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Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Royals/A's miniseries (5/18)

Joseph's Rangers thoughts: The Royals/A's miniseries (5/18)

Credit: Getty Images

Is Yu Darvish becoming a bona fide ace? (Photo by Rick Yeatts/Getty Images)


WFAA Sports Blogger

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 10:19 AM

Updated Friday, May 18 at 10:24 AM

  • The Rangers have nine losses in the month of May, and five of them are by one or two runs. In three of those losses, the team scored at least five runs. That's annoying.
  • One of those losses came from a Brett Lawrie walk-off homer. The Blue Jays won't have the contributions of Brett Lawrie for four games this week, because umpire Bill Miller is bad at his job. See, I'm big into cause-and-effect; I hate that Mike Young's status on the Rangers cost them a year of control of Elvis Andrus (when they needed to ensure he'd be playing shortstop on day one of his rookie season to justify a move of Young to 3B). I hate that the one-year lag in Tyson Chandler's contract and Deron Williams' led the Mavericks to playing this season with neither on the roster.
  • I tend to try to find the source of the problem, rather than the problem itself. If you aren't familiar, Brett Lawrie jogged off the plate after a clear Ball Four, but umpire Bill Miller apparently didn't like that Lawrie didn't wait until umpire Bill Miller said that the clear Ball Four was actually Ball Four, so umpire Bill Miller called Ball Four Strike Two. He then called Ball Five Strike Three (though Ball Five was less of an egregious call). So Brett Lawrie, who should have been on first base for two pitches, was now Out and not on First Base at all.

    He slammed his helmet in the ground in the general direction of umpire Bill Miller, which seems like a fairly reasonable reaction, given the circumstances. So now Brett Lawrie, who already didn't get his walk, has to sit out for four games and was fined an 'undisclosed amount'. Which means in the end, Brett Lawrie lost money and his team lost his contributions because he was good at his job (not swinging at balls clearly outside the strike zone) and umpire Bill Miller is not good at his job (either through real incompetence or by choice, to teach Lawrie a 'lesson'- neither of which I can tell is really worse than the other).

    Of course, Lawrie shouldn't have slammed his helmet in the ground- but given that he should have been ninety feet away at that point in time, I have tough time giving him the blame.
  • There's been a lot of talk about Yu Darvish being an ace. Most of the people saying this are hedging their bets, saying 'It may be premature' and 'Maybe we are rushing into this.' These people are pretty far behind the game, actually. Yu has probably been the best pitcher on this staff since he got his third out in his first outing. I know that the term 'Ace' is more complex than simply being the best pitcher on a staff. I'm still comfortable using it in conjunction with Darvish, even given the mythical intangibles attached to it.
  • But you don't come here for commentary on Candian third basemen and their tantrums or Japanese pitchers and their near infallible calm on the mound. You come here for jokes and statistical minutiae. Here's an oddity, from WFAA editor, Dale wrangler, and hot dog disposal machine Or Moyal (@ormoyal on twitter- go follow him, then follow @thejoeursery for completeness' sake): Colby Lewis is the only pitcher -- ever -- to pitch at least 40 innings in a season with a K:BB ratio of at least 7 while allowing at least 2 HR per 9 IP (Note from Or: He's in a league of his own. No other pitcher has even managed a 6:1 strikeout to walk ratio with a rate of 1.9 homers per 9 innings). I've said before that as long as Colby limits walks, he'll be ok. I might amend that to limiting walks and fielding his position, going forward.
  • We're up to 163 PAs for Mike Young, and his groundball rate remains a very high 52% (remember, groundball rates tend to stabilize by 200 plate appearances). Interestingly, if you sort Fangraphs' leaderboard by groundball rate, the guy you find right behind Mike Young is Alex Rodriguez. 
  • A somewhat ill-advised pinch hit appearance broke Elvis Andrus' on-base streak this week at 32 games. In Frisco, however, shortstop prospect Jurickson Profar has a still-live on-base streak of 35 games (and a hit streak of 26). He's played 38 games in AA.  He's 19 years old. Soon.
  • Wednesday's game was notable not only for being a Yu Darvish start, and a victory, and dollar hot dog night -- the WFAA blog staff trekked out to the game. Let this be an official apology to the residents of section 316 who had to deal with us for nine innings- especially to the guy in front of us who was talking about 'dubstep on moonshine', because the terrified look on our faces after you said that probably made you feel bad. No one should feel bad about their choice in music, exept Pitbull.

For more info on who should feel bad and when they should feel bad, follow Joseph Ursery on twitter at @thejoeursery. You certainly won't want to throw a batting helmet at him if you do so.