Rangers 10, A's 6
- So, I've kind of got mixed feelings about this game. Yes, it was a win, and wins are good. Yes, the Rangers scored a bunch of runs, and that's good.
- However...it seemed harder than it needed to be. Starting with Martin Perez, who looked in the first like he would be lucky to make it thru five innings. Two singles to start the game, a hard hit line drive that Jurickson Profar made a diving catch on, a double that just scored one because the second runner was gunned down at the plate, and a fly ball to deep center that was caught on the track. It wasn't encouraging.
- But Perez settled down, and seemed to have things, if not under control, at least manageable, until the sixth inning. The Rangers were up 7-1, Perez had a low pitch count, and I was fantasizing about maybe a complete game that would give the pen the day off. Then, with one out in the sixth, a single-single-single-sac fly-double sequence made it 7-4, back into kinda close territory. Perez finished the inning and pitched a scoreless seventh, going a season high 7 innings for the game.
- So yeah...four runs, no walks but just two K's. An optimist would say it was Perez showing he can bounce back from a bad start and win without his best stuff. A pessimist would say it's just more inconsistency from Perez.
- Perhaps most frustratingly, after a Matt Bush scoreless eighth, the Rangers got it to 10-4 heading into the ninth. Alex Claudio came into the game, being asked to just get three outs and not allow a bunch of runs. That wasn't accomplished. Claudio had an HBP and a single, fanned Jake Smolinski, then allowed two runs to come home on a Yonder Alonso double, prompting Jeff Banister to go get Sam Dyson to pitch in a four run game. I kind of would have preferred to have Claudio stay out there, but then, I wouldn't be the one answering questions about why I let my team blow a six run lead with Alex Claudio on the mound.
- So once again, a couple of key bullpen pieces were used in a game that wasn't all that close, and shouldn't have been that close. And the bullpen situation will continue to hang over things.
- At least the bats blew up. Everyone hot a hit except for Nomar Mazara, who was 0 for 5, and Shin-Soo Choo, who drew two walks. Elvis had three hits, including a homer. Ryan Rua continued to mash lefties, going 2 for 3 with a walk, a homer and a sac fly. Prince Fielder had a couple of hits. Robinson Chirinos had a big three run homer to make it 4-1. All those things are good.
- And Texas is now up 5.5 games on Seattle in the West. Which maybe is indicative of how good things are. Instead of reacting to this game by being thrilled with a win, I'm grousing about how Martin Perez should have been better and Alex Claudio had to be bailed out in the ninth.
- First place problems, man...