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Thoughts on a 10-5 Rangers win

Rangers 10, Tigers 5

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Rangers 10, Tigers 5

  • Bad news for the Rangers on A.J. Griffin today, as Griffin struggled before getting lifted in the third inning due to right shoulder soreness.  Griffin has missed the past two seasons working his way back from Tommy John surgery, and the original plan was for Griffin to start the season in the minors and work on rebuilding his arm strength before being a major league option later in the season.  A combination of a strong spring by Griffin and all the other fifth starter options eliminating themselves with subpar camps resulted in Griffin getting the nod, and he's been excellent so far this year, but the injury today would seem likely to put him on the disabled list.
  • Griffin gave up three runs in today's game in his limited work, the first scoring in the second when a two out walk to Jarrod Saltalamacchia was followed up by an Anthony Gose triple.  In the third, after retiring the first two batters he faced, Griffin allowed a grounder to second that Rougned Odor misplayed, allowing Miguel Cabrera to reach on what was scored an infield single, but which could have easily been called an error.  Forced to get an extra out, Griffin walked Victor Martinez and Justin Upton to load the bases, and then Nick Castellanos singled in a pair of runs.  Griffin signaled for the trainer after that, which ended his day.
  • Anthony Ranaudo, just called up yesterday to be the long man while Cesar Ramos recuperates from his lengthy outing on Thursday, struck out Saltalamacchia to get out of the jam in the third, but in the bottom of the fourth, walked Gose to lead off the inning, and then gave up a home run to Ian Kinsler two batters later, making it a 5-2 Detroit lead.  Ranaudo finished the fourth and pitched a scoreless 5th, but by the time the bottom of the sixth inning rolled around, the Rangers had re-taken the lead, and Ranaudo wasn't given the opportunity to cough that up.
  • Instead, Jeff Banister turned to Tom Wilhelmsen to pitch the 6th.  He put up a goose-egg, and after Texas made it 9-5 with two more runs in the 7th, Jake Diekman was brought in, also throwing a scoreless inning.  Tony Barnette was asked to finish out the game, but after allowing Detroit to load the bases with two outs in the 9th, Shawn Tolleson got the nod for the final hitter, picking up a one batter save.
  • With Ramos, Ranaudo and Barnette all likely unavailable tomorrow, and Diekman having pitched two days in a row, you have to think the Rangers are going to make a move to bring up at least one pitcher tomorrow, and likely two.  My guess is Ranaudo gets optioned, with the Rangers bringing up either Luke Jackson or Andrew Faulkner from AAA Round Rock (although Jose Leclerc, who last pitched on May 5, and who has struck out 14 against 4 walks while allowing 2 runs and 4 hits in 8 IP since moving to the bullpen for Frisco, is also a possibility).  Griffin, meanwhile, presumably goes to the disabled list, giving the Rangers the opportunity to let him rest his shoulder, and likely get a rehab start or two in the minors, with Yu Darvish due back soon.  Griffin going to the d.l. allows the Rangers to recall either Alex Claudio (who was optioned today, and who likely was still in Detroit when Griffin was lifted) or Phil Klein, who was optioned two days ago for Ranaudo.  Neither pitcher can be recalled this soon except to replace a pitcher who goes on the d.l., which is why only one or the other is an option, not both.
  • Moving on to the was an offensive explosion and a power show for the Rangers today, with Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara going deep back-to-back to start off the game and give the Rangers an early 2-0 lead.  Weirdly, Detroit starting pitcher Mike Pelfrey then retired 14 of the next 16 hitters he faced, allowing a Mitch Moreland single in the second and an Ian Desmond single in the fourth (with Desmond erased on a Moreland GIDP), before the roof caved in on him in the 6th.  Odor led off the sixth with a single, followed by a Mazara RBI double, and then an Adrian Beltre home run to tie up the game.  Pelfrey was yanked, and Prince Fielder made the first out, but then a Desmond HBP was followed up by a Moreland home run to make it 7-5.
  • Beltre went deep again in the 7th, with another two run shot, making it a 9-5 game, and then the final run scored in the 9th, when Bryan Holaday's leadoff triple was followed up by a Delino DeShields sac fly.
  • So, a weird thing about this game...the Rangers had 10 hits, but only three singles.  The other hits were a double, a triple, and five home runs.  Also strange...the Rangers only had 12 baserunners, but scored 10 runs.  One runner was erased on the Moreland GIDP, meaning the Rangers only left one runner on base all game.  The Rangers made their baserunners count.  The Tigers, on the other hand, had 19 baserunners (11 hits and 8 walks), but stranded 12.  They must be annoyed by this.
  • Beltre had a big game...I mentioned on Twitter that I was fretting this morning over him slumping of late, and then he has a two home run game.  The lesson:  never doubt Adrian Beltre.
  • Moreland, Odor and Mazara also had two hit games, which is nice.
  • Drew Stubbs, who just arrived in Detroit this morning, was inserted for Delino Deshields for defensive purposes in the ninth inning.  The addition of Stubbs would appear to make it likely that either DeShields or Mazara will be sent down when Shin-Soo Choo returns from the disabled list, and in particular, would seem to be bad news for DeShields, since Stubbs is able to handle backup center field duties.  Banister sticking Stubbs in for defense today would seem to be an ominous signal for DeShields, as well.
  • DeShields going to AAA, though, wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing...he spent last season in the majors all year as a Rule 5 pick who was expected to be a 25th man who would pinch run and get the occasional start, and who was pressed into a larger role because of Leonys Martin's struggles and various injuries.  DeShields spending some time in AAA to work on his game wouldn't be the worst thing in the world, and Stubbs gives the Rangers someone who can spell Ian Desmond in center occasionally should DeShields go down.
  • With the win, the Rangers are now a game back of Seattle in the A.L. West, pending the outcome of tonight's game between the M's and the Astros.  And Texas will, of course, be going for the sweep tomorrow.