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Thoughts on a 6-2 Rangers win

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Rangers 6, Astros 2

Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 6, Astros 2

  • Losing three key players yesterday apparently didn't faze the Rangers.
  • Yovani Gallardo made his home debut for the Rangers, and the Fort Worth native was saying before the game he'd lost track of how many family and friends he'd gotten tickets for.  They saw him put up a decent performance...definitely an improvement over his disastrous first game, but still probably not as good as the Rangers would like to see from him.  The final line was 5.2 IP, 2 runs, 8 hits, 1 walk and 7 Ks, with one of the runs coming via a Marwin Gonzalez home run, and the other being the result of a bases loaded walk by Jon Edwards in the 6th after Gallardo was lifted.  With the bullpen having to go 8 innings yesterday, I suspect Jeff Banister would have liked to have gotten more innings from Gallardo, but he pitched well enough for the Rangers to win.
  • The Rangers put Derek Holland on the disabled list today, and brought up Jon Edwards from AAA to take his place on the active roster and give the Rangers a fresh arm in the pen.  Edwards came into the game with two on and two outs in the 6th in relief of Gallardo, threw 9 pitches, walked both batters he faced, and was prompted removed from the game.  Texas claimed righty pitcher Stolmy Pimentel on waivers today, and will have to make a move tomorrow to add him to the active roster.  My guess is that Edwards is heading back down.
  • Part of what made Edwards' outing so frustrating wasn't just that he walked both batters he faced...it was that he walked Jake Marisnick, the #9 hitter, and then Jose Altuve, who walks about as often as (I deleted a very inappropriate joke here).  Edwards had a strong spring training, and was put into a difficult situation for his season debut, but still, he wasn't coming close to the plate, and put two guys on who you have no business walking.
  • Phil Klein came into the game in relief of Edwards and retired George Springer, followed by Keone Kela pitching a scoreless 7th and Shawn Tolleson pitching a scoreless 8th.  Kela's stuff is undeniable, and we've talked about him a lot, but I'm wondering if we aren't giving Shawn Tolleson short shrift.  His DIPS numbers last year weren't anything special, but the stuff is pretty good, and I'm starting to wonder if he isn't a pretty decent middle reliever, rather than just someone keeping a spot warm until a real reliever shows up.
  • Neftali Feliz threw 22 pitches in a game the Rangers were trailing last night, and then threw 18 pitches today with a four run lead.  I question the decision to run Feliz back out there today in that situation, given that state of the bullpen and the fact that he's now unlikely to be available tomorrow.  Of course, its an open question at this point as to whether not having Feliz available to pitch in a close game is all that devastating to your cause.
  • Adrian Beltre put the Rangers on the board in the first inning, hitting a ball down the right field line that looked like it would be a double, then was mis-played into a triple, and then saw Beltre score when the throw to third got away.  And I have to tell you, watching Adrian Beltre legging out a triple makes MY hamstrings hurt.
  • Carlos Peguero was also called up today, replacing Ryan Rua on the roster and Shin-Soo Choo in the lineup and in right field, and he acquitted himself well, going 2 for 5 with a single and a double.  Peguero, as you know doubt recall, was one of the stories of the spring, showing signs of finally having made the adjustments necessary to go from AAAA slugger to legitimate major league player, and he was one of the final cuts of the spring.  I suspect he's going to get pretty regular playing time over the next couple of weeks while Rua is on the mend so the Rangers can try to figure out what they have here.
  • Beltre and Mitch Moreland each had two hits today, and Moreland also got on via a HBP.  Banister worked to justify the inclusion of Delino DeShields, Jr., on the 25 man roster by having him pinch run for Moreland in the 7th, and DeShields promptly stole second base, the first Ranger steal of the season.  He was stranded there when Elvis Andrus grounded out to end the inning, but hey, at least DeShields did something.
  • Also picking up hits today were Rougned Odor (who doubled), Robinson Chirinos, and Elvis Andrus, while Jake Smolinski picked up a pair of walks.  Leonys Martin, on the other hand, had a rough night, allowing a single early on on a ball he should have caught, and going 0 for 5 at the plate.
  • A questionable call by Banister late in the game...after Odor led off the 8th inning with a double, Banister had Robinson Chirinos lay down a sac bunt to move Odor to third base.  What made this so baffling, to me, was that the Astros had lefthander Tony Sipp on the mound, and Leonys Martin (who has been awful in his career versus lefties) and Carlos Peguero were the next two batters up.  Sure enough, Leonys grounded meekly to first base, and was unable to get Odor home.  Fortunately, Peguero ended up plating Odor with a two out single, and thus the issue became moot, but still...why would you have the righthanded Chirinos bunt with a runner on second and no one out against a lefty with Leonys due up next?
  • Oh, hey, the Angels lost today.  So right now, the Rangers and A's are tied for first place in the A.L. West.