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Thoughts on a 4-1 Rangers win

Rangers 4, Orioles 1

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Rangers 4, Orioles 1

  • Don't you kind of feel like, when the Rangers traded for Cole Hamels, this is what they had in mind?  I think it was Bradstick who said on Twitter that this outing was reminiscent of Yu Darvish, and the comparison is pretty apt.  Hamels had one bad inning early, the third, where he allowed a hit and three walks, including one with the bases loaded to Chris Davis to force in a run, and with Matt Wieters up with the bases loaded, two outs and a 1-0 Baltimore lead, you felt like things had the potential to get out of control.  But Hamels retired Wieters on a 6-3, and after that, it all seemed so easy.  Hamels was in cruise control, retiring 14 straight batters before walking Manny Machado with one out in the 8th.  Hamels promptly elicited a 4-6-3 GIDP from Steven Pearce on his 111th, and final, pitch of the game.
  • Hamels' final line:  8 IP, 2 hits, 4 walks, 10 Ks, 1 run.  In Darvish-esque fashion, he got better, and more efficient, as the game went on, and after escaping in the third, he was largely unhittable (and, in fact, didn't give up another hit).
  • Shawn Tolleson came in and got the save, his 27th of the season, fanning a pair.  Shawn Tolleson, closer for a playoff contender, was something I would have guessed we'd be saying 18 months ago.
  • Shin-Soo Choo put the Rangers on the board with a game-tying 4th inning home run which might have been the highest home run I've ever seen.  It was so high that I assumed it was going to be caught in deep right field, but it kept carrying, and landed a few rows back in right field.  If there's something that measures how high struck balls go, I'd like to see the data on that one.
  • Prince Fielder followed up the Choo home run with a rocket off the wall in center field, that was hit so hard that he was thrown out at second base.  Prince Fielder is really, really slow, you guys.
  • Also being thrown out on the basepaths tonight was Adrian Beltre, who was sent home via a very questionable Tony Beasley decision on a line drive to right field by Elvis Andrus with runners on the corners and no one out.  Beltre was gunned down at the plate easily, and if there had been two outs when Beltre was sent, I'd have understood the decision.  Elvis's out was the first of the inning, though, and the decision to send Beltre was a bad, and potentially costly, call.
  • Chris Gimenez homered in the bottom of the 5th to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead, and that was stretched to 3-1 later in the inning when back-to-back singles by Hanser Alberto and Delino DeShields were followed up by a Choo fielder's choice, where his hustle gave the Rangers a run when he beat the throw to first.
  • The final Ranger run came when Will Venable led off the 7th with a walk, and came around to score on a DeShields triple.  DeShields and Beltre each had two hit games tonight.
  • This was a terrific game if you are a Rangers fan...aside from the 3rd inning hiccup, Hamels was as dominant as you're ever going to see a pitcher, the pace was crisp, the Rangers played solid ball and scored runs, and there were fireworks after the game.  It was fun.
  • Oh, and the Astros lost, the Angels lost, and the Twins won, which means Texas is 4 games back of Houston, a half-game up on the Twins for the second wild card, and 1.5 games up on Anaheim.