Springs — a lefty — in to face Trout was less than ideal. Trout ended up doubling, and with lefty Shohei Ohtani coming up, I thought perhaps Springs would be allowed another hitter to take advantage of the lefty-lefty matchup. However, for some reason manager Chris Woodward opted to go with Kyle Dowdy.
There’s no way around it: Kyle Dowdy has been a disaster as a Major League pitcher. The mid-90’s fastball is alluring, but he’s got no idea where it’s going. In a twist of cruelty, as awful as Dowdy was in allowing the tying run to score on a sacrifice fly and then two runs on consecutive wild pitches, his ERA actually went down as all runs scored were inherited runners from Springs.
That ended up being enough for the Angels. Even though the Rangers threatened in the top of the 9th, the final was 7-6.
On the whole, it was an adequate, if unspectacular day for the Texas lineup. Shin-Soo Choo and Hunter Pence were the only two Rangers with multiple hits, while Joey Gallo worked three walks of his own. At one point, it looked like a Pence double in the top of the 6th would be the back-breaker and give the Rangers a series win, but it wasn’t to be.
I’ve mentioned it several times on Twitter, but I’m not sure how the Rangers can justify keeping Kyle “Howdy” Dowdy around. As a Rule 5 selection, he can’t be sent to the minors, so the Rangers would have to offer him back to the Cleveland Indians. I’m simply not sure how he can merit a 25-man spot right now. He hadn’t previously shown the kind of numbers in the minors that indicated he was ready to face Major League hitters, and it appears even less so at this point. The Rangers don’t have a ton of currently-viable options to replace him without throwing some of the young guys out there, but I’m not sure throwing Dowdy at a brick wall over and over again is the way to go, either.
The Rangers will now head to Seattle as part of their West Coast swing.