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Thoughts on a 3-1 Rangers loss

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M's 3, Rangers 1

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

M's 3, Rangers 1

  • Well, Texas lost, but Houston lost as well, so Texas is still up 2.5 games in the A.L. West.
  • Yovani Gallardo continues to provide evidence that he should be the odd man out of the rotation, should the Rangers make the playoffs.  Tonight was Gallardo's 15th straight start where he went 6 innings or less, the second-longest such streak anyone has had this year -- he'll look to tie Eddie Butler at 16 straight the next time out.
  • Gallardo's final line was 5 IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 4 Ks.  He needed 90 pitches to go 23 batters, and continued to have issues putting hitters away.  All 3 runs came in the 2nd, and all came courtesy of weak hits.  Gallardo didn't pitch poorly.  He just, once again, was a five inning starter.
  • Two runs scored on a ball down the line that looked like it might have been foul.  Banister tried to challenge the play, was apparently told it wasn't reviewable, argued about that, and was run.
  • Andrew Faulkner and Jake Diekman each pitched 2 innings and allowed no runs.  In between, Tanner Scheppers pitched for the first time in 9 games, threw two pitches, allowed a sinking liner to center field that Delino DeShields dove for, caught and then dropped, and then was pulled.
  • Only 6 hits for the Rangers, but they also had 5 walks, an HBP and a runner reach on an error.  They had opportunities, but were 0 for 6 with RISP, the only run scoring on a bases-loaded walk.
  • Texas appeared poised to put runs on the board in the first, with runners on second and third and one out after a pair of singles and a wild pitch.  Prince Fielder fanned, however, and after a Mike Napoli walk loaded the bases, Mitch Moreland struck out to end the inning.
  • The fifth inning was when the Rangers scored their lone run...after one out, they got a pair of hits and a pair of walks, loading the bases for Mike Napoli.  Seattle went to the bullpen for Danny Farquhar, seemingly setting up a situation for Will Venable to pinch hit.  Instead, Napoli stayed in the game (Farquhar is a righty, but has reverse splits in his career), and hit into a GIDP to end the inning.
  • The eighth inning was the other big chance Texas had.  Adrian Beltre walked and Prince Fielder reached on an error, putting runners on first and second.  I thought Banister (or Steve Buechele, subbing for Banister) might pinch run for both runners, but he just replaced Fielder, sending Ryan Strausborger out to run for him.  It was a fateful decision to leave Beltre in, as a ball that got away allowed Beltre to advance to third and barely beat the throw.  However, on a challenge, replay determined Beltre came off the bag momentarily, and Beltre was called out.  The rally pretty much fizzled after that.
  • I suspect that MLB may look this offseason at tweaking the ability to challenge a runner coming off the base for a microsecond after reaching safely.
  • I may be mis-remembering, but Napoli seemed to have an uneventful game in left field.  There was one ball that fell in that I thought a better fielder might have had a shot at, but probably not.  On the other hand, Mitch Moreland, whose bat Banister wants to get into the game against lefties by playing Napoli in left field, was 0 for 3 with 3 Ks, and Napoli was 0 for 2 with a walk, so that alignment didn't really work tonight.
  • But whatever.  Texas is still in first place in the A.L. West.  And will be on Sunday, when I go to the Ballpark for the final game I'll attend there this season.