Thoughts on a 5-2 win

May 5, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA: Family members of Texas Rangers starting pitcher Derek Holland (not pictured) in attendance during the game against the Cleveland Indians Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric P. Mull-USPRESSWIRE

Rangers 5, Indians 2

  • You know what's weird about this game? The Rangers came into this game on a three game losing streak. They scored a couple of runs early, but also wasted chances, seemed flat, played sloppy...it was one of those games where, even when you're ahead, it feels like you're behind. The Indians rally to tie it in the 8th seemed predestined, and the Rangers managing to escape from the inning with the game still tied seemed like it was just delaying the inevitable. Then, after a couple of innings of lifelessness, Texas had a runner on 2nd and two out in the 11th with Mitch Moreland (who was 3 for 4) up next, and the Indians had their sidewinding righty walk Moreland intentionally. That set up a three run pinch hit home run for Adrian Beltre, a ball that is being reported as going 456 feet. And with that one swing, the whole game, and possibly the whole road trip, turned around.
  • I really like Adrian Beltre.
  • Very solid start for Derek Holland. He had some hard hit balls find gloves early in the game, then settled into a groove in the middle innings. He wasn't the dominant Holland -- he struck out 6 in 7.1 innings, with 3 walks -- but he was the very good Holland that makes you believe 2 runs will be enough to win the game.
  • The 8th inning is a reminder of how hard it is to shut out a team over 9 innings. Holland was seemingly cruising, striking out Lou Marson to start off the 7th, and then Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis each singled, though neither ball was particularly hard hit. Holland was lifted for Mike Adams, who left his second pitch to Asdrubal Cabrera up over the plate, and Cabrera smoked it for an RBI double. Its really hard to keep a major league team off the scoreboard for 9 innings.
  • Adams had no command tonight, if you're a glass-half-empty guy, or crazy movement tonight, if you're the glass-half-full type. After allowing the Cabrera double, Adams struck out Carlos Santana swinging, but now before allowing the tying run to score from third on a ball that broke dramatically to the arm side and got away from Mike Napoli. Napoli was charged with a passed ball, although that pitch just serves to highlight how silly it is to pin 100% of the blame on a wild pitch or passed ball to the pitcher or the catcher...Adams' pitch had a ton of movement and was nowhere near where Napoli had set up for the ball. It didn't hit the ground and Napoli got his glove on it, so it is called a passed ball, but that's as difficult to block as any number of pitches you'll see called a wild pitch.

  • Alexi Ogando got to pitch two innings in relief tonight, with the Indians needing one run for a walk off win, and did another great job, striking out a pair and allowing just a single hit. Ogando's ERA is now down to 0.61 on the season. He's allowed 7 baserunners (6 hits and an HBP) in 14.2 innings.
  • Beltre's pinch hit home run was the first pinch hit for the Rangers this season. Ranger pinch hitters were 0 for 12 prior to that.
  • Moreland is continuing to swing the bat well...with a 3 for 4 night and a double that just barely missed becoming a home run, Moreland has hits in 8 of his last 9 games, and has raised his average from .139 to .277 in that stretch.
  • Elvis Andrus is quietly having a very good season with the bat. Elvis is hitting .298 with an ISO of around 100. If Elvis hits .298 with a slugging percentage around .400, he's one of the three or four best shortstops in baseball.
  • Something that shouldn't be overlooked...after Craig Gentry led off the 11th inning with a walk, Nelson Cruz hit what looked to be an easy double play ball. Gentry slid hard into second and was able to prevent the double play...saving that out was the difference between the Rangers having a 1-2-3 inning and the Rangers having Adrian Beltre save the day.
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