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Thoughts on a 3-1 Rangers win

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Ross Wolf is the latest unexpected Ranger hero

Ross Wolf
Ross Wolf
Rick Yeatts

Rangers 3, A's 1

  • As everyone expected, the Rangers lost the game in this series Yu Darvish started, and won the game that Ross Wolf started
  • Wolf, brought up today as an emergency starter when Nick Tepesch's blister kept him from being able to go, made his first major league start (and just his 19th professional start) a memorable one, as he picked up his first major league win by going 5 innings and allowing a single run, walking two, striking out three and allowing three hits. Wolf was perfect through the first three innings, before the A's started getting to him the second and third times through the order. Still, Wolf pitched into the sixth inning, getting lifted with two on and no one out in the sixth after walking John Jaso to start the inning, followed up by Elvis Andrus making an error on a Yoenis Cespedes grounder. I don't think the Rangers could have asked much more from Wolf than what they got from him today.
  • Of Wolf's 19 career professional starts, 11 came in 2002 (the year he was drafted), 1 came in 2005, and the other 7 have come this year.
  • Stellar work from the Ranger bullpen, retiring 12 of the 13 batters they faced. Neal Cotts fanned three in two innings, allowing a hit, and then Robbie Ross and Joe Nathan each pitched a scoreless inning. Ross's ERA is now down to 0.42 on the season.
  • The Rangers were up 2-0 after the first two Ranger hitters came to the plate, and were up 3-0 with one out in the bottom of the first. They failed to plate another run all game. In the three game series against Oakland, they scored in just three different innings, and logged a total of six five runs in the series. After Elvis Andrus singled and David Murphy and Adrian Beltre homered in the first, the Rangers picked up just four baserunners the rest of the game -- an Elvis walk, and singles by Jeff Baker, Leonys Martin and Leury Garcia.
  • There was some discussion on Twitter before the game about the decision to sit Mitch Moreland in favor of Jeff Baker, with a righthander pitching today and a lefty going for Seattle on Friday. My initial reaction was that that didn't make much sense, that Moreland should sit on Friday. However, Baker is going to start on Friday either way, and you can either sit Moreland against Joe Saunders then or you can sit David Murphy against Saunders. Either way, a lefty is going to start. Moreland went 0 for 3 with 3 Ks yesterday, and Ron Washington said today that he thought Moreland, who is leading the majors in games played, needed a break. If Moreland is worn down, playing him today, in a day game after a night game, so you are sitting him Friday (and playing Murphy Friday) against a lefty, probably doesn't make a ton of sense.