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Thoughts on a 7-2 Rangers win

Good job, Nick Tepesch

Hannah Foslien

Rangers 7, Twins 2

  • The Rangers are back above .500, everybody.  Woot!
  • Nick Tepesch seems like a very Minnesota Twins pitcher.  A righthander who doesn't throw real hard or miss a ton of bats, but  can throw several pitches for strikes and doesn't walk many batters.  I feel like Tepesch is going to end up pitching for the Twins at some point in his career.
  • Of course, if he keeps pitching like he did today, then I'm not going to want him to pitch for anyone but the Rangers.  This was Tepesch's third straight solid start since being called up to replace Martin Perez, and what was particularly noteworthy about Tepesch's start today was how it seemed to be the inverse of so many of his performances last year.  In 2013, Tepesch would start off strong, then get knocked around the second or third time through the order.  Today, Tepesch had problems early, allowing a run in both the first and the second inning, and the Twins could have scored more, as Tepesch struggled with his command, leaving pitches up in the zone and having his fastball running out of the zone to the arm side.  Tepesch gave up four hits (albeit one of those should have been called an error -- see below) and a HBP in the first two innings, but then retired fourteen of the next sixteen batters he faced before an Aaron Hicks single with two out in the 7th chased him from the game.
  • Jason Frasor and Neal Cotts finished out the game for the Rangers, with Frasor pitching a shutout inning with one K and one hit, and Cotts going 1.1 IP scoreless with a K and a hit.  By the time Cotts came into the game, with two outs in the 8th, the Rangers were up 7-2, and I thought Ron Washington might go with Aaron Poreda or Shawn Tolleson to close it out, but Wash wasn't feeling comfortable enough with the lead to go to either of them.  And for that matter, Wash had Joakim Soria warming in the 9th, just in case Cotts allowed a baserunner or two.
  • Tepesch's defense almost got him in some trouble in the 1st inning...after giving up a two out solo homer to Trevor Plouffe, Tepesch got Oswaldo Arcia to hit a towering fly ball to deep right center.  It was playable, however, and both Leonys Martin and Alex Rios converged on the area, with Leonys seemingly settling under it.  However, either Leonys lost the ball in the lights, or there was some miscommunication between he and Rios, because the ball fell in between the two for a triple.
  • Or at least it appeared to be a triple, as the third base umpire called Arcia safe at third, when he apparently just beat the relay throw in to Adrian Beltre.  But Beltre immediately gestured for Ron Washington to challenge the play, and replay clearly showed that Beltre got the tag on Arcia before he his foot hit the bag.  So the defense blew it, but then made a play to end the inning anyway, and Arcia's triple turned into a double and out trying to advance.
  • All the Ranger runs resulted in crooked numbers going up, as the Rangers scored a pair of runs in the second, a pair of runs in the fifth, and three runs in the 8th.  Crooked numbers are fun.
  • Elvis Andrus led the charge today, going 3 for 5 with a double and a stolen base.  His final hit was a little roller on the right side of the infield that wasn't much of a hit, but his other two hits were smoked, and his first out was a hard hit line drive right at the right fielder, so all in all, things balanced out for Elvis today.
  • Elvis currently has a .095 ISO, the highest of his career, and his 7.6% walk rate is not far off from the 8.2% rate he had in 2011-12, his two best offensive seasons.  Moreover, his 10.3% K rate is the lowest of his career.  The reason why Elvis isn't putting up the best offensive numbers of his career is because he has a .282 BABIP, compared to a .314 career BABIP.  If he can get his BABIP up to his career rate while keeping his ISO, walk and K rate the same, he'd be putting up an OPS in the low 700s, more in line for what I think we expect from him.
  • Alex Rios and Chris Gimenez each had a single and a double, with Rios also stealing a base and drawing an intentional walk -- the only walk the Rangers drew today.  On the negative side, Mitch Moreland was 0 for 5 on the day, and Adrian Beltre was 0 for 4.  Every other Ranger had one hit.
  • The Rangers have scored 42 runs in their last 5 games, including 31 in their last three.  Baseball is more fun when the Rangers are hitting.