Diekman, Bush combine to allow five runs in eighth as lead gets away
By Ryan Posner
ARLINGTON -- When Jake Diekman entered Thursday's game against the Rockies at Globe Life Park in the eighth inning and the Rangers leading by two runs, the heat index was sitting around 105 degrees. Not to mention, the game was already three-plus hours into what became the Rangers' longest contest since Aug. 19 of last season. Diekman and right-hander Matt Bush didn't use the heat as an excuse, though, as they combined to allow five runs in the eighth to the Rockies in the Rangers' 12-9 loss.
"I feel good, I'm just not making pitches," Diekman said. "Might be a little mechanical. ... It stings when position players and starters fight so hard and play their tails off when it's like [105 degrees] outside. To blow the game like that, it sucks."
"Just didn't get it today," Bush said. "I felt really good, really strong out there. It's just one of those games I look back on it and go, 'Wow, it got away from us pretty quick right there.'"
It was so hot at Globe Life Park that the out-of-town scoreboard in left field shut off, and fans were mostly resigned to shaded areas. That was still no reason to make excuses, according to Rangers manager Jeff Banister.
"I believe it was a four-hour game, 400 pitches thrown," said Banister of the four-hour and three-minute contest. "You're kind of asking the question one-sided. Both teams are playing in the same conditions."
Banister wasn't the only one with that sentiment.
"Everybody has to deal with it. They have to deal with it, we have to deal with it," said Thursday's starter, right-hander Lucas Harrell. "You just have to get used to it and be able to go out and make pitches still. It's not going to get any cooler."
"It's not a big deal," Ian Desmond said. "It's hot, but you deal with it."
The scorching day came at a time when progress is being made toward building a new stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington that would open no later than 2021.
"I don't know, it was hot today, but it's the cold ones that really get me," said first baseman Mitch Moreland, who hit his 19th homer of the season in the loss. "A dome would definitely be nice, if that's what you want me to say."
For Diekman, who picked up his second loss of the season, it was his second consecutive tough outing. He was responsible for three of the five runs in the eighth and has allowed four runs in one inning over his last two outings.
"[Diekman] looked like he lost a little feel for the strike zone, feel for the pitch. I think the last couple outings have been kind of erratic," Banister said. "Very uncommon of [Diekman]. We'll get him in on the video, take a look at it and see what we can do. Obviously, we still believe in him and what we can do for us and the pitcher he is."
Bush picked up a blown save after allowing a bases-loaded walk to Rockies outfielder David Dahl and then a three-run double to Carlos Gonzalez. Bush felt he was a victim of some close calls as he walked the run in.
"I definitely felt like there were a couple [of close pitches], especially at 3-2. That's the umpire's call," Bush said. "... I guess that's just baseball. I didn't get the call. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't."
Ryan Posner is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.