Thoughts on a 14-3 win

May 7, 2012; Baltimore, MD, USA; Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler (5) singles in the first inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Rangers 14, Orioles 3

  • No, you don't get free Papa John's pizza when the Rangers score 14 runs.
  • After a couple of rough outings his last two times out, Matt Harrison had a quality start today, going 7 innings and allowing 3 runs, all of which came on a pair of home runs. Harrison wasn't dominant, striking out just 3 batters while walking 1, but he was efficient, needing just 86 pitches to get through his 7 inning stint.
  • Everyone who started got a hit. Even Josh Hamilton, who was hitless when he came to the plate in the 9th, and right as Dave Barnett said that he was the only starter who hadn't gotten a hit, Hamilton crushed a homer to deep right-center field to give the Rangers runs #6 and #7 in the 9th, and giving the Rangers their final margin of victory.
  • Alexi Ogando had a very Alexi Ogando outing, pitching a perfect inning, but more noteworthy was that Mark Lowe struck out the side in the bottom of the 9th. Now, you can say it doesn't matter, the Orioles were down 11 runs and just wanted to go home, but Lowe still looked damn good tonight. Lowe now has a 1.00 ERA on the year and has struck out 11 batters (while walking just 2) in 9 innings on the year. If Lowe is back on track, this could be a crazy deep bullpen, particularly if Koji Uehara also has his mojo back.

  • Mark Reynolds made a particularly terrible throw to second base in the 9th inning on grounder from Mike Napoli, putting the throw so far to the first base side of the bag that Robert Andino had to choose between letting the ball go, or trying to catch it while being leveled by Nelson Cruz. Andino let the ball go into the outfield. That led someone on Twitter to ask why Reynolds is at third base and Chris Davis is at first base, given how bad Reynolds is at third. The only thing I can think of is that Buck Showalter would rather have a brutal defensive third baseman and a great defensive first baseman than a below average defensive third baseman and a below average defensive first baseman.
  • Reynolds started a double play later in the inning when Ian Kinsler hit a hard grounder to him with the bases loaded, prompting Tom Grieve to say that Reynolds had redeemed himself for his earlier error. I don't think you redeem yourself for an error by making a relatively routine play, but then, Grieve seemed rather desperate during the broadcast to find some positive things to say about the Orioles.
  • Tommy Hunter got sent down before today's game. I am going to assume it is because he pitched yesterday and the Orioles needed a fresh arm for the bullpen after last night's bullpen burnout special (which, of course, ended with Chris Davis throwing a pair of shutout innings) and he has an option left, and not because the Orioles have decided he can't pitch.
  • Adrian Beltre was the only starter other than Hamilton to have just one hit today, and it was a weird one...with the Rangers up four, Beltre, who was DHing tonight, smashed a ball into the left field corner. Beltre, obviously still nursing the hamstring, jogged to first then to second, while Wilson Betemit jogged after the ball in left field. It was like everyone was moving in slow motion. Beltre then was lifted for pinch runner David Murphy, who scored on Michael Young's home run.
  • Huge game for Brandon Snyder, who went 3 for 5 with a homer, 6 RBIs, and a walk. This led some folks on Twitter to ask if I still thought Snyder doesn't belong on a major league roster. Snyder had a great game today, but I don't think 19 ABs (which is what Snyder has logged this season) outweighs everything he's done before this season. Mark McLemore just said on the post-game show he thinks Wash will ride the hot hand and start Snyder again tomorrow, but with Jake Arrieta, a righthander, starting, I expect Snyder to be back on the bench and Mitch Moreland to be back at first base, with either Young or Beltre playing third.
  • Elvis Andrus had three hits, with two of them being doubles, and I'm started to think he might actually be able to put up a slugging percentage over .400 this season.
  • Nelson Cruz also had three hits tonight, but two of them were of the infield variety, and he's still looking like a player who needs a day off more than a player who is getting his groove back. Though who knows, maybe a couple of cheap ones will help get his confidence back and get things going.
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