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Thoughts on a 3-2 walkoff win

Rangers 3, Phillies 2

Tom Pennington

Rangers 3, Phillies 2

  • The last few innings, I felt way more tense that anyone should feel during the second game of the season.
  • Martin Perez was outstanding for five innings today, striking out 7, walking none, and allowing just three hits and no runs through the first five frames.  Perez ran into trouble in the sixth, allowing four hits and a batter to reach when he tried to get a runner advancing to third rather than take the safe out at first, and ended up getting lifted after 5.2 innings with 2 runs in, but overall, it was still a terrific outing for Perez.
  • Perez turns 23 in 3 days.  Just a reminder of how young Perez still is, something that I think we forget because it seems like we've been hearing about him forever.
  • If there is no instant replay, the Rangers might not have won this game.  In that sixth inning, Perez caught Jayson Nix Ben Revere leaning away from second, but on a bang-bang play, Revere was called safe getting back.  Wash challenged the play, and the replay officials reversed the call, saying Revere was out.  That was a crucial out, as Marlon Byrd then singled and Ryan Howard doubled.  If Revere is still on second, he scores, the Phillies are up at least 3-0 instead of 2-0, and rather than a tie game in the late innings, the Phillies have a lead, and adjust their bullpen usage accordingly.
  • Jason Frasor, Neal Cotts and Joakim Soria went 3.1 innings and allowed a single and an intentional walk.  Soria picked up the win in relief, and looked like the Soria of old.
  • An interesting decision in the 8th inning...after Cotts allowed Chase Utley to single, Marlon Byrd came up.  I believe the count was 1-0 when Cotts threw a wild pitch to allow Utley to get to second base.  With Ryan Howard on deck, I was curious as to whether Wash would play the percentages, walk Byrd and pitch to Howard with the lefty-lefty matchup.  I had some concerns that Wash would have Cotts pitch to Byrd -- I could hear him afterwards saying he wasn't going to give Howard a chance to hit a home run to give Philly a big lead, and Cotts can get righties and lefties both out -- but Cotts issued the walk to Byrd, then retired Howard to get the Rangers out of the innings with the game still tied.
  • Alex Rios is hitting the ball hard right now.  1 for 3 with a walk tonight, and at least one of his outs that I can recall was tagged.
  • The Rangers got Shin-Soo Choo because they wanted someone who could get on base at the top of the order.  Choo got on base 4 times today, with two hits, an HBP and a walk, and scored two of the team's three runs.  There you go...
  • Elvis bunted Choo over twice tonight, and both times, Choo ended up scoring.  I went back and forth about Elvis bunting in the 9th...with the game tied and Choo on first, no one out, bunting is more understandable than in most situations, since you don't need a crooked number.  One run ends the game.  I'm not sure that I would have had Elvis bunt -- particularly with two strikes -- but I don't think bunting there is something I'd criticize, either.
  • Adrian Beltre was 2 for 4, with an RBI double and the 9th inning walk-off single, but in the bottom of the fifth, I was sure he had put the team up 2-0 with a homer on Greene's Hill.  With Prince Fielder on second after a two out double, Beltre blasted an A.J. Burnett pitch, and I thought (and Steve Busby thought, and the crowd thought) off the bat that it was gone, no question.  But the ball died on the center field warning track, either because Beltre didn't get as much of it as I thought, or because the wind knocked it down.  But Beltre was stinging the ball today.
  • Mitch Moreland had his first hit of the season, and it came at a key time...with the Phillies having taken the 2-0 lead in the sixth, and the air seemingly having left the park, Moreland followed an Alex Rios double with a hard hit single to right field to bring Rios home.  Alas, what seemed like it could be a big inning was snuffed out when Marlon Byrd made a great diving catch on a Donnie Murphy hit-and-run line drive, a play that allowed him to double Moreland off of first base.  Between that play and the Beltre long drive that died on the track, I was worried this was going to be one of those games...
  • Well, though, I guess it was one of those games.  Just in a good way, not a bad way.
  • 1-1.  Let's take the series tomorrow.