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Although Rick Bauer took the loss tonight after allowing 2 unearned runs in the 7th inning, the loss can technically be blamed yet again on our boy, Francisco Cordero. He allowed the one run the Rangers lost by on 2 hits in the 8th inning. Even in the setup role, he find ways to hurt us. That takes real talent.
But don’t despair, Rangers fans - I have not one, but two fun facts for you tonight.
Fun Fact #1 - Cordero’s ERA is so high that if he allows only one run per outing, his ERA actually goes down. Sad that a single-game ERA of 9.00 brings your overall ERA down. That just should not happen. Since April 25, Cordero has had two outings, allowing a total of two runs in two innings. Those two runs actually lowered his ERA from 12.00 to 11.45.
Every Ranger had a hit tonight, and the team outhit Cleveland 15-8. But, the Rangers had trouble moving men, grounding into two double plays and stranding 5 in scoring position. Mark Teixeira also got thrown out at home in the first inning on a Hank Blalock single to right.
That wasn’t helped by John Koronka, who had his first truly bad start as a Ranger tonight. He allowed 4 runs, all earned in just 5.2 innings tonight. With that, all of the Rangers starting pitchers except Vicente Padilla now have ERAs over 4.00.
Unfortunately, the Rangers couldn’t be lifted by Kevin Mench, who attempted to once again carry the team on his back with his 7th consecutive game with a homerun. He is now one short of tying the major league record, held by Dale Long, Don Mattingly and Ken Griffey Jr. During that 7-game stretch since Mench got his shoes resized, he has picked up 19 RBIs and gone 12-for-29 to increase his batting average from .279 to .333.
Hopefully help is on the way, however. The Rangers announced today that they will call up Robinson Tejeda from AAA Oklahoma. Tejeda will make his first start as a Ranger on Tuesday against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He earned the callup after pitching seven scoreless innings against Albuquerque on Thursday night.
Tejeda came in as a highly-touted prospect, but even with that scoreless 7 inning performance, he is 0-2 with a 5.33 ERA. Hopefully he can turn it around with more major league outings. A decision has not been made yet about who will be sent down, but the two leading candidates are Rick Bauer and Fabio Castro. My money’s on Bauer. Bauer has pitched well, but they don’t need him in the bullpen. And with the way the ‘pen has been folding lately, I think the Rangers are going to look for more opportunities to play Castro, who has good numbers so far.
Fun Fact #2 - Rangers have had a lead in each of their last 17 games. They are only 10-7 in that stretch. In those seven losses, the Rangers lost the lead five times because of the bullpen in the late innings. Four one run losses, one three run that was a walkoff in the bottom of the ninth, and another two run that was an extra inning loss. (Thanks to John Vittas for that one).
Speaking of the minor leagues, Erubiel Durazo and Adam Hyzdu are putting up some awfully good numbers in Oklahoma. Each is batting over .300, and although Hyzdu has 13 Ks in 14 games, he’s batting with an unusual amount of power with 4 homers and a .674 slugging percentage.
Who doesn’t like a little minor league update now and then?
The Rangers will look to break their two-game slide when they take on the Indians in the second game of the three game series Saturday night at 6:00 CST. Kevin Millwood (1-2, 4.20) will go against his old team and righty Fausto Carmona (1-1, 7.15).
Fri 04/28/06, 11:16 pm EST