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Thoughts on a 9-6 Rangers loss

Angels 9, Rangers 6

Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Angels 9, Rangers 6

  • No sweep.
  • Man, that was a disappointing, frustrating game.  Cole Hamels on the mound, Texas gets to Garrett Richards and gets a lead, things look fine, and then suddenly the wheels just come off.
  • In particular, it was the fifth inning when the wheels came off.  Hamels, back in the mound after missing a start due to a groin issue, appeared to be cruising.  He had a 4-1 lead and looked like he would be good for seven strong innings.  After starting the inning off with a K, Hamels induced Cliff Pennington to hit a pop fly into shallow center.  Delino DeShields got a bad break on it, Rougned Odor looked like he was going to snag it, but the ball fell in just out of Odor's reach, putting a runner on first.
  • Hamels, for whatever reason, promptly saw his command abandon him.  He walked Yunel Escobar on four pitches, fell behind Kole Calhoun 2-0, then ended up losing Calhoun, loading the bases with one out for Mike Trout.  Hamels induced Trout to tap slowly to third base, where Adrian Beltre tagged Escobar, but then Hamels walked Albert Pujols on four pitches.  Steve Busby suggested that this was Hamels pitching around Pujols, but with two outs and first base occupied, that wouldn't have made sense.  It was just Hamels not being able to locate.
  • That ended up biting Hamels when C.J. Cron singled home two runners, and while Hamels fanned Geovany Soto to end the inning, the damage, and Hamels' night, was done.  Hamels extended the Rangers streak of their starters going five innings, but he left after just five with the game tied at four.
  • Watching Hamels in the fifth, I thought his groin was bothering him, but he said after the game it wasn't his groin, he just lost the ability to locate his two seam fastball.
  • In any case, Tom Wilhelmsen then came into the game in the sixth and allowed a run, and then Jake Diekman allowed a trio of runs in the 8th to make it 8-4, and then Alex Claudio allowed a final run in the ninth, so when the Rangers rallied to score a couple of runs in the 9th, it was too little, too late.
  • I'm not going to complain about taking two of three from the Angels, but man...this felt like a win was in the bag in the fifth, up 4-1.  Ace on the mound, strong rested bullpen available,,,this is the sort of game the Rangers are supposed to put to bed in 2016.  It hurts to blow it.
  • On the offense side, big games for Ian Desmond and Adrian Beltre, who each had two hits and a walk.  Beltre also had a deep drive to right center in the ninth that looked for a moment like it might be gone, which would have made it a one run game.  Alas, it wasn't to be.
  • Also two hits for Delino DeShields, and three hits for Rougned Odor.  Every Ranger had at least one hit except for, once again, Bryan Holaday.
  • Part of what was frustrating was the missed opportunities for Texas.  The Rangers left runners on second and Urd to end the fourth inning and the fifth inning.  In the seventh, down a run, Texas had three singles, but no runs because of an Odor caught stealing.  Just a game you feel like should have been won.
  • Anyway, Texas is still in first, since Seattle lost.  Now to go to Toronto on Monday and try to get revenge for the ALDS.