As shaky as Ross Detwiler has been for most of the season, the Texas Rangers’ left-hander has been spot on with his self-evaluations after his starts.
On Saturday night, he offered the following:
“I felt like I couldn’t throw a strike,” he said. “When you’re just hoping it’s going to be a strike, you know it’s going to be a long night.”
Nailed it, though he left out the part about it stinking when the pitcher who replaced him immediately gave up a three-run homer and when the offense stranded 11 runners.
The Rangers’ 7-2 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays looked a lot like the 8-2 loss a night earlier, though in more than just the score. The bullpen couldn’t pick up the starter, and the Rangers couldn’t take advantage of their scoring chances.
Detwiler, though, put his team in a 3-0 hole in the first inning, and the Rangers couldn’t get out of it.
“We’ve got to be able to dig out of holes like that and win ballgames,” manager Jeff Banister said. “We’ve got to continue pounding away.”
The game was interrupted in the fourth inning as the benches emptied after Rays shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera pushed Rangers second baseman Adam Rosales on a pickoff play at second base.
Cabrera dived back into the bag and immediately shoved Rosales, who had applied the tag and toppled into Cabrera and accidentally dropped his knee onto Cabrera’s hand.
The benches emptied, though no punches were thrown and no one was ejected. Rosales played peacemaker during a replay challenge of the play, even though he did nothing wrong.
“We both play the game hard,” Rosales said. “I’m just glad that he’s all right and didn’t have to come out of the game.”
It was still a game at that point, even though the first three Rays hitters of the game got on against Detwiler on a single, a walk and a three-run homer by Evan Longoria.
The Rangers got within 3-2 in the fourth as Carlos Peguero swatted a two-run homer, his fourth homer of the season and the road trip.
Detwiler had posted three straight zeroes entering the fifth, but he walked the .128-hitting Rene Rivera to start the inning and allowed a single to Brandon Guyer.
That was it for Detwiler, who gave way to Anthony Bass. Just as Alex Claudio had done in replacing Yovani Gallardo on Friday, Bass surrendered a three-run homer, this one by Steven Sousa Jr., to push the Rays’ lead to 6-2.
“We’ve got to make pitches,” Banister said. “When guys come in, I believe they’re going to make pitches.”
Detwiler (0-4) was done in by going deep in counts to too many hitters. He walked only three, but said he was consistently falling behind in counts. When he left after four-plus innings, he was at 96 pitches.
The start was a step back after he had three runs in his previous two starts, covering 12 1/3 innings. He didn’t have command of any of his pitches.
“I fell behind everybody and left the ball up all day long,” Detwiler said. “I tried to make some adjustments, but the adjustments I made didn’t take.”
Cabrera hit the Rays’ third homer of the game, a solo shot to start the eighth. The Rangers loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre came up empty.
That was the trend throughout, as the Rangers also missed chances with multiple runners on in the first, third and fifth innings.
“Leaving 11 is not what we want to do,” Banister said. “They’re going to continue to battle, but we’ve got to find a way to punch through with runners on base and put our own runs on the board.”
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760