Thoughts on a 12-7 Rangers win

Bob Levey

Nick Tepesch gets back on track, the Ranger bats go off, and the last guys in the bullpen struggle (again)

Rangers 12, Astros 7

  • Nick Tepesch's previous two starts were disappointing outings, as he allowed 5 runs in 6.2 IP against the Chicago White Sox on May 1, and then 6 runs in 4 IP against the Cubs on May 6. With folks starting to say that it would be Tepesch, and not Justin Grimm, who should be sent down when Colby Lewis was ready to return, Tepesch responded with a 6 innings, 1 run outing that featured 8 strikeouts, a single walk and four hits. The lone blemish was a two out Jason Castro homered in the 4th inning. Moreover, Tepesch could have likely gone more than 6 innings -- he was at just 84 pitches when he was pulled.
  • Michael Kirkman, Derek Lowe, and Joe Ortiz each went an inning out of the bullpen today, and it was a mixed bag, to put it kindly. Kirkman was solid, fanning a pair while working a perfect inning, bouncing back after allowing a pair of hits and recording no outs yesterday. Lowe, on the other hand, allowed four runs on three hits and a walk, with the big blow being a Chris Carter home run that cut the lead to 12-5. And Joe Ortiz, pitching for the first time in almost a week, allowed a single to Matt Dominguez and a homer to Brandon Barnes that made it a 12-7 game before settling down and retiring the final three batters of the game.
  • Tepesch lowered his ERA to 4.03, and Kirkman dropped his to 7.36. Derek Lowe, on the other hand, saw his ERA jump up to 8.03, and Joe Ortiz is now at 4.00. The final four spots in the bullpen, meanwhile, continue to be an area of concern.
  • Tepesch registered a major league career high eight strikeouts today.
  • Some adventures in the field today...after the Castro homer, Tepesch walked Chris Carter, the lone walk Tepesch issued today. He then induced J.D. Martinez to tap a routine grounder to Adrian Beltre, who threw to second for what should have been the final out of the inning. However, it was at least a foot above the head of second baseman Leury Garcia, bounding into right field, resulting in an error and runners on first and third. Fortunately, Tepesch then fanned Ronny Cedeno swinging to end the inning. David Murphy, on the other hand, made a terrific running catch in left field on a ball, although I can't remember the inning or who the hitter was. Maybe I should start keeping notes when I'm watching the game.
  • Elvis Andrus, meanwhile, got doubled off of first to end the 9th inning when he apparently forgot how many outs there were. Elvis had drawn a one-out walk, and then Leury Garcia popped out to shortstop. Elvis ran from first base, though, and never tried to get back, apparently thinking there were two outs, rather than one. He was easily doubled off base. Given it was a 12-5 game, it wasn't a big deal, but still, a little surprising to see Elvis lose track of the outs like that.
  • The offense jumped on the Astros' Jordan Lyles early, getting on the board with one out in the first on a Lance Berkman RBI double, and never let up. Adrian Beltre had a huge day, going 4 for 5 with a homer and a pair of doubles (one of which was on Tal's Hill in dead center, a ball that would have been a homer in most other parks) before being lifted in the bottom of the 7th for Jeff Baker. Elvis Andrus was 3 for 4 with a pair of walks and Leury Garcia went 3 for 6 while starting in place of Ian Kinsler, who got the day off. Also homering were David Murphy, who was 1 for 4 with a walk, and Leonys Martin, who was 2 for 5 while filling in at right field for Nelson Cruz, who got his first day off of the year. Every Ranger starter got a hit.
  • Apparently, when Adrian Beltre hit his homer, the Astros announcers complained that he was swinging too hard, and violating the unwritten rules of the game.
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