Rangers 8, Astros 7
- Yu Darvish didn't have the most Yu Darvish of outings today, as he allowed a pair of home runs to Matt Dominguez, not someone normally known as a big power threat. Those two homers brought home the three runs Darvish allowed today. I was in the stands and not real close to home plate, so its hard for me to say for sure, but Yu didn't seem, to me, to have his best command tonight. The final stats reflect 71 strikes out of 117 pitches, and Yu walked 3 hitters (against 8 Ks) in 7 innings. Interestingly, he only allowed three hits on the day...the Dominguez homers, and a double to Robbie Grossman.
- I was a little surprised that Yu came out for the 7th, given that the team had a 5 run lead and Yu wasn't at his sharpest...I thought the Rangers would get Jason Frasor or Michael Kirkman in the game at that point. But Yu pitched the 7th, working around two Ian Kinsler errors on the same play, and seemed to have put the pen in great shape to finish things out without having to look to Robbie Ross, Tanner Scheppers or Joe Nathan.
- However...it can't be that easy. Frasor pitched the 8th and allowed a run, making it an 8-4 game. And then Michael Kirkman started off the 9th by allowing a single to Carlos Corporan and a double to Carlos Pena, putting the tying run on deck and prompting Wash to go get Joe Nathan. Nathan didn't have his good stuff, however, and allowed the two inherited runners to score on a Trevor Crowe single and a wild pitch. After getting a tapper back to the mound from Dominguez, Merwin Gonzalez hit a fly ball to left that brought Crowe (who had advanced to third on the run-scoring wild pitch) home to make it 8-7. Grossman then walked, prompting Bo Porter to send up power-hitting Chris Carter to pinch hit as the winning run. Carter popped out, though, ending a game that was much closer than it should have been.
- Yu is now 6-1 with a 2.73 ERA. Philip Humber took the loss, and is now 0-8. I'm amazed any pitcher would have 8 losses before May 15, but, hey, Astros.
- 11 hits, 3 walks and a HBP gave the Rangers quite a few baserunners on the game, and they took advantage today, pushing 8 of them across. Lance Berkman, Nelson Cruz and Adrian Beltre all homered, with Berkman also drawing a walk and getting the single to lead off the 6th that chased starter Erik Bedard. Mitch Moreland was the only other Ranger starter with two hits, picking up a double and a triple. Leonys Martin also had a triple, and both David Murphy and Ian Kinsler doubled. Lots of extra base hits, and lots of runs.
- While Ron Washington continues to insist that Jeff Baker and David Murphy aren't platooning, he continues to operate as if they are platooning. Baker started, got two plate appearances, and then was lifted when Murphy pinch hit for him once the lefty was out of the game. Similarly, Leonys Martin came in in the sixth to hit for Craig Gentry, who had started in center.
- It was a rough game for Kinsler, who fanned with the bases loaded in the fifth, popped up with Leonys Martin on third in the sixth, and had the two errors on what could have been an inning-ending double play ball in the 7th. Even once he got on base, with a double in the 9th, he ended up ending the inning when, trying to tag up on a Lance Berkman fly to left field, he was gunned out at the plate by a great throw from Trevor Crowe. Don't be surprised if he gets a day off tomorrow, with Leury Garcia starting at second.