The Rangers are 40-61*

Yeah, the asterisk is correct. This was an embarrasment on so many levels for the New York Yankees grounds crew. Ahead 2-1 in the bottom of the 5th inning, rain came pouring down. Seemingly unprepared, it took the grounds crew the better part of 25 minutes to get the tarp in place.

By the time the tarp was in place, it was clear that the incompetence, not the rain, would likely end this game. It's unfortunate that incompetence could be the deciding factor in a game, but that's exactly what happened tonight. I don't know about in New York, but in Texas, there's a thing called a tractor. If they had really wanted to get that tarp out, it would have happened. It didn't, and thus I'm fairly comfortable saying that the grounds crew -- besides almost losing one of their own beneath the watery tarp -- decided this game. Baseball, you guys.


Joakim Soria Traded to Detroit

Per multiples sources on Twitter, Joakim Soria has been pulled from tonight's game -- should it ever resume play -- as he has been traded to the Detroit Tigers.

In exchange, the Rangers have received pitchers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson. Knebel, thus far in the minors, has been a relief pitcher, and since being moved up to AAA this season, has put up a 1.96 ERA in 18.1 innings pitched. Thompson, a potential starter, has put up 6.0 innings in AA with an ERA of 3.0, and has advanced rather rapidly through Detroit's farm system to this point. As far as trades for immediate (2015) value and beyond, this one would seem to be a great deal by Jon Daniels and the front office.

Obviously, time will tell how well these two guys play out in the future in Texas, but if you were among those expecting Texas to make some moves, this would qualify as one of those moves, and for my part, I like the deal. Considering that Soria was a low-risk-high-reward signing a little over a year ago, the fact that Texas was able to flip him for some decent to good prospects is fantastic, and hopefully they'll add to some depth that might start contributing in 2015.


The Rangers are 40-60

That was one of the most awful games I've seen in awhile, on multiple fronts. The Rangers lost 2-1 in the bottom of the 14th inning, as Nick Tepesch, as you might expect, couldn't hold a tie game.

The Rangers had a chance to win after a J.P. Arencibia put them up 1-0 in the top of the 13th inning, but the normally shutdown Joakim Soria couldn't hold it, giving up a run to tie the game, and in the process completing the process of depleting the entire bullpen.

The game featured a whole lot of nothing, but the game ball for dumbest play would have to go to Leonys Martin. Martin, who I commented on yesterday, struck out on bunt attempts in this game, and whether it was his own doing or ordered from the dugout, the fact that all Martin is viewed as being good for is moving baserunners over at this point is, I think, an indictment on his lack of development compared to what the Rangers wanted to see from him this season. It's disappointing, to say the least.

Yet, even that doesn't really stand up to the move Ron Washington made in the 6th inning, going out to get Nick Martinez after only 67 pitches. I'm still baffled by it right now, and a fully depleted bullpen might just back me up on this criticism. I get that it was his first start off of the DL, but if he's not ready to potentially pitch deep into a game, he shouldn't have been starting this game.


The Rangers are 40-59

The Rangers won a game, getting them to 40 wins on the season, and reaching .500 since the All-Star break. Some thoughts:

  • Miles Mikolas was really good tonight. He lasted 7.1 innings on 105 pitches, finishing strong. He allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits and 2 walks, while the Yankees were only able to amass 5 total hits on the evening.
  • Shin-Soo Choo broke a career-worst 0-for-22 hitless streak, coming through with a 2-for-5 performance with a double and an RBI. Choo getting healthy/productive leading into 2015 will be one of the most important things for the ball club going forward, so tonight's outing, while a small sample size, is at least encouraging.
  • Shane Greene very nearly broke this one open for Texas early, committing 3 errors -- the first of which I thought should have been ruled a hit since Leonys Martin beat him to the bag to begin with -- and struggling to throw the ball to 1st base on several occasions. The Rangers were able to drive him from the game in the 6th inning, and all told, Greene gave up 4 earned runs.
  • Geovany Soto left the game after the top half of the 6th inning with some sort of groin injury, because of course he did. There's no word yet on the severity, but the hope would be that it isn't something that will hinder him in any way that might require a trip to the DL.
  • Speaking of injuries, Jake Smolinski -- who was 2-for-3 on the night -- left the game with a leg injury after fouling a ball off of his shin. It's not something that figures to be too serious, but as a precaution, the Rangers went ahead and got him out. I'm not really sure what Smolinski's future might be with the club, but I'd be thrilled to see him make the rest of the season an audition for 2015.
  • I've long been a supporter of Leonys Martin. I was on board with giving him a shot full-time in center field as opposed to Craig Gentry, as the upside was quite obviously higher for Martin. With that said, he hasn't progressed in the way he was expected to on a lot of fronts. The phsycial tools and athleticism are still there, but sometimes, he just seems dumb and lost on the field, both at the plate and in center field. I'm not sure if there's anything behind this, but I'd imagine Martin needs to show some progress over the course of the rest of this season, or the Rangers very well may look to find another option as a full-time center fielder.
  • Another random thought, with absolutely no basis behind it other than me speculating. Joakim Soria for Matt Kemp. Who says no? Go.

7/21 Rangers-Yankees Open Thread

Today, for the first time since April 17, Jim Adduci will be in the lineup for Texas. Accordingly, the lineup is as follows:

  1. Choo, RF
  2. Andrus, SS
  3. Beltre, 3B
  4. Arencibia, 1B
  5. Martin, CF
  6. Smolinski, DH
  7. Adduci, LF
  8. Soto, C
  9. Odor, 2B

Taking the mound for Texas will be Miles Mikolas.

Interestingly, Shin-Soo Choo is listed as the right fielder, while Adduci appears to be making his return in the left field spot. Given the speculation that Choo has been battling an ankle injury, I'm a bit surprised that Choo is in the field at all, but perhaps the Rangers wanted to get him some reps in the field, figuring right field in New York would give him less ground to cover.

That Arencibia and Martin are hitting 4th and 5th respectively is, I think, a microcosm of how this season has progressed for Texas.

As always, the comments section is open. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN. Feel free to post your predictions on how many times the broadcast crew will mention the names "Jeter" or "Captain".