The Rangers have lost six in a row, lost their lead in the AL West and haven’t been scoring at all. Getting handcuffed by Chien-Ming Wang was apparently the last straw for Ron Washington, who held a team meeting after yesterday’s loss:
“I spoke to them, and the message is nobody’s business in this room — and I don’t mean to be disrespectful,” said Washington during his post-game press conference. “I just thought they needed to hear from the manager.”
The Rangers have a four-game set against the A’s starting today. It’s weird to call any series big in June — and the numbers and current level of play certainly favors the A’s leaving Texas still in the lead — but the Rangers can’t afford to fall too far behind.
Now if anyone can tell me what can possibly be said in a team meeting to make players play better, I’m all ears.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte was hit on the hand by a Jack Flaherty pitch in the fourth inning of Tuesday night’s game against the Cardinals. Rather than take first base, Marte — who came to the plate with a runner on first base — insisted to home plate umpire Bruce Dreckman that the ball hit the knob of the bat, not his hand. Marte was allowed to continue his at-bat, though manager Clint Hurdle came out to discuss the ruling with Dreckman. Marte eventually grounded into a fielder’s choice. He then got caught attempting to steal second base and the Pirates scored zero runs in the inning.
According to Baseball Prospectus, a team that has runners on first and second with no outs is expected to score 1.55 runs. Having a runner on first base with one out yields 0.56 expected runs. Marte essentially cost his team a run by rejecting first base. Oops.