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Thoughts on a 12-4 Rangers win

Another blowout win in Detroit gets the Rangers back to .500

Leon Halip

Rangers 12, Tigers 4

  • The 2014 version of Colby Lewis, on the road against the Tigers and Justin Verlander, isn't the sort of matchup you'd normally feel real confident about.  And Colby had issues locating today, which usually is going to result in a lot of hard hit balls and some crooked numbers going up on the scoreboard.  But at the end of the day, Colby made pitches when he needed to, pitched into the sixth inning once again (though without getting out of the sixth inning once again), and definitely out-dueled Justin Verlander while picking up his 4th win on the year, dropping his ERA to 5.10.
  • Colby's line:  5.2 IP, 5 hits, 5 walks, 2 Ks, 2 runs allowed.  Way too many walks -- Colby said in the post-game that he doesn't think he should be giving up 5 walks over 10 starts, much less 1 -- but the end result was solid.
  • Wash went to Robbie Ross for multiple innings, which makes sense given that Ross has up until a week or so ago been in the rotation, and is stretched out and able to throw a lot of pitches.  Ross wasn't sharp, however, giving up 6 hits and a walk while facing 14 batters, and appeared to have problems with his pitches staying up over the plate.  Still, he was able to make it through 2.2 innings, giving up just a pair of runs, and alleviate the need for Wash to go get another reliever, until he brought out Joakim Soria to get the final two outs in a "needs work" outing for Soria.
  • The weird thing was that, early on, this had the feel of "uh oh, its one of those games"...Colby was struggling early, his pitch count getting into the 40s in the second inning, and he was not getting help behind him.  Rajai Davis got on with a single to start the bottom of the first, and while the box score calls it a "soft line drive," it was a bloop down the line that fell just out of the grasp of Mitch Moreland.  After Ian Kinsler popped out, Davis stole second and was balked to third, with Colby then pitching around Miguel Cabrera, resulting in a walk.  The Rangers were up one, but the lead seemed in jeopardy with Victor Martinez due up.  Martinez smoked a ball to Mitch Moreland, and it appeared to be an easy double play to end the inning...but Moreland double-clutched the throw to second, giving Martinez the opportunity to beat out the relay to first, and allow the Tigers to tie the game.
  • In the bottom of the second, it appeared the wheels were going to come off completely...the Rangers had re-gained the lead, and were up 3-1, but the first two batters of the inning got on for the Tigers on a single and a walk.  Nick Castellanos hit a tailor-made double play ball to Adrian Beltre, but Beltre, like Moreland, double-clutched, and ended up barely getting Alex Avila at second base.  So instead of a runner on third and two outs, there were runners on the corners and just one out.  Andrew Romine then lined a single into center, driving in a run, with Romine and Castellanos each advancing an extra base with Leonys Martin booted the ball.  Bad pitching, bad was beginning to look like a strong offensive start against Justin Verlander might end up going to waste.
  • But the Rangers got out of it...Elvis Andrus made a leaping catch on a Rajai Davis liner for the second out (and almost doubled Castellanos off of third on the play), and then Ian Kinsler skied out to center to end the inning.  And then ended up being that, as far as runs allowed by Colby.  The Tigers got runners on in each inning thereafter off of Colby, but he managed to keep them from scoring, and by the time he left the game, Texas had a comfortable 9-2 lead.
  • So, yeah, the offense...that's really the story today.  The Rangers jumped out in front in the first through some luck and some pluck, with Shin-Soo Choo leading off the game with a single that deflected off the glove of Kinsler.  Elvis Andrus popped out while trying to move Choo over with a bunt, but Mitch Moreland's walk and Adrian Beltre's Choo-advancing fly out put runners on first and third with two outs.  Alex Rios then hit a slow roller in the infield that he was able to beat out, bringing in the first run of the game and setting the tone for the day.
  • After Detroit tied the game at one, Michael Choice immediately gave the Rangers the lead back, blasting a homer to left field to lead off the second and give Texas a 2-1 lead, a lead they would never relinquish.  They quickly tacked on another run when Robinson Chirinos doubled, and Rougned Odor's sac bunt was thrown away by Verlander, allowing Chirinos to score and Odor to land safely at first base
  • Texas blew it open in the top of the fifth.  Verlander seemingly had settled down, allowing just a single hit over 9 batters after the Odor sac bunt, but he walked Choo to lead off the 5th inning.  Elvis Andrus then hit a chopper on the left side that looked like it would result in either a fielder's choice or Elvis being thrown out at first (with Choo advancing to second), but Castellanos screened Romine while crossing in front trying to make a play on the ball, and it went through Romine's legs and into left field for an error, with Choo going all the way to third.  Moreland and Beltre then hit back-to-back singles, giving the Rangers a 5-2 lead and bringing Alex Rios to the plate.  I tweeted that it was time for Rios to go yard and turn this into a blowout...alas, Rios only hit a gapper into left-center for a triple, bringing home Beltre and Moreland.  After Leonys and Choice made outs that couldn't bring Rios home, Robinson Chirinos ripped a line shot back up the middle that Verlander deflected to keep in the infield, but which Kinsler couldn't make a play on, bringing Rios home and making it 8-2.
  • The Rangers scored another run in the sixth on back-to-back doubles by Elvis and Moreland, then added on three more in the seventh on a sequence where, with two out, Odor singled, Choo walked, and then Elvis, Moreland and Beltre all singled consecutively, giving the Rangers their final 12 run count.
  • Every Ranger starter except for Leonys had a hit today.  Moreland, Beltre and Chirinos each had three hits, and Elvis, Rios and Odor each had a two hit game.  Choo, DHing after having some soreness in his ankle, only had one hit, but also drew three walks, and ended up scoring three runs.
  • Texas is back to .500 on the season now.  They have four games in Minnesota, starting tomorrow, then three in Washington before returning home for a nine game homestand.  It would be awesome, wouldn't it, if Texas could return home with a winning record on the season?