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Thoughts on a 9-2 Rangers loss

Washington 9, Texas 2

Greg Fiume

Nationals 9, Rangers 2

  • Well, that was...not good.
  • Strange to say about a game that ended up a 9-2 loss, but this felt early on like a game the Rangers would win.  Texas jumped on Stephen Strasburg early, getting a pair of runs in the 2nd on a Rougned Odor RBI single and a Colby Lewis RBI single.  Colby looked solid in the early going, and it seemed like we would have to worry about who would be available to close tonight, after Joakim Soria had pitched the last three games.
  • Alas, it wasn't to be.  One of the things I've said over and over is that there are few things that seem to be as big of momentum-swingers as the two out, three run homer, and that was the tipping point in tonight's game.  With one out in the fourth, up 2-0, Colby allowed back to back singles by Jayson Werth and Adam LaRoche.  Colby fanned Wilson Ramos looking for the second out, and just needed to retire Ian Desmond to escape the inning unscathed.  Alas, Lewis challenged Desmond with a pitch up in the zone, and Desmond took it deep, turning a 2-0 Ranger lead into a 3-2 deficit that would end up to be insurmountable.
  • Things went downhill from that point.  Rougned Odor made an error on a bad throw on a bunt attempt by the next batter, Nate McLouth, although McLouth was stranded.  Denard Span then scored in the 5th from first base on a routine ground out, as Mitch Moreland threw the ball away when Span was advancing to third, allowing Span to come home with the 4th run of the game.  Lewis allowed two more runs in the 6th before leaving the game, with Robbie Ross coming in in relief.  And then Alex Rios made the Rangers' third error of the night the seventh inning, when he seemingly couldn't decide whether to charge or stay back on a Wilson Ramos single, ultimately allowing it to go completely by him untouched, and allow two runs to score.
  • The final line for Lewis was 5.2 IP, 9 hits, 2 walks, 5 Ks, 6 runs, and the Desmond homer.  As has so often been the case with Lewis, he seemed to be close to having a solid outing, but a couple of bad pitches killed him.  He now has a 5.44 ERA on the season.
  • Robbie Ross, meanwhile, gave up 3 runs on 6 hits in 2.1 innings, and once again, he's leaving too many pitches over the middle of the plate.  Ross's issues lead one to wonder if, perhaps, when Aaron Poreda was optioned to make room for Joe Saunders on the roster, it wasn't the wrong lefty reliever who went down.
  • As for the offense, Alex Rios hit a blast down the left field line, I think in the sixth, with one out.  It looked like a game-tying home run.  Alas, it went foul, and he ended up striking out in that at bat.  That, and the Colby Lewis single, were probably the highlights of the game.  Unless Ron Washington pulling Colby and Roogie to bring in Ross and Luis Sardinas in a double-switch gets your pulse a-racing.
  • Adrian Beltre had 3 hits, and Chris Gimenez had 2 hits.  Roogie and Mitch Moreland also had hits.
  • Rios, on the other hand, had a pair of Ks, a potential rally killing GIDP, and that error.  It was a bad, bad game for Rios.
  • Still, the Rangers are 28-27, a game above .500.  It could be worse.