Rangers 15, Angels 9
- Coming into today, there hadn't been one of the patent Colby Lewis disaster outings we get once or twice a season, but in the top of the second, it looked like things were headed that way. After putting up a run in the top of the first on a leadoff double followed by a single, the Angels went double-walk-double to start the second inning, with Colby seemingly unable to keep his pitches from straying over the middle of the plate. A ground out and a sac fly brought home two more runs in the inning, putting the Angels at four for the game, but it seemed to give Colby a chance to settle down and get back in a groove, as he retired 10 in a row before allowing a Yunel Escobar single in the fifth. Escobar ended up coming around to score, and then Colby allowed a pair of singles to start the sixth without retiring a batter, with one of those runners scoring, so the end result was a 5 IP, 6 run outing from Colby.
- Still, given how things started today, it could have been a lot worse.
- The bullpen was a mixed bag this afternoon...Alex Claudio was brought into the game in the sixth with two on and no one out, faced one batter, allowed a single, and then was pulled for Tony Barnette. Barnette managed to get out of the bases loaded, no one out situation with just one run coming across, and then pitched a scoreless seventh, which opened the door for Jeff Banister to put Shawn Tolleson into the game in the 8th with a 7 run lead.
- Alas, Tolleson appears to still be broken...C.J. Cron and Johnny Giavotella each singled to start off the inning, and then Rafael Ortega took Tolleson deep for Ortega's first major league home run. Tolleson got pulled at that point, and it was the third time in his last four outings he's gone less than an inning and given up at least three runs. At this point, a d.l. stint or an optional assignment to the minors is appearing inevitable for last year's closer.
- With a four run lead in the eighth, Banister went to Matt Bush for the third straight game, and Bush allowed a couple of hits before retiring the side. In the ninth, a six run lead was apparently not safe enough for Luke Jackson to pitch, so closer Sam Dyson came in for his 24th appearance of the year, the second-highest in the A.L.
- We talked a lot last year about how hard Banister rode certain guys in his bullpen, with the two key pieces that were getting overused being Keone Kela and Shawn Tolleson. Tolleson was out of gas by the end of the year and Kela had to be used sparingly because of an elbow issue...flash-forward to this year, and Tolleson appears to be broken and Kela is hurt.
- Of course, you can argue this both ways...you can say that Tolleson and Kela would be more likely to be contributing now if they weren't ridden so hard last year, or you can say that relievers inevitably break anyway, so you might as well ride them as hard as possible while they are serviceable. In any case, its worth keeping an eye on Dyson, Bush and Jake Diekman in the coming weeks, and how much they are pitching.
- It was all happiness and joy, meanwhile, on the offensive side of the ball, as every Ranger starter got on base, scored a run, and had an RBI, and every Ranger except Prince Fielder (who was 0 for 4 with 2 walks) had at least one hit. Bobby Wilson, who said in his post-game comments he was offended that Mike Scioscia walked Elvis Andrus intentionally to bring Wilson to the plate, was 4 for 4 on the day. Ian Desmond continued getting multi-hit games, going 3 for 6, and Ryan Rua was 3 for 4 with a double and a walk. Adrian Beltre, Elvis Andrus and Nomar Mazara each had two hit games, and Mazara also had a home run that Statcast measured at 491 feet, which makes it "officially" the longest home run in Globe Life Park history, though people have been debating whether Josh Hamilton's home run that the UTA professor said went 490 feet was actually longer.
- Well, here...see for yourself: