The Rangers came in to today's game on a five-game winning streak, and with the second best record in the American League. However, that streak came to an end as they were unable to earn their first sweep of the season, falling 16-2 to the White Sox.
Though the bats were off, the pitching was, simply put, really really bad. Coming into today's game, starting pitcher Robbie Ross had the fourth best ERA in the American League. Ross gave up seven runs, though only four were earned, and only lasted 5 ⅓ innings. It wasn't necessarily the worst game for Ross, but it paled in comparison to the way we had seen him pitch earlier this year.
'He just wasn't hitting his spots, that's all' said manager Ron Washington. 'Balls he wanted to get inside, they stayed over the plate. Balls he wanted to get outside, they stayed over the plate. It wasn't his day, or our day.'
Ross didn't have too much support from the offense, but his defense also didn't do their best. A throwing error from Kevin Kouzmanoff on what should of been a double play, would leave men on base who were responsible for three of the runs. However, Ross says that he takes full responsibility.
'It was just like, now I have to bear down and get some outs' said Ross. 'It happens sometimes, I left the pitch up to Abreu and he hit it, so it was right down the middle. Obviously that happens, a guys out there trying to bust his tail for you. I was just trying to get it and out it happens that I left a pitch right over the middle.'
Shawn Tolleson would also give up two runs, but the game really unfolded in the top of the ninth when Hector Noesi gave up seven runs. Together, Rangers pitchers gave up a combined eighteen hits, and three home runs, which made for a brutal Easter game. However, Washington thinks that though the pitching was off, you have to credit the White Sox hitters.
'I'll tell you what' said Washington. 'Today was the White Sox day. They hit balls, they hit bags, they found holes. I think you have to give them credit for putting the ball in play and making things happen. I'm taking nothing away from those guys.'
The Texas Rangers had 31 hits coming into the final game in their series against the White Sox, but were only able to hit two today. The first of two Rangers' hits came in the second after Leonys Martin hit a single that advanced Josh Wilson, who had walked, to third. A sac-fly from Choo would score Wilson. The Rangers other run came in the fourth when Elvis Andrus, who had also walked, was able to come home on a wild pitch.
The second hit, and one highlight of the game, was a single from Luis Sardinas in his first major league at bat, that would load the bases. The Rangers were unable to capitalize, as Alex Rios had a popup in the next at bat, but at least the Rookie got on base.
Though today's game was 95% negative for the Rangers, one positive note is the 7-3 record they achieved during the ten game homestand. Heading into a six game road trip against divisional rivals Oakland and Seattle, that alone is a major positive for the team.
'Today was just another game' said Andrus. 'It got out of hand in the middle of the game. But it was a great homestand and you gotta take the positive and be patient and be ready for the next series'.
Yu Darvish returns to the mound for the Rangers tomorrow, as they take on the Oakland Athletics. Game time is slated for 9:05 p.m. CT.