Monday, September 16, 2013

Excerpt: "Ranger Danger"

"If the Rangers have a pitching problem right now, it's in who gets to go to the mound. Ron Washington's unimaginative use of his relievers has allowed some games to get away during this stretch. Joe Nathan, with a 1.46 ERA, hasn't pitched since September 8 -- eight days ago! Yesterday, Washington had Nathan available and warming and could have used him to preserved a 3-1 deficit in the ninth. That's not particularly high-leverage, but with Nathan having had the week off and Rangers Ballpark being a bloop-and-a-blast type of yard, preserving the two-run gap had some value. Washington chose Joakim Soria, who allowed two runs. Last Thursday, Washington used Joe Ortiz and Jason Frasor in the seventh down 4-2; the Pirates got two runs and eventually won 7-5. Holding the game to two runs might have made the next three the Rangers scored more relevant. Neal Cotts and Tanner Scheppers, Washington's next-best hurlers, are getting into games but perhaps not enough. It's a small thing, perhaps, and the Rangers are not managed by someone who gets the small things right."