Jun 24, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas Rangers left fielder Josh Hamilton (32) reacts during an at bat in the second inning of the game against the Colorado Rockies at Rangers Ballpark. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-US PRESSWIRE
- That was a very disturbing 9th inning. With the Rangers up 4-0, Ron Washington went to Joe Nathan to preserve the lead. Nathan gave up a single, a walk, hit Eric Young, Jr., and then gave up another single to make it a 4-1 game and bring the go-ahead run to the plate with no outs. Carlos Gonzalez hit a blast the other way that I thought was going to go out, but that Josh Hamilton made a terrific running catch in the gap on to keep the score 4-2, rather than make it 4-4 with a runner on second. Nathan was saved when Marco Scutaro was caught in a rundown after a near-wild-pitch for the second out, and then struck out Jason Giambi to end the game. After a string of dominance for two months, you figured Nathan was due for a bad outing, and this one was awful...fortunately, it was with a big lead, and it didn't cost the team.
- That 9th inning rundown...that was about as poorly executed a rundown as you'll see. With runners on first and second, and one out, Nathan's pitch got away from Napoli. Young started towards third, but then stopped, heading back to second, but Marco Scutaro, who was on first, was already two-thirds of the way to second and was caught off base. Napoli ran at him initially, but then threw the ball to Michael Young at first way too early. Scutaro broke to second, and Young chased him for too long before throwing to second. Scutaro slid in and was called safe (correctly). Nevertheless, Scutaro, assuming he was out, left the bag and headed towards the dugout, and was tagged out. The Rangers were saved from some awful execution on the rundown by a terrible reaction by Scutaro.
- I just watched a replay of the rundown, and man...Napoli and Young just looked way too casual out there. It was like they were moving in slow motion, like it was a 10-2 game rather than a 4-2 game.
- Matt Harrison left after five innings with a tight back, though he said after the game that he's fine, it was precautionary to remove him, and he'll make his next start. Harrison wasn't his sharpest today, but he didn't allow any runs, striking out 3 and walking 2 in 74 pitches.
- Harrison's early departure meant that the Rangers didn't have much behind Nathan in the 9th when he was looking like he was blowing the game. Robbie Ross had a shaky 6th, allowing a pair of hits and a walk but no runs, while Tanner Scheppers and Mike Adams pitched the 7th and 8th. With Mark Lowe out after pitching two innings yesterday, the only relievers the Rangers had left when Nathan was struggling were Scott Feldman and Michael Kirkman. Feldman got up and started warming in the 9th, and after Gonzalez came thisclose to tying the game up with his blast, I expected Feldman to come into the game.
- Despite 9 hits and 7 walks in 8 innings, the Rangers only scored 4 runs, leaving 11 runners on base. Leonys Martin had a big game, driving home three runs on a double and a triple as part of a 2 for 4 night, and Elvis Andrus went 3 for 4 with a walk and a pair of doubles. Ian Kinsler continued to struggle, striking out 3 times as part of an 0 for 4 night, and I'm expecting he'll get a day off tomorrow.
- Weird night for Hamilton, who was 1 for 4 with a walk and a strikeout. He slipped leaving the box on his single to left-center, and also slipped coming in to field the ball on the Marco Scutaro 9th inning single that brought home the first run of the game. He might want to check out a different pair of spikes tomorrow.
- A very telling moment from the game...in the bottom of the 6th, Elvis Andrus got to first base on a bunt single to start off the inning, then advanced to third base when a Jeremy Guthrie pickoff throw went awry. Josh Hamilton was thrown offspeed stuff out of the zone that he chased, resulting in a strikeout swinging. That led to Adrian Beltre being walked intentionally to bring up Michael Young, who promptly hit into a 1-6-3 double play. It was interesting to me that, out of that group, the Rockies felt most comfortable pitching to Hamilton and Young, while walking Beltre intentionally.