Does it feel like a broken record yet? The Rangers are back down to .500.
Mike Minor got the start tonight for the Rangers, and was good enough to deserve better than the final result. He went 5 innings with 8 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 3 earned runs.
However, it was the 6th inning that caused things to unravel. With Minor already at 97 pitches after the 5th inning, having thrown 26 pitches in that inning and a relatively short bottom half for the Rangers lineup, I was a bit surprised to see Minor come out for the 6th. I was even more surprised, when Minor allowed a single, that only then was there any action in the bullpen. Due to no one being warm, it took not only the Royals hitting a 3-run home run, but Minor facing another hitter and throwing 8 pitches before manager Chris Woodward went out to get his pitcher.
This, to me, seemed highly irresponsible. In Mike Minor, you have a pitcher with a history of shoulder injuries. Given the short recovery time after throwing 26 pitches in the 5th, and 97 pitches total, there was absolutely no excuse not to have at least one reliever warm when the decision was made to send Minor back out for the sixth. That it took until pitch number 113 to make a change is, quite simply, inexcusable.
That ended up being enough for the Royals on the night, as the Rangers offense was mostly punchless. Only four Rangers had hits, and the only other player besides those four that even got on base was Joey Gallo with a walk.
Which brings us, once again, to Rougned Odor. Odor had some of the worst plate appearances I can recall seeing from him — hell, from just about anyone — tonight. I get that the Rangers say he’s a hard worker. I get that they say he’s still confident and hasn’t lost hope. And yet, I can’t help but think that maybe staring down the pitcher isn’t the best idea for the worst everyday player in baseball. But that’s just me.
The good news is the Rangers have three more chances to secure a series victory against a team they should absolutely win a series against.