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Thoughts on a 2-1 Rangers win

Nick Tepesch does his thing, the bullpen shuts down the Twins, and the offense does just enough

Hannah Foslien

Rangers 2, Twins 1

  • This was something of a trap game, given that the Rangers arrived this morning at around 6 a.m. in Minnesota after taking two of three against the Angels. Taking this game was significant, and sets up the team well for the rest of the series.
  • Nick Tepesch had a very Nick Tepesch game. He went 6.2 innings, allowing 5 hits (including a solo homer), struck out 1, and didn't walk anyone. Since walking the bases loaded in his 2nd major league inning, Tepesch hasn't issued a walk. Tepesch only allowed 2 baserunners in the first six innings, before running into trouble in the 7th and getting pulled after going 4-3, HR, 6-3, single, single.
  • I was thinking early in the game that Tepesch was a very Minnesota Twins-like pitcher. He just seems like the sort of generic strike-throwing righthander that they always seem to have. And then Tom Grieve said the same thing. Me and TAG, on the same wavelength.
  • Robbie Ross faced one batter, pinch hitter Ryan Doumit, after coming in with two on and two out in the 7th, and got him on a groundout to Elvis.
  • Tanner Scheppers had an adventurous eighth, allowing a one-out pinch hit single to Wilken Ramirez, followed by an opposite-field double to Brian Dozier. Joe Mauer was then walked to load the bases for Josh Willingham, who had homered off of Tepesch earlier in the game to bring home the only run in the game for the Twins. Scheppers got to 3 balls on Willingham, getting me worried that Mauer was intentionally walked just to set up a walk to bring home the tying run, but Scheppers induced a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
  • Joe Nathan did Joe Nathan stuff, picking up his 7th save of the season.
  • The offense was frustrating tonight, as they had multiple opportunities early against Vance Worley, but couldn't seem to convert. The first run of the game came when Nelson Cruz singled home Adrian Beltre in the second, although Cruz was then thrown out at second base. David Murphy drew a two out walk and Mitch Moreland singled the other way to give Texas two on and two out, but Leonys Martin popped out to snuff out the rally.
  • Run #2 came in the 5th, when Leonys got on via a one-out single, and then scored on an Elvis Andrus double. Lance Berkman then fanned to end the inning and strand Elvis at second.
  • Most frustrating, though, was the 6th, when, with one out, A.J. Pierzynski and Nelson Cruz each singled, and then David Murphy walked to load the bases. Mitch Moreland fanned, however, and Leonys popped out to end the inning.
  • Though he didn't score or drive in a run, it was another solid night at the plate for Ian Kinsler, who went 3 for 5 with a double. The only other Ranger to have a multi-hit game was Nelson Cruz, who went 2 for 3 with a walk. The only starter not to get on base was Lance Berkman, who was 0 for 4.