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Thoughts on a 3-0 Rangers win

Rangers 3, M's 0

Jennifer Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 3, M's 0

  • This game felt like a lot of the games the Rangers have won in the last couple of weeks.  Strong starting pitching, strong bullpen performance, and enough offense to get the W.
  • Yovani Gallardo...I'm so conflicted about him.  Great pick up this year, and he's been huge for the Rangers all season.  But he's so slow-working, so deliberate, needs so many just seem like games he start drag inordinately.  He's also not been able to work deep into games in the second half...he pitched into the 9th inning in Toronto on June 27, but since then, he's not gone more than 6 innings in a game (and has only gone 6 innings three times).  I'm ready for the Rangers to offer him the qualifying offer after the season and collect the draft pick.
  • But once again tonight, when he's been on the mound for Texas, he's gotten the job done.  5.1 IP, 5 hits, 2 walks, 4 Ks, and no runs allowed.
  • Huge night for Andrew Faulkner, who came into the game with one out and one on to face Robinson Cano.  He got a fly out to Cano, struck out Seth Smith to end the 6th, then was allowed to pitch the seventh, where he had a pair of Ks sandwiched around a 4-3.  With Sam Freeman seemingly having fallen out of the Banister Tree of Trust, Faulkner is giving Banister another lefty option in the late innings he can turn to.
  • Sam Dyson and Shawn Tolleson handled the 8th and the 9th, each allowing a single to start the inning, and each shutting down the M's after that.
  • Only six hits for the Rangers tonight, three of them by Mike Napoli, who didn't have a run scored or an RBI.  But the M's gave them some gifts, as there were 4 walks, 3 WPs, 2 HBPs, and a balk, and Texas was able to take advantage of that.
  • The offense looked dead until the top of the sixth.  With one out, Delino DeShields walked, Shin-Soo Choo singled, and Prince Fielder was hit by a pitch, setting up a two-RBI single by Adrian Beltre.  A Mike Napoli single loaded the bases for Elvis Andrus, who looked like he had made it 4-0 on a hard hit ball back up the middle, but Ketel Marte made a great play on it to turn it into an inning-ending GIDP.
  • The third run came courtesy of some Rougned Odor hustle.  Odor singled to right to start the seventh and was sacrificed over to second.  After Will Venable struck out, DeShields came to the plate, and Odor ended up going to third on a wild pitch.  DeShields drew ball four on a ball in the dirt that barely got away from the M's catcher, but Odor broke for the plate and just barely slid in ahead of the tag for the third run.
  • The top of the 7th also featured a potentially problematic injury.  DeShields advanced to second on a wild pitch, and then, despite there being two outs in the inning, tried to steal third.  He was called out (and the play was challenged, unsuccessfully, though the replay seemed to show he was safe), but more troubling, DeShields was injured on the play and had to be helped off the field.  Later reports indicated that DeShields is day-to-day with a mild left knee sprain, but with the outfield depth already compromised, DeShields missing significant time would be a big blow.
  • Houston, meanwhile, fell to the A's today, meaning Texas is back to just two games out in the A.L. West race.