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Thoughts on a 7-3 Rangers win

Rangers 7, Angels 3

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 7, Angels 3

  • Welcome back to the big leagues, A.J. Griffin.  Griffin, who missed the 2014 and 2015 seasons due to Tommy John surgery, pitched in the majors for the first time since 2013 and picked up the win for Texas.  Griffin, who won the fifth starter job this spring, gave the Rangers their fourth quality start in their first five games.  Griffin allowed some hard hit balls and didn't miss many bats, but he did his job.  As I said about Colby, who also went 6 IP with 3 runs allowed in his first start, I will take that from Griffin every time out.
  • Griffin's final line:  6 IP, 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 1 K.
  • Tom Wilhelmsen pitched the 7th and much of the 8th, but continued to struggle with command issues.  Wilhelmsen walked the first batter he faced, Chad Pennington, in the 7th, but Pennington was erased when C.J. Cron hit into an inning-ending double play.  But in the 8th, after retiring the first two batters he faced, Wilhelmsen loaded the bases with a walk-single-walk sequence, prompting Jeff Banister to go get Tony Barnette, who induced a fly out to end the inning.
  • Jake Diekman had a 1-2-3 ninth with a pair of Ks to end the game, keeping his ERA on the season at 0.00.
  • It was a nice night for the bats, especially given how quiet the offense had been the first four games of the year.  Texas jumped on Matt Shoemaker early, scoring three runs in the first with a Delino DeShields walk and stolen base, a Shin-Soo Choo bunt single, back to back singles by Prince Fielder and Adrian Beltre, and a Mitch Moreland double.  Texas looked poised to have an even bigger first, with runners on second and third and no one out, but pop outs by Ian Desmond and Rougned Odor, followed by a lineout by Elvis Andrus, ended the threat.
  • In the third inning, however, Odor made up for not getting a runner home earlier in the game by taking Shoemaker deep for a two run home run.  Texas added single runs in the fourth (DeShields scoring on a wild pitch) and the seventh (Elvis singling home Desmond) for the final margin.
  • The Rangers haven't generated many hits so far -- six of yesterday's starters have a sub-.200 batting average, another one is hitting .211, and the team as a whole has an A.L.-low .184 batting average -- but they are leading the league in walks.  That trend continued yesterday, with the team drawing 7 walks in all, Prince and Desmond leading the way with 2 walks apiece.  Texas did also pick up 10 hits yesterday, with Elvis and DeShields picking up a pair each.
  • Texas is now 2-3 on the season, and are a half-game back in the West.