A tense silence hung over one corner of the clubhouse after the 6-5 loss. The game had been over for nearly fifteen minutes, and yet the second baseman sat, shirtless, half-looking at his phone, half fidgeting with the rim of a bottle of Dos Equis. The reporters stood awkwardly a few paces away, waiting for some indication that he might be ready to speak, occasionally glancing towards the starting pitcher’s locker, or the catcher’s locker, then back at the second baseman.
Finally, one reporter, in a Spanish accent that sounded more like central Idaho than Central America, stepped forward. “Rougie, sabemos que no quieres hablar, pero… tienes un momento?” (“Rougie, we know you don’t want to talk, but ...do you have a moment?”
Rougned Odor glanced up, then back at his phone, then back up. “Tomorrow,” he said, and then after the group of reporters nodded, a quiet “thank you.”
And really, what did we expect him to say? “Yes, it was a bad night. Yes it’s been a bad season. No, I don’t know what’s wrong. Yes, this sucks and it hurts. Yes, I can feel the season slipping away.”?
He had a bad night. A very bad night; the latest in a season of more bad nights than good ones.
In the first inning, with the Rangers having already scored a run and with another runner on second, he had struck out to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth inning, he committed a throwing error, and while the only consequence was a few more pitches from the starting pitcher, it snapped a 26-game errorless streak, which had been the second-longest in his career. In the bottom of the inning, with nobody on and one out, he had beaten out an infield single, but was stranded at second base.
In the fifth inning, three runs had scored in the inning, and the team was back to within a run. The runner on second base was the tying run, and the runner on first was the go-ahead run. The second baseman struck out, and then so did the catcher.
In the seventh inning, baseball did something it rarely does: it gave him an identical chance. A do-over. One out, tying run on second base, go-ahead run on first base. Again, the second baseman struck out, and again, so did the catcher.
In the ninth inning, the chance was in a different key, but the melody was the same: this time there were two outs, and the tying run was on first base. This time, the one-run score was 6-5, with each team having scored a run in the ninth inning. The final result was just as sour a note, however: Rougned Odor struck out again, this time to end the game.
The Texas Rangers are now 26-30, 14 games out of first place, and tied with the Seattle Mariners for 3rd and 4th place in the AL West. They play the Astros again
“It was tough. I was trying to up to Altuve with two guys on. I should have gone a little higher. The four infield singles are kind of what killed me." - Andrew Cashner, on his 4-run third inning
“For me it’s just about executing my pitch and once the ball leaves my hand it’s kind of out of my control. I thought I got the result I wanted. I just didn’t get the end result. For me I’m not really too down it’s just keep making pitches and I was one pitch away the whole inning from getting out if it and it just didn’t happen to go that way.” - Cashner
“That’s a tough team, a tough lineup. But we have a great lineup over here, too. It just comes down to making pitches for us. I think the biggest thing for us right now is we need that big hit with runners in scoring position.” - Cashner on the Astros and the offense.
(courtesy of Texas Rangers PR dept.)
TEXAS has lost 3 straight, 4 of 6, 9 of 11, and 10 of 13…have dropped 3 straight at home to match longest slide in Arlington this season (also 0-3 vs. CLE, 4/3-5)…club is now 14.0 games back in the A.L. West, 3rd-earliest date in a season to have a deficit of 14+ games in the 3-division era (5/11/01 and 6/2/07).
ANDREW CASHNER exited trailing 5-4, although he pitched at least 6.0 innings for a 7th time in 10 starts…after allowing 4 runs in the 4th inning, posted 3 more scoreless innings as the Texas offense made it a one-run game…the 11 hits allowed tonight matched a career high (2nd time, also 6/1/15 vs. NYM), as he allowed at least one hit in every inning…permitted 6 straight baserunners in the Astros’ 4-run 3rd inning…entered today with opponents having gone 3-for-38 (.079) with RISP this season, then allowed 4 hits w/ RISP in a span of 4 batters faced (Altuve/Correa/Beltran/Gonzalez) in the 3rd inning, although those were his only hits allowed w/ RISP on the night.
ELVIS ANDRUS had 3 hits tonight, and his team-high 6 games of 3+ hits in ’17 are double the total of any other Ranger…extended his hit streak to 9 games at .462/.500/.769/1.269 (18-39)…has multiple hits in 5 of last 6 at .556 (15-27) w/ 2 BB, raising season figure from .269 to .305 in a span of 6 games…has 10 RBI in the last 4 games, 5-for-6 w/ RISP in the 4 contests, accounting for 31.3% of his RBI in 2017 (10 of 32)…his 32 RBI rank 3rd among Rangers (35-Mazara, 33-Gallo).
ADRIAN BELTRE has hits in each of his 1st 5 games this season since being activated from the disabled list on Monday, going 8-for-19 (.421) w/ 3 2B, a HR, and 5 RBI…has RBI in 3 straight and is 4-for-9 with RISP…with 2 hits and 2 RBI tonight, career totals are now 2950 hits and 1576 RBI.
JOSE LECLERC made his 1st appearance since returning from the DL, posted a scoreless 7th (1 BB, 1 SO)…has K’s in each of his 11 outings in ’17.
MIKE NAPOLI exited tonight’s game with back spasms after 4 innings.
SHORTS: Ryan Rua had a hit and walk tonight after replacing Napoli in the lineup after entering the game on a 1-for-16 span…Texas batters had 18 K’s tonight, 2nd-most this season (20 on 5/25 at BOS)…Carlos Correa extended his hit streak to 9 games with a 1-for-5 night.