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Thoughts on a 3-2 Rangers loss

Jays 3, Rangers 2

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Jays 3, Rangers 2

  • This was a winnable game.  In fact, you could argue that the Rangers should have won this game.  They had more baserunners than the Blue Jays did, had more opportunities to score...Texas was 2 for 15 with RISP, while the Jays were 1 for 3.  Texas had five times as many at bats with RISP as the Jays.  They even had three stolen bases, versus none for the Jays.  But Texas left 12 runners on base, while the Jays left just 4, and Toronto ended up beating the Rangers by a run.
  • After a game such as this one, you'll see fans or writers say things like, "These are the games you have to win if you want to make the playoffs."  That sort of tautology annoys me, though, because the reality is that you aren't going to win every game like this.  Sometimes you're going to lose close games you feel like you should have won.  And conversely, sometimes you're going to steal a game that you had no business winning.  If you win a few more of these than you lose, you have a better chance of sneaking into the playoffs if you don't have a true talent playoff team, but the expectation that these are games a team can't afford to win is unrealistic.  Its like when you see someone on Twitter say, after a batter strikes out or pops up or taps a ball back to the pitcher with a runner on third and less than two outs, "You HAVE to get that runner home.  There's no excuse for not doing it."  But the other team is full of professional ballplayers who are good at their jobs, and the outcome you want isn't always going to happen.  Understanding that is part of being a grownup.
  • Anyway...
  • Chi Chi Gonzalez was really good for the first three innings, then wasn't good for a couple of innings, then was good for an inning again.  He ended up with a quality start, giving up 3 runs in 6 IP, walking 4, giving up 4 hits and striking out three.  He's now sporting a 2.59 ERA on the year, and looks like someone who will be a good pitcher for a while.  That said, he's had a troubling trend of seeing his command desert him for an inning or two at a time.  Its a problem similar to what we see sometimes with Yu Darvish, and like Yu Darvish, I think it stems at least in part to the fact that he has so much natural movement, he doesn't always know where the ball is going.  But he doesn't have Yu's stuff, and he can't afford to suddenly lose the zone (or, conversely, leave balls in the middle of the plate, like on Josh Donaldson's 3-2 homer that set bad things in motion).
  • We've talked about this before, but Chi Chi's going to have to start striking a few more people out at some point if he's going to continue to have success at the major league level.
  • Spencer Patton and Tanner Scheppers each had a three-up three-down inning, and Scheppers looked more like the good Scheppers, which would be a promising development.
  • As for the bats...Texas got 9 hits today.  Three were by Rougned Odor, three were by Elvis, and two were by Prince Fielder, who also drew a walk.  The rest of the team contributed one hit (by Shin-Soo Choo), two walks by Joey Gallo, and a walk by Robinson Chirinos.  One run scored on an RBI single by Elvis, and the other scored on a grounder by Adrian Beltre too slowly hit to be turned into a GIDP.  Beltre, Mitch Moreland and Leonys Martin all were 0-3 with RISP.  Beltre and Moreland had 0 for 5 games.
  • Okay, on to Baltimore.  Josh Hamilton will probably be in the lineup tomorrow.