Bad combination works against Rangers again

ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers have been consistent every time Scott Feldman has
taken the mound in the past month. It’s not a good consistent, though.

Each
time, Feldman has been the losing pitcher, the defense hasn’t made
plays behind him and the offense has failed to produce. Feldman has lost
six consecutive starts, five of them since Neftali Feliz went on the
DL, to become the first Texas starter to open the season 0-6 since John
Dettmer in 1994.

Feldman was far from perfect in Thursday’s 11-3
loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing six runs in five innings. Of
course the defense didn’t help him either. First baseman Mitch
Moreland’s third-inning error helped turn a 2-1 Arizona lead into a 4-1
bulge as Lyle Overbay followed that with a two-run double. The Rangers
have allowed seven unearned runs in Feldman’s past five starts.

The
hot-and-cold offense didn’t help either. The Rangers had just three
hits through seven innings and finished with five for a total of eight
over the past two games. Texas has scored 13 runs in Feldman’s past five
starts.

Thursday’s game couldn’t have started any better for
Feldman as he struck out the side for just the fourth time in his career
and the first time since 2009. It was all downhill after that, though,
as Jason Kubel drove a 2-0 fastball over the wall in right-center in the
second to put the Diamondbacks up 2-1.

Feldman got in trouble
again in the third but looked to be out of it with two outs when Miguel
Montero hit a grounder to Moreland, but it went right by him. It was
Moreland’s first error of the year.

“It had a lot of topspin on it
but it stayed down on me,” Moreland said. “I was up. I
should have been down on the ball. I read the hop but that’s the way it
goes. You don’t ever want to make an error, especially in that
situation. It did lead to other things, unfortunately. But it’s going to
happen.”

Feldman, who now has an ERA of 6.50, echoed his teammate and said he doesn’t think the error should have derailed his start.

“That
kind of stuff happens,” he said. “I’ve got to get the next guy out and I
didn’t do that tonight. The last couple of games I think I threw the
ball pretty well. Obviously tonight I didn’t make some pitches with two
outs or with two strikes for that matter. I feel like I’m very close to
being good. It’s frustrating to keep going out there (and lose) because
we’ve got such a good team.”

The offense didn’t do much damage
after taking a 1-0 lead against Daniel Hudson in the first on an RBI
single from Adrian Beltre. Hudson settled down after that — he allowed
just one more hit before the Rangers touched him for a pair of runs in
the seventh on a David Murphy homer. And the Diamondbacks already had
blown open the game with five runs in the sixth inning.

Despite
the lopsided loss, Texas manager Ron Washington said his confidence
level in his team hasn’t changed. That also goes for Feldman, who
figures to draw at least one more start with Feliz and Derek Holland on
the disabled list and Roy Oswalt still pitching in the minors.

“I
still have confidence in him,” Washington said. “I don’t lose confidence
in my players. We won the series. So they beat us the last game — we
won the series. Don’t forget that.”