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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers loss

The Rangers can't close out the sweep, as a winnable game slips away

Tom Pennington

Twins 3, Rangers 2

  • This was a winnable game that the Rangers didn't win, a sweep they could have put on the board that instead goes down as a 2-1 series victory.  In a season where the team would be fighting for a playoff spot in September, this is a game you would bookmark and look back on things fell just short.  Even in a lost season, its still a frustrating game to lose.
  • Colby Lewis pitched very well today, and has now put up two strong starts in a row.  He said before today's game that he felt like he was getting back to where he wanted to be, even if the numbers weren't quite there, and that's borne out by his recent performances.  Colby is starting to look like the Colby of old, like a guy who can contribute to a championship team, rather than a guy who is playing out the string.
  • Final line for Colby is 6 IP, 5 hits, 0 walks, 8 Ks, and 2 runs allowed.  Both runs scored in the 3rd inning, when Eduardo Escobar hit a roller down the first base line Carlos Pena probably should have fielded, but didn't, resulting in a double, and then Jorge Polanco tried to check his swing, only to see the ball carom off his bat and roll down the third base line for a double.  Polanco then scored on a Joe Mauer single, but those were two cheap doubles that Lewis got dinged on, and he easily could have had -- and probably deserved to have -- a scoreless outing today.
  • Aaron Poreda, Ben Rowen and Neal Cotts combined for two scoreless innings, with Poreda pitching 1.1 innings and Rowen and Cotts combining to face a batter apiece.  It got the game into the 9th inning for Joakim Soria, who was asked to protect a 2-2 tie.  Alas, Soria allowed a one out single to Josh Willingham, followed by a double by Kendrys Morales, and that ended up being the ballgame.
  • That's two less-than-sharp outings for Soria in a row, right at the time he's being talked about as a possible trade target.  I'm going to assume he just likes Texas, and doesn't want to be traded.
  • The offense was pretty punchless again.  Robinson Chirinos went 3 for 3, including a homer.  The other five hits were all singles, scattered amongst five different batters, and there were no walks drawn by the Rangers.
  • Michael Choice was in the middle of two blown opportunities to get runs homes.  In the bottom of the second, with Texas up 1-0, Leonys Martin and Robinson Chirinos led off the inning with singles, putting runners on the corners with no one out.  Choice, with a fast runner at third base, was in prime position to get a run home...but instead, he had an awful at bat that saw him flail at pitches helplessly, ultimately striking out.  Rougned Odor then bounced into an inning-ending double play, snuffing out the rally.
  • In the bottom of the 7th, with the score tied, Choice had an opportunity to redeem himself, coming up with runners on the corners and one out.  This time, Choice made contact, but not good contact, bouncing into an inning-ending double play, once again putting an end to a rally.
  • Twins closer Glen Perkins was brought into the game in the 9th inning to save it for Minnesota, and with the lefthander on the mound, Ron Washington turned to Chris Gimenez to pinch hit for Carlos Pena to start the inning.  That's right...the Rangers' first baseman and #3 hitter was lifted in a one run game in the bottom of the 9th so the backup catcher could hit.  And the worst part is, that was probably the right move.
  • It didn't matter.  Gimenez struck out, then Adrian Beltre struck out, then Alex Rios struck out.  And that was the ballgame.
  • Frustrating.  But hey, we took 2 of 3, and Colby Lewis looked good.  I'll take what I can get right now.