Rays 2, Rangers 0
- The biggest story from yesterday was probably the weather. It was 39 degrees at first pitch, the second-coldest game in Ranger history, and first pitch only occurred after a lengthy delay to the start of the game. It was cold and miserable, and multiple balls that looked like they would have gone out on a normal day died short of the warning track today.
- Derek Holland pitched well enough to win. 8 innings, 5 hits, 3 walks, 4 Ks, 2 runs allowed. The three walks all came in the third, and although I didn't see that part of the game, indications from those who did watch are that it was a very tight strike zone. One Rays run came home in the third on a Ben Zobrist ground out, and a second one on a fifth inning sac fly by Evan Longoria. That was all the scoring for the game.
- The Rangers had plenty of scoring opportunities. They had five hits and eight walks on the game, along with Matt Moore throwing a pair of wild pitches. 13 baserunners is plenty. But they scored no runs. Two runners were wiped out on GIDPs, one runner was thrown out at the plate, and the other 10 were left stranded.
- A lot of the Rangers problems stemmed from not being able to get their leadoff runner on base. Its a lot harder to score when you've got one or two outs when you finally get a hit or a walk. In the first seven innings, Texas failed to get its leadoff hitter on base. They got singles to start the 8th and 9th, but still couldn't get them home.
- The most frustrating sequence may have been in the sixth inning, when, after an Adrian Beltre ground out, Rays starter Matt Moore walked Nelson Cruz. Joe Maddon went to the bullpen and got lefty Cesar Ramos, who gave up a bloop single to David Murphy, then walked Jeff Baker on four pitches. That brought up Mitch Moreland, who got up on Ramos 2-0. Then, inexplicably, with Ramos having thrown 6 straight balls, and without the platoon advantage, Moreland hacked out a pitch he probably should have let go, grounding it to second base. Moreland beat the throw to first, which would have resulted in a run scoring, but Jeff Baker was called for interference when he very clearly veered out of the base path and into the field while sliding into second base, thus snuffing out the rally.
- In the 8th, with Adrian Beltre on first base, David Murphy hit a one-out double that advanced Beltre to third. Leonys Martin, pinch hitting for Baker, flied to shallow right field. Third base coach Gary Pettis had Beltre challenge the arm of right fielder Ben Zobrist, but Zobrist made a great throw home to nip Beltre at the plate, ending yet another rally.
- It was a lousy game to be a Rangers fan, all in all. Still, Texas took the series, and is 6-3 on the season. You can't complain about that.