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Thoughts on an 12-4 Rangers win

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Rangers 12, A's 4

Rick Yeatts/Getty Images

Rangers 12, A's 4

  • This last game was a little shakier overall than we would like from an eight run victory, but who cares, the Rangers won big and took two of three at home from the A's in the three game set.  With Houston losing two of three in Anaheim, we prepare to kick off a four game series tomorrow in Arlington where the Rangers and Astros will face off, Texas looming just a game and a half back of Houston.
  • I think this is what MLB was hoping we'd see occasionally when they put Houston in the same division with Texas.
  • Chi Chi Gonzalez was called up to make this particular start, allowing the Rangers to slide Cole Hamels back a day to match up against Houston, and the thing you always fear with something like that is your spot starter blowing up and losing a winnable game, making things backfire.  That was a non-issue with Chi Chi, who cruised through 5 innings, not allowing a hit until giving up an infield single in the fourth while issuing just a pair of walks.  Things got sticky in the sixth inning, though, as with an 8 run lead, a walk-wild pitch-pop up-E3-triple sequence brought a pair of runs home, and led Jeff Banister to go to the bullpen.  Keona Kela K'd Brett Lawrie but allowed Billy Butler to reach on a two out RBI infield single to third that Adrian Beltre got his glove on, but didn't make a play on.  Kela fanned Jake Smolinski to end the inning, and it seemed things were back on track.
  • Alas, things can't be TOO easy...Andrew Faulkner pitched the seventh, and allowed a one out home run to someone named Carson Blair, who had never even had a major league hit before.  After retiring Marcus Simien, Faulkner elicited a pop fly to right center that was an easy out...except Shin-Soo Choo and Delino DeShields had yet another miscommunication (a problem that has plagued them quite a bit of late), neither caught the ball, it fell in for a single, and then Josh Reddick doubled, putting runners on second and third with two outs for Danny Valencia.  Sam Dyson came into the game, and despite falling behind initially, he battled back to get Valencia to pop out and end the inning.
  • So to the top of the 8th...Texas is up 9-4, but things will be smooth sailing now, right?  Of course not.  7 batters came to the plate for Oakland in the 8th, no one scored, and not a single ball was put into play.  Dyson walked the first two batters he faced, and then Max Muncy entered the game as a pinch hitter, leading Banister to go get Jake Diekman from the pen.  Muncy was then replaced, without actually doing anything, by someone named Ladendorf, who struck out swinging, no doubt leading Muncy to say from the bench that HE could have done that.  Diekman then hit Sam Fuld on a two strike pitch where Fuld was dinged on the left arm while checking his swing, loading the bases with one out.  No worries, though...Blair and Simien each struck out, ending the inning.
  • Ross Ohlendorf pitched the 9th, and though he only faced four batters, he needed 29 pitches to get through the inning, due in part to Chris Gimenez dropping a foul pop to extend an at bat, and due in part to Eric Sogard fouling off what seemed like 20 pitches while working a walk.  Sogard was the only baserunner to reach that inning, though.
  • So the Rangers got the win, and the pitching staff just allowed 4 runs, though they needed 6 pitchers and 191 pitches in the process.
  • Shin-Soo Choo led off the scoring with a solo homer in the first, and with a lefty on the mound and the overall funk that has settled over the Ranger offense, it felt like that might represent a good chunk of the scoring for the day.  Texas put 2 more on the board in the 4th on an Adrian Beltre homer, though, then 5 in the 5th courtesy of a three run Beltre homer and a 2 run Elvis Andrus single.  Choo brought home DeShields in the 6th for the 9th run, and then Rougned Odor capped off the scoring in the 8th with a 3 run homer.
  • Every starter got a hit today except for Mike Napoli, who did draw three of walks, and Mitch Moreland, who was 0 for 3, but reached on an error in the fifth, after which he was lifted for pinch runner Will Venable, which allowed Napoli (who started in left field) to move to first base and Venable to go to left.  The ironic thing about the Napoli error in the sixth is that there were concerns about Napoli's fieldwork coming into the game, but it was because Napoli was playing his first pro game in left field, and it was after he moved back to first base that he made the error.
  • Shin-Soo Choo had a big game, going 3 for 4 with a walk, and along with Adrian Beltre and his two home runs, Prince Fielder also had a two hit game.  Odor was 2 for 5, and Elvis had a pair of walks to go with his single.  It was a pretty solid effort across the board for the bats, as you'd expect when you score 12 runs.
  • Bring on the Astros.