ARLINGTON -- Rangers pitcher Joe Palumbo is from Long Island to the east of New York City. That's generally considered Mets territory, and that was Palumbo's favorite team growing up, although he was a big Derek Jeter fan.
Jeter, now retired, was the leader of many powerful Yankees teams, and Palumbo got his professional crack at another potent Bronx Bombers lineup, one that is battling the Astros for the best record in baseball. Palumbo wasn't daunted by the challenge.
"I thought I prepared well for this game," Palumbo said. "I really studied the lineup, watched video on these guys. So going in, I was really confident. Obviously it's the Yankees, their lineup is no joke. All in all, I thought I threw the ball pretty well."
Palumbo also made the occasional mistake expected from a young pitcher, and that can be painful against the Yankees. The left-hander allowed three runs in three-plus innings as the Rangers lost to the Yankees, 14-7, on Friday night at Globe Life Park.
Rangers pitchers allowed six home runs on the night and have given up 32 while losing 10 of their last 12 games. Danny Santana, Scott Heineman and Shin-Soo Choo all went deep for the Rangers.
All three runs off Palumbo came on home runs, and he finished 0-3 with a 9.18 ERA in four starts and three relief appearances for the Rangers. He also struck out seven Yankees over three innings, once again showing flashes of the talent that has the Rangers excited about his future.
Palumbo's 94 mph fastball was effective on Friday. Five of the seven strikeouts came on fastballs, including four looking. But the Yankees were 3-for-3 with a home run off his changeup.
"I thought Joe threw the ball really good, the way he was attacking guys," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "His fastball had a lot of life. The one thing he is not afraid to do is go inside on those righties. Pitching effectively up and in, challenged a lot of guys. I like what I saw. I'm glad I got to see him show that against a good offensive club. It's good for him to go into the offseason with that kind of outing under his belt."
Palumbo's night ended after 69 pitches, the most he has thrown for the Rangers. This was just his third outing since missing nearly a month with a blister on his left thumb. That and a sprained left foot earlier this season kept the Rangers from getting a longer look at Palumbo.
He still ended up with 97 1/3 innings in his first full season since returning from Tommy John surgery. He threw 45 1/3 innings at the end of last season.
"I'm happy I ended the season healthy and my arm feels good," Palumbo said. "That's all I can ask for. Looking forward to the future, going into the offseason getting better and I will help this team win in the future. I'm certain about that."
Palumbo is not done. The Rangers are going to send him to the Arizona Fall League so that he can make another four starts and pitch another 20 innings.
"He feels really good," general manager Jon Daniels said. "There is some value in working on a few things."