When you look at the disaster that this Rangers season has become, you have to look for little silver linings wherever you can find them.
In one case, you can look at the pitching performances the team has received through at least the first three games of this Yankees series, even as they dropped two of them.
Of course, we expect a good night from Yu Darvish pretty much every time. But it may be difficult to determine which of the other two outings was the most impressive.
Back on the mound after being on the disabled list for three weeks, Nick Martinez went out and threw more than five shutout innings (he was clearly on a strict pitch count for this start) after allowing 10 earned runs in his previous two starts before getting shelved.
Before that, though, there was the much-maligned Miles Mikolas. Thrown into the rotation out of Round Rock after the team gave up on Joe Saunders and having posted an ERA of over 10 coming into the Bronx, Mikolas proceed to hold down the Yankees to two runs over seven innings to get his first big league win of the year.
It’s little positives like these that you have to cling to in order to keep some form of hope. Especially because, like it or not, any hope for the future is tied into guys like them.
It amazes me how many people on Facebook and Twitter continue to cite injuries as the only reason this season has gone so far south, yet they are throwing the pitching staff under the bus when the pitching has been the biggest area hit by said injuries, with Derek Holland, Martin Perez and Matt Harrison all having gone down.
Because of that, so many are already demanding the team prepare to splurge on free agent pitchers once the winter comes. Of course, at the top of that list of so-called priorities will be throwing whatever form of nine-figure deal it would take to put David Price in a Texas uniform.
Because, you know, plundering the free agent market and throwing millions of dollars at pitchers has worked so well for the Rangers in the past, right? Do the names Chan Ho Park and Kevin Milwood ring a bell to anyone?
Call it a combination of believing a team in this size market has to spend money with a lack of faith in developing young pitchers that clearly still remains among the fan base, but people here still believe the solution is to spend, spend, spend.
Meanwhile, the Oakland A’s, constantly ridiculed for their non-existent fan base and limited resources, continue to plug along with a cast of young guys and cast-offs, and they’re making the Rangers and the other big spenders look silly.
Sonny Gray, Jesse Chaves, Tommy Milone and Drew Pomeranz were all rookies in 2012 or later. Scott Kazmir was basically picked off the scrap heap when many had left his big league career for dead.
It really says something when Oakland is cruising to the postseason with five starters that all pitched in the minors as recently as 2011.
That’s the way the Rangers need to go, not tie up millions of dollars in some supposed “ace” that could very likely mail it in after getting the big bucks like so many have done before.
If the Rangers could make a World Series with the likes of Holland, Harrison, Colby Lewis and C.J. Wilson, they need to find a way to do it with Darvish, Holland, Perez, Martinez, Mikolas and/or Nick Tepesch in 2015.
Otherwise, the teams that trust in their young arms will continue to lap the pace with them.
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