Every Monday, we look back at the weekend's series and then preview the next week's series.

There's this danger with following prospects. The imitable Jason Parks is fond of saying 'prospects will break your heart.' Because each jump is different, and sometimes players respond to a jump like Odubel Herrera has (going from an org soldier at High-A to leading the Texas League in batting average). Sometimes they handle it like Phil Klein handled his jump from AA to AAA (allowing nothing but scant singles to the Pacific Coast League). But then sometimes they handle it like Klein has handled his promotion from AAA to the bigs (giving up two crushing homers in his first seven plate appearances against, after not allowing an extra-base hit to nearly 200 consecutive minor league hitters.

I could say it's the biggest jump in all of sports, from AAA to MLB. I could say that Klein's just unlucky, and fly balls will start falling on the happy side of the fence. I could also say this season is obviously cursed, and Klein is just the latest camper on the native American burial ground that is the 2014 Texas Rangers.

Welcome to the Majors, Phil. It gets better.

I should be drinking a toast to absent friends / instead of these Indians

I'm just gonna code a macro that says 'Former Ranger _____________ has a big game against his former team.' This weekend's former Ranger winner was David Murphy. Murphy went 4-10 with two walks, and drove in five runs. The Rangers scored five runs in all three games combined (not even enough to pretend we could get cheap pizza if we added up all the runs of the series).

In each of the three games, Murphy's RBI contribution matched or exceeded the Rangers' total run production.


I'm reminded of the old story about the farmer and the snake. The farmer was tending crops just before a winter freeze, and saw a snake, freezing and starving. Taking pity on his old enemy, the farmer took the snake in and fed him, warmed him by his fire, and saw the snake back to health. As soon as the snow melted, the snake bit the farmer. 'Why would you do that to me?' the farmer says. 'Look, idiot, you knew I was a snake the whole time' the snake says.

We all knew Jerome Williams was Jerome Williams. And on Friday, he did Jerome Williams things. 13 baserunners, 10 runs across, 12 outs. It's classified as a disaster start if you allow more runs than innings pitched; what does it become if you allow more runs than outs? Not that we're there, just yet, but we all know it's going to happen.

The Rangers managed to scratch two runs across. 12-2 was the final score. It paints a very good picture of the game.

Saturday's game was a beating of a different kind, as Miles Mikolas put on his good pitching hat again. Mikolas pitched seven innings, allowing two runs in the sixth; the second of which resulted from an intentional walk to Carlos Santana to face Lonnie Chisenhall. Roman Mendez followed with a scoreless inning of his own, but the Indians saw the combined effort of the Rangers' rookies and raised it by a shutout. Wasting a solid pitching performance hurts, even if the goal is to stack up losses higher than anyone else.

Finally, on Sunday, Texas gave Yu Darvish a lead in the first, and built on it in the second. When Yu took the mound in the bottom of the second, he had a three-run lead; that's normally as automatic as it gets. Darvish allowed a one-run double to (who else) David Murphy in the second, but kept the Indians off the board for five innings after that, leaving the game with 7 IP, 6 baserunners (4 hits, 2 walks) and 8 strikeouts. Neal Cotts celebrated remaining a Ranger with a shutout eighth, and handed the ball to returned closer Neftali Feliz.

What followed would not be happy. After a flyout to start the inning, Feliz walked pinch-hitter Chris Dickerson, then a homer to (who else) David Murphy. Feliz closed out the inning without allowing the walkoff, but rather than leaving with a feel-good win for your ace, the team had to trudge to extra innings. Shawn Tolleson and Roman Mendez each kept the Indians off the board for an inning, while the Rangers were unable to score off a four-pack of Indians relievers. Then, the 12th inning happened.

Phil Klein was called on. For the second time in as many appearances, Klein allowed a homer. For the second consecutive time, Phil Klein allowed a homer to the leadoff hitter.

This time, there would be no next batter for Klein. Game over. Walkoff. If there's any air left in the team, that surely deflated it on out and into the polluted air of Cleveland.

This is the part where I would list Klein as one of the options to take the closing baton from the broken husk of Neftali Feliz, if things had gone to plan. Instead I'll tell you to keep faith in the big guy, because he has the talent to reward it.

Take heart, though, the sweep allowed Texas breathing room in the reverse standings. If the season ended today, the team would have the No. 1 overall pick, first dibs on waiver wire considerations (for both leagues, once the season ends), the first pick of the Rule Five draft, and all the financial outlay opportunities in the South American talent market the team could likely use. If you're going to fail, fail efficiently.

'Cause I'm bringin' back Sox with sandals/ What what what?

The Rangers head to Chicago to continue the sad march to September that they're contractually obligated to complete. In Monday night's game, the team sees Hector Noesi, former Ranger for about a week and previous to that late of the Mariners. The Noesi who pitched for the Rangers gave up seven runs against 28 opposing batters. Ironically, all of those runs came against the White Sox, who claimed Noesi off waivers after the Rangers dumped him immediately following his performance, and who's since turned in an acceptable workload for them. New Ranger Mike Carp (let's all make fish jokes here now) will probably see his first start.

The Rangers start Nick Martinez, who looks for his second win on the season. Pitcher wins are bad statistics, but let's try to find some feel-good memories for the young guys in the wreckage here.

On Tuesday, the Rangers set Colby Lewis opposite former Ranger John Danks. Remember when everyone wanted to burn Jon Daniels' office down for trading Danks? That's been quieted down a lot over the past three years, yeah? Danks putting up 5+ FIPs in each of the last two years and a 4.85 this year has seen to that.

(Yes, it was still a short-sighted and flawed trade, but the talent-for-talent aspect is arguable.)

In Wednesday's finale, Jerome Williams will start against Chris Sale; in which we might see the biggest gulf in pitching talent in opposing starters in the majors this season. In a season of ugly games, this could be the high water mark. Or is it low water mark? I get confused dealing with perverse incentives.

This is normally the space reserved for telling you to go follow Joseph Ursery on twitter. We're still going to do that (go follow @thejoeursery on twitter please) but we're also going to donate this space to the Give Guilder Rodriguez a Cup of Coffee 2014 movement. Guilder's an 8 year minor league vet who's been with the Roughriders for most of the last five years. He's 31 years old, and he deserves to get some time on a Major League field this year. Guilder Rodriguez: Because Why The Heck Not?

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