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Thoughts on an 8-4 Rangers loss

Angels 8, Rangers 4

A rare Adrian Beltre error
A rare Adrian Beltre error

Angels 8, Rangers 4

  • Few things suck the life out of a crowd, and the fun out of a game, like giving up a bunch of runs in the top of the first inning.
  • Matt Harrison gave up 4 runs in the top of the 1st inning, on an Albert Pujols two run home run and on a Mark Trumbo two run home run. Neither homer could be blamed on the jet stream, either.
  • Harrison allowed another run in the top of the second, then managed to make it through the next three innings without giving up another run, though he still didn't pitch well over that stretch. Ian Kinsler saved a hit and at least one run when he made a diving stop on a Mike Trout ball that looked like it was heading to right field for a single with two on and no one out in the second, and another run was saved with Elvis Andrus made a terrific relay throw home on an Alberto Callaspo double to left to nail Howie Kendrick at the plate in the top of the fifth.
  • Harrison ended up with a line of 5 IP, 8 hits, 5 runs, 4 walks (2 of them intentional), 3 Ks, and 2 homers allowed. He threw 96 pitches, just 54 of them for strikes. He faced 26 batters, and allowed 12 of them to reach base. He had issues commanding his pitches, and left way too many balls up in the zone. He simply didn't pitch well today.
  • Jason Frasor didn't pitch well, either. He came in to pitch the sixth inning, with the Rangers down 5-2, and was pulled in the sixth inning with the Rangers down 7-2. Frasor allowed homers to Pujols and Peter Bourjos to pretty much put the game out of reach.
  • Joe Ortiz replaced Frasor, and acquitted himself well. He threw 2 full innings, giving up a pair of hits and an unearned run (the product of an Adrian Beltre fielding error), struck out one, and issued an intentional walk to Pujols. Ortiz faced 10 batters -- including Josh Hamilton twice -- and needed just 35 pitches to get through those 10 batters. After getting Hamilton to pop out to left field for the second time, he was replaced by Robbie Ross, who finished out the game by throwing 1.1 innings and allowing just a walk.
  • Hamilton had another miserable game. Harrison walked him ahead of Trumbo's home run in the first, but Josh was able to do nothing the rest of the way, fanning twice against Harrison and popping out to left twice against Ortiz.
  • The Rangers offense did very little against Angels starter Tommy Hanson, who was throwing in the upper 80s and looked hittable all game. Every starter got a hit, and there were a bunch of extra base hits -- two doubles, a triple and homers by Ian Kinsler, Mitch Moreland and Nelson Cruz, plus A.J. Pierzynski had a single off the right field wall that would have been a double for a player of normal speed -- but couldn't string hits together and never drew a walk. The good news is that Moreland and Leonys Martin both got off the schneid, each getting their first hits of the season. The bad news is that they both struck out two times apiece.
  • Lance Berkman was lifted for Leury Garcia in the 8th, but Ron Washington said after the game it was because he'd given up on trying to come back with an 8-3 deficit (my words, not his) rather than because something was wrong with Berkman, and he wanted to get Garcia an at bat. Garcia struck out, and looked wholly overmatched while fanning.