Because it was all going according to plan.
- Felix Hernandez raining bloody death upon North Texas (7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K; his 4th consecutive Cy-caliber performance, with zero on the other side of the ledger).
- Nick Franklin shoring up the bottom of the order and delivering a crucial triple to set up a mini-rally that seemed to be all Felix needed.
- Fellow shored-up-bottom-of-the-order types Dustin Ackley and Mike Zunino bolstering the mini-rally as well (remember when it would have been Brendan Ryan and Miguel Olivo? like 2012?)
- Miller misplays a ball that was ruled a single (remember when it would have been Ryan? oh wait, can’t have it both ways).
- Rodney — brought in to be better than Danny Farquhar — goes 3-0 to the next batter and eventually walks him.
- Miller muffs the third out with a throwing error.
- Rodney allows the tying run on a wild pitch.
- Leonys Martin — who already kept the Rangers in the game with a key triple off Felix and a running catch that saved extra-bases — singles in the game winner.
- Hyper-detailed baseball-reference.com box score here, if you dare.
- It contains this:
Now every closer blows some saves, but Rodney has tended to be very streaky.
- In 2009 for Detroit he pitched in 39 save situations and only blew the lead once.
- The next year for the Angles he pitched in 42 save situations and blew seven leads.
- In 2011, the Angles only put him in 17 save situations. He got three saves and four blown saves.
- But in 2012, he had one of the best seasons you’ll ever see for the Rays: 50 save situations, 48 saves. His WHIP was 0.78 and he only gave up 2 home runs.
- In 2013, it was back to the high wire: 45 save situations, eight blown leads.
So far for Seattle: four save situations, and this is his first blown lead.
Does Farq have a better record? Sort of. He pitched in 22 save situations last year, and blew four. Two of those, however, were earlier in the year before he was pitching regularly in late innings. From August on, he was the closer, and he had 16 saves and 2 blown saves.
- Surely there must be better news in the minors! Um, OK, Victor Sanchez goes on the disabled list. Not what we had in mind. Reports are now saying “forearm tightness.” Well … better than shoulder or elbow, I suppose.
- Tacoma kept up its offensive display despite losing Franklin. Cole Gillespie led the way with his third home run plus a double.
- If Anthony Fernandez was auditioning to be the 13th-best option for the MLB rotation (which is good enough to earn a spot), he didn’t do so well: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 4 BB, 7 K. That would seem to put Brandon Maurer in the lead even though he hasn’t gone more than 3.1 IP this year.
- Dylan Unsworth is having a tough time of it at High Desert. He’s not the first, but still … *groan*. 5.0 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
- Just like the parent club, Clinton took a lead into the 9th and came away with the loss, with one of my emerging favorites Leoncio Munoz on the hook for the tying runs. This after Eddie Campbell tossed six scoreless frames.