The grounds crew placed the tarp over the infield at Globe Life Park late Friday in anticipation of a wet Saturday morning and possibly afternoon.
It also dawned on me for the first time why grounds crew is two words.
Jeffress might want to visit an eye doctor in the coming days.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from a 6-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels, with a bonus item on Yu Darvish going to the dogs but in a great way.
1. Not to pile on Sam Dyson, but his ineffectiveness the first two weeks of the season was felt Friday night.
He’s no longer the closer, having lost that job after four loss-causing ninth-inning outings April 3, April 5, April 11 and April 16. Matt Bush is now the closer after establishing himself as a shutdown eighth-inning set-up man.
Were Dyson still the closer, Bush would have pitched the eighth inning Friday. But Dyson isn’t the closer. He just came off the disabled list with a hand injury that served as a convenient excuse for the Rangers to get him some work without pitching in games.
So, Jeffress was called upon for the eighth in a 3-3 game. After getting the first batter, Jeffress allowed a single to Kole Calhoun that put the Rangers in a jam.
They weren’t going to throw anything good to Mike Trout, who basically kills them every time they face the Angels. The Rangers would have rather faced Pujols, and Jeffress was under orders from the bench to throw his sinker to the slugger.
Pitching coach Doug Brocail even went to the mound to tell him.
Catcher Jonathan Lucroy signaled for a sinker. Jeffress threw a hanging curveball that Pujols hit 436 feet for a 6-3 lead.
“I think I crossed him up,” Jeffress said. “I saw a different pitch. I thought I saw more fingers than one. I just got to get the stuff out of my eyes. I thought it was a different pitch.”
Yikes. (Told ya.)
The loss hung on Jeffress was the sixth taken by the bullpen this season. It spoiled a stretch, the Anthony Bass disaster Tuesday notwithstanding, of some good work by the relievers.
Usually, though, the only time the bullpen is talked about is when something bad happens. That’s what happened Friday.
Dyson, by the way, pitched the ninth inning, and it was a scoreless inning in which he had to face the top of the Angels’ lineup. It wasn’t a save situation, but a low-leverage situation with his team down three runs.
But his struggles from the first two weeks were felt Friday. Not to pile on.
Manager Jeff Banister left open the possibility pregame that Griffin might need a second rehab start for Triple A Round Rock, and it appears likely after he allowed four runs in only 1 1/3 innings.
Martinez, meanwhile, allowed three runs in six innings against the Angels, who got him for a Yunel Escobar leadoff homer on the game’s first pitch and a two-run Trout homer in the sixth.
The quality start was his encore to his 2017 debut last weekend, when he allowed one run in seven innings against Kansas City. The Royals are offensively challenged, but it was still nice work from a pitcher who is straddling the Triple A/MLB border.
Griffin will probably get his spot back once he’s deemed ready to go, because he’s pitched well since a lousy debut, but Martinez might make the Rangers think twice with another quality outing.
At the very least, Martinez has firmly established himself as the next man up in the rotation. With no timeline for Tyson Ross to return after back spasms set him back, that could be a designation Martinez holds for some time.
That’s not the ideal scenario in his world, but the Rangers will have no hesitation going to him when needed in the future.
3. Did anybody else notice that the Rangers scored each time Delino DeShields was on base Friday night?
Of course, they did, and if the Rangers believe in riding the hot hand and/or giving a player a chance to lock down regular duty in left field, DeShields will get more chances to serve as the offense’s catalyst.
The sample size is incredibly small — two games — but the results have been darn good. DeShields is 4 for 7 with five runs and three walks. The leadoff man has reached to start the game both times, and his speed has been factor in both games.
Both starts came against a left-handed pitcher, usually a favorable matchup for right-handed hitters. With the Angels throwing righties the next two games and with Banister committing to Ryan Rua in left only a few days ago, DeShields might find himself back on the bench.
But the Rangers need to give him a chance, too. It’s been only two games, but they’ve been the best back-to-back games by a Rangers left fielder this year.
What harm would it do to give him a third straight game?
4. Boy, Yu Darvish really likes that dog.
The right-hander, who is scheduled to start Saturday, adopted a dog Friday morning after seeing a retweet from Rangers dugout reporter Emily Jones. The retweeted tweet asked Jones for a retweet to save a pit bull who would be headed to the pound if no one adopted her.
Turns out the dog, named Sage, was only a few minutes from Darvish’s Dallas fortress. Everything checked out to Darvish’s liking, and Sage has joined his family that includes his wife, two little sons and five other dogs.
That’s a lot of poop to scoop.
“Poop to scoop?” Darvish said before translator Hide Saito translated. “We’ve got gardeners who take care of that.”
Who doesn’t? (Me.)
Oftentimes, the between-starts media session with Darvish is not very entertaining. Most are very flat and to the point, though with the occasional quip, and almost all include quite detailed questions by our friends in the Japanese media.
Thanks to Sage, Darvish has never been more animated, with the other exceptions being his off-season talk in January 2016 after Tommy John surgery and after his home run in August at Cincinnati.
Darvish gave long answers, talked with his hands, laughed and smiled a lot. He then offered advice to potential dog owners: Get only as many as you can handle. Bob Barker would have been proud.
It was refreshing to see, and it was very easy to relate to for those of us who have adopted dogs.
Hopefully, he adopts a dog before every start.
He has gardeners, after all.