If you are expecting a rant, or hand-wringing, or over-analysis, or statements of disappointment about specific players then I suggest you check out a couple of other well known blogs – because you are not going to find that here.
The most I’ll say about this first week of baseball is that I am very happy the season has started and I’m so glad I’m not an Astros fan.
Six games is exactly 4% of the season, I’ll start: worrying, rejoicing, analyzing and pontificating when the season is well into the double digits (percentage wise – that is).
Click here for pictures from the game.
As for the Frisco offense, well, they are going to have to win quite a few low scoring pitchers duels this season.
A Rangers Game Report: Mrs. Schmenge and I took Baseball Mom to Friday night’s Mariners/Rangers games. In between discussions of Geoff Peterson (Craig Ferguson fans will understand) why we do or don’t miss Old Arlington Stadium (Mrs. Schmenge does - I can’t explain) and discussing Ichiro’s age (I said he ran pretty well for a guy who is 103 years old) we saw an excellent pitching performance by Colby Lewis, some spectacular fielding by Franklin Gutierrez (c’mon you’ve got to admit he’s pretty darn good) and enjoyed the Big Bad Vlad and Nelson Show.
Finally: I lied – I do have one short piece of hand-wringing, over analysis: Let me start out by saying: I told you so. If you read my blog from last Saturday I said I thought Neftali Feliz would be closing games by the All-Star break – I was right about one thing – he is going to be closing games – but much, much earlier in the season.
I came to my conclusion about Frank Francisco during the last part of 2009. Just watching him pitch after the All –Star break made me nervous and the stats he put up don’t lie. From April-July 2009 he pitched 28 innings, gave up 18 hits, 7 earned runs that translated to an 2.25 ERA and 0.92 WHIP (Walks/Hits per IP) – pretty good for a closer. But, from August through the end of the season in 20 1/3 IP he gave up 22 hits and 14 earned runs. That’s more hits than IP – which is a very, very bad thing for a reliever – it resulted in a 6.19 ERA and 1.42 WHIP. If you add Frank’s IP’s from this season to the numbers since August 2009 – it’s even uglier: 22 1/3 IP – 30 Hits, 20 ER which is an 8.06 ERA and 1.74 WHIP. This is not an isolated “beginning of the season slump” that will work itself out (like some other things on this Ranger team) – this is a trend that continues from last season.
Yes, it’s early – I even said that in the first part of this entry. However, the Rangers have a big challenge with their first road trip playing in Boston and New York. If they are serious about contending then they need to play well against both of these (most certainly) playoff quality teams. Having their closer on the mound "working out his problems" is to say the least - a terrible idea, I'm glad they aren't going to do that.
Will Neftali fare any better than Frankie – that remains to be seen, but really, could it be any worse?
Heading to Frisco for the Martin Perez pitching experience on Monday – Marla Hooch