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Thoughts on a 2-1 Rangers win

Rangers 2, Giants 1

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 2, Giants 1

  • I didn't get to watch this game, because I was on the road driving to San Antonio.  Around the fourth inning, I started thinking, of course Martin Perez is going to throw a perfect game, or at least a no-hitter, because I'm traveling.  Marteen didn't do either of those things, but he wasn't far off, either.
  • Let's get the offense out of the way real quick, first.  Josh Hamilton had a 2 run home run to provide all the scoring.  Mike Leake and a couple of relievers limited the Rangers to 8 hits and 3 walks, and the Rangers were 0 for 7 with RISP, meaning a bunch of stranded runners and missed opportunities that, fortunately, ended up not costing the team.  Every Ranger position player except Elvis had a hit.
  • Okay, back to Marteen...he allowed three baserunners all game:  one reaching on a Rougned Odor error, one reaching on an infield single (immediately following the error), and one on a ninth inning double.  Perez went 8.1 IP, struck out 6, threw 61 strikes against just 19 balls, and allowed just a pair of hits.
  • Of course, the fact that it was 8.1 IP rather than 9 IP is the story of this game.  Perez went into the 9th inning with a low pitch count and having dominated the Giants.  Angel Pagan doubled with one out in the 9th, and to my amazement, Jeff Banister went out and got Perez.  It was baffling.  Perez was cruising, he was only at 80 pitches -- fewer than he's thrown in a couple of other starts this year -- and Shawn Tolleson, the closer, wasn't even available.  It made no sense.
  • Jeff Banister said after the game that they were trying to protect his arm because he's coming off surgery, but if that's the case, why let him throw more than 80 pitches -- in higher-stress environments -- in other games?  Was he coming out at 80 regardless, or would he have stayed in the game if he'd retired Pagan?  If the latter, how does that correspondence with trying to save his arm?  Jeff Wilson suggested that having to get up and down 9 times may have played into it, as much as the pitch count, but in that case, why send Perez out to start the 9th?  It just makes no sense.
  • And then, Banister opted to go with Jake Diekman for the third straight game.  Diekman, who has control problems which have limited his effectiveness in his career, walked Nori Aoki on four pitches.  Banister then went and pulled him in favor of newly acquired Sam Dyson.  Dyson allowed a pair of singles, which brought in a run and had the bases loaded with (still) just one out, before getting Hunter Pence to hit into a 6-4-3 GIDP.
  • I should be happier about this win than I am.  I mean, I'm happy we won, but I'm befuddled by the decision-making in the 9th inning that put the game in jeopardy, decisions that seemed primed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  Its hard for me to be as fired up as I should be, as a result.
  • In any case, the Rangers are just two games under .500, and just three games back of the second Wild Card spot.  Still hanging in there on the fringe.  Who knows, maybe the Rangers can stay in this race...