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Thoughts on a 4-2 Rangers win

We got Miles and Miles of Texas...

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 4, Yankees 2

  • Ladies and gentlemen, let's give it up for Miles Mikolas.
  • This was unexpected, to say the least.  Before this season, Miles Mikolas had not started a game since 2009, the year he was drafted by the Padres in the 7th round.  He started 11 games for Eugene in the short-season A Northwest League.  He appeared in 60 games in 2010, 62 games in 2011, 54 games in 2012, and 56 games in 2013, all in relief.  After the 2013 season, San Diego sent Mikolas and Jaff Decker to Pittsburgh for someone named Alex Dickerson.  A month later, Mikolas was shipped to Texas for Chris McGuiness.  But he was one of those names on the 40 man roster you always forgot about, someone who never really seemed to be in the mix for a spot on the active roster.
  • About six weeks ago, the Rangers started having Mikolas start for AAA Round Rock.  The Rangers, with their rotation ravaged by injuries, brought him up and put him into the rotation.  Through 3 starts in the majors, he had gone just 14.1 innings, had allowed 24 hits, and was sporting an ugly 10.05 ERA.  Heading into Yankee Stadium, you just had to hope he could give the Rangers 5 innings or so, not get blown up, keep the bullpen from needing to pick up a ton of innings.
  • And what did he do?  Threw 7.1 innings, allowed 2 runs on 4 hits and a pair of walks, striking out 3, picking up his third career win.  I can't imagine how Mikolas feels right now.  I'm not sure if he has a future with this team or not, but whatever else happens, he's going to be able to tell his grandkids about going into Yankee Stadium and beating the Bronx Bombers.
  • Remarkably, it looked like he might not get out of the fifth inning.  Down 2-1, Mikolas retired Ichiro for the first out, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Francisco Cervelli and Zelous Wheeler before walking Brett Gardner to load the bases.  Steve Busby and Mark McLemore were talking about how this was about when he'd tended to get in trouble in his previous outings, and Ryan Feierabend was warming in the bullpen.  Derek Jeter was due up, and with the lefty Jacoby Ellsbury on deck, I expected Jeter to be Mikolas's last hitter.
  • But Mikolas got Jeter to hit a chopper to Rougned Odor, who made a nice play to field and quickly get the ball to Elvis Andrus for the force out with Brett Gardner sliding in hard at second base.  Elvis made a quick turn and got Jeter at first, and Mikolas, so close to allowing the game to get out of hand, suddenly had escaped unscathed.
  • I figured that we'd see Wash go to the bullpen, and in another season, one that wasn't about "development," maybe he would have.  But after the Rangers scored three runs in the top of the sixth to get Mikolas the lead, he left the young righthander out there, and Mikolas responded with a 1-2-3 inning, then came back out for the seventh and put up a 1-2-3 inning again.  Mikolas started the 8th, as well, retiring Wheeler, then Wash came out and got him, wanting Neal Cotts to face the lefty.
  • This was the longest outing of Mikolas's professional career, and only 10 times this season has a Ranger starter gone deeper into the game than Mikolas did today -- six times by Yu Darvish, three times by Martin Perez, and once by Robbie Ross.  It was a hell of a performance.
  • To round things out, Cotts got the hold in the 8th, and Joakim Soria allowed a hit and an HBP but escaped the 9th with his 17th save.  Each time I see Cotts or Soria pitch, now, I think, this might be the last time I see him in a Ranger uniform.
  • Shin-Soo Choo broke out of his slump tonight with a two hit night, and Rougned Odor, Jake Smolinski and Geovany Soto also had two hit games.  Of course, Soto left the game with a tight groin, and Smolinski left the game with a bruised ankle, so apparently, two hits was bad luck tonight.
  • The Yankees also had a remarkable five errors tonight, three by Yankee starter Shane Greene.  One of those errors was charged to Derek Jeter on a bad throw that drew first baseman Kelly Johnson off the bag in the 7th...Adrian Beltre was initially called out, but the umpires went to the replay, and it was overturned quickly.
  • Its odd, how quickly the replay system just seems to be a normal part of the game now, at least to me.
  • The Rangers left 12 runners on base tonight, and really should have scored more than 4 runs.  But hey, they out-scored the Yankees, and I'll take that.
  • The official game time was 3:31, and I'm at a loss as to how a 9 inning, 4-2 game can take so long.