D-Backs 7, Rangers 4
- Well, that was not how we hoped Matt Harrison's return would go.
- Harry's return is the story of the day, and him just getting back on a major league mound after career-threatening back surgery is an accomplishment. His stuff and command, though, were both off from where he was before injuries de-railed him, and he topped out at 87 mph. What Harrison, and the team, are going to have to figure out going forward is whether the stuff is going to come back, or if this is the pitcher that he's going to be from this point on. My guess is that, like Colby Lewis last season, its going to take him a while to figure out the new pitcher that he is now. I think you have to hope that he spends the rest of the season getting accustomed to the new him, and can hit the ground running next spring.
- Harrison went 4 IP plus one batter, had a disaster inning in the 2nd, but otherwise pitched okay. The end line was ugly though...4 IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 3 walks, 1 K. The runner he left on to start the 5th scored when Anthony Bass allowed a 2 run home run.
- Bass did his thing, going 2 IP and allowing just the one run. Keone Kela, pitching for the second straight game, scuffled, throwing just 9 strikes out of 18 pitches and allowing a walk and a pair of hits in an inning-plus, but didn't allow any runs. Sam Freeman struck out the only batter he faced, just the latest of his recent string of solid outings, and Tanner Scheppers retired five of the six batters he faced. Solid work from the bullpen.
- Texas was 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position, which is a big part of why they lost despite having more baserunners than the D-Backs. Texas got hits -- 11 total, including 3 from Adrian Beltre and two apiece from Prince Fielder and Robinson Chirinos -- and 3 walks, including two from Elvis. But the key hit kept eluding them.
- Perhaps the turning point in the game was in the bottom of the fourth. Texas was down, 5-2, but loaded the bases on a Mitch Moreland single, and Elvis walk, and a Rougned Odor fielder's choice that resulted in Elvis being called safe at second after a challenge. Bases loaded, no one out, D-Backs starter Jeremy Hellickson in trouble...the Rangers were in position to put up a crooked number and get back in the game. Instead, Robinson Chirinos and Delino DeShields both struck out, and then Shin-Soo Choo flied out.
- Then, in the top of the next inning, Bass gave up the two run homer to make it 7-2, and the game seemed out of reach. Texas scored a couple of more runs, and were in position to get back in it, but couldn't string the hits together.
- At three games under .500, and with as many teams as there are still in the race, it feels like this is a team that isn't going to be playing meaningful baseball in September after all. The trade deadline is 23 days away, and I have my doubts that their one big deadline trade chip -- Yovani Gallardo -- will still be a Ranger at this time 23 days from now.