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Thoughts on a 2-1 Rangers win

Rangers 2, ChiSox 1

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 2, ChiSox 1

  • Colby Lewis was really good tonight.
  • Chris Sale was even better.
  • And the Rangers still won.
  • Something that shouldn't be overlooked in the 9th inning heroics...Colby Lewis did a terrific job today.  The lone ChiSox run scored on a Tyler Flowers home run.  Otherwise, Colby gave up 7 singles and a double, didn't walk anyone, and struck out 7 hitters in 8 IP.  Colby's ERA is down to 4.08.  I'll take that from Colby.
  • Colby did benefit from some quality defense behind him.  In the 4th inning, Avisail Garcia reached on  one out  infield single, which was followed up by a Conor Gillespie double to the left-center field gap.  Garcia tried to score, but was gunned down by a great throw to the cutoff man by Leonys Martin, a great throw home by Elvis Andrus, and a great tag by Robinson Chirino.
  • The other significant threat was in the bottom of the 7th, with the Sox up 1-0.  After two were out, Tyler Flowers got an infield single, Carlos Sanchez singled, and then Adam Eaton had a hard hit single to left field -- hard enough, in fact, that Flowers was held up at third, loading the bases with two outs.  Melky Cabrera then hit a shallow fly ball into right field that looked like it would drop in front of Shin-Soo Choo, but Hanser Alberto went well out into right to flag it down and end the inning.
  • That wasn't the only adventure that the Rangers infielders had with pop-ups yesterday...Elvis Andrus was out in left-center catching a shallow fly/pop-up that either Leonys Martin or Ryan Rua probably should have called him off on, but which neither took charge on.  And Joey Gallo made a great catch near the stands for the second out of the ninth inning.  I'm pretty sure that's when it was, anyway...all those pop-ups start running together after a while.
  • Speaking of the ninth...Shawn Tolleson made things a little scarier than we would have liked.  After a ground out and a pop out to start the ninth, Tolleson walked pinch hitter Geovany Soto, and then hit Adam Eaton on a 3-2 pitch to bring up Melky with the tying run in scoring position and the winning run on first base.  Melky, anticipating a get-over fastball, tried to end the game on the first pitch, by Tolleson went offspeed and got him to swing and miss to get ahead 0-1, which set the tone for the at bat, which ultimately ended in a popup to Rougned Odor at second base.
  • As for the bats...well, for most of the game there was nothing good to say.  Chris Sale was dominant, striking out every Ranger starter, including Joey Gallo three times and Leonys Martin three times.  The only hits he gave up were singles to Hanser Alberto and Prince Fielder.  I am hard pressed to even think of any other balls that were hit hard...the Ranger hitters looked like a team that was facing a great pitcher after having gotten into town after an all night flight at 6 in the morning.
  • Sale went 8 innings before being pulled for closer David Robertson.  There was some controversy over that, with folks saying that Sale, who was only at 111 pitches, should have stayed in and finished out the game.  However, he threw 125 pitches in his last outing, Robertson is getting big bucks to get the final three outs of the game, and you really want to be pushing your ace in a season where you have no meaningful chance of being in the playoff race come September?
  • So...with Robertson on the mound, Odor hit for Alberto, and popped out to start the inning.  Shin-Soo Choo walked, and then Elvis Andrus had a line drive single to center.  With Gallo at the plate, a Robertson wild pitch allowed Choo and Elvis to advance, giving the Rangers runners on second and third with one out, and giving Gallo the opportunity to tie the game with a fly ball.  Alas, Gallo fanned for the fourth time, and Prince Fielder was intentionally walked, bringing up Adam Rosales.
  • Rosales was playing first base and hitting fifth due to his history of success against Chris Sale, but with the righty Robertson in the game, Jeff Banister went to pinch hitter Mitch Moreland.  And Moreland, as he has so often this season, came through, lining a single into right field that scored Choo and Elvis, and gave the Rangers their margin of victory.
  • That was quite a comeback win, especially on the heels of last night's 1-0 defeat.  The Rangers had never lost consecutive 1-0 games.  And they still haven't.