Mariners 4, Rangers 2
- Well, no sweep this series.
- You know how sports fans who don't like baseball talk about how baseball is boring, and us baseball fans think they are full of crap? Well, today's game is the type of game I think the anti-baseball people are talking about when they say baseball is boring. Mid-week day game, only 15,000 or so in attendance, road team at the end of a seven game road trip, sloppy play, not a ton of action, several lengthy replays...just a very draggy, not very entertaining game, even for us diehards.
- A.J. Griffin started for the Rangers and was okay. His command was awful early on, and though he settled down after the first couple of innings, he ended up only going 5 IP because he needed 103 pitches to get that far into the game. Griffin only allowed 2 runs, though, on 3 hits, striking out 5 and walking 4, continuing the Rangers streak of having the starting pitcher allow 3 runs or fewer in every game this season. One of the runs Griffin allowed was due to Ian Desmond flat dropping a catchable fly ball off the bat of Nori Aoki, allowing Aoki to go to second, where he was able to score on a Seth Smith single (which also featured a Delino DeShields fielding error which allowed Smith to go to second -- see "sloppy play," above). The other run was a home run off of Robinson Cano, and let's be honest...even pitching in Safeco, if you have A.J. Griffin on the mound, you have to expect to give up a home run in the game.
- With Texas down 2-1 after five, Jeff Banister went with the newly-promoted Alex Claudio, and managed to make it through 1.2 IP without any runs scoring, despite giving up 3 hits. Tony Barnette came in in relief of Claudio and worked 2.1 IP, getting the Rangers through the bottom of the 9th without any more runs coming across. Unfortunately, the Rangers couldn't put more than 2 runs on the board, leading to extra innings, and Jake Diekman pitching the 10th. A Rougned Odor error with one out meant that Diekman had to get four outs in the 9th, and with two out and one on, pinch hitter Dae Ho Lee crushed an 0-2 fastball that was supposed to be a very high pitch that would induce Lee to chase unsuccessfully, but which was instead left right out over the plate, resulting in a walkoff 2 run homer.
- Only one of the four runs the Rangers gave up was earned. See "sloppy play," above.
- There were also several challenges, one of which took almost four minutes, and all I remember about that challenge was that it took forever. There was a challenge of a ball Adrian Beltre hit where he was called out at first, and he was clearly safe, and that was overturned quickly. There was also an argument about a neighborhood play, when Delino DeShields (I think, it all is a blur) was called safe at second because Ketel Marte didn't tag the bag before completing his throw to first on what appeared to be a Nomar Mazara double play. There was also a weird play where Mazara hit into what appeared to be a double play, but the tag on DeShields going by was missed, but DeShields started heading towards the dugout anyway, and ended up getting tagged out when they threw the ball back to second after making the out at first. I'm pretty sure that happened, anyway. Like I said, it was a weird game with lots of huddling and discussions.
- The Ranger offense was kind of sad and pitiful today. DeShields had three hits, and the rest of the team combined for three hits. Prince Fielder and Mitch Moreland are now both hitting .194, Rougned Odor is hitting .167, Ian Desmond is hitting .103, and Hanser Alberto, after getting a hit today, is now hitting .100. While it is the 21st century and we've all read Moneyball and know batting average isn't the end-all be-all, its still fair to say that you can look at the above numbers and acknowledge that isn't very good.
- Anyway, the Rangers are coming home tonight, and start a four game series against Baltimore tomorrow. Texas is 5-5 on the year, and a half-game back of the Angels for first place. So things could be much worse.