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Thoughts on a 4-3 Rangers win

Rangers 4, Mariners 3

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Rangers 4, Mariners 3

  • This had all the makings of a game that was going to slip away.  Missed opportunities, Cole Hamels pitching well but not being able to hold leads, the M's hanging of those games we'd be staying awake tonight thinking about, lamenting the fact that the Rangers couldn't take advantage.
  • But that didn't happen.  Instead, we got a walk-off win, in a quite improbable fashion.
  • Cole Hamels wasn't great, had some command issues, but ultimately, he went 7 IP and allowed 3 runs, and I'll take that.  8 Ks, 4 walks, 7 hits, and some help on a big throw home by Shin-Soo Choo to get a 9-2 DP to end the 7th and keep Seattle from getting the go-ahead run home.
  • Sam Dyson had a 1-2-3 8th, and Jeff Banister went to Shawn Tolleson with the game tied in the 9th.  Tolleson allowed a leadoff single to Austin Jackson, but retired the next three, setting the stage for the Rangers in the bottom of the 9th.
  • The bottom of the 9th had to be maddening for M's fans, and I especially enjoyed it because, in the early aughts, it seemed like the Rangers lost way too many games to Seattle in exactly this fashion.  Fernando Rodney in the game, and Ryan Strausborger reaches on a bunt single.  Delino DeShields then lays down a bunt, Kyle Seager takes too long throwing to first, and DeShields is safe...and even when Seattle challenged the play, and replay seemed like it showed enough that the call might get overturned, the play was upheld, putting runners on first and second with no one out.  Shin-Soo Choo then got hit by a pitch, loading the bases, setting the stage for Prince Fielder...who struck out swinging.  No worries, though...Adrian Beltre, who had a huge night tonight, watched Rodney miss badly, walking him and forcing in the winning run.
  • That was Adrian Beltre's 17th bases loaded walk in his career.  I'd have guessed lower.  Though he's now had 265 plate appearances with the bases loaded...
  • In any case...Texas had 17 baserunners tonight, against 12 for the M's, but the Rangers continuously failed to capitalize on opportunities.  Texas scored once in the first, when Choo scored on an RBI double by Adrian Beltre, but with runners on second and third and one out, Mitch Moreland and Elvis Andrus couldn't get anyone home.  Beltre doubled home Choo again in the third, but was left stranded.  In the sixth, Texas got Elvis and Rougned Odor on to start the inning, and then Chris Gimenez bunted them over, but all the Rangers got was one run, on a Strausborger sac fly.
  • As a team, the Rangers were 1 for 9 with RISP.  But it didn't matter, because the pitching was solid, and we have Adrian Beltre.  Beltre was 3 for 4 with a walk, and drove in three of the four Ranger runs.
  • Other nights of note from the bats...Odor had three hits, including a double, and Prince Fielder and Ryan Strausborger each had a pair of hits.
  • Interesting decision by Jeff Banister in the 8th, sending up Mike Napoli to hit against righthander Tom Wilhelmsen with two outs and the go-ahead run on second.  Napoli has a 635 OPS against righties this season, and between that and the pinch hitting penalty, I'm not sure he's that much more likely than Chris Gimenez to get a hit in that situation.  Josh Hamilton was on the bench, and was supposedly available to pinch hit, but Banister went with Napoli instead.  Napoli grounded out to end the inning.
  • Houston lost tonight, and so the Rangers are just 3 games back in the A.L. West, and 1 game back in the Wild Card.