Mariners 3, Rangers 2
- Don't know that there's a lot to say about this game. Chi Chi Gonzalez and the Ranger bullpen pitched great after the first inning. The Mariners pitchers were just better.
- For the second straight start, Chi Chi had a bad inning early, then settled down and pitched well the rest of the way. Today it was the first inning that was the problem, with Kyle Seager and Nelson Cruz hitting back to back doubles in the first, and then, with two outs, Seth Smith lofting a fly ball to right field that looked off the bat like it would be caught, but which kept carrying and ended up going out for a two run home run.
- Over the next five innings, Gonzalez allowed just two hits, a walk and an HBP, and ended up striking out a career-high 7 hitters in his 6 innings of work, but as it turned out, that three run first was all the M's needed.
- Jeff Banister used four relievers tonight, with Sam Freeman facing four batters but only retiring two of them, Spencer Patton getting the final out of the seventh in relief of Freeman, and Jake Diekman and Keone Kela pitching the 8th and 9th.
- Not much to say about the bats. Rougned Odor was 2 for 3 with a home run, and the rest of the team combined for three hits. Late in the game, the Rangers didn't like the strike zone -- Shin-Soo Choo was called out on strikes to end the eighth on a ball well outside, and Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre both barked about calls in the 9th -- but regardless, they weren't able to do much against the M's.
- A decision I thought was odd...in the bottom of the 7th, with runners on the corners and one out, Texas down 3-1, catcher Bobby Wilson was due up. Josh Hamilton was, theoretically, available to pinch hit, and if there were a situation where he would hit, this would seem to be it. Instead, Wilson was allowed to hit, and hit a sac fly to make it a 3-2 game. Ryan Strausborger then came up, ended up not finishing his at bat in the 7th due to Odor being caught stealing, and instead led off the 8th. No pinch hitter there, either. It leads me to believe that the reports that Hamilton is available to pinch hit may be misinformation, and I'm starting to think Hamilton lands on the d.l. once Will Venable reports.
- Anyway, Texas looks to take the series tomorrow, behind Derek Holland, who makes his return. Orioles lost tonight, so Texas is still a game back in the Wild Card.