Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Moore knows his No. 1 issue, but 'I don't really have an answer for that'

Every Cleveland Indians batter Wednesday wanted a chance to hit against Matt Moore, who said it was almost like they knew what was coming.
Every Cleveland Indians batter Wednesday wanted a chance to hit against Matt Moore, who said it was almost like they knew what was coming. The Associated Press

Thanks are owed to the Cleveland Indians for their continued support of the Do It For Durrett Foundation.

The Indians rustled up baseballs autographed by Corey Kluber and Terry Francona, and they will be available in the silent auction June 27 at the Do It For Durrett Turns 5 event at Globe Life Park.

Tickets are going fast.

Also going fast? The balls the Indians hit Wednesday afternoon against Texas Rangers starter Matt Moore.

That was trouble, especially against Kluber.

Here's some Rangers Reaction from a 12-4 loss.

1. Matt Moore in four innings was: A) awful, B) really awful, C) really really awful, D) all of the above?

He did pitch a scoreless fourth, so B? There's probably no wrong answer.

"It was a bad day," Moore said.

The left-hander, who entered having allowed only three runs in his past 18 innings, was rocked for 10 runs in four innings. He surrendered three home runs, two three-run shots and a two-run homer — all before the third inning.

Oddly, he was often ahead of hitters either 0-2 or 1-2, and that has been an issue for Moore. Manager Jeff Banister said that the Indians collected five hits after Moore got ahead 0-2.

Yeesh.

Moore admits that he tries to be too fine with his pitches rather than just pitch as he did to get to those favorable counts. But it's been an ongoing problem, and the search for a resolution is also ongoing.

"I don't really have answer for that," he said.

The Rangers could try to give him extra time between starts, though they have only five healthy ones. Moore and Banister both said that the stuff was there Wednesday. Moore said it was almost as if the Indians knew what was coming, so maybe their scouts hit on something.

The guess here is that Moore starts again in five days and won't be nearly as bad. But he was clearly stumped by what happened to him over four innings.

"Throughout the game I still felt like I had decent stuff," he said. "I didn't feel like I was serving it up. I think that was part of the reason why I got hurt as bad is I did is because I kept going in the zone and pitching like they weren't doing what they were doing."

He could use some help.

"We'll continue to work at it with Matt," Banister said.

Joey Gallo and Isiah Kiner-Falefa connected for back-to-back homers in the 12th inning Tuesday as the Texas Rangers overcame a ninth-innkng meltdown to beat the Cleveland Indians.

2. Joey Gallo isn't playing third base with Adrian Beltre out. Third base is the position Gallo played in the minors and last season when Beltre was hurt.

So, why not now?

The answer: It might not be his best position and probably isn't the position where he is currently most comfortable.

When asked where's he's most comfortable, he considered only first base and left field. With Ronald Guzman a better defensive first baseman and showing signs that he will hit in the majors, could Gallo be a left fielder the rest of his career?

It looks that way now, especially with the Rangers lacking confidence in the other candidates to play there regularly. But there is an obvious concern.

Gallo, you might have noticed, is big. Very, very big. Playing the outfield is demanding, with significantly more running and those big walls players can crash into.

The Rangers were always wary that Josh Hamilton's body would get beat up in center field because of how big he was and how recklessly he played. Well, Gallo is bigger, but has yet to really take on an outfield wall.

Banister knows what Gallo's best position is.

"I see this kid in the batter's box doing damage," Banister said.

Texas Rangers first baseman Joey Gallo reflects on the 2012 AZL Rangers, a team that has produced 10 major leaguers. Five of them are on the Rangers’ roster.

3. The Rangers are on their way home for a seven-game homestand after splitting their six-game road trip. The Rangers are 8-8 on the road this season and a miserable 4-12 at home.

First up? The Boston Red Sox.

Yikes.

But with three wins on the trip, the Rangers weren't without their highlights.

Jurickson Profar and Nomar Mazara appear to have fixed their career woes against left-handed pitchers.

Isiah Kiner-Falefa continues to exceed expectations in his first stint in the big leagues.

Delino DeShields' defense continues to be very good.

Gallo and Robinson Chirinos each launched three homers.

The Rangers' lone win at Progressive Field, 8-6 on Tuesday, was one that could teach the young players a thing or two.

Things still look mostly hopeless, though. General manager Jon Daniels said that he's not ready to throw away the season just yet, as it is only the beginning of May. This is baseball, where really crazy stuff has been known to happen.

But this crazy?

If the Rangers continue to play at their current .375 clip, things will change. Players, and their salaries, will be moved. Prospects will get more of a chance, which is what some fans are already craving.

The Rangers held off on that mode until late June and early July in 2014, their last disaster of a season.

This one is trending that way, especially with the Red Sox next, but it's still too early to pull the plug.

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